Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ - 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time [Proper 23]

Haggai 2:10-19
Psalms 3 AND 134
Matthew 26:36-56 OR Mark 14:32-52 OR Luke 22:39-53 OR John 18:1-12
Romans 7:1-12


Come, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD,
who stand in the house of the LORD!
         You, O LORD, are a shield around me,
         my glory, and the one who lifts up my head!
Lift up your hands to the holy place,
and bless the LORD.
         I cry aloud to the LORD, and he answers me from his holy hill.          
I lie down and sleep; I wake again, for the LORD sustains me.
Be not afraid if ten thousands of people set themselves against you all around.
May the LORD, maker of heaven and earth, bless you from Zion!
Rise up, O LORD! Deliver me, O my God!
         For deliverance belongs to the LORD!
May your blessing be on your people!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ - 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time [Proper 22] (World Communion Sunday)

2Chronicles 7:1-22 (OR Haggai 1:15-2:9)
Matthew 26:20-35 OR Mark 14:17-31 OR Luke 22:14-38
Colossians 3:18-4:18


O God our Father, who sent Jesus Christ, the Great Shepherd of the Sheep, to fulfill the Passover through his suffering, coming among us as one who serves, giving his body and shedding his blood in order to establish a new covenant with all who are called by his name: Strengthen us, we pray, that our faith may never fail. Nourish us, that we may encourage one another. Help us to recognize the many assets and provisions with which you have blessed us, and teach us to dedicate and use them to the service of your kingdom. Neither let us overlook or neglect or shy away from the offering of ourselves. For truly you, our Passover Lamb, have provided all things needful, giving even of your flesh and blood for our salvation, thereby showing your grace and goodness to sinners. Thank you, O LORD, for the body and blood of Christ, by which your Spirit imparts grace to us and builds us up to be the body of Christ. Come, O LORD our God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, come and receive our thanks and praise!       

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Numbers 20

This is a momentous chapter consisting of four events: the death of Miriam (20:1); the quarreling over a lack of water at Meribah of Kadesh, after which Moses and Aaron learn they shall not enter the promised land  (20:2-13); the refusal by Edom to let Israel pass through their territory (20:14-21); and the death of Aaron (20:22-29). With the exception of the stand-off with Edom, all these events share a common theme: the passing of Israel's first generation of (national) leaders. Aaron and Miriam die, while Moses is informed that he too — specifically for failing to trust the Lord — "shall not bring this assembly into the land" (20:12). Moses's ministry will, of course, continue for the remainder of Numbers and Deuteronomy. It will include three memorable victories over King Sihon of the Amorites, King Og of Bashan, and the Midianite hoards. But in the end, this one lapse in Moses' faith — according to which he gave vent to his own anger and failed "to show (the Lord's holiness before the eyes of the Israelites" (v. 12) — cost him dearly, so that, although he would ascend Mt. Nebo and view the promised land, he would not enter it. Thus, the summation from the epistle applies, sadly, to Moses as well as to Aaron, Miriam, and all but two (Joshua and Caleb) of the generation that passed through the Red Sea: "So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief" (Hebrews 3:19). 

This incident at Meribah of Kadesh is what lies behind the brief summary we have in Psalm 106: 
"They [Israel] angered the LORD at the waters of Meribah, and it went ill with Moses on their account;  for they made his spirit bitter,  and he spoke words that were rash." (Ps 106:32-33) 
In Numbers 20, however, while the rash and bitter anger of Moses is clear enough, the Lord's decision seems to be rendered without a great display of emotion. Indeed, if the Lord was angry there, his anger was remarkably restrained,for he makes the water flow for the people after Moses struck the rock a second time (v. 11). We can only wonder how long was the ominous pause between the first and second strike, and what may have run through Moses' mind as he waited and wondered what would happen next.

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ - 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time [Proper 19]


Deuteronomy 16:1-17
Psalm 92: (1-4) 5-11 (12-15)
Matthew 26:1-19 OR Mark 14:1-16 OR Luke 22:1-13
1Timothy 5

Friday, September 4, 2015

Prelude to the Passion - 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time [Proper 18]


Exodus 28:(1-29) 30-43 OR 2Samuel 15:30-37; 16:15-17:4 OR 2Chronicles 30:1-27
Psalm 141
John 11:45-57
1Corinthians 16:1-24

Father of lights, let your glory fill this place as it once filled the tabernacle of the covenant; let your cloud and fire guide us on every stage of our journey of faith, as you once guided Israel through the wilderness. Come and reign over us; oversee our renewal, reform, and restoration. Let there be great joy here as has not been for many generations. Bless your people gathered here and receive our praises as we bless your name. Let our voice be heard on high, O LORD; and let our prayer came to your holy dwelling in heaven. For the sacrifice of your Son Jesus Christ, which he has made for the sins of the world, has not been in vain, but bears the fruit of faith in every tribe and people and language and nation! Therefore, come, O God, and gather all your dispersed children into one, in the name of our risen Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ!