Showing posts from December, 2014

Christmas Reflections

Read the text:  St. Luke 2:1-20 Do Not Be Afraid In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered.    Luke 1:1-3 And with those three simple sentences Luke sets the scene for the birth of Jesus, and it is a scene of darkness, hopelessness and fear.   Over the many years since the time of Jesus we have lost this sense of darkness, instead we tell a version of this story which has a faithful and dutiful holy couple, a clean stable, fresh and happy shepherds and devout kings.   But this version of the story misses the point in so many ways.   Luke wants us to understand that this was a difficult time and Mary and Joseph’s lives were hard, as were the lives of everyone else living in 1 st century Palestine.   Indeed only a few years later the Romans would punish dissent by destroying the city of Sephorris,

Reflections on the text – Luke 1:26-38

Read the text here:  Luke 1:26-38 Blessed!   “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” Mary must have been a pretty special girl, don’t you think?   To be favored and chosen by God to bear God’s Son, Jesus.   I wonder what she did to deserve such favor.   You would think that God might have had a list of qualifications that needed to be fulfilled for this job.   For example, I would think it would be important for her to have a good financial foundation, so that she could easily provide for the child; have resources, like other women available to assist her; she should be married so that there is no moral or ethical questions; she should be mature and able to handle the responsibility; she should be devout and strict in her religious observance, keeping the law perfectly; she should have a special relationship with God.   Can you think of other qualifications that we might expect for filling the position of the mother of the Son of God?   In fact several early Christian te

Advent II - Reflections on the text - Mark 1:1-8

Read the text here:  Mark 1:1-8 Beginnings and Endings The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. (Mark 1:1) As beginnings go, there is really not much here.   In the Greek there are exactly 5 words that are followed by words of the prophet that introduces John the Baptist and there we are: immersed in the story.   No extended introduction with a genealogy (Matthew), no birth or childhood stories (Matthew & Luke), no extended philosophical musings on the incarnation (John).   Nope, Mark is short and sweet and to the point.   Mark is in a hurry to tell this story; Mark is in a hurry to get to the climax = the Passion.   From this non-beginning beginning Mark jumps from event to event in Jesus’ life and ministry at a fast pace.   There are no extended sermons and there is really no time to catch your breath.   After all, Mark is proclaiming the “Gospel,” the “Good News,” the “Glad Tidings” of Jesus Christ, the Son of God! But that one word – “Gospel” – b