Communion of Being

19 June 2011
Trinity Sunday
Trinity A (RCL)
Genesis 1:1 — 2:4
Psalm 8
2 Corinthians 13:11-13
Matthew 28:16-20

A lot of preachers don’t like preaching on the Trinity: perhaps because they know they will never explain it (that’s sort of the point of a mystery, isn’t in?). So, one wonders why the Church developed the doctrine in the first place. What does it explain? There is language that hints at the Trinity in the New Testament, without expressing a completely worked-out doctrine. It’s too bad we don’t read the passage from 1 Corinthians we had last week (12:3ff). I think that is the clearest Trinitarian language in the NT (besides the passage from Matthew we read today — which could be a later insertion). There are varieties of gifts, but one spirit; varieties of services but one master; varieties of work, but on God who energizes everything in everyone.

Continue reading “Communion of Being”

Living water

12 June 2011
The Feast of Pentecost
Pentecost A (RCL)
Acts 2:1-21
Psalm 104:25-35, 37b
1 Corinthians 12:3b-13
John 7:37-39

For starters, the NRSV does a hatchet job on this passage from John’s Gospel. Richmond Lattimore translates as follows: “On the last great day of the festival Jesus stood forth and made a declaration, saying: If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. For one who believes in me, as the scripture says, streams of living water shall flow from deep within him. This he said concerning the spirit, of which those who had put their faith in him would partake; but the spirit was not yet because Jesus was not yet glorified.” The NRSV punctuates the Greek so that the phrase “the one who believes” qualifies the one who will drink. That is a strained punctuation. If John is quoting Isaiah 55:1, which he seems to be, there is no qualifier. Everyone who comes will drink freely. So, why limit the waters to those who believe?

And then, secondly, the word which Lattimore translates “deep within” and the NRSV “heart” is “koilia”. It translates roughly “innards.” BUT, in the New Testament, it is used for womb. Continue reading “Living water”