Archive for the ‘Episcopal Church Lectionary’ Category

Guide to Epiphany/Ordinary Time Devotions for January 2019   1 comment

Above:  All Angels Episcopal Church, Eatonton, Georgia, January 22, 2017

Image Source = Bill Monk, Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta

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FEAST OF THE EPIPHANY:  JANUARY 6, 2019:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2018/03/18/devotion-for-the-feast-of-the-epiphany-years-a-b-c-and-d-humes/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2017/04/30/devotion-for-the-feast-of-the-epiphany-ackerman/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2016/09/02/devotion-for-the-epiphany-year-d/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/first-day-of-epiphany-feast-of-the-epiphany-january-6/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/devotion-for-january-6-lcms-daily-lectionary/

First Day After the Epiphany:  Monday, January 7:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/second-day-of-epiphany/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/09/20/devotion-for-january-7-and-8-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/03/12/devotion-for-january-7-lcms-daily-lectionary/

Second Day After the Epiphany:  Tuesday, January 8:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/third-day-of-epiphany/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/09/20/devotion-for-january-7-and-8-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/03/14/devotion-for-january-8-lcms-daily-lectionary/

Third Day After the Epiphany:  Wednesday, January 9:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/fourth-day-of-epiphany/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/09/20/devotion-for-january-9-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/03/14/devotion-for-january-9-lcms-daily-lectionary/

Fourth Day After the Epiphany:  Thursday, January 10:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/fifth-day-of-epiphany/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/09/21/devotion-for-thursday-before-the-first-sunday-after-the-epiphany-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/03/14/devotion-for-january-10-lcms-daily-lectionary/

Fifth Day After the Epiphany:  Friday, January 11:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/16/sixth-day-of-epiphany/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/09/21/devotion-for-friday-and-saturday-before-the-first-sunday-after-the-epiphany-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/03/15/devotion-for-january-11-and-12-lcms-daily-lectionary/

Sixth Day After the Epiphany:  Saturday, January 12:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/16/seventh-day-of-epiphany/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/09/21/devotion-for-friday-and-saturday-before-the-first-sunday-after-the-epiphany-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/03/15/devotion-for-january-11-and-12-lcms-daily-lectionary/

FIRST SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY, YEAR C:  JANUARY 13, 2019:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2018/03/19/devotion-for-the-first-sunday-after-the-epiphany-year-a-humes/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2017/05/02/devotion-for-the-first-sunday-after-the-epiphany-ackerman/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2016/09/04/devotion-for-the-first-sunday-after-the-epiphany-year-d/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/03/15/first-sunday-after-the-epiphany-the-baptism-of-our-lord-year-c/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/devotion-for-january-13-lcms-daily-lectionary/

Monday, January 14:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/09/21/devotion-for-monday-and-tuesday-after-the-first-sunday-after-the-epiphany-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/03/25/devotion-for-january-14-and-15-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/16/week-of-1-epiphany-monday-year-1/

Tuesday, January 15:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/09/21/devotion-for-monday-and-tuesday-after-the-first-sunday-after-the-epiphany-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/03/25/devotion-for-january-14-and-15-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/16/week-of-1-epiphany-tuesday-year-1/

Wednesday, January 16:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/09/22/devotion-for-wednesday-after-the-first-sunday-after-the-epiphany-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/03/25/devotion-for-january-16-and-17-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/17/week-of-1-epiphany-wednesday-year-1/

Thursday, January 17:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/09/27/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-the-second-sunday-after-the-epiphany-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/03/25/devotion-for-january-16-and-17-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/18/week-of-1-epiphany-thursday-year-1/

Friday, January 18:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/09/27/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-the-second-sunday-after-the-epiphany-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/03/25/devotion-for-january-18-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/19/week-of-1-epiphany-friday-year-1/

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 18-25:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/23/week-of-prayer-for-christian-unity-january-18-25/

Saturday, January 19:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/09/27/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-the-second-sunday-after-the-epiphany-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/devotion-for-january-19-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/20/week-of-1-epiphany-saturday-year-1/

SECOND SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY, YEAR C:  JANUARY 20, 2019:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2018/03/19/devotion-for-the-second-sunday-after-the-epiphany-year-a-humes/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2017/05/02/devotion-for-the-second-sunday-after-the-epiphany-ackerman/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2016/09/04/devotion-for-the-second-sunday-after-the-epiphany-year-d/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/03/30/second-sunday-after-the-epiphany-year-c/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/03/30/devotion-for-january-20-lcms-daily-lectionary/

Monday, January 21:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/09/27/devotion-for-monday-after-the-second-sunday-after-the-epiphany-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/03/31/devotion-for-january-21-and-22-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/23/week-of-2-epiphany-monday-year-1/

Tuesday, January 22:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/09/27/devotion-for-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-the-second-sunday-after-the-epiphany-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/03/31/devotion-for-january-21-and-22-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/23/week-of-2-epiphany-tuesday-year-1/

Wednesday, January 23:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/09/27/devotion-for-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-the-second-sunday-after-the-epiphany-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/devotion-for-january-23-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/week-of-2-epiphany-wednesday-year-1/

Thursday, January 24:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/10/03/devotion-for-thursday-before-the-third-sunday-after-the-epiphany-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/devotion-for-january-24-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/week-of-2-epiphany-thursday-year-1/

Friday, January 25:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/10/03/devotion-for-friday-before-the-third-sunday-after-the-epiphany-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/devotion-for-january-25-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/28/week-of-2-epiphany-friday-week-1/

Saturday, January 26:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/10/03/devotion-for-saturday-before-the-third-sunday-after-the-epiphany-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/devotion-for-january-26-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/29/week-of-2-epiphany-saturday-year-1/

THIRD SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY, YEAR C:  JANUARY 27, 2019:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2018/03/19/devotion-for-the-third-sunday-after-the-epiphany-year-a-humes/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2017/05/02/devotion-for-the-third-sunday-after-the-epiphany-ackerman/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2016/09/08/devotion-for-the-third-sunday-after-the-epiphany-year-d/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/third-sunday-after-the-epiphany-year-c/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/devotion-for-january-27-lcms-daily-lectionary/

Monday, January 28:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/10/03/devotion-for-monday-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-the-third-sunday-after-the-epiphany-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/04/11/devotion-for-january-28-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/30/week-of-3-epiphany-monday-year-1/

Tuesday, January 29:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/10/03/devotion-for-monday-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-the-third-sunday-after-the-epiphany-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/04/11/devotion-for-january-29-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/30/week-of-3-epiphany-tuesday-year-1/

Wednesday, January 30:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/10/03/devotion-for-monday-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-the-third-sunday-after-the-epiphany-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/04/11/devotion-for-january-30-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/10/03/week-of-3-epiphany-wednesday-year-1/

Thursday, January 31:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/10/05/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-the-fourth-sunday-after-the-epiphany-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/04/11/devotion-for-january-31-and-february-1-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/10/04/week-of-3-epiphany-thursday-year-1/

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Guide to Christmas Devotions for 2018-2019   1 comment

Above:  Bohemian Church on Christmas Eve, by Franz Skarbina

Image in the Public Domain

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CHRISTMAS EVE AND DAY, DECEMBER 24-25, 2018:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2018/03/16/devotions-for-christmas-eve-years-a-b-c-and-d-humes/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2018/03/17/devotion-for-christmas-day-years-a-b-c-and-d-humes/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2017/04/29/devotion-for-christmas-eve-ackerman/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2016/08/22/devotion-for-christmas-eve-year-d/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2016/08/23/devotion-for-christmas-morning-year-d/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2016/08/30/devotion-for-christmas-day-year-d/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/first-day-of-christmas-christmas-day/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2013/07/05/devotion-for-december-24-years-a-b-and-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/devotion-for-december-25-lcms-daily-lectionary/

SECOND DAY OF CHRISTMAS:  THE FEAST OF ST. STEPHEN:  DECEMBER 26, 2018:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2018/03/17/second-day-of-christmas-feast-of-st-stephen-deacon-and-martyr-december-26/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/08/22/devotion-for-december-26-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

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

THIRD DAY OF CHRISTMAS:  THE FEAST OF ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST:  DECEMBER 27, 2018:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2018/03/17/third-day-of-christmas-feast-of-st-john-the-evangelist-apostle-december-27/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/08/22/devotion-for-december-27-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/devotion-for-december-27-lcms-daily-lectionary/

FOURTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS:  THE FEAST OF THE HOLY INNOCENTS:  DECEMBER 28, 2018:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2018/03/17/fourth-day-of-christmas-feast-of-the-holy-innocents-december-28/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/08/23/devotion-for-december-28-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/devotion-for-december-28-lcms-daily-lectionary/

Fifth Day of Christmas:  December 29, 2018:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/fifth-day-of-christmas/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/08/23/devotion-for-december-29-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/devotion-for-december-29-lcms-daily-lectionary/

SIXTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS:  FIRST SUNDAY AFTER CHRISTMAS, YEAR C:  DECEMBER 30, 2018:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2018/03/17/devotion-for-the-first-sunday-after-christmas-years-a-b-c-and-d-humes/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2017/04/30/devotion-for-the-first-sunday-after-christmas-ackerman/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2016/08/31/devotion-for-the-first-sunday-of-christmas-year-d/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/08/24/devotion-for-december-30-and-31-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/devotion-for-december-30-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/first-sunday-after-christmas-years-a-b-and-c/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/sixth-day-of-christmas/

Seventh Day of Christmas:  December 31, 2018:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/seventh-day-of-christmas/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/08/24/devotion-for-december-30-and-31-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/devotion-for-december-31-lcms-daily-lectionary/

New Year’s Eve/Day:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2018/03/17/devotion-for-new-years-day-years-a-b-c-and-d-humes/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/new-years-eve-december-31/

EIGHTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS:  THE FEAST OF THE HOLY NAME OF JESUS:  JANUARY 1, 2019:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2018/03/17/feast-of-the-holy-name-of-jesus-years-a-b-c-and-d-humes/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/eighth-day-of-christmas-the-feast-of-the-holy-name-of-jesus-january-1/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/devotion-for-january-1-lcms-daily-lectionary/

Ninth Day of Christmas:  January 2, 2019:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/ninth-day-of-christmas/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/08/24/devotion-for-january-2-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/devotion-for-january-2-lcms-daily-lectionary/

Tenth Day of Christmas:  January 3, 2019:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/tenth-day-of-christmas/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/08/25/devotion-for-january-3-and-4-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/devotion-for-january-3-lcms-daily-lectionary/

Eleventh Day of Christmas:  January 4, 2019:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/eleventh-day-of-christmas/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/08/25/devotion-for-january-3-and-4-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/devotion-for-january-4-lcms-daily-lectionary/

Twelfth Day of Christmas:  January 5, 2019:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/08/25/devotion-for-january-5-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/devotion-for-january-5-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/twelfth-day-of-christmas/

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Fourth Day of Christmas: Feast of the Holy Innocents (December 28)   3 comments

Above:  Massacre of the Innocents, by Pieter Brueghel the Younger

Image in the Public Domain

The Unfortunate Cheapness of Human Life

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2018

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Christmas is supposed to be a happy season, right?  Yet darkness exists within it.  Consider, O reader, the sequence of three great feasts:  St. Stephen (December 26), St. John the Evangelist (December 27), and the Holy Innocents (December 28).

The kingdom of the Earth has yet to become the Kingdom of God in its fullness.  Thus we read of exiles in Jeremiah 31.  Then we read the plausible story of the Holy Innocents in Matthew 2.  Herod the Great, we know from both Biblical and extra-Biblical sources, was a disturbed and violent man who had members of his family killed.  One need not stretch credibility to imagine him ordering the murder of strangers, even young children.  Reading the story from Matthew 2 then turning to Psalm 124 creates a sense of jarring irony; one is correct to wonder why God did not spare the Holy Innocents also.

On another note, the account of the Holy Innocents provides evidence for the Magi arriving when Jesus was about two years old.  According to the Western calendar, as it has come down to us, Herod the Great died in 4 B.C.E., placing the birth of Jesus circa 6 B.C.E.  I prefer to use the term “Before the Common Era” for the simple reason that speaking and writing of the birth of Jesus as having occurred “Before Christ”–six years, perhaps–strikes me as being ridiculous.

Back to our main point, while admitting the existence of morally ambiguous and difficult scenarios with only bad choices, and in which doing our best cannot help but lead to unfortunate results….

Human life is frequently cheap.  From abortions to wars, from gangland violence to accidental shootings and crimes of passion, from genocidal governments to merely misguided policies, human life is frequently cheap.  The innocent and the vulnerable suffer.  People who are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time suffer.  May God have mercy on us all, for each of us is partially responsible, for merely being part of the social, economic, and political systems that facilitate such suffering.

The kingdom of the Earth has yet to become the Kingdom of God in its fullness.  Only God can make that happen.  We mere mortals can and must, however, leave the world better than we found it.  We can and must do this, by grace.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 17, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT PATRICK, APOSTLE OF IRELAND

THE FEAST OF EBENEZER ELLIOTT, “THE CORN LAW RHYMER”

THE FEAST OF ELIZA SIBBALD ALDERSON, POET AND HYMN WRITER; AND JOHN BACCHUS DYKES, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF HENRY SCOTT HOLLAND, ANGLICAN HYMN WRITER AND PRIEST

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We remember today, O God, the slaughter of the holy innocents of Bethlehem by King Herod.

Receive, we pray, into the arms of your mercy all innocent victims;

and by your great might frustrate the designs of evil tyrants and

establish your rule of justice, love, and peace;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Jeremiah 31:15-17

Psalm 124

Revelation 21:1-7

Matthew 2:13-18

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 143

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https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2018/03/17/feast-of-the-holy-innocents-december-28/

https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2018/03/17/the-unfortunate-cheapness-of-human-life/

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Third Day of Christmas: Feast of St. John the Evangelist, Apostle (December 27)   6 comments

Above:  Saint John the Evangelist in Meditation, by Simone Cantarini

Image in the Public Domain

The Beloved Apostle

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 27, 2018

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The assigned readings, taken together, speak of the fidelity of God and the imperative of human fidelity to God, whose face Moses did not get to see.  Yet this deity is the same one who became incarnate as Jesus of Nazareth (however those Trinitarian dynamics actually worked; I have learned to avoid trying to explain the Holy Trinity, for attempting to make sense of the Trinity leads to a host of heresies.)

St. John was a brother of St. James (one of the two St. Jameses among the Apostles) and a first cousin of Jesus; Zebedee was the father of Sts. James and John, as well as an uncle (by marriage) of Jesus.  Our Lord and Savior called his first cousins Boanerges, usually translated

sons of thunder.

A now-deceased seminary professor I heard speak decades ago said, however, that the word actually meant

hell raisers.

Jesus and St. John were apparently emotionally close, not that St. John always understood his cousin.  After the resurrection and ascension of Jesus St. John helped to spread the nascent Gospel, a mission that filled the rest of his long life, which ended in exile.  Of the twelve Apostles Jesus called, St. John was, excluding Judas Iscariot, the only one not to die as a martyr.

According to tradition St. John wrote the Gospel of John, the three letters of John, and Revelation, a book with no “s” at the end of its title.  Certainly he did not write all of the above, although how much he wrote has long been a matter of scholarly debate.

Nevertheless, the life of St. John the Evangelist is a good one to consider.  If an overly ambitious hell raiser can learn the value of serving God endure suffering for the sake of righteousness, and survive opportunities for martyrdom only to die in exile, each of us can, by grace, take up his or her cross and follow Jesus, wherever he leads.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 17, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT PATRICK, APOSTLE OF IRELAND

THE FEAST OF EBENEZER ELLIOTT, “THE CORN LAW RHYMER”

THE FEAST OF ELIZA SIBBALD ALDERSON, POET AND HYMN WRITER; AND JOHN BACCHUS DYKES, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF HENRY SCOTT HOLLAND, ANGLICAN HYMN WRITER AND PRIEST

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Shed upon your Church, O Lord, the brightness of your light, that we,

being illumined by the teaching of your apostle and evangelist John,

may so walk in the light of your truth, that at length we may attain to the fullness of eternal life;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Exodus 33:18-23

Psalm 92 or 92:1-4, 11-14

1 John 1:1-9

John 21:19b-24

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 141

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https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2018/03/17/feast-of-st-john-the-evangelist-apostle-december-27/

https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2018/03/17/the-beloved-apostle/

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Second Day of Christmas: Feast of St. Stephen, Deacon and Martyr (December 26)   6 comments

Above:  St. Stephen, by Luis de Morales

Image in the Public Domain

The First Christian Martyr

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 26, 2018

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The readings for the Feast of St. Stephen remind us of the grim reality that suffering for the sake of righteousness is frequently a risk.  We read of one of the many difficulties of the faithful prophet Jeremiah, a man who spoke truth to power when that power was dependent upon hostile foreigners.  The historical record tells us that the Pharaoh of Egypt chose both the King of Judah and his regnal name, Jehoiakim.  Matthew 23, set in the Passion Narrative, reminds us of some of the prophets and teachers, whom God had sent and authorities at Jerusalem had martyred.  Contrary to the wishes of the author of Psalm 31, God does not always deliver the faithful from enemy hands.

St. Stephen, one of the original seven deacons, was probably a Hellenized Jew.  As a deacon, his job in the Church was, in the words of Acts 6:2,

to wait on tables.

The New Revised Standard Version (1989)

The deacons were to provide social services while the Apostles preached and taught.  St. Stephen also debated and preached, however.  His speech to the Sanhedrin (Acts 7:1-53) led to his execution (without a trial) by stoning.  St. Stephen, like Jesus before him, prayed for God to forgive his executioners (Acts 7:60), who, in their minds, were correct to execute him for blasphemy, a capital offense in the Law of Moses.  Saul of Tarsus, the future St. Paul the Apostle, was prominent in the killing of St. Stephen.  The Apostle recalled the death of St. Stephen and his role in it in Acts 22:20.

Religion, by itself, is generally morally neutral; one can be a moral atheist just as easily as one can be a moral or immoral adherent.  Good religion and bad religion certainly exist.  The test, in moral terms, yet not theological ones, is what kind of adherents they create and nurture.  Regardless of the name of a religion or the content of its tenets, does the reality of living it make one a loving, merciful human being or a judgmental person who might be quick to execute dissenters or consent to that?  This question is always a relevant one.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 17, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT PATRICK, APOSTLE OF IRELAND

THE FEAST OF EBENEZER ELLIOTT, “THE CORN LAW RHYMER”

THE FEAST OF ELIZA SIBBALD ALDERSON, POET AND HYMN WRITER; AND JOHN BACCHUS DYKES, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF HENRY SCOTT HOLLAND, ANGLICAN HYMN WRITER AND PRIEST

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We give you thanks, O Lord of glory, for the example of the first martyr Stephen,

who looked up to heaven and prayed for his persecutors to your Son Jesus Christ,

who stands at your right hand; where he lives and reigns with

you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting.  Amen.

Jeremiah 26:1-9, 12-15

Psalm 31 or 31:1-15

Acts 6:8-7:2a; 51c-60

Matthew 23:34-39

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 139

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https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2018/03/17/feast-of-st-stephen-deacon-and-martyr-december-26/

https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2018/03/17/the-first-christian-martyr/

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Guide to Advent Devotions for 2018   1 comment

Above:  St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, Atlanta, Georgia, December 11, 2016

Image Source = Bill Monk, Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta

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FIRST DAY OF ADVENT:  FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT, YEAR C:  DECEMBER 2, 2018:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2018/03/14/devotion-for-the-first-sunday-of-advent-year-a-humes/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2017/04/28/devotion-for-the-first-sunday-of-advent-ackerman/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2016/08/19/devotion-for-the-first-sunday-of-advent-year-d/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/first-day-of-advent-first-sunday-of-advent-year-c/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/devotion-for-december-2-in-advent-lcms-daily-lectionary/

Second Day of Advent:  December 3:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/08/10/devotion-for-monday-after-the-first-sunday-of-advent-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/devotion-for-december-3-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/14/second-day-of-advent/

Third Day of Advent:  December 4:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/08/10/devotion-for-tuesday-after-the-first-sunday-of-advent-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/devotion-for-december-4-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/14/third-day-of-advent/

Fourth Day of Advent:  December 5:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/08/10/devotion-for-wednesday-after-the-first-sunday-of-advent-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/devotion-for-december-5-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/14/fourth-day-of-advent/

Fifth Day of Advent:  December 6:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/08/11/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-the-second-sunday-of-advent-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/devotion-for-december-6-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/14/fifth-day-of-advent/

Sixth Day of Advent:  December 7:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/08/11/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-the-second-sunday-of-advent-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/devotion-for-december-7-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/14/sixth-day-of-advent/

Seventh Day of Advent:  December 8:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/08/11/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-the-second-sunday-of-advent-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/devotion-for-december-8-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/14/seventh-day-of-advent/

EIGHTH DAY OF ADVENT:  SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT, YEAR C:  DECEMBER 9, 2018:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2018/03/14/devotion-for-the-second-sunday-of-advent-year-a-humes/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2017/04/29/devotion-for-the-second-sunday-of-advent-ackerman/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2016/08/20/devotion-for-the-second-sunday-of-advent-year-d/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/eighth-day-of-advent-second-sunday-of-advent-year-c/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/devotion-for-december-9-lcms-daily-lectionary/

Ninth Day of Advent:  December 10:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/08/11/devotion-for-monday-after-the-second-sunday-of-advent-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/devotion-for-december-10-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/ninth-day-of-advent/

Tenth Day of Advent:  December 11:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/08/11/devotion-for-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-the-second-sunday-of-advent-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/devotion-for-december-11-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/tenth-day-of-advent/

Eleventh Day of Advent:  December 12:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/08/11/devotion-for-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-the-second-sunday-of-advent-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/devotion-for-december-12-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/eleventh-day-of-advent/

Twelfth Day of Advent:  December 13:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/08/13/devotion-for-thursday-and-friday-before-the-third-sunday-of-advent-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/devotion-for-december-13-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/twelfth-day-of-advent/

Thirteenth Day of Advent:  December 14:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/08/13/devotion-for-thursday-and-friday-before-the-third-sunday-of-advent-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/devotion-for-december-14-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/thirteenth-day-of-advent/

Fourteenth Day of Advent:  December 15:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/08/13/devotion-for-saturday-before-the-third-sunday-of-advent-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/devotion-for-december-15-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/fourteenth-day-of-advent/

FIFTEENTH DAY OF ADVENT:  THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT, YEAR C:  DECEMBER 16, 2018:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2018/03/14/devotion-for-the-third-sunday-of-advent-year-a-humes/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2017/04/29/devotion-for-the-third-sunday-of-advent-ackerman/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2016/08/21/devotion-for-the-third-sunday-of-advent-year-d/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/fifteenth-day-of-advent-third-sunday-of-advent-year-c/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/devotion-for-december-16-lcms-daily-lectionary/

Sixteenth Day of Advent:  December 17:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/08/20/devotion-for-monday-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-the-third-sunday-of-advent-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/devotion-for-december-17-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/third-week-of-advent-monday/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/advent-devotion-for-december-17/

Seventeenth Day of Advent:  December 18:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/08/20/devotion-for-monday-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-the-third-sunday-of-advent-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/devotion-for-december-18-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/third-week-of-advent-tuesday/

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

Eighteenth Day of Advent:  December 19:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/08/20/devotion-for-monday-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-the-third-sunday-of-advent-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/devotion-for-december-19-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/third-week-of-advent-wednesday/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/advent-devotion-for-december-19/

Nineteenth Day of Advent:  December 20:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/08/20/devotion-for-thursday-and-friday-before-the-fourth-sunday-of-advent-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/devotion-for-december-20-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/third-week-of-advent-thursday/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/advent-devotion-for-december-20/

Twentieth Day of Advent:  December 21:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/08/20/devotion-for-thursday-and-friday-before-the-fourth-sunday-of-advent-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/devotion-for-december-21-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/third-week-of-advent-friday/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/advent-devotion-for-december-21/

Feast of Saint Thomas the Apostle, Martyr (December 21):

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/feast-of-st-thomas-apostle-and-martyr-december-21/

Twenty-First Day of Advent:  December 22:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/08/20/devotion-for-saturday-before-the-fourth-sunday-of-advent-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/08/21/devotion-for-december-22-and-23-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/devotion-for-december-22-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/advent-devotion-for-december-22/

TWENTY-SECOND DAY OF ADVENT:  FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT, YEAR C:  DECEMBER 23, 2018:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2018/03/15/devotion-for-the-fourth-sunday-of-advent-year-a-humes/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2017/04/29/devotion-for-the-fourth-sunday-of-advent-ackerman/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2016/08/22/devotion-for-the-fourth-sunday-of-advent-year-d/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/fourth-sunday-of-advent-year-c/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/08/21/devotion-for-december-22-and-23-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/devotion-for-december-23-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/advent-devotion-for-december-23/

Twenty-Third Day of Advent:  Christmas Eve:  December 24:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2018/03/16/devotions-for-christmas-eve-years-a-b-c-and-d-humes/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2017/04/29/devotion-for-christmas-eve-ackerman/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2016/08/22/devotion-for-christmas-eve-year-d/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2013/07/05/devotion-for-december-24-years-a-b-and-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2015/08/21/devotion-for-monday-after-the-fourth-sunday-of-advent-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/devotion-for-december-24-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/advent-devotion-for-december-24/

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This is post #500 of ADVENT, CHRISTMAS, AND EPIPHANY DEVOTIONS.

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Feast of St. Thomas, Apostle and Martyr (December 21)   7 comments

Above:  St. Thomas Episcopal Church, New Windsor, New York

Image Source = Daniel Case

My Favorite Biblical Character

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Habakkuk 2:1-4 (The Jerusalem Bible):

I will stand on my watchtower,

and take up my post on my battlements,

watching to see what he will say to me,

what answer he will make to my complaints.

Then Yahweh answered and said,

Write the vision down,

inscribe it on tablets

to be easily read,

since this vision is for its own time only:

eager for its own fulfillment, it does not deceive;

it comes slowly, wait,

for it will come, without fail.

See how he flags, he whose soul is not at rights,

but the upright man will live by his faithfulness.

Psalm 126 (The Jerusalem Bible):

When Yahweh brought Zion’s captives home,

at first it seemed like a dream;

then our mouths filled with laughter

and our lips with song.

Even the pagan started talking

about the marvels Yahweh had done for us!

What marvels indeed he did for us,

and how over joyed we were!

Yahweh, bring all our captives back again

like torrents in the Negeb!

Those who went sowing in tears

now sing as they reap.

They went away, went away weeping,

carrying the seed;

they come back, come back singing,

carrying their sheaves.

Hebrews 10:35-11:1 (The Jerusalem Bible):

Be as confident now, then, since the reward is so great.  You will need endurance to do God’s will and gain what he has promised.

Only a little while now, a very little while,

and the one that is coming will have come; he will not delay.

The righteous man will live by faith,

but if he draws back, my soul will take no pleasure in him.

You and I are not the sort of people who draw back, and are lost by it; we are the sort who keep faithful until our souls are saved.

Only faith can guarantee the blessings that we hope for, or prove the existence of the realities that at present remain unseen.

John 20:24-29 (The Jerusalem Bible):

Thomas, called the Twin, who was one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.  When the disciples said,

We have seen the Lord,

he answered,

Unless I see the holes that the nails made in his hands and can put my finger in the holes they made, and unless I can put my hand into his side, I refuse to believe.

Eight days later the disciples were in the house again and among them.

Peace be with you,

he said.  Then he spoke to Thomas,

Put your finger here; look, here are my hands.  Give me your hand; put it into my side.  Doubt no longer but believe.

Thomas replied,

My Lord and my God!

Jesus said to him:

You believe because you can see me.

Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe.

The Collect:

Everliving God, who strengthened your apostle Thomas with firm and certain faith in your Son’s resurrection: Grant us so perfectly and without doubt to believe in Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God, that our faith may never be found wanting in your sight; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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My father served as pastor of Cooks Union United Methodist Church, about eight miles outside Colquitt, Georgia, in Miller County, from June 1985 to June 1986.  One Sunday morning during that year, a laywoman whose name I forget delivered a children’s sermon about St. Thomas.  She held a small book about the Apostles.  You, O reader, might have seen this book or even own a copy.  It features color paintings of each of the main Apostles with a brief profile on the facing page.  The book is thin, with a two-tone hard cover.  The church member explained that Thomas had doubted the resurrection of Jesus and that he had later taken the Gospel to India, where he died for the Christian faith.  So, she said, Thomas was not all bad.

But Thomas not all bad, anyway.  The presumption behind her concluding statement was that the Apostle’s doubt constituted a great stain on his character.  This was a great misunderstanding.

Let us back up for a few moments, though.

St. Thomas was a twin, hence the Greek designation Didymus, which means “twin.”  The canonical Gospels contain few details about him, and he did not write the Gnostic, non-canonical Gospel of Thomas.  (I have read the Gospel of Thomas in three translations, and think that its non-canonical status is proper.)  St. Thomas traveled through Persia all the way to India, where he introduced Christianity to the subcontinent by the 50s C.E.  The modern-day Mar Thoma Church is the heir of this efforts.  In India the Apostle met his martyrdom by spearing at Madras; Mylapore is his burial site.  Today one can visit his tomb at the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. Thomas at Mylapore.

St. Thomas was a healthy skeptic.  The resurrection was hardly a frequent event, so doubting it was natural.  The Apostle was not the only follower of Jesus at the time to harbor doubts.  The canonical Gospels indicate that St. Peter was initially skeptical, too.  Yet I hear about Doubting Thomases, not Doubting Peters.  Anyway, St. Thomas, the healthy skeptic, believed the evidence when he saw it, and dedicated the rest of his life to telling people about Jesus.

I am sufficiently a product of the Enlightenment to accept the premise that doubt is a legitimate path to knowledge.  I ask questions when I harbor doubts, and I seek answers when I ask questions.  Thus I increase the probability of finding answers when I experience and embrace doubt.  Thomas admitted his doubt, received his answer, accepted it, and lived accordingly.

So, let us treat the label “Doubting Thomas” as a great compliment.

Finally, a personal note:  St. Thomas is my favorite Biblical figure.  He was an honest doubter and seeker, a good skeptic.  So am I.  If I were a Biblical character, I would be St. Thomas the Apostle.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 10, 2010

THE FEAST OF THE INAUGURATION OF THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (U.S.A.), 1983

THE FEAST OF THE INAUGURATION OF THE UNITED CHURCH OF CANADA, 1925

THE FEAST OF SAINT EPHREM OF EDESSA, ROMAN CATHOLIC DEACON AND HYMN WRITER

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Published previously at SUNDRY THOUGHTS OF KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR:

http://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2010/06/10/feast-of-st-thomas-apostle-and-martyr-december-21/

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