Archive for February, 2010

Count the stars

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Second Sunday in Lent
28 February 2010
Lent 2C (RCL)

Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18
Psalm 27
Philippians 3:17-4:1
Luke 13:31-35

This passage in Genesis has always intriqued me. The text simply relates the covenant ceremony with no explanation — but then you wouldn’t expect it. Everyone reading it should know the ceremony anyway. Scholars have theorized about the significance of cutting the animals in half. The two parties to the covenant walk between the halves, and call upon the gods to do the same to them (cut them in half) if they fail in their covenant obligations. Or, perhaps, like the two tablets of stone, one half of each animal goes to each of the parties of the covenant. One wonders. I’m puzzled that at least two of the animals are female — very unusual in sacrificial ritual. The only instance we have legislation for is the red heifer, and that seems to be sympathetic magic (the redness of the heifer, the scarlet rag [a menstrual cloth ?] all burned together and mixed in water to draw off the source of uncleanness). Here we have a covenant of promise of progeny. Female animals. Hmmm. (more…)

Reflecting glory

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Last Sunday after Epiphany
14 February 2010
Last Epiphany C (RCL)

Exodus 34:29-35
Psalm 99
2 Corinthians 3:12 — 4:2
Luke 9:28-43

The readings are full to overflowing this week. When Moses comes down from the mountain, he isn’t aware that his face is shining. He veils his face so as not to frighten the people. Every time he goes into the tent of meeting, he unveils his face, which glows after speaking to God. So, there is Jesus on the top of the mountain, with his face glowing and his clothes sparkling white. Moses and Elijah are with him — both of whom had received visions of the divine glory. Luke’s telling of the resurrection has an empty cave and two angels (rather than Mark’s one young man). Jesus is the holy of holies, the presence of God, unveiled. No wonder the veil of the temple is torn in two — we have entered, even if we slept through it.

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We tried that already

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Fifth Sunday after Epiphany
7 February 2010
Epiphany 5C

Isaiah 6:1-12
Psalm 138
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Luke 5:1-11

This week seems a little bit back to normal. Any two-funeral week is hard. Especially when followed by Annual Meeting. Annual Meeting always has to deal with the institutional aspect of chruch: Vestry, budget and the like. This year, an amazing thing happened. We had four volunteers for four spots on Vestry. Even in the face of a challenging year in terms of budget. In my report, I said this year, we would not do Church as Usual — (more…)