Windsor Castle: a Change in Perspective

In 1992, a spotlight was left too close to a curtain in Windsor Castle in England, and the heat from that spotlight caused the curtain to catch fire. Before the fire was extinguished, much of the eleventh century castle built originally by William the Conqueror was in ruins, including St. George’s Hall and the royal Private Chapel. Repairs, predictably, were quite expensive: it cost about $61 million dollars to restore (though none…

Also Starring Anna the Prophetess

February 3 is the post-feast of the Feast of the Meeting, which latter is celebrated on February 2, this being forty days after Christmas. The Feast of the Meeting commemorates the time when Simeon and Anna met Christ in the Temple after His Mother came there to present Him to the Lord and to offer the sacrifices for her ritual purification after childbirth. This post-feast, like all post-feasts, focuses upon the secondary…

Will We See our Pets in Heaven?

I suspect that every pastor has been asked this question at one time or another, and it usually comes from one of the more junior members of the congregation who has just lost his beloved cat or dog. (The loss of goldfish seems not to provoke the same level of theological curiosity.) It is important for pastors to realize that the child asking the sometimes tearful question is not looking for theology,…

“What Can the Righteous Do?”

I sometimes find that it is very depressing not to live under a rock. If I lived under a rock, I would not know how bad things are progressing in the western world, but as it is, with newspapers, Facebook, and the six o’clock news, one gets a very full and depressing picture of how western civilization is currently faring. And the picture is not good. It is true that the media…

The Lord’s Prayer: The Final Doxology

For most English speaking people in our culture, the Lord’s Prayer ends with the words, “For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.” This is, however, an ecclesiastical and liturgical conclusion, not a part of the original Lord’s Prayer. That does not mean, of course, that the ekklesia should omit the ecclesiastical conclusion in the interest of exegesis or liturgical archaeology. Arguably the Lord gave His disciples…

The Lord’s Prayer: “Lead Us Not into Temptation, but Deliver Us from Evil”

The next petition in the Lord’s Prayer is, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”. These two conjoined sentences should be considered as a single petition in Hebrew poetic parallelism, like the earlier petition, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”, because in the Lukan version we read only “lead us not into temptation”. It is unlikely that Luke’s version would omit…