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Blog Entries from Shane R

  1. Passion Sunday

    Epistle. Hebrews 9:11-15 Gospel. John 8:46-59 The Gospel is building on a sequence of dialogue that begins several paragraphs prior. Jesus has presented a series of experiential and philosophical arguments that attest to his identity as a God man. Our reading picks up with an argument based on his public character, “Can any of you convict me of sin?” This is a fairly clever reversal of the question he is said to have posed in the pericope adulterae that begins the 8th chapter in our Bibles....
  2. Trinity X

    Collect. Let thy merciful ears, O Lord, be open to the prayers of thy humble servants; and, that they may obtain their petitions, make them to ask such things as shall please thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Epistle. 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: 2 You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led. 3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God...
  3. Trinity 1: The Rich Man And Lazarus And Agape

    Epistle. 1 John 4:7-21 Gospel. Luke 16:19-31 The Gospel appointed for today is an old familiar text. I've preached on it before and I've heard many sermons drawn from it. I've also heard entire dogmatic systems built from it addressing the life of the dead. I don't think that is the most productive thing to do with the text – St. Paul warned the Corinthians that one ought not speak much on these things, indeed, much of what that life is is 'inexpressible.' So it is my project this morning...
  4. The Transfiguration

    Epistle: 2 Peter 1:13-18 Gospel: Luke 9:28-36 Anytime the three synoptic Evangelists record the same event, it is worthy of special attention. The Transfiguration is such an event, made even more notable by the closeness of the narrative across authors. The Transfiguration is the seminal theophany of the Gospel narrative: a visible manifestation of God's presence. It is also a trinitarian passage. And it is loaded with symbolism recalling OT events and imagery. Today, I wish to focus on two...
  5. A Sermon For Pentecost

    The festal period of the church year is closing. We have celebrated Holy Week and Easter, the Ascension has passed, and now we come to Pentecost. Next week will be Trinity Sunday and then we will pass into the comfortable, repetitive rhythm of Trinitytide, or ordinary time. Our spiritual life is enriched by each of these festivals because they progressively build in our minds a robust narrative of the work of Christ. For many, the gospel ends at Easter. Their ministers will say that they...
  6. Homily for Advent 2

    Advent 2 Romans 15:4-13, Luke 21:25-33 “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” So begins the epistle, and the reading ends on this same note: hope. In fact, Paul uses the word 'hope' fifteen times in the epistle to the Romans. His other epistles are also saturated with the word. But hope is in short supply in the world around us. Last week, you may have seen a news story about a...
  7. Homily for Holy Cross Day

    Holy Cross Day 14 September The cross on which our Lord was crucified has become the universal symbol for Christianity, replacing the fish symbol of the early church, though the latter has been revived in recent times. After the end of the persecution era, early in the fourth century, pilgrims began to travel to Jerusalem to visit and pray at the places associated with the life of Jesus. Helena, the mother of the emperor, was a Christian and, whilst overseeing excavations in the city,...
  8. What the Psalter Teaches About Worship

    The Psalter discusses worship by answering the various interrogative questions – who, where, why, how – with keen insight, especially in the 138th Psalm, where David gives a theology of worship. Comparing the 138th Psalm with the Songs of degrees or ascents, Psalms 120-134, will reveal to the pious reader a rhythm of blessing from God and praise from creation that is the basis of David's theology of worship. Also to be considered are incites from the remainder of the Psalter into the...
  9. Why does John not record the Transfiguration?

    A question I was asked to respond to in seminary recently was, essentially: if John was an eyewitness to the Transfiguration, why does he not record the event in his Gospel? Upon thinking through this and reading the Transfiguration pericope, I came to the conclusion that the key lies in St. Clement's description of John as a spiritual Gospel. In my view, John has recorded the meaning of the Transfiguration rather than the story itself. One might even say he has given the long version of the...
  10. Periods of Confusion

    It occurred to me that the great feasts of Easter and Pentecost both occur after periods of confusion. In the case of Easter, we see the disciples quite perplexed, disheartened even, that Jesus has just died. Then he appears risen and this leads to a new period of confusion that they are still working through at his Ascension. Now he is gone again, this time with a cryptic promise that he will send the Spirit in his place. Puzzling over this, they are taken by surprise at Pentecost when the...
  11. Peace

    "Peace" Sweet Peace, where dost thou dwell? I humbly crave, Let me once know. I sought thee in a secret cave, And ask'd if Peace were there. A hollow winde did seem to answer, No: Go seek elsewhere. I did; and going did a rainbow note: Surely, thought I, This is the lace of Peaces coat: I will search out the matter. But while I lookt, the clouds immediately Did break and scatter. Then went I to a garden, and did spy A gallant flower, The crown Imperiall: Sure, said I, Peace at the root...
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