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…

Ashamed of God? Sunday after the Elevation of the Holy Cross

1 Samuel (Kingdoms) 21; Psalm 33/34; Gal. 2: 16-20; Mark 8:34-9:1 King David was not a stranger to shame. His times were wild and wooly—and most particularly, the times before he actually became king of Israel. Everyone remembers how Saul turned against David, and sought his life, even though David had been loyal to him. Though once favored by the king, David had to run for his life, with his band of…

O LORD, Look Down Upon this Vineyard! Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Thirteenth of Matthew

1 Cor. 16:13-24; Matthew 21:33-42; Isaiah 5:1-7; 27:1-13; 2 Peter 1: 3-12 And so we come again to the beginning of the ecclesiastical (and school!) year. In some parishes, schoolbags, children and teachers have been blessed; and on September 1, we remembered the entry of the Hebrews into the Promised Land, and the inaugural sermon that our LORD Jesus gave in the synagogue in Nazareth. It is a new beginning for us.…