Showing posts from January, 2014

Reflections on the text - The Presentation of Our Lord - Luke 2:22-40

Read the text here: Luke 2:22-40 Endless Loop of Darkness Many of us I expect are familiar with the 1993 Bill Murray film “Groundhog Day” about an obnoxious TV weatherman who gets stuck reliving Groundhog Day, Feb. 2 in Punxsutawney, PA on Groundhog Day, Feb. 2 over and over again.   No matter what he does every day is the same day that he has to redo over and over and over. It is as if he has to get it right until he will be allowed to move on finally to Feb. 3.   He is gotten stuck in an endless loop, destined to continue on and on into eternity. This film is a comedy, but it seems to me in many ways this film understands and presents a basic truth of the human condition.   Our “Sin,” that is our self-centeredness, has caused us all to fall into an endless loop of darkness.   And it seems as though we cannot escape no matter what we do.   As a result we find ourselves spiraling deeper and deeper into the darkness, estranged from God, from others and even f

Reflections on the text for Epiphany 3 - Matthew 4:12-23

Read the Text here: Matthew 4:12-23 Filling Out the Application The Greek word that is usually translated as “disciple” is more commonly translated as “student.” And becoming a student to a Rabbi in the 1 st century was not an easy task.   To become a student your father would first have to go to the Rabbi and make a formal request, then if the Rabbi was willing to consider it you would need to then go and meet with him and be subject to an extensive interview.   The point was that, of course, the Rabbi needed to know that you were serious, that you would be responsible and that you had an aptitude for the work.   And if you satisfied the Rabbi then you were in and you would become one of the Rabbi’s students.   This meant you left your home and went to live in the home of the Rabbi with all of the other students.   The course of study would be pretty rigorous.   You would be studying pretty much all day; you would listen to the Rabbi talk by the hour

Reflections on the text for The Baptism of Our Lord - Matthew 3:13-17

Read the text here: Matthew 3:13-17 I AM BAPTIZED! This is my Son, the beloved, with whom I am well pleased… The year 1521 was an important and dramatic year for Martin Luther.   This is the year that Luther stood before the assembled German nobility along with the Holy Roman Emperor and refused to recant his teachings and writings.   “Here I stand…” he is quoted as saying.   Immediately following this exhilarating moment Luther was bundled out of the city of Worms and secured in a lonely castle called the Wartburg.   There he languished for almost a year, alone.   To pass the time he took on the task of translating the New Testament into German, but the solitude was very difficult for him.   He was immediately beset by doubts and fears and he felt that he was being attacked by demons who kept up a steady chorus of whispering words of criticism, condemnation and self-loathing.   As the time went on the voices got louder and more intense until finally (as the

Another Reflection on Matthew 2

When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under… (Matthew 2:16) By the time you read this article Christmas will be (mostly) over – the presents will have been opened, some of them have been put to use, or used up, or now ignored or even broken; the decorations will go back into their 11 month storage and we will be back to facing the cold, icy winds of January as our lives return to their normal routine.   Things that we have put off “until after the holidays” will now need to be addressed and dealt with.   Any other issues that we have been struggling with but had put aside briefly will now demand our attention.   Christmas came – it left – and life is still the same. The first Christmas was like that too.   There came a time when the angels had disappeared from the sky, the shepherds when back to their flocks and their lives and while