A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
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I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Scriptures and Prayer for the Feast of St. Luke

See the source imageFirst Reading: Sirach 38:1-4, 6-14

Psalter: Psalm 147

Epistle: 2 Timothy 4:5-13

Gospel: Luke 4:14-21
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Almighty God, who inspired your servant Luke the physician to set forth in the Gospel the love and healing power of your Son: Graciously continue in your Church this love and power to heal, to the praise and glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Monday, October 15, 2018

How the Greatness of Life is Measured: A Lectionary Reflection on Mark 10:35-45

Mark 10:35-45

How inappropriate and how out of place for James and John to ask this of Jesus! Our first reaction is one of shock and dismay. Jesus' reaction appears to have been the same. "You don't know what you're asking," he says to them. "Are you able to drink the cup I will drink?" And along with the hymn, the two brothers declare boldly, "Lord, we are able." No doubt they believe that at the moment.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Scriptures and Prayer for the Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost

Old Testament: Job 23:1-9, 16-17 or Amos 5:6-7, 10-15

Psalter: Psalm 22:1-15 or Psalm 90:12-17

Epistle: Hebrews 4:12-16

Gospel: Mark 10:17-31
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God of all who are cast down, you call us to seek good and to meet oppression with justice. Teach us to find salvation in the emptying of ourselves for the sake of those in need, so that goodness may prevail and your kingdom come in Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Friday, October 12, 2018

What Is the Christian Response to Empire? Not Capitulate? Not Resist? But Negotiate.

from Scot McKnight:
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The operative term here is "negotiate." Not antagonize, not so much accommodation. Negotiate. The Pastor is the author/audience of The Pastoral Epistles. I think a case can be made for the Pastor being Paul, but that's not a concern in this post. Negotiation is.

Behind the term "negotiation" is another term: eusebeia, which is translated consistently in the NIV as "godliness," which is a decent translation...

Hoklotubbe [in his book, Civilized Piety: The Rhetoric of Pietas in the Pastoral Epistles and the Roman Empire,] knows about anti-empire approaches and about accommodation approaches and about capitulation approaches, but he steers a moderating path that genuinely considers both ends of the spectrum...

For those wrapped up in anti-empire hermeneutics this will not be a welcome use of the very same evidence for a different explanation: not resistance but negotiation. I find Hoklotubbe not polemical but cautious and balanced. The modest, chaste wife, then, is part of the same negotiation motif. The wealthy, too, are both valued as benefactors but warned about Roman cultural values that are not in line with Christian values.

… alongside the negotiation of the term eusebeia are very clear differences between the Empire's religious and cultural values. Thus, this term in context reveals this is not about accommodation or capitulation but about negotiation.
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The entire post can be read here.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Scriptures and Prayer for the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Old Testament: Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22 or Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29

Psalter: Psalm 124 or Psalm 19:7-14

Epistle: James 5:13-20

Gospel: Mark 9:38-50
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Raise us up, O Lord, for it is you alone who restores life and health to the suffering and to those who wander from the truth. By your grace, may we offer powerful and effective prayers for one another and the world, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Scriptures and Prayer for the Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels

Old Testament: Genesis 28:10-17

Psalter: Psalm 103

Epistle: Revelation 12:7-12

Gospel: John 1:47-51
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Everlasting God, you have ordained and constituted in a wonderful order the ministries of angels and mortals: Mercifully grant that, as your holy angels always serve and worship you in heaven, so by your appointment they may help and defend us here on earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Scriptures and Prayer for the Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Old Testament: Proverbs 31:10-31 or Jeremiah 11:18-20

Psalter: Psalm 1 or Wisdom of Solomon 1:16-2:1, 12-22 or Psalm 54

Epistle: James 3:13 - 4:3, 7-8a

Gospel: Mark 9:30-37
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God of unsearchable mystery and light, your weakness is greater than our strength, your foolishness brings all our cleverness to naught, your gentleness confounds the power we would claim. You call first to be last and last to be first, servant to be leader and ruler to be underling of all. Pour into our hearts the wisdom of your Word and Spirit, that we may know your purpose and live to your glory. Amen.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Scriptures and Prayer for the Feast of St. Matthew

Old Testament: Proverbs 3:1-6

Psalter: Psalm 119:33-40

Epistle: 2 Timothy 3:14-17

Gospel: Matthew 9:9-13
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We thank you, heavenly Father, for the witness of your apostle and evangelist Matthew to the Gospel of your Son our Savior; and we pray that, after his example, we may with ready wills and hearts obey the calling of our Lord to follow him; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.