Friday, July 4, 2008

Trinity VII

Some notes for the Seventh Sunday after Trinity
For the month of July I have the honour to be taking the Sunday services at St Bartholomew's, Toronto, where the lectionary of the Book of Common Prayer is followed. I offer these notes chiefly to the people of that Parish, but in the hope that they will be of value and interest to all.

Morning Prayer:
Psalm 37, pt 1 Noli aemulari
First Lesson: 1 Kings 21.1-23 (24-end). Ahab king of Israel arranges the death of Naboth the Jezreelite .in order to gain his vineyard. The prophet Elijah pronounces God’s judgment on the house of Ahab.
Second Lesson: Acts 21.15-36. Paul and his companions go up to Jerusalem, where Paul is assauled in the Temple.

The Holy Eucharist:
Introit: Psalm 47. 1-5 calls on all people to praise the Lord for his greatness and because of the wonders he has done for Israel.
The Epistle: Romans 6.17-23. St Paul has declared that righteousness is the free gift of God in and through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, not through the law. Some have charged that this is precisely, lawlessness, and no more than proclaiming, “Sin, so that righteousness may abound.” No, he says, free forgiveness does not mean freedom to sin. That would be a return to the old slavery. In the passage read today he contrasts the two states of life under the figure of servitude or slavery. To yield to sin is to be the servant or slave of sin, which has as its consequence death. Our liberation from that slavery is entry into a new service of righteousness. On the other hand, obedience and righteousness go together. St Pauls says, “Happily you have escaped from sin, and taken service with righteousness. Service, I say, using a plain human figure to suit your impoerfect and carnal apprehension of spiritual things. Exchange the service od uncleanness for that of righteousness. I appeal to your own experience. You found that sin brought you no pay from your master but death. Now you are started upon a road that leads to sanctification and eternal life. This will be given to you, not as wages, but as the free gift of God in Christ.”
The Gradual : Psalm 34.11-15 proclaims the fear of the Lord. One verse in particular would be good to take away as a morro: “Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips that they speak no guile”. Often it is by our words that we do the greatest harm to one another.
The Gospel: St Mark 8.1-9. Two accounts of miraculous feedings performed by our Lord are found in the Gospels. The Feeding of the Five Thousand is recorded in all four Gospels (Matthew 14:13–21, Mark 6:31-44, Luke 9:10-17 and John 6:5-15); only Matthew and Mark record the second Feeding of the Four Thousand (Matthew 15.32-39, Mark 8.1-9. The New Oxford Annotated Bible notes “Some regard these passages as alternate ways of describing one original event, the details of whch we can no longer determine.” It is beyond the scope of these brief notes to .enter into this question, and further information shold be sought in a reliable commentary. Such works as the New Jerome Bible Commentary or The Anchor Bible are good places to start, and can point to commentaries on the individual gospels. Some of the issues are discussed at:
For the purpose of us who hear this Gospel proclaimed at the Holy Eucharist on the Lord’s Day, it is better to focus on a few points.
When we hear of Jesus’ compassion on the crowd, we should know that the Greek verb, σπλαγχνίζομαι, means literally something like, “to be gripped in the abdomen”. Such a physical metaphor should keep the full humanity of our Lord in mind, the humanity in which God’s love reaches out to us.
Another point is that this miracle reveals God as the author and giver of all good things, whom we pray in today’s Collect “to nourish us with all goodness”.
Evening Prayer
Psalms: 37, pt 2
First Lesson:Jeremiah 52:1-11: King Zedekiah is defeated by Nebuchadnrezzar of Babylon
Second Lesson: John 16.1-15: Jesus warns his disciples of conflict with the world.

Commemorations this Week:
8th [transferred from today] Thomas More, Chancellor of England, Martyr 1535
More, the author of Utopia, is remembered for his faithfulness to death when he was caught between his loyalty to the faith as he believed it and his loyalty to his king
9th Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1228.
Although Langton is best remembered today for his part in gaining Magna Carta from King John in 1215, in his own time he was respected most as a scholar who commented on the whole of Scripture and as a poet. It is generally said that Langton arranged the text of the Bible into the chapters we know today.

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