Archive for the ‘Luke 10’ Tag

Devotion for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday Before the Last Sunday After the Epiphany, Year C (ELCA Daily Lectionary)   1 comment

Vision of Cornelius the Centurion

Above:  The Vision of Cornelius the Centurion, by Gerbrand van den Eeckhout

Image in the Public Domain

God’s Surprises

FEBRUARY 28, 2019

MARCH 1 and 2, 2019

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The Collect:

Holy God, mighty and immortal, you are beyond our knowing,

yet we see your glory in the face of Jesus Christ.

Transform us into the likeness of your Son,

who renewed our humanity so that we may share in his divinity,

Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you

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

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 26

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The Assigned Readings:

Deuteronomy 9:1-5 (Thursday)

Deuteronomy 9:6-14 (Friday)

Deuteronomy 9:15-24 (Saturday)

Psalm 99 (All Days)

Acts 3:11-16 (Thursday)

Acts 10:1-8 (Friday)

Luke 10:21-24 (Saturday)

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The LORD is King;

let the people tremble;

he is enthroned upon the cherubim;

let the earth shake.

–Psalm 99:1, The Book of Common Prayer (1979)

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The ways in which God works frequently surprise many people.  Declaring the Hebrews, who rebelled against God repeatedly, to be the Chosen People was one example.  Working through St. Simon Peter, an impetuous man, and St. Cornelius the Centurion, a Roman soldier, were two more examples.  The Incarnation of the Second Person of the Trinity as Jesus of Nazareth was unique.  And what about hiding wonders

from the learned and the clever and revealing them to little children?

–Luke 10:21b, The New Jerusalem Bible (1985)

God chooses to work in ways, many of which surprise or scandalize many mere mortals.  Certain heroic figures in the Hebrew Bible were also scoundrels.  Oblivious Apostles in the Gospels became great leaders of nascent Christianity.  The circumstances of our Lord and Savior’s conception and birth led to decades of whispering behind his back and to his face.  Some Gentiles were closer to God than certain prominent Jews.  Standard labels might not apply when God is acting.  If we have spiritual and/or emotional difficulty with that reality, we need to confess that sin to God, to apologize, and to repent, by grace.

Simply put, if one is St. Simon Peter in an analogy, who is the St. Cornelius whose invitation will lead to an epiphany.  And is one willing to have an epiphany?

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 28, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS SIMON AND JUDE, APOSTLES AND MARTYRS

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https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2015/10/28/gods-surprises-2/

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Devotion for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday Before the Third Sunday After the Epiphany, Year B (ELCA Daily Lectionary)   1 comment

jeremiah-sistine-chapel

Above:  Jeremiah, from the Sistine Chapel, by Michelangelo Buonarroti

Image in the Public Domain

Apocalyptic Warnings

JANUARY 18, 2018

JANUARY 19, 2018

JANUARY 20, 2018

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The Collect:

Almighty God, by grace alone you call us and accept us in your service.

Strengthen us by your Spirit, and make us worthy of your call,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen.

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 23

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The Assigned Readings:

Jeremiah 19:1-15 (Thursday)

Jeremiah 20:7-13 (Friday)

Jeremiah 20:14-18 (Saturday)

Psalm 65:5-12 (All Days)

Revelation 18:11-20 (Thursday)

2 Peter 3:1-7 (Friday)

Luke 10:13-16 (Saturday)

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Those who dwell at the ends of the earth tremble at your marvels;

the gates of the morning and evening sing your praise.

–Psalm 65:7, Common Worship (2000)

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The prophet Jeremiah would have been thrilled for that statement to have applied to Jerusalem.  Alas, some people there even sacrificed their children to pagan gods at the valley whose name became the source for the label “Gehenna,” a place of suffering in the afterlife.  Jeremiah condemned such idolatrous and violent practices and pronounced divine punishment.  For his trouble he faced flogging and imprisonment.  Yet those who mistreated him would, he said, die as exiles in Babylon.  That prediction came true.

A common expectation in New Testament times was that Jesus would return quite soon.  It was an age of apocalyptic hopes that God would end the violent and exploitative rule of the Roman Empire, set the world right, and that the divine order would govern the planet.  In that context a lack of repentance was especially bad, as in Luke 10:13-16.  In Revelation 18 the Roman Empire had fallen (within the Johannine Apocalypse only), but the imperium survived well beyond the first century of the Common Era.  Discouragement and scoffing had become evident by the 80s and 90s, the timeframe for the writing of 2 Peter.  Yet the calls to repentance remained applicable.

Divine time and human time work differently, but some things remain the same.  Fearful theocrats react badly to honest prophets.  The realization that God has not met a human schedule leads to bad spiritual results.  Violent, oppressive, and exploitative governments continue to exist.  And the promise that God will destroy the evil order then replace it with a holy and just one remains a future hope.  In the meantime we would do well to consider the moral lessons of Revelation 18.  For example, do we benefit from any violent, oppressive, and/or exploitative system?  If so, what is the “Babylon” or what are the “Babylons” to which we have attached ourselves, from which we benefit, and whose passing we would mourn?

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 23, 2014 COMMON ERA

PROPER 29–CHRIST THE KING SUNDAY–THE LAST SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY, YEAR A

THE FEAST OF JOHN KENNETH PFOHL, SR., U.S. MORAVIAN BISHOP; HIS WIFE, HARRIET ELIZABETH “BESSIE” WHITTINGTON PFOHL, U.S. MORAVIAN MUSICIAN; AND THEIR SON, JAMES CHRISTIAN PFOHL, SR., U.S. MORAVIAN MUSICIAN

THE FEAST OF SAINT CLEMENT I OF ROME, BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT COLUMBAN, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT

THE FEAST OF MIGUEL AUGUSTIN PRO, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR

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https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2014/11/23/apocalyptic-warnings/

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Third Day of Advent   7 comments

Above:  Lascaux Caves Lions

The Justice of God

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2019

Isaiah 11:1-10 (Revised English Bible):

Then a branch will grow from the stock of Jesse,

and a shoot will spring from his roots.

On him the spirit of the LORD will rest:

a spirit of wisdom and understanding,

a spirit of counsel and power,

a spirit of knowledge and fear of the LORD;

and in the fear of the LORD will be his delight.

He will not judge by outward appearances

or decide a case on hearsay;

but with justice he will judge the poor

and defend the humble in the land with equity;

like a rod his verdict will strike the ruthless,

and with his word he will slay the wicked.

He will wear the belt of justice,

and truth will be his girdle.

Then the wolf will live with the lamb,

and the leopard lie down with the kid;

the calf and the young lion will feed together,

with a little child to tend them.

The cow and the bear will be friends,

and their young will lie down together;

and the lion will eat straw like cattle.

The infant will play over the cobra’s hole,

and the young child dance over the viper’s nest.

There will be neither hurt nor harm in all my holy mountain,

for the land will be filled with the knowledge of the LORD,

as the waters cover the sea.

On that day a scion from the root of Jesse

will arise like a standard to rally the peoples;

the nations will resort to him,

and his abode will be glorious.

Psalm 72:1-7 (Revised English Bible):

God, endow the king with your own justice,

his royal person with your righteousness,

that he may govern your people rightly

and deal justly with your oppressed ones.

May hills and mountains provide your people

with prosperity in righteousness.

May he give judgment for the oppressed among the people

and help the needy;

may he crush the oppressor.

May he fear you as long as the sun endures,

and as the moon throughout the ages.

May he be like rain falling on early crops,

like showers watering the earth.

In his days may righteousness flourish,

prosperity abound until the moon is no more.

Luke 10:21-24 (Revised English Bible):

At that moment Jesus exulted in the Holy Spirit and said,

I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for hiding these things from the learned and wise, and revealing them to the simple.  Yes, Father, such was your choice.  Everything is entrusted to me by my Father; no one knows who the Son is but the Father, or who the Father is but the Son, and those to the Son chooses to reveal him.

The Collect:

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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As a student of history, I know that we human beings, especially those in positions of power and prestige, assume that the status quo represents the will of God.  Such an assumption is quite convenient for those who benefit from their social positions, providing them with many benefits.  And if these people can convince those whom they exploit that the status quo represents the will of God, social injustice perseveres.  Perhaps these privileged people lie to themselves before they deceive others.

Yet I cannot grasp how anyone can read the words of the Hebrew Prophets then examine current events and not see social injustice.  How many of those who perpetuate economic injustice speak publicly of their faith, at least when campaigning?  Are they blind to this sin, or do they mock God?  This judgment resides with God alone, but the cries and pleas of the oppressed echo down the corridors of time, into the present day.

The justice of God overturns many, if not most, of our assumptions.  It establishes a new social order, converts enemies into friends and allies, makes the first last and the last first, exalts the humble and causes those who live by hubris to stumble.  It is a leveling force, for God does not regard us as we think of ourselves and each other.

The purpose of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable.  Thanks be to God!

KRT

Written on May 31, 2010

http://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2011/11/12/the-justice-of-god/

Posted September 14, 2010 by neatnik2009 in 2019-2020, December 3, Episcopal Church Lectionary

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