Marked by the Light: The Leave-taking of Theophany

Ephesians 4:7-13; Psalm 67/68:18; Matthew 4:12-17; John 21:1-14 You have shown yourself forth to the world, O Lord, And the light of Your countenance has been marked on us. Knowing You, we sing Your praises. You have come and revealed Yourself, O unapproachable Light I wonder if you have the same experience that I do when emerging from an absorbing book, or an exciting film? One looks out all around onto the…

“Ringing Out” and “Ringing In”: Leave-Taking of Nativity and Sunday before Theophany

(2 Timothy 4:5 – 8; Mark 1:1 – 8; Malachi 3:1-5, 4:2-6) More than a century and a half ago, (Lord) Alfred Tennyson wrote words in memory of a friend’s passing, words that would be used among English speakers for decades as they mark the passage from one (Western) year to another: Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky, The flying cloud, the frosty light: The year is dying in the…

The Expected and the Unexpected: Twenty-eighth after Pentecost and Sunday of the Forefathers

Luke 24:36-53; Luke 14:16-24; Daniel 3; Colossians 3:4-11 Nativity, which is fast upon us, is a time of both confirmation and disruption. It answers to the longings of the prophets, and the hopes of all the years; but the answer it gives is surprising. Awe strikes us as we see its combination of the expected and the unexpected. What else, after all, would we expect of our God, whose ways are both…

Light in our Darkness: Fourteenth Sunday of Luke, Commemoration of the Prophet Zephaniah

Ephesians 5:8-19; Luke 18:35-43; Zephaniah 1:14-17; 3:9-20 Illumine our hearts, O Master Who lovest mankind, with the pure light of Thy divine knowledge. Open the eyes of our mind to the understanding of Thy gospel teachings. Implant also in us the fear of Thy blessed commandments, that trampling down all carnal desires, we may enter upon a spiritual manner of living, both thinking and doing such things as are well-pleasing unto Thee.…

Sole Fide? Seventh Sunday of Luke, 21st Sunday after Pentecost

Luke 8:29-56, Galatians 2:16-20; Genesis 15; Genesis 18 The two readings for this seventh Sunday of Luke provide food for thought concerning the relationship between our faith and Christ’s power. The topic is an important one, as many of our Protestant friends around us are celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, with an emphasis upon a key Reformed idea, sola fide (‘by faith alone’). Our Seminary choir will celebrate Reformation Day…

St. Luke the Evangelist and What “Is Written”

We are in the season of reading Luke’s gospel, and will remember that great evangelist this coming Wednesday, on October 18. So much could be said about this remarkable evangelist and the witness that he has left to “all that Jesus began to do and teach” (Acts 1:1), those things “delivered to us by eyewitnesses and ministers,” as well as those things concerning the work of the Holy Spirit in the early…

Daring to be Different: Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost, Second of Luke, and feast day of the Apostle Ananias.

Readings: 2 Corinthians 6:16-18, 7:1; Luke 6:31-36; Exodus 29:36-46; Isaiah 52:9-11; Ezekiel 36:25-28; 37:26-28 Our readings for this second Sunday of Luke (the seventeenth after Pentecost) bring us face-to-face with an uncomfortable part of our faith: we are to be different. The passage from 2 Corinthians is part of a slightly longer section in which the apostle Paul enjoins the Corinthians to be holy. Now we know already from his letter to…