My father’s house

3 January 2016
Second Sunday after Christmas
II Christmas C
Jeremiah 31:7-17
Psalm 84
Ephesians 1:3-6; 15-19a
Luke 2:41-52

The collect for this Sunday is one of my favorites in the BCP. God has wonderfully created and yet more wonderfully restored the dignity of human nature, and invites us to share the divine life of Christ, who has shared our nature. This is divinization in a nutshell. And as we participate in the Incarnation, we draw the whole cosmos with us.

We don’t often hear liturgically the story of Jesus at twelve in the temple. Continue reading “My father’s house”

Mary as prophet

20 December 2015
Fourth Sunday of Advent
Advent IV C (RCL)

Micah 5:2-5a
Canticle 15
Hebrews 10:5-10
Luke 1:39-55

Our image of Mary has been profoundly affected by Christmas carols and by a history of iconography, particularly in the medieval West. We see Mary bathed in a gentle light, serenely looking at her child, lying in a manger, with a faint nimbus around his head (and often around hers). Luke’s version of Mary doesn’t quite match our vision. Continue reading “Mary as prophet”

Overcoming fear

20 December 2015
Third Sunday of Advent
Advent IIIC (RCL)
Zephaniah 3:14-20
Canticle 9
Philippians 4:4-7
Luke 3:7-18

A quick read of Luke’s account of the preaching of John the Baptist shows up noticeable similarities to the account in Matthew (most likely from the common source Q). Luke and Matthew share the reference to the brood of vipers, the warning to flee from the wrath to come, language about bearing fruit worthy of repentance, the ax at the root of the tree, and the reference to the mightier one who is coming who baptizes in spirit and fire (judgment and power). But there are also remarkable differences. In Luke, the brood of vipers comment is addressed to all the people, not just Pharisees.

And then Luke inserts John’s specific instructions to those who ask, “What should we do?” Continue reading “Overcoming fear”