Archive for the ‘Isaiah 50’ Category

Shame and Glory   1 comment

3c33671v

Above:  The Dogma of the Redemption, by John Singer Sargent

Image Source = Library of Congress

(http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2003689379/)

Reproduction Number = LC-USZ62-133671

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Collect:

Almighty God, your Son our Savior suffered at human hands

and endured the shame of the cross.  Grant that we may walk

in the way of the cross and find it the way of life and peace,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns

with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 30

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Assigned Readings:

Isaiah 50:4-9a

Psalm 70

Hebrews 12:1-3

John 13:21-32

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Some Related Posts:

Isaiah 50:

http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/devotion-for-december-26-lcms-daily-lectionary/

http://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/thirty-seventh-day-of-lent-wednesday-in-holy-week/

http://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/10/20/proper-19-year-b/

Hebrews 12:

http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/10/06/week-of-4-epiphany-tuesday-year-1/

http://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/thirty-fifth-day-of-lent-monday-in-holy-week/

http://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/02/devotion-for-the-sixth-day-of-easter-friday-in-easter-week-lcms-daily-lectionary/

John 13:

http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/devotion-for-march-8-and-9-in-epiphanyordinary-time-lcms-daily-lectionary/

http://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/thirty-seventh-day-of-lent-wednesday-in-holy-week/

http://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/devotion-for-june-9-10-and-11-in-ordinary-time-lcms-daily-lectionary/

A Prayer for Wednesday of Passion Week/Holy Week:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2011/02/24/prayer-for-wednesday-of-passion-weekholy-week/

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

O God, make speed to save me;

O Lord, make haste to help me.

Let those who seek my life

be put to shame and confusion;

let them be turned back and disgraced

who wish me evil.

Let those who mock and deride me

turn back because of their shame.

But let all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you;

let those who love your salvation say always, “Great is the Lord!”

As for me, I am poor and needy;

come to me quickly, O God.

You are my help and my deliverer;

O Lord, do not delay.

–Psalm 70, Common Worship (2000)

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Shame and honor are social constructs.  One has only as much honor or shame as others agree one does.  And people can redefine symbols.  This has happened in the case of the cross, originally a symbol of shame and utter annihilation, but now one of victory over evil and death.

May we who claim to follow God really follow God.  As part of that discipline may we, in words of Isaiah 50:4,

Console the weary

with a timely word….

The Revised English Bible (1989)

And, also as part of that discipline, may we not subscribe to false codes of honor and shame, for the glorification of our Lord and Savior in the Johannine Gospel was his crucifixion.

“Shame” is glorification.  The first will be last.  The last will be first.  Some prostitutes and Roman collaborators will enter Heaven before certain respectable religious people will.  I detect a good pattern here.

May we notice that pattern and live according to its ethic of radical grace, by the power of grace.  And may we, unlike the author of Psalm 70, reject the predictable and understandable tendency to seek the doom and disgrace of our enemies and persecutors.  May we follow the example of our Lord and Savior.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 28, 2013 COMMON ERA

THANKSGIVING DAY (U.S.A.)

THE FEAST OF SAINT STEPHEN THE YOUNGER, DEFENDER OF ICONS

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOSEPH PIGNATELLI, RESTORER OF THE JESUITS

THE FEAST OF KAMAHAMEHA AND EMMA, KING AND QUEEN OF HAWAII

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Adapted from this post:

http://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2013/11/28/devotion-for-wednesday-in-holy-week-years-a-b-and-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Advertisements

Reasons to Apologize to God and to Repent   1 comment

triumphal-entry1

Above:  The Triumphal Entry Into Jerusalem

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

THE ASSIGNED READINGS FOR THIS SUNDAY

At the Liturgy of the Palms:

Luke 19:28-30

Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29

At the Liturgy of the Word:

Isaiah 50:4-9a

Psalm 31:9-16

Philippians 2:5-11

Luke 22:14-23:56 or Luke 23:1-49

The Collect:

Almighty and everliving God, in your tender love for the human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of his suffering, and also share in his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Some Related Posts:

Sunday of the Passion:  Palm Sunday, Year A:

http://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/sunday-of-the-passion-palm-sunday-year-a/

Sunday of the Passion:  Palm Sunday, Year B:

http://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2011/07/28/sunday-of-the-passion-palm-sunday-year-b/

Prayer of Praise and Adoration:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2011/02/24/prayer-of-praise-and-adoration-for-passion-sundaypalm-sunday/

Prayer of Confession:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2011/02/24/prayer-of-confession-for-passion-sundaypalm-sunday/

Prayer of Dedication:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2011/02/24/prayer-of-dedication-for-passion-sundaypalm-sunday/

Prayer:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2011/02/24/prayer-for-passion-sundaypalm-sunday/

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Passover was the Hebrew national holiday, the commemoration of the birth of the Hebrew nation via the passage on dry land through the Sea of Reeds.  Thus it was political, especially when Judea was part of the Roman Empire and a Roman fortress towered over the Temple complex in Jerusalem.  Vast throngs of pilgrims came to the city for that week, and more Roman soldiers than usual watched them.  The empire was relatively tolerant of religions–especially old ones–but only to a point.  And it did not tolerate insurrections.  If an insurrection were to erupt in the Jewish homeland, it might do so at Passover.

Temple authorities cooperated with the occupying Romans.  So even the side of the Passover ceremonies was tainted.  Thus Jesus, by confronting the Temple system, made his execution inevitable.  There was no separation of religion and state at that time and place.

That was the background of the Triumphal entry and of the rest of Holy Week.  It is easy to condemn long-dead people.  Indeed, many long-dead people deserve historical condemnation.  But may we not stop there.  Are we complicit in an exploitative system?  If so, would we be willing to kill to defend it?  Perhaps the answer to the first question is negative, so the second question is irrelevant.  In that case, how prone are we to bow to peer pressure?  Mobs cried,

Crucify him!

History and sociology confirm what experience teaches:  Many of we humans will do in groups what we will never do alone.  So, one way or another or both, we have reasons to apologize to God and repent.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 29, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE FIRST U.S. PRESBYTERIAN BOOK OF CONFESSIONS, 1967

THE FEAST OF JIRI TRANOVSKY, HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINTS LUKE KIRBY, THOMAS COTTAM, WILLIAM FILBY, AND LAURENCE RICHARDSON, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIESTS AND MARTYRS

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Adapted from this post:

http://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/sunday-of-the-passion-palm-sunday-year-c/

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Insults of Men   1 comment

Above:  Joseph’s Dream, by Rembrandt van Rijn

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Blessed Lord, who caused all holy scriptures to be written for our learning:

Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them,

that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life,

which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ;

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer (1979), page 236

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Assigned Readings:

Isaiah 49:22-26; 50:4-51:8, 12-16

Psalm 116 (Morning)

Psalms 119:1-24 and 27 (Evening)

Matthew 1:18-25

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Some Related Posts:

Feast of Saint Joseph of Nazareth (March 19):

http://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2010/06/12/feast-of-st-joseph-of-nazareth-march-19-2/

Isaiah 49-51:

http://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/thirty-seventh-day-of-lent-wednesday-in-holy-week/

http://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/10/20/proper-19-year-b/

http://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/02/26/proper-16-year-a/

Matthew 1:

http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/advent-devotion-for-december-18/

http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/fourth-sunday-of-advent-year-a/

A Prayer for Shalom:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2010/07/17/a-prayer-for-shalom/

 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Listen to Me, you who care for the right,

O people who lay My instruction to heart!

Fear not the insults of men,

And do not be dismayed at their jeers;

For the moth shall eat them up like a garment,

The worm shall eat them up like wool.

But My triumph shall endure forever,

My salvation through all ages.

–Isaiah 51:7-8, TANAKH:  The Holy Scriptures

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 I maintain a holy family shrine in my abode.  This shrine has increased in size lately, mainly due to the addition of objects–bookmarks, Christmas cards, and various three-dimensional images of Jesus, Mary, Joseph, or two or more of them.  Some of these additions are items new to me, but mostly the growth of the shrine has been a matter of rearranging and repurposing items I have had for some time.  One of my favorite images in the shrine is of Joseph and his young son.  Such iconography is less common than images of Mary and Jesus.  I have plenty of the those but only one of Joseph alone with Jesus.

Joseph was in a delicate situation.  Yet he risked shame to spare Mary’s life.  And whispers followed Mary, Joseph, and Jesus for years, as the Gospels reflect.  But Joseph made the correct decision, and the triumph of God has endured to this point in time.

From the time of birth each of us has a set of purposes to complete in this life.  We can summarize them accurately and broadly as glorifying and enjoying God, living compassionately, and leaving our area of the planet better than we found it.  The particulars will vary according to our circumstances, or course.  May we focus on fulfilling our purposes from God and on encouraging each other, in doing the same, not on spreading rumors and questioning each other’s legitimacy.  There are no illegitimate people, whatever we may know or think we know about their parents’ timing.  We all have the same divine Mother and Father, who is God, beyond all human metaphors.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 16, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT NORBERT OF XANTEN, FOUNDER OF THE PREMONSTRATENSIANS, SAINT HUGH OF FOSSES, SECOND FOUNDER OF THE PREMONSTRATENSIANS, AND SAINT EVERMOD, BISHOP OF RATZEBURG

THE FEAST OF CHARLES TODD QUINTARD, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF TENNESSEE

THE FEAST OF JANANI LUWUM, ANGLICAN ARCHBISHOP OF UGANDA

THE FEAST OF SAINT SILVIN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/devotion-for-december-26-lcms-daily-lectionary/

Judas Iscariot and Disappointment   1 comment

Jerome Pradon as Judas Iscariot in Jesus Christ Superstar (2000)

(A Screen Capture I Took Via PowerDVD)

+++++++++++++

Collect and lections from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer

++++++++++

Follow the assigned readings with me this Lent….

Kenneth Randolph Taylor

++++++++++++

Isaiah 50:4-9a (New Revised Standard Version):

The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of a teacher,

that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word.

Morning by morning he wakens–

wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught.

The Lord GOD has opened my ear,

and I was not rebellious,

I did not turn backward.

I gave my back to those who struck me,

and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard;

I did not hide my face from insult and spitting.

The Lord GOD helps me;

therefore I have not been disgraced;

therefore I have set my face like flint,

and I know that I shall not be put to shame;

he who vindicates me is near.

Who will contend with me?

Let us stand up together.

Who are my adversaries?

Let them confront me.

It is the Lord GOD who helps me;

who will declare me guilty?

Hebrews 9:11-15, 24-28 (New Revised Standard Version):

But when Christ came as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation), he entered once for all into the Holy Place, not with the blood of goats and calves, but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.  For if the blood of goats and bulls, with the sprinkling of the ashes of a heifer, sanctifies those who have been defiled so that their flesh is purified, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to worship the living God!

For this reason he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, because a death has occured that redeems them from the transgressions of the first covenant.

For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by human hands, a mere copy of the true one, but he entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.  Nor was it to offer himself again and again, as the high priest enters the Holy Place year after year with blood that is not his own; for when he would have had to suffer again and again since the foundation of the world.  But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to remove sin by the sacrifice of himself.  And just as it is appointed for mortals to die once, and after that the judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

Psalm 69:6-15, 20-21 (New Revised Standard Version):

Do not let those who hope in you be put to shame because of me,

O Lord GOD of hosts;

do not let those who seek you be dishonored because of me,

O God of Israel.

It is for your sake that I have borne reproach,

that shame has covered my face.

I have become a stranger to my kindred,

an alien to my mother’s children.

It is zeal for your house that has consumed me;

the insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.

When I stumbled my soul with fasting,

they insulted me for doing so.

When I made sackcloth my clothing,

I became a byword to them.

I am the subject of gossip for those who sit in the gate,

and the drunkards made songs about me.

But as for me, my prayer is to you, O LORD.

At an acceptable time, O God,

in the abundance of your steadfast love, answer me.

With your faithful help rescue me from sinking in the mire;

let me be delivered from my enemies and from the deep waters.

Do not let the flood sweep over me,

or the deep swallow me up,

or the Pit close its mouth over me.

Insults have broken my heart,

so that I am in despair.

I looked for pity, but there was none;

and for comforters, but I found none.

They gave me poison for food,

and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

John 13:21-35 (New Revised Standard Version):

After saying this Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared,

Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me.

The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he was speaking.  One of his disciples–the one whom Jesus loved–was reclining next to him; Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking.  So while reclining next to Jesus, he asked him,

Lord, who is it?

Jesus answered,

It is the one to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.

So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot.  After he received the piece of bread, Satan entered into him.  Jesus said to him,

Do quickly what you are going to do.

Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him.  Some thought that, because Judas had the common purse, Jesus was telling him,

Buy what we need for the festival;

or that he should give something to the poor.  So, after receiving the piece of bread, he immediately went out.  And it was night.

When he had gone out, Jesus said,

Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him.   If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once.  Little children, I am with you only a little longer.  You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.  Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

OR

Matthew 26:1-5, 14-25 (New Revised Standard Version):

When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples,

You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.

Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, and they conspired to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him.  But they said,

Not during the festival, or there may be a riot among the people.

[Note:  Verses 6 to 13 tell of an unnamed woman anointing Jesus’ head with “a very costly ointment” at the home of Simon the leper in Bethany.]

Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said,

What will you give me if I betray him to you?

They paid him thirty pieces of silver.  And from that moment he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.

On the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying,

Where do you want us to eat the Passover?

He said,

Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ”The Teacher says, My time is near; I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.”

So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover meal.

When it was evening, he took his place with the twelve; and while they were eating, he said,

Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.

And they became greatly distressed and began to say to one after another,

Surely not I, Lord?

He answered,

The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me.  The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to the one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed!  It would have been better for that one not to have been born.

Judas, who betrayed him, said,

Surely not I, Rabbi?

He replied,

You have said so.

The Collect:

Lord God, whose blessed Son our Savior gave his body to be whipped, and his face to be spit upon: Give us grace to accept joyfully the sufferings of the present time, confident of the glory that shall be revealed; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

+++++++++++++

Judas Iscariot was a disappointed man.

Jesus was not the person Judas wanted him to be.  Judas did not understand the true meaning of Messiahship.  This is understandable, given the context, which was Roman occupation.  To expect a Messiah who was a national liberator was not unusual, given those circumstances.  This was a common expectation, after all.  Yet something else was wrong with Judas, for he betrayed Jesus.

Judas had some severe character faults–namely, greed and dishonesty.  And so the fatal cocktail of ingredients came into being.  Yet Judas played an important role in salvation history.  Let us remember this always.

Jesus commanded his Apostles to love one another as he loved them.  He loved them and everyone to the point of self-sacrifice.  History and tradition tell us that, of the eleven surviving Apostles, only John did not become a martyr, and that he endured his share of suffering.  And Matthias, Judas’s replacement, became a martyr.  Martyrdom, although not every Christian’s ultimate call, remains a real possibility for many Christians today.

In an earlier devotion I wrote of disappointment with Jesus.  I stated that Jesus was and is the person he should be.  He was and is what he should be.  Therefore, any disappointment with him indicates erroneous expectations, not any fault with Jesus.  Does Jesus disappoint us?  If so, we need to examine ourselves spiritually and seek divine aid in correcting this matter.  Let us not betray Jesus, too.  Rather, may we follow Jesus, whatever that entails.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 26, 2010 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT DISMAS, PENITENT BANDIT

THE FEAST OF SAINT LUDGER, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF MUNSTER

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARGARET CLITHEROW, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR

THE FEAST OF RICHARD ALLEN, AFRICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL BISHOP

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Adapted from this post:

http://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/thirty-seventh-day-of-lent-wednesday-in-holy-week/

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Posted February 20, 2012 by neatnik2009 in Hebrews 9, Isaiah 50, John 12, Matthew 26, Psalm 69

Tagged with ,

Expectations   1 comment

Above:  Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

THE ASSIGNED READINGS FOR THIS SUNDAY

At the Liturgy of the Palms:

Mark 11:1-11 or John 12:12-16

Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29

At the Liturgy of the Word:

Isaiah 50:4-9a

Psalm 31:9-16

Philippians 2:5-11

Mark 14:1-15:47 or Mark 15:1-39, (40-47)

The Collect:

Almighty and everliving God, in your tender love for the human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of his suffering, and also share in his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

A Related Post:

Sunday of the Passion:  Palm Sunday, Year A:

http://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/sunday-of-the-passion-palm-sunday-year-a/

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Palm Sunday is liturgically unusual.  It sits at the beginning of Holy Week yet summarizes said week.  During the rest of the week one reads of various events ranging from the cleansing of the Temple to the Last Supper to the crucifixion to the interment in the tomb.  So there is much redundancy in the full observance of Holy Week.  The designers of the Revised Common Lectionary seem to have arranged the readings for Palm Sunday so that one can skip the intervening days and proceed directly to Easter Sunday.

Historical scholarship reveals the presence of a variety of expectations as to what a Messiah would do and how he would do it at the time of Jesus.  Some Jews did not even expect a Messiah.  But many Jews looked for a national liberator, for they lived under occupation.  Passover, the annual celebration of the deliverance of the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt brought many pilgrims to Jerusalem, raised the political stakes, and made Rome nervous.  If someone were to begin a revolution, he might do it at Passover.

What did the cheering crowds expect of Jesus?  What did the Roman guards think as they watched the Triumphal Entry?  For that matter, what do we ant Jesus to be and fear that he might be?  If Jesus does not match our expectations, the problem lies within us, not him.  If there is a misunderstanding, we are confused party.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

 JULY 28, 2011 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE PIONEERING FEMALE EPISCOPAL PRIEST, 1974 AND 1975

THE FEAST OF ANTONIO VIVALDI, COMPOSER

THE FEAST JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH, COMPOSER

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Adapted from this post:

http://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2011/07/28/sunday-of-the-passion-palm-sunday-year-b/

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Holy Week Begins   1 comment

Above:  Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

THE ASSIGNED READINGS FOR THIS SUNDAY

At the Liturgy of the Palms:

Matthew 2:1-11

Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29

At the Liturgy of the Word:

Isaiah 50:4-9a

Psalm 31:9-16

Philippians 2:5-11

Matthew 26:14-27:66 or Matthew 27:11-54

The Collect:

Almighty and everliving God, in your tender love for the human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of his suffering, and also share in his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Passover commemorated the liberation of the Jews from slavery in Egypt.  For the annual celebration of this momentous event many people entered Jerusalem, swelling the urban population for a few days.  Imagine the politics of this religious festival under Roman occupation.  This would be the optimal time for someone to proclaim himself the great liberator of the Jews from foreign rule in their homeland.

The Roman Empire had a relatively tolerant policy toward religions, permitting the Jews special privileges.  Yet this tolerance had definite limits, including rebellion or the appearance thereof.

Now that I have set the historical stage the events of the following days through Good Friday, which this Sunday sums up, make great sense.  The political waters were turbulent, and the best way for Jesus to have survived that week was to keep a low profile.  He did no such thing.

Many of those who hailed Jesus as a conquering hero on one day yelled “Crucify him!” later in the week.  He came, sending overt symbols contrary to the Messiah-as-Conquering Hero role, but that did not matter to many during the Triumphal Entry.  During the next few days Jesus acted against the interests of religious leaders cheating the devout and collaborating with the Roman occupiers.  He was going to die, for that at least.  It was a great injustice.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 19, 2010 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SADHU SUNDAR SINGH, TEACHER AND EVANGELIST

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Adapted from this post:

http://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/sunday-of-the-passion-palm-sunday-year-a/

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Heeding Wisdom’s Call   1 comment

Above:  Christ Pantocrator

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

FIRST READING AND PSALM:  OPTION #1

Proverbs 1:20-33 (New Revised Standard Version):

Wisdom cries out in the street;

in the squares she raises her voice.

At the busiest corner she cries out;

at the entrance of the city she speaks;

How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?

How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge?

Give heed to my reproof;

I will pour out my thoughts to you;

I will make my words known to you.

Because I have called you and you refused,

have stretched out my hand and no one heeded,

and because you have ignored all my counsel

and would have none of my reproof,

I also laugh at your calamity;

I will mock when panic strikes you,

when panic strikes you like a storm,

and your calamity comes like a whirlwind,

when distress and anguish come upon you.

They will not call upon me, but I will not answer;

they will seek me diligently, but will not find me.

Because they hated knowledge

and did not choose the fear of the LORD,

would have none of my counsel,

and despised all my reproof,

therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way

and be sated with their devices.

For waywardness kills the simple,

and the complacency of fools destroys them;

but those who listen to me will be secure and will live at ease, without dread of disaster.

Psalm 19 (1979 Book of Common Prayer):

1  The heavens declare the glory of God,

and the firmament shows his handiwork.

2  One day tells its tale to another,

and one night imparts knowledge to another.

3  Although they have no words or language,

and their voices are not heard,

4  Their sound has gone out into all lands,

and their message to the ends of the world.

5  In the deep has he set a pavilion for the sun;

it comes forth like a bridegroom out of his chamber;

it rejoices like a champion to run its course.

6  It goes forth from the uttermost edge of the heavens

and runs about to the end of it again;

nothing is hidden from its burning heat.

The law of the LORD is perfect and revives the soul;

the testimony of the LORD is sure and gives wisdom to the innocent.

8 The statutes of the LORD are just and rejoice the heart;

the commandment of the LORD is clear and gives light to the eyes.

The fear of the LORD is clean and endures for ever,

the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.

10 More to be desired are they than gold more than much fine gold,

sweeter far than honey, than honey in the comb.

11 By them also is your servant enlightened,

and in keeping them there is great reward.

12 Who can tell how often he offends?

cleanse me from my secret faults?

13 Above all, keep your servant from presumptuous sins;

let them not get dominion over me;

then shall I be whole and sound,

and innocent of a great offense.

14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight,

O LORD, my strength and my redeemer.

or

Wisdom of Solomon 7:26-8:1 (Revised English Bible):

She [Wisdom] is the radiance that streams from everlasting light, the flawless mirror of the active power of God, and the image of his goodness.  She is but one, yet can do all things; herself unchanging, she makes all things new; age after age she enters into holy souls, and makes them friends of God and prophets, for nothing is acceptable to God but the person who makes his home with wisdom.  She is more beautiful than the sun, and surpasses every constellation.  Compared with the light of day, she is found to excel, for day gives place to night, but against wisdom no evil can prevail.  She spans the world in power from end to end, and gently orders all things.

FIRST READING AND PSALM:  OPTION #2

Isaiah 50:4-9a (New Revised Standard Version):

The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of a teacher,

that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word.

Morning by morning he wakens–

wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught.

The Lord GOD has opened my ear,

and I was not rebellious,

I did not turn backward.

I gave my back to those who struck me,

and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard;

I did not hide my face from insult and spitting.

The Lord GOD helps me;

therefore I have not been disgraced;

therefore I have set my face like flint,

and I know that I shall not be put to shame;

he who vindicates me is near.

Who will contend with me?

Let us stand up together.

Who are my adversaries?

Let them confront me.

It is the Lord GOD who helps me;

who will declare me guilty?

Psalm 116:1-8 (1979 Book of Common Prayer):

1 I love the LORD, because he has heard the voice of my supplication,

because he has inclined his ear to me whenever I called upon him.

2 The cords of death entangled me;

the grip of the grave took hold of me;

O came to grief and sorrow.

3 Then I called upon the Name of the LORD;

“O LORD, I pray you, save my life.”

Gracious is the LORD and righteous;

our God is full of compassion.

5 The LORD watches over the innocent;

I was brought very low, and he helped me.

Turn again to your rest, O my soul,

for the LORD has treated you well.

7 For you have rescued my life from death,

my eyes from tears, and my feet from stumbling.

8 I will walk in the presence of the LORD

in the land of the living.

SECOND READING

James 3:1-12 (Revised English Bible):

My friends, not many of you should become teachers, for you may be certain that we who teach will ourselves face severer judgement.  All of us go wrong again and again; a man who never says anything wrong is perfect and is capable of controlling every part of his body.  When we put a bit into a horse’s mouth to make it obey our will, we can direct the whole animal.  Or think of a ship:  large though it may be and driven by gales, it can be steered by a very small rudder on whatever course the helmsman chooses.  So with the tongue; it is small, but its pretensions are great.

What a vast amount of timber can be set ablaze by the tiniest spark!  And the tongue is a fire, representing in our body the whole wicked world.  It pollutes our whole being, it sets the whole course of our existence alight, and its flames are fed by hell. Beasts and birds of every kind, creatures that crawl on the ground or swim in the sea, can be subdued and have been subdued by man; but no one can subdue the tongue.  It is an evil thing, restless and charged with deadly venom.  We use it to praise our Lord and Father; then we use it to praise our Lord and Father; then we use it to invoke curses on our fellow-men, though they are made in God’s likeness.  Out of the same mouth come praise and curses.  This should not be so, my friends.  Does a fountain flow with both fresh and brackish water from the same outlet?  My friends, can a fig tree produce olives, or a grape vine produce figs?  No more can salt water produce fresh?

GOSPEL READING

Mark 8:27-38 (Revised English Bible):

Jesus and his disciples set out for the villages of Caesarea Philippi, and on the way he asked his disciples,

Who do people say that I am?

They answered,

Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, others one of the prophets.

He asked,

And you, who do you say that I am?

Peter replied,

You are the Messiah.

Then he gave them strict orders not to tell anyone about him; and he began to teach them that the Son of Man had to endure great suffering, and to be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes; to be put to death, and to rise again three days afterwards.  He spoke about it plainly.  At this Peter took hold of him and began to rebuke him.  But Jesus, turning and looking at his disciples, rebuked Peter.

Out of my sight, Satan!

he said.

You think as men think, not as God thinks.

Then he called the people to him, as well as his disciples, and said to them,

Anyone who wants to be a follower of mine must renounce self; he must take up his cross and follow me.  Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and for the gospel’s will save it.  What does anyone gain by winning the whole world at the cost of his life?  What can he give to buy his life back?  If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this wicked and godless age, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

The Collect:

O God, because without you we are not able to please you mercifully grant that your Holy Spirit may in all things direct and rule our hearts; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Some Related Posts:

Feast of the Confession of Saint Peter the Apostle (January 18):

http://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2010/06/11/feast-of-the-confession-of-st-peter-the-apostle-january-18/

Isaiah 50:

http://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/thirty-seventh-day-of-lent-wednesday-in-holy-week/

Wisdom of Solomon 7-8:

http://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/05/20/week-of-proper-27-thursday-year-1/

James 3:

http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2011/06/27/week-of-6-epiphany-saturday-year-2/

http://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/06/27/week-of-proper-1-saturday-year-2/

Mark 8:

http://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/11/13/week-of-proper-1-thursday-year-1/

http://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/11/13/week-of-proper-1-friday-year-1/

Matthew 16 (Parallel to Mark 8):

http://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/01/25/week-of-proper-13-thursday-year-1/

http://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/01/27/week-of-proper-13-friday-year-1/

http://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/01/25/week-of-proper-13-thursday-year-1/

http://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/01/27/week-of-proper-13-friday-year-1/

Luke 9 (Parallel to Mark 8):

http://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/04/08/week-of-proper-20-friday-year-1/

http://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/27/second-day-of-lent/

http://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/04/08/week-of-proper-20-friday-year-1/

Thou Art the Way:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2011/04/14/thou-art-the-way/

Be Thou My Vision:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2010/08/03/be-thou-my-vision/

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The lessons from Proverbs and the Wisdom of Solomon personify divine wisdom as a woman.  The Greek word for wisdom gives us a female name, Sophia.  As one who admires (yet does not understand) womankind, I find the idea of wisdom as feminine (while sheer might is masculine) sensible.  These are metaphors, of course, so we ought to look through them to the truth behind them.  God exists beyond our notions of sexuality and gender, but we do not.

Anyhow, the theology of Sophia did influence that of the Logos, which the Johannine Gospel identifies with Jesus.  That is a summary of part of the history of Christian thought.  Just making objectively lineage does not interest me, however.  The implications of the Sophia-Logos connection do fascinate me, but I leave those for another day.  The existence of that connection does provide me with a beginning point for theological rumination.

If people knew what was good for them and acted accordingly, they obeyed the words of divine wisdom, a figure which the Wisdom of Solomon describes as

a reflection of eternal light,

a spotless mirror of the working of God,

and an image of his goodness.

–7:26, New Revised Standard Version

Thus we read, for example, of the afflictions of the suffering servant in Isaiah 50, the dangers of the wrong uses of the tongue in James 3, and the impending suffering and execution of Jesus in Mark 8.  If more people knew what is good for them and were to act accordingly, they would heed the words and example of Jesus, the Logos of God.  If more historical figures, long since dead, had known what was good for them and acted accordingly, they would not have crucified Jesus or consented to his execution.  There would have been less suffering.  The suffering servant did not have to suffer, but the combination of his fidelity and the perfidy of others caused that suffering.

I like to study the lives of the saints, canonized and/or beatified or not.  In my tradition, Anglicanism, history makes saints.  And, as the keeper of my own Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, I do not depend on even my own ecclesiastical authorities to define who is a saint worthy of recognition.  So, as I research church history, I read about many people I have come to admire.  A vast number of them are martyrs and many others have suffered greatly due to their Christian faith.  Often the persecutors have belonged to other religions or have been Atheists, but sometimes professing Christians have oppressed and even killed each other.  I wonder how I would have acted had I been in the places of the saints I admire.  The honest answer in my conscience troubles me; I would most likely have used my tongue to curse, not bless.  I have done done so in less trying situations.

I have much yet to learn from divine wisdom and the Logos.  In this I am far from alone.  So, setting aside all recrimination, especially self-condemnation, may we, aware that we are in the same boat, support each other in our journeys toward lives of increased wisdom.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 20, 2011 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JOHN HARRIS BURT, EPISCOPAL PRIEST

THE FEAST OF BERTILLA BOSCARDIN, ROMAN CATHOLIC NUN AND NURSE

THE FEAST OF TARORE OF WAHAORA, ANGLICAN MARTYR IN AOTEAROA/NEW ZEALAND

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Published originally at ORDINARY TIME DEVOTIONS BY KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR on October 20, 2011

Adapted from this post:

http://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/10/20/proper-19-year-b/

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++