Surely this man was divi filius!

25 March 2018
Palm/Passion Sunday
Year B

Mark 11:1-11
Isaiah 50:4-9a
Psalm 31:9-6
Philippians 2:5-11
Mark 14:1-15:47

So much to write, so little time! In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, scholars remarked on the seamlessness of Mark’s passion narrative. All the rest of his gospel seemed stitched together with crude devices like, “and immediately.” The passion narrative, however, was just that – a complete narrative. They took this to mean that his narrative was the recollection of an eyewitness. As the twentieth century advanced, and historical criticism did its work, scholars became less confident that we had before us a reliable account of actual events. Continue reading “Surely this man was divi filius!”

Bearing fruit

18 March 2018
Fifth Sunday of Lent
Lent 5B (RCL)

Jeremiah 31:31-34
Psalm 51:1-13
Hebrews 5:5-10
John 12:20-33

Throughout Lent this year, we have been reading instances of God’s covenant with God’s people, beginning with the covenant with Abraham. We arrive at Jeremiah’s vision of a new covenant, when restores the fortunes of the people. This one will be written on the heart. In Deuteronomy (chapter 6), Moses tells the people to write the words of the Shema (Hear, O Israel) on their doorposts, to wear them as frontlets, to teach them to their children and to speak of them both indoors and out. The new covenant will need no such instruction, as all will already know it. Continue reading “Bearing fruit”

Into the light

11 March 2018
Fourth Sunday in Lent
Lent 4B (RCL)

Numbers 21:4-9
Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22
Ephesian 2:1-10
John 3:14-21

We all know, many of us by heart, John 3:16 – probably the most translated sentence in human history. But, I’m not sure we know what it is supposed to mean, even to the phrase “eternal life.” In the Greek, it is “the life of the age,” whatever that means. And our usual translations say, “that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” What does it mean to believe in the Only Son? The Greek might better be translated “whoever trusts him.” Continue reading “Into the light”