Bible


In our calendar today, we remember William Temple (Archbishop of Canterbury, 1881-1944).  Other sources I use also commemorate Leonard (a 6th century hermit).  Very little is actually known about Leonard.  He seems to have been a Frankish noble, converted by Remigius, who chose to become a monk instead when offered a bishopric by Clovis. (more…)

Yesterday we read (in the Episcopal Daily Office Lectionary) in Luke 8 one of those passages I know is there, but can never find:  “The twelve were with him, as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities:  Mary, Called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources.”  Back then, women and children really didn’t count.  They were not considered worth notice.  But it really sounds like there were a lot of people who routinely traveled with Jesus.  Not just the twelve.  Not just a group of men.  But men and women (and probably children).  And they weren’t all poor — though many of them probably were.  Joanna would have been a woman with access to resources.  And these women, whatever their resources were, provided for Jesus and the whole community which followed him, out of their resources. (more…)

Today is the day (September 30) on which, if were not a Sunday, we would commemorate Jerome.  He’s probably best known for his translation of the Bible (then largely available in Hebrew and Greek) into Latin.  This was really controversial at the time:  translating something holy from its original form into the vulgar language spoken by the people.  Hence it became known as the Vulgate.  Now it’s a classic translation, foundational in the Roman Catholic Church even today when they make new translations (i.e. they always seem to look at the Vulgate as well as the original Greek and Hebrew).  And I believe there are those who want to go back to (what they see as) the original vulgate version of the Bible.

I don’t think I’m exaggerating much.

Something similar has happened to us in the Episcopal Church (more…)

Sometimes things cluster.  The Daily Office Lectionary from the Hebrew Scriptures for today is from Proverbs 25.  Verses 21 and 22 jumped out at me.  (It seems unlikely, after all these years, that I haven’t read this section repeatedly.  But I do not remember having read these verses before.)  Here’s the quotation:

If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat;
If he is thirsty, give him water to drink.
You will be heaping live coals on his head, (more…)

I don’t know that there is a disconnect between being wealthy and having a relationship with God.  I do know that there are a number of people who have experienced such a disconnect, for them, between wealth and their relationship with God.  St. Francis comes to mind.  “The Late, Great” Gert comes to mind.  But I think my late friend Nel managed to use her great wealth to forward her relationship with God by providing a ministry of hospitality.  (There was both a real humility, accepting all kinds of people equally in God’s Name, and a willingness to use her position in support of the legitimate needs of others in her case.)

Never the less, I cannot understand those who feel that faithfulness to God and wealth go hand in hand — particularly the pursuit of wealth. (more…)

Paul can be a hard case:  blaming illness and death in the community on coming unworthily to the table.  It feels a lot like blaming the victim or the patient.  And it resulted, historically, in my church, in most members (for many years) receiving communion (at most) once or twice a year.

That’s really putting the fear of God in us!

So I like Luther’s take (if I understand it) that knowing and feeling your need of the sacrament is coming worthily to the table.

And I like Anne’s take even better:  Isn’t it precisely when you come unworthily to the table that you most need to be there and be fed and graced by God? (more…)

“… Do not go gentle into that good night
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

“Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for, thou art not so …
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
and death shall be no more …”

I thought of these words, from Dylan Thomas and John Donne respectively, when my friend and colleague, Marcia, died just before this All Saints’ Day.  I think they capture some of the tension I feel between my sense of loss and anger when someone dies and my belief in the promise of fullness of life with God in the communion of saints. (more…)

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