Conspicuous feasting

29 September 2019, Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 21C (RCL) – Jeremiah 32:1-3a,6-15; Psalm91:1-6, 14-16;1 Timothy6:6-19; Luke16:19-31.

Jesus begins this parable by telling us there was a rich man who feasted sumptuously every day.  The Greek word for ‘sumptuous’ is lampros. In its adverbial form, as here, that word means something like brightly or conspicuously.  This man’s feasting was a matter of showing off.  He wore purple and fine linen every day.  He would have had to be a member of the household of Caesar to wear purple; and he wanted everyone to know it. Continue reading “Conspicuous feasting”

Count the cost

September 8, 2019; Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost; Proper 18C (RCL); Jeremiah 18:1-11; Psalm 139:1-5, 12-17; Philemon 1-21; Luke 14:25-33.

We don’t like this passage of Luke’s Gospel (and similar passages in all the other Gospels). Commentators try to explain it away, saying Jesus didn’t really mean ‘hate,’ but that the Greek misein is translating some Aramaic phrase that means something like ‘ranked lower in value,’ or some such. The problem with that is Luke wrote reasonable good Greek. He would have picked his vocabulary carefully. Continue reading “Count the cost”