Nativity of John the Baptist

This week we take a detour off the beaten path of the season of Pentecost to observe the festival of the Nativity of John the Baptist. Of course nobody pretends to know when John the Baptist was actually born, just like nobody knows when Jesus was born but we do have one piece of chronological…

Pentecost 3

  1 Samuel 8:4-20 4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, 5and said to him, ‘You are old and your sons do not follow in your ways; appoint for us, then, a king to govern us, like other nations.’ 6But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, ‘Give us a…

Pentecost 2

Deja vu? Yeah we read this story 6 months ago. But with the Holiday on Monday throwing off my week I am re-posting my comments on this text from January. 1 Samuel 3:1-20 Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli. The word of the Lord was rare in those days; visions were not widespread. At…

Holy Trinty

  Isaiah 6:1-8 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple. Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two…

Day of Pentecost

Ezekiel 37:1-14 The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2He led me all round them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. 3He said to me, ‘Mortal, can…

Easter 7

Easter is a wild ride in the book of Acts. We go from Acts 10 on Easter to Acts 4 then back up to chapter three then back to 4, to 10, to 8 and this week we go back to chapter 1. Whew! The book of Acts is the second part of Luke’s “orderly…

Easter 6

John 15:9-17 9As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. 10If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and…

Easter 5

What does the word ABIDE actually mean? Does anyone beside Christians ever use this word? We used the word abide yesterday in church when we sang the hymn Abide With Me. Clearly that hymn was written by an enthusiast of John’s Gospel. The Johannine community material (Gospel of John and 1,2,3 letters of John) makes…

Easter 4

Shepherds, shepherding and sheep are among the most prevalent sources for imagery in the Bible. Of course this was because the Israelites were pastoralists, herders and the keepers of sheep. All the way back to Cain and Abel we see an inherent preference for the keeper of flocks. Now herders and farmers often don’t get…

Easter 3

This is an unusual week in that the first lesson and the gospel reading are written by the same author. You may or may not be aware that the book of the Acts of the Apostles is St Luke’s second of a two volume work. Therefore, there is a unified theological project at work in…