Archive for the ‘June 21’ Category

Feast of Carl Bernhard Garve (June 21)   Leave a comment

Moravian Logo

Above:  The Moravian Logo 

Scanned from the cover of a reprint of J. E. Hutton’s History of the Moravian Church

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CARL BERNHARD GARVE (JANUARY 24, 1763-JUNE 21, 1841)

German Moravian Minister, Liturgist, and Hymn Writer

Carl Bernhard Garve had many talents, which he used for the glory of God and the good of the Moravian Church.  He entered the world at Jeinsen, near Hannover, Germany, on January 24, 1763.  He joined the Unitas Fratrum in 1770 then attended the Moravian schools at Zeist, The Netherlands, and Niesky, Germany.  Garve attended the seminary at Barby, Germany, and became a minister in 1799.  During his ministerial career Garve served congregations in The Netherlands, Germany, and Silesia, taught at the seminary at Barby, and served as the archivist at Zeist.  In 1823 he edited a new edition of Liturgical Hymns.  Two collections of sacred songs–Christliche Gesange (1825) and Brudengesange (1827)–followed.  He retired in 1836.

Garve wrote at least eight hymns.  The Jane Laurie Borthwick (1813-1897) translation of one of them follows:

Alleluia! Jesus lives!

He is now the Living One;

From the gloomy house of death

Forth the Conqueror has gone,

Bright Forerunner to the skies

Of His people, yet to rise.

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Jesus lives! Let all rejoice;

Praise Him, ransomed ones of earth.

Praise Him in a nobler song,

Cherubim of heav’nly birth.

Praise the Victor King, whose sway

Sin and death and hell obey.

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Jesus lives! Why weepest thou?

Why that sad and frequent sigh?

He who died our Brother here

Lives our Brother still on high,

Lives forever to bestow

Blessings on His Church below.

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Jesus lives! And thus, my soul,

Life eternal waits for thee;

Joined to Him, thy living Head,

Where He is thou, too, shalt be;

With Himself, at His right hand,

Victor over death shalt stand.

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Jesus lives! To Him my heart

Draws with ever new delight.

Earthly vanities, depart,

Hinder not my heav’nward flight.

Let this spirit ever rise

To its Magnet in the skies.

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Alleluia! Angels sing!

Join us in our hymn of praise.

Let your chorus swell the strain

Which our feebler voices raise:

Glory to our God above

And on earth His peace and love!

Garve died at Herrnhut on June 21, 1841.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 8, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT THORFINN OF HAMAR, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF GALILEO GALILEI, SCIENTIST

THE FEAST OF HARRIET BEDELL, EPISCOPAL DEACONESS

THE FEAST OF NATE SAINT AND THE OTHER MARTYRS OF THE ECUADOR MISSION, PROTESTANT MISSIONARIES

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Carl Bernhard Garve and others, who have composed hymn texts.

May we, as you guide us,

find worthy hymn texts to be icons,

through which we see you.

In the Name of God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 44:1-3a, 5-15

Psalm 147

Revelation 5:11-14

Luke 2:8-20

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 20, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS AMATOR OF AUXERRE AND GERMANUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; SAINT MAMERTINUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT; AND SAINT MARCIAN OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES BUGENHAGEN, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARCELLINUS OF EMBRUN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF OLAVUS AND LAURENTIUS PETRI, RENEWERS OF THE CHURCH

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Feast of Bernard Adam Grube (June 21)   Leave a comment

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Above:  Lititz Moravian Church, Lititz, Pennsylvania, November 1942

Photographer = Marjory Collins

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-USW3-011809-D

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BERNARD ADAM GRUBE (JUNE 21, 1715-MARCH 20, 1808)

German-American Moravian Minister, Missionary, Composer, and Musician

The hit parade of pious Moravian Church musicians continues with Bernard Adam Grube (1715-1808).  The native of Walschleben, near Erfurt, Germany, studies theology at Jena.  He, ordained in 1740, served congregations in The Netherlands and in Livonia (Latvia).  Then, in 1748, he arrived in America as a missionary to Native Americans.  He learned the Delaware language and traveled in New England, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.  His ministerial career continued at Lititz, Pennsylvania, where he served as the pastor from 1765 to 1785.  There he organized the choir and the collegium musicum.  Such musical activity was natural for Grube, who had a life-long interest in music and who had started teaching music at age seventeen.  He also composed sacred vocal works.  Subsequent pastorates were at Hope, New Jersey, and at Bethlehem and Emmaus, Pennsylvania.

In 1778 Grube married for a second time; his first wife had died two years prior.  Wife number two was Sara Van Vleck Eberhardt (1727-1793), of the Van Vleck family, prominent in U.S. Moravian musical history.  I have read about that family during my self-directed education in Moravian musical history.  In fact, I have made plans to add some Van Vlecks to this, the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, soon.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 7, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF FRANCIS FENELON, ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF CAMBRAI

THE FEAST OF SAINT ALDRIC OF LE MANS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF JULIUS WELLHAUSEN, BIBLICAL SCHOLAR

THE FEAST OF SAINT LUCIAN OF ANTIOCH, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR

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Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servant Bernard Adam Grube,

whom you called to preach the Gospel to Native Americans in New England, Pennyslvania, and North Carolina.

Raise up in this and every land evangelists and heralds of your kingdom,

that your Church may proclaim the unsearchable riches of our Savior Jesus Christ,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

–Isaiah 52:7-10

Psalm 96 or 96:1-7

Acts 1:1-9

Luke 10:1-9

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 716

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Proper 7, Year A   Leave a comment

scapegoat

Above: The Scapegoat, by William Holman Hunt (1954)

Image in the Public Domain

No More Scapegoating

The Sunday Closest to June 22

The Third Sunday After Pentecost

JUNE 21, 2020

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FIRST READING AND PSALM:  OPTION #1

Genesis 21:8-21 (New Revised Standard Version):

The child grew, and was weaned; and Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned.  But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham,

Cast out this slave woman with her son; for the son of this slave woman shall not inherit along with my son Isaac.

The matter was very distressing to Abraham, on account of his son.  But God said to Abraham,

Do not be distressed because of your slave woman; whatever Sarah does to you, do as she tells you, for it is through Isaac that offspring shall be named for you.  As for the son of the slave woman, I will make a nation of him also, because he is your offspring.

So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water, and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away.  And she departed, and wandered about in the wilderness of Beersheba.

When the water in the skin was gone, she cast the child under one of the bushes.  Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot; for she said,

Do not let me look on the death of the child.

And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept.  And God heard the voice of the boy; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, and said to her,

What troubles you, Hagar?  Do not be afraid; for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is.  Come, lift up the boy and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make a great nation of him.

Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water.  She sent, and filled the skin with water, and gave the boy a drink.

God was with the boy, and he grew up; he lived in the wilderness, and became an expert with the bow.  He lived in the wilderness of Paran; and his mother got him a wife from the land of Egypt.

Psalm 86:1-10, 16-17 (1979 Book of Common Prayer):

1 Bow down your ear, O LORD, and answer me,

for I am poor and in misery.

2 Keep watch over my life, for I am faithful;

save your servant who puts his trust in you.

Be merciful to me, O LORD, for you are my God;

I call upon you all the day long.

4 Gladden the soul of your servant,

for to you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.

5 For you, O LORD, are good and forgiving,

and great is your love toward all who call upon you.

Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer,

and attend to the voice of my supplications.

7 In the time of trouble I will call upon you,

for you will answer me.

8 Among the gods there is none like you, O LORD,

nor anything like your works.

9 All nations you have made will come and worship you, O LORD,

and glorify your Name.

10 For you are great;

you do wondrous things;

and you alone are God.

16 Turn to me and have mercy upon me;

give your strength to your servant;

and save the child of your handmaid.

17 Show me a sign of your favor,

so that those who hate me may see it and be ashamed;

because you, O LORD, have helped me and comforted me.

FIRST READING AND PSALM:  OPTION #2

Jeremiah 20:7-13 (New Revised Standard Version):

O LORD, you have enticed me,

and I was enticed;

you have overpowered me,

and you have prevailed.

I have become a laughingstock all day long;

everyone mocks me.

For whenever I speak, I must cry out,

I must shout, “Violence and destruction!”

For the word of the LORD has become for me

a reproach and derision all day long.

If I say, “I will not mention him,

or speak any more in his name,”

then within me there is something like a burning fire

shut up in my bones;

I am weary with holding it in,

and I cannot.

For I hear many whispering:

“Terror is all around!

Denounce him!  Let us denounce him!”

All my close friends

are watching for me to stumble.

“Perhaps he can be enticed,

and we can prevail against him,

and take our revenge on him.”

But the LORD is with me like a dread warrior;

therefore my persecutors will stumble,

and they will not prevail.

They will be greatly shamed,

for they will not succeed.

Their eternal dishonor

will never be forgotten.

O LORD of hosts, you test the righteous,

you see the heart and the mind;

let me see your retribution upon them,

for to you I have committed my cause.

Sing to the LORD;

praise the LORD!

For he has delivered the life of the needy

from the hands of evildoers.

Psalm 69:8-11 (12-17), 18-20 (1979 Book of Common Prayer):

Surely, for your sake have I suffered reproach,

and shame has covered my face.

9 I have become a stranger to my own kindred,

an alien to my mother’s children.

10 Zeal for your house has eaten me up;

the scorn of those who scorn you has fallen upon me.

11 I humbled myself with fasting,

but that was turned to my reproach.

12 I put on sack-cloth also,

and became a byward among them.

13 Those who sit at the gate murmur against me,

and the drunkards make songs about me.

14 But as for me, this is my prayer to you,

at the time you have set, O LORD;

15 “In your great mercy, O God,

answer me with your unfailing help.

16 Save me from the mire; do not let me sink;

let me be rescued from those who hate me

and out of the deep waters.

17 Let not the torrent of waters wash over me,

neither let the deep pit swallow me up;

do not let the Pit shut its mouth upon me.

18 Answer me, O LORD, for your love is kind;

in your great compassion, turn to me.”

SECOND READING

Romans 6:1b-11 (New Revised Standard Version):

Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound?  By no means!  How can we who died to sin go on living in it?  Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into his death?  Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.  We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might no longer be enslaved to sin.  For whoever has died is freed from sin.  But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.   We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.  The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.  So you must also consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

GOSPEL READING

Matthew 10:24-39 (New Revised Standard Version):

[Jesus said,] “A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master; it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher, and the slave like the master.  If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household!

So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known.  What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops.  Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.  Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?  Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.  And even the hairs of your head are all counted.  So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.

Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.

For I have come to set a man against his father,

and a daughter against her mother,

and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;

and one’s foes will be members of one’s own household.

Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me.  Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.

The Collect:

O Lord, make us have perpetual love and reverence for your holy Name, for you never fail to help and govern those whom you have set upon the sure foundation of your loving-kindness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

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Problems are real.  When faced with the necessity of facing a difficult or awkward situation  honestly and resolving a it, one might do so, or one might find a scapegoat instead.  Often we humans scapegoat.  This day’s readings concern scapegoating.

Abraham and Sarah had known for years that he would have many descendants.  First, however, he needed one.  So they decided to act, and Sarah granted her permission for Abraham to sire his heir via Hagar, her Egyptian slave.  Ishmael was the result.  His existence became awkward after the birth of Isaac.

Whatever else the Bible is, it is honest about the faults of figures the reader is supposed to admire.  Abraham, for example, comes across as a really bad father.  In Genesis 21 he consents to the expulsion of Hagar and Ishmael.  And he tries to kill Isaac in the next chapter.  That story disturbs me deeply, but I get ahead of myself; that tale will wait until Proper 8, Year A.

Note, anyway, the sympathetic tone in the text with regard for the plight of Hagar and her son.  These two were not responsible for what was happening, yet they bore the brunt of the circumstances of Sarah’s jealousy.  This jealousy created a new problem in time, for ethnic tensions arose from it.  Jewish tradition links Ishmael to the origin of Arab bedouin tribes, and the Koran states that Muhammad is descended from Abraham’s firstborn son.  People still use the tale of Ishmael and Isaac to justify hatred.

The prophet Jeremiah spent years speaking unpopular truths and behaving bizarrely.  He ate a scroll, walked around naked, and said that the Kingdom of Judah was doomed.  The latter point was fairly obvious by his time, for the Chaldean (a.k.a. Babylonian) Empire menaced the kingdom.  Furthermore, the two Kings of Judah were puppets of foreigners–one of Egypt and the other of Babylonia.  Jeremiah faced scorn and persecution for his efforts.  This day’s reading from the book bearing his name (The actual author of the book was the scribe Baruch.) contains one of the prophet’s understandable complaints to God.  Jeremiah had become a scapegoat.  What he said would happen did occur, of course, so scapegoating him did not resolve the national crisis.

Jesus was a scapegoat, too.  As some religious authorities said, they preferred to sacrifice him to the Roman Empire than for the imperium to kill many people.  Both happened, of course, just about a generation apart.  As the reading from Matthew acknowledges, the mere existence of Jesus was divisive.  And it still is, especially in families where someone has converted to Christianity and religious law and/or cultural custom requires the convert’s death on the charge of apostasy.  But, as Paul wrote far better than I can, the death of Jesus bestows spiritual life in God.  So, as Jesus said, one should not fear those who can kill only the body.  No, spiritual death is what one ought to fear and avoid.

God cares for us.  God cared for Hagar and Ishmael, for Jeremiah, and for Jesus and Paul.  All of them suffered, but God was with them through it all and provided for them.  And God cares for us, too.  Will we reciprocate and trust God to provide for us, or will we seek convenient, easy solutions, which will only complicate the issue?  Will we listen to God and to God’s prophets, or will we engage in scapegoating?

The death and resurrection of Jesus were profound events packed with meanings.  Among them is this:  Scapegoating is destructive and ineffective.  Why do we continue to scapegoat?  I think the answer is that we like the seemingly easy way out.  May God have mercy on us.

KRT

PUBLISHED ORIGINALLY AT ORDINARY TIME DEVOTIONS  ON DECEMBER 6, 2010

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Posted June 3, 2014 by neatnik2009 in June 21, Revised Common Lectionary Year A

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Feast of Sts. John Jones and John Rigby (June 21)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Flag of England

SAINT JOHN JONES (DIED JULY 12, 1598)

Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr

His feast transferred from July 12

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SAINT JOHN RIGBY (CIRCA 1570-1600)

Roman Catholic Martyr

His feast = June 21

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I could make my usual (for British martyrs) statement about freedom of religion and the need for governments to refrain from labeling a certain religious affiliation as treasonous, but I will move directly to telling the story of two saints.

St. John Jones (died 1598), a Welsh Roman Catholic, became a Franciscan in 1559.  He made his vows in France and worked in Rome before undertaking his English mission in 1592.  Jones served as the Franciscan Minister Provincial in England before authorities arrested him in 1596.  Richard Topcliffe, the priest hunter with at best a casual relationship with facts, lied, saying that Jones had said a home Mass for two Catholics who, at the time , were in prison. So Jones could not have been in their company at their home, could he?  But why let objective reality prevent one from arresting, torturing, and incarcerating someone?  Jones was never a legally free man again.  Authorities executed him by hanging, drawing, and quartering on July 12, 1598.  Two Catholics who retrieved his dismembered remains from poles received long prison terms.

Before Jones died he helped St. John Rigby (circa 1570-1600) return to the Roman Catholic Church.  Rigby worked in an Anglican household and attended Anglican services despite his Roman Catholic background.  Then he reverted to Roman Catholicism and refused to deny this fact.  So he met the same fate as did Jones on June 21, 1600.

These examples testify convincingly to the faith for which these men died and to the sin of killing people over theological disagreements.  Their executions were legal–they were not crimes–but they were immoral.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 20, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER, YEAR C

THE FEAST OF SAINT ALCUIN OF YORK, DEACON AND ABBOT

THE FEAST OF SAINT HELENA, MOTHER OF EMPEROR CONSTANTINE I

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Almighty God, by whose grace and power your holy martyrs

Saints John Jones and John Rigby

triumphed over suffering and were faithful even to death:

Grant us, who now remember them in thanksgiving,

to be so faithful in our witness to you in this world,

that we may receive with them the crown of life;

through Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 51:1-12

Psalm 116 or 116:1-8

Revelation 7:13-17

Luke 12:2-12

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 714

Feast of St. Aloysius Gonzaga (June 21)   Leave a comment

Above:  AIDS Ribbon

Image Source = Gary van der Merwe

SAINT ALOYSIUS GONZAGA (MARCH 9, 1568-JUNE 21, 1591)

Jesuit

A saints book published in 2007 lists saints according to causes.  For the cause “AIDS Patients and Caregivers” one finds the name of this saint.  It is an appropriate choice.

St. Aloysius Gonzaga (1568-1591) came from an elite family of warlords.  His father was Marquis Ferrante of Castiglione.  The expectation was that the saint would marry, have children, and pursue the family business.  Yet the young saint knew better.  He spent years trying to convince his father that he had a different vocation before he succeeded.  During that liminal time Gonzaga practiced religious austeries and instructed some of the poor people of Castiglione in the faith.

The saint’s six years as a Jesuit were challenging for him.  His persistent health problems slowed his progress and studies, begun and Milan after he entered the order at Rome in 1585.  Finally, in 1587, the saint made his vows.  The order sent him to work as a nurse at a hospital in Rome.  He had to overcome his revulsion at wounds and diseases to practice compassion.  Plague struck Rome in 1591.  The saint contracted the disease by treating patients.  Thus he died, aged twenty-three years, on June 21.

May we honor all who endanger themselves to care for others.  And may we do the same for all who have placed themselves in peril for the sake of others.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 20, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER, YEAR C

THE FEAST OF SAINT ALCUIN OF YORK, DEACON AND ABBOT

THE FEAST OF SAINT HELENA, MOTHER OF EMPEROR CONSTANTINE I

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O God, by whose grace your servant Saint Aloysius Gonzaga,

kindled with the flame of your love, became a burning and a shining light in your Church:

Grant that we also may be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline, and walk before you as children of light;

through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Acts 2:42-47a

Psalm 133 or 34:1-8 or 119:161-168

2 Corinthians 6:1-10

Matthew 6:24-33

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 723

Proper 7, Year B   2 comments

 A Box

God Does Not Fit Into Any Theological Box

The Sunday Closest to June 22

Fourth Sunday After Pentecost

JUNE 21, 2015

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FIRST READING AND PSALM:  OPTION #1

1 Samuel 17:(1a, 4-11, 19-23), 32-49 (New Revised Standard Version):

[Now the Philistines gathered their armies for battle. And there came out from the camp of the Philistines a champion named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. He had a helmet of bronze on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. He had greaves of bronze on his legs and a javelin of bronze slung between his shoulders. The shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron; and his shield-bearer went before him. He stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel,

Why have you come out to draw up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants; but if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.

And the Philistine said,

Today I defy the ranks of Israel! Give me a man, that we may fight together.

When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.

Now Saul, and they, and all the men of Israel, were in the valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines. David rose early in the morning, left the sheep with a keeper, took the provisions, and went as Jesse had commanded him. He came to the encampment as the army was going forth to the battle line, shouting the war cry. Israel and the Philistines drew up for battle, army against army. David left the things in charge of the keeper of the baggage, ran to the ranks, and went and greeted his brothers. As he talked with them, the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, came up out of the ranks of the Philistines, and spoke the same words as before. And David heard him.]

David said to Saul,

Let no one’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.

Saul said to David,

You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are just a boy, and he has been a warrior from his youth.

But David said to Saul,

Your servant used to keep sheep for his father; and whenever a lion or a bear came, and took a lamb from the flock, I went after it and struck it down, rescuing the lamb from its mouth; and if it turned against me, I would catch it by the jaw, strike it down, and kill it. Your servant has killed both lions and bears; and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, since he has defied the armies of the living God.

David said,

The LORD, who saved me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, will save me from the hand of this Philistine.

So Saul said to David,

Go, and may the LORD be with you!

Saul clothed David with his armor; he put a bronze helmet on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail. David strapped Saul’s sword over the armor, and he tried in vain to walk, for he was not used to them. Then David said to Saul,

I cannot walk with these; for I am not used to them.

So David removed them. Then he took his staff in his hand, and chose five smooth stones from the wadi, and put them in his shepherd’s bag, in the pouch; his sling was in his hand, and he drew near to the Philistine.

The Philistine came on and drew near to David, with his shield-bearer in front of him. When the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was only a youth, ruddy and handsome in appearance. The Philistine said to David,

Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?

And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. The Philistine said to David,

Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the wild animals of the field.

But David said to the Philistine,

You come to me with sword and spear and javelin; but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This very day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head; and I will give the dead bodies of the Philistine army this very day to the birds of the air and to the wild animals of the earth, so that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the LORD does not save by sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD’s and he will give you into our hand.

When the Philistine drew nearer to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. David put his hand in his bag, took out a stone, slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead; the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell face down on the ground.

Psalm 9:9-20 (1979 Book of Common Prayer):

9  The LORD will be a refuge for the oppressed,

a refuge in time of trouble.

10  Those who know your Name will put their trust in you,

for you never forsake those who seek you, O LORD.

11  Sing praise to the LORD who dwells in Zion;

proclaim to the peoples the things he has done.

12  The Avenger of blood will remember them;

he will not forget the cry of the afflicted.

13  Have pity on me, O LORD;

see the misery I suffer from those who hate me,

O you who lift me up from the gate of death;

14  So that I may tell of all your praises

and rejoice in your salvation

in the gates of the city of Zion.

15  The ungodly have fallen into the pit they dug,

and in the snare they set is their own foot caught.

16  The LORD is known by his acts of justice;

the wicked are trapped in the works of their own hands.

17  The wicked shall be given over to the grave,

and also all the people that forget God.

18  For the needy shall not always be forgotten,

and the hope of the poor shall not perish for ever.

19  Rise up, O LORD, let not the ungodly have the upper hand;

let them be judged before you.

20  Put fear upon them, O LORD;

let the ungodly know they are but mortal.

FIRST READING AND PSALM:  OPTION #2

1 Samuel 17:57-18:5, 10-16 (New Revised Standard Version):

On David’s return from killing the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul, with the head of the Philistine in his hand.  Saul said to him, “Whose son are you, young man?”  And David answered,

I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.

When David had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was bound to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.  Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father’s house.  Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul.  Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that he was wearing, and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt.  David went out and was successful wherever Saul sent him; as a result, Saul set him over the army.  And all the people, even the servants of Saul, approved.

The next day an evil spirit from God rushed upon Saul, and he raved within his house, while David was playing the lyre, as he did day by day.  Saul had his spear in his hand; and Saul threw the spear, for he thought,

I will pin David to the wall.

But David eluded him twice.

Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with him but had departed from Saul.  So Saul removed him from his presence, and made him a commander of a thousand; and David marched out and came in, leading the army.  David had success in all his undertakings; for the LORD was with him.  When Saul saw that he had great success, he stood in awe of him.  But all Israel and Judah loved David; for it was he who marched out and came in leading them.

Psalm 133 (1979 Book of Common Prayer):

1 Oh, how good and pleasant it is,

when brethren live together in unity!

2 It is like fine oil upon the head

that runs down upon the beard,

3 Upon the beard of Aaron,

and runs down upon the collar of his robe.

It is like the dew of Hermon

that falls upon the hills of Zion.

5 For there the LORD has ordained the blessing;

life for evermore.

FIRST READING AND PSALM:  OPTION #3

Job 38:1-11 (New Revised Standard Version):

Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind:

Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?

Gird up your loins like a man,

I will answer you, and you shall declare to me.

Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?

Tell me, if you have understanding.

Who determined its measurements–surely you know!

Or who stretched out the line upon it?

On what were its bases sunk,

or who laid its cornerstone

when the morning stars sang together

and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy?

Or who shut in the sea with doors

when it burst out from the womb?–

when I made the clouds its garment,

and thick darkness its swaddling band,

and prescribed bounds for it,

and set bars and doors,

and said, “Thus far shall you come, and no farther,

and here shall your proud waves be stopped?”

Psalm 107:1-3, 23-32 (1979 Book of Common Prayer):

1  Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,

and his mercy endures for ever.

2  Let all those whom the LORD has redeemed proclaim

that he redeemed them from the hand of the foe.

3  He gathered them out of the lands;

from the east and from the west,

from the north and from the south.

23  Some went down to the sea in ships

and plied their trade in deep waters;

24  They beheld the works of the LORD

and his wonders in the deep.

25  Then he spoke, and a stormy wind arose,

which tossed high the waves of the sea.

26  They mounted up to the heavens and fell back to the depths;

their hearts melted because of their peril.

27  They reeled and staggered like drunkards

and were at their wits’ end.

28  Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,

and he delivered them from their distress.

29  He stilled the storm to a whisper

and quieted the waves of the sea.

30  Then were they glad because of the calm,

and he brought them to the harbor they were bound for.

31  Let them give thanks to the LORD for his mercy

and the wonders he does for his children.

32  Let them exalt him in the congregation of the people

and praise him in the council of the elders.

SECOND READING

2 Corinthians 6:1-13 (New Revised Standard Version):

As we work together with Christ, we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain. For he says,

At an acceptable time I have listened to you,

and on a day of salvation I have helped you.

See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation! We are putting no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we have commended ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love, truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; in honor and dishonor, in ill repute and good repute. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet are well known; as dying, and see– we are alive; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

We have spoken frankly to you Corinthians; our heart is wide open to you. There is no restriction in our affections, but only in yours. In return– I speak as to children– open wide your hearts also.

GOSPEL READING

Mark 4:35-41 (New Revised Standard Version):

When evening had come, Jesus said to his disciples,

Let us go across to the other side.

And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him,

Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?

He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea,

Peace! Be still!

Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them,

Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?

And they were filled with great awe and said to one another,

Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

The Collect:

O Lord, make us have perpetual love and reverence for your holy Name, for you never fail to help and govern those whom you have set upon the sure foundation of your loving­kindness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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Some Related Posts:

Proper 7, Year A:

http://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/12/06/proper-7-year-a/

Proper 7, Year B:

http://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/08/15/proper-7-year-b/

I have chosen to focus on the reading from Job, not that I have ignored other lessons.

David, Goliath, Jonathan, and Saul:

http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2011/06/08/week-of-2-epiphany-wednesday-year-2/

http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2011/06/09/week-of-2-epiphany-thursday-year-2/

Mark 6:

http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/10/05/week-of-3-epiphany-saturday-year-1/

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

False certainty is not helpful.

The Book of Job consists of poetry combined with some prose.  It is a work of literature and a fictional story containing deep theological truth.  In this old epic, Job, a wealthy and righteous man, suffers greatly not because of any sin he had committed but because God permitted it.  For much of the book Job argued with three alleged friends–Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar–who insisted, among other things, that Job’s suffering must have resulted from some sin or sins he had committed.

Thus the Book of Job refuted a popular idea in ancient theology.  Yes, sometimes we suffer the negative consequences of our actions, but this fact does not account for all our suffering.  In face, we cannot account for the causation of some suffering.  Uncertainty can be unnerving, so we might prefer the simple formula “sins lead to suffering.”

Job made his final verbal defense in Chapters 29-31.  Then, in the book as it exists today, Elihu, an arrogant young man began to speak.  He was proud of himself, what he thought he knew, and how well he said it.  He filled six chapters before departing the book’s narrative as suddenly as he entered it.

Elihu’s speeches stick out in the Book of Job because they were not part of the original text.  The book contains authorial and editorial layers.  It seems that God’s speech, beginning in Chapter 28, originally followed Job’s concluding statement in Chapters 29-31 immediately.

The summary of much of God’s speech in Chapters 38 and 39 is “I’m God and you’re not.”  The text tells us that God is speaking to Job.  Yet something strikes me as interesting and crucial to grasping the book and its message.  God’s audience could just as well be Elihu or Eliphaz or Bildad or Zophar, given the content.  Job and these men had all spoken as if they knew far more than they did.  Elihu and the alleged friends thought that they how God ran the world and Job thought that he know how God should run the world.

Job needed to admit that he knew little about God.  He needed to accept ambiguity in his theology.  And he did.  The lesson he learned was that relationship to the living God, who is beyond complete human comprehension, is the goal for which to strive.  We hold expectations of God, how God acts, or how God should behave, but sometimes (perhaps even often) our reality and our expectations do not match.

Unanswered questions make some people uncomfortable.  The failure of easy and inadequate yet neat theological formulas unnerves many of us.  Yet may we embrace the ambiguity of the unanswered question and the broken formula.  May we accept the uncertainty of “I don’t know.”

Often catastrophic events set the stage for people questioning the existence or justice of God.  ”If there is a God, why did X happen?” people ask.  Or, “If God is just, why did X happen?”  X might be a massive storm or earthquake, the Holocaust, a war, or other terrible event.  Often the complaint regards something God did not do, something God permitted or allegedly permitted to happen.

Here a message from the Book of Job becomes helpful.  The most basic certainties are that God exists and that God does not fit into our theological boxes.  ”I don’t know” is something a spiritually honest person will say often.  We can know much, but not nearly everything.  If we accept this fact, we continue on the path of wisdom.

KRT

Published originally at ORDINARY TIME DEVOTIONS BY KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR on August 15, 2011

Posted August 15, 2011 by neatnik2009 in June 21, Revised Common Lectionary Year B

Tagged with

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1 (Justin Martyr, Christian Apologist and Martyr)

  • Pamphilus of Caesarea, Bible Scholar and Translator; and His Companions, Martyrs
  • Samuel Stennett, English Seventh-Day Baptist Minister and Hymn Writer; and John Howard, English Humanitarian
  • Simeon of Syracuse, Roman Catholic Monk

2 (Blandina and Her Companions, the Martyrs of Lyons, 177)

  • Anders Christensen Arrebo, “The Father of Danish Poetry”
  • Margaret Elizabeth Sangster, Hymn Writer, Novelist, and Devotional Writer
  • Stephen of Sweden, Roman Catholic Missionary, Bishop, and Martyr

3 (John XXIII, Bishop of Rome)

  • Christian Gottfried Geisler and Johann Chrstian Geisler, Silesian Moravian Organists and Composers; and Johannes Herbst, German-American Organist, Composer, and Bishop
  • Frances Ridley Havergal, English Hymn Writer and Composer
  • Will Campbell, Agent of Reconciliation

4 (Christoph Homburg, German Lutheran Hymn Writer)

  • Francis Caracciolo, Cofounder of the Minor Clerks Regular
  • Ole T. (Sanden) Arneson, U.S. Norwegian Lutheran Hymn Translator
  • Stanislaw Kostka Starowieyski, Roman Catholic Martyr

5 (Dorotheus of Tyre, Bishop of Tyre, and Martyr)

6 (Franklin Clark Fry, President of The United Lutheran Church in America and the Lutheran Church in America)

  • Claude of Besançon, Roman Catholic Priest, Monk, Abbot, and Bishop
  • Henry James Buckoll, Author and Translator of Hymns
  • William Kethe, Presbyterian Hymn Writer

7 (Matthew Talbot, Recovering Alcoholic in Dublin, Ireland)

  • Anthony Mary Gianelli, Founder of the Missionaries of Saint Alphonsus Liguori and the Sisters of Mary dell’Orto
  • Frederick Lucian Hosmer, U.S. Unitarian Hymn Writer
  • Seattle, First Nations Chief, War Leader, and Diplomat

8 (Clara Luper, Witness for Civil Rights)

  • Gerard Manley Hopkins, English Roman Catholic Poet and Jesuit Priest
  • Henry Downton, Anglican Priest, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator
  • Roland Allen, Anglican Priest, Missionary, and Mission Strategist

9 (Columba of Iona, Roman Catholic Missionary and Abbot)

  • Giovanni Maria Boccardo, Founder of the Poor Sisters of Saint Cajetan/Gaetano; and his brother, Luigi Boccardo, Apostle of Merciful Love
  • Jose de Anchieta, Apostle of Brazil and Father of Brazilian National Literature
  • Thomas Joseph Potter, Roman Catholic Priest, Poet, and Hymn Writer

10 (James of Nisibis; Bishop; and Ephrem of Edessa, “The Harp of the Holy Spirit”)

  • Getulius, Amantius, Caeraelis, and Primitivus, Martyrs at Tivoli, 120; and Symphorosa of Tivoli, Martyr
  • Landericus of Paris, Roman Catholic Bishop
  • Thor Martin Johnson, U.S. Moravian Conductor and Music Director

11 (BARNABAS THE APOSTLE, COWORKER OF SAINT PAUL THE APOSTLE)

12 (Edwin Paxton Hood, English Congregationalist Minister, Philanthropist, and Hymn Writer)

  • Christian David Jaeschke, German Moravian Organist and Composer; and his grandson, Henri Marc Hermann Voldemar Voullaire, Moravian Composer and Minister
  • Enmegahbowh, Episcopal Priest and Missionary to the Ojibwa Nation
  • Joseph Dacre Carlyle, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer

13 (Milton Smith Littlefield, Jr., U.S. Presbyterian and Congregationalist Minister, Hymn Writer, and Hymnal Editor)

  • Sigismund von Birken, German Lutheran Hymn Writer
  • William Cullen Bryant, U.S. Poet, Journalist, and Hymn Writer

14 (Charles Augustus Briggs, U.S. Presbyterian Minister, Episcopal Priest, Biblical Scholar, and Alleged Heretic; and his daughter, Emilie Grace Briggs, Biblical Scholar and “Heretic’s Daughter”)

  • Methodius I of Constantinople, Defender of Icons and Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople; and Joseph the Hymnographer, Defender of Icons and the “Sweet-Voiced Nightingale of the Church”
  • William Hiram Foulkes, U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Hymn Writer

15 (John Ellerton, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer and Translator)

  • Carl Heinrich von Bogatsky, Hungarian-German Lutheran Hymn Writer
  • Dorothy Frances Blomfield Gurney, English Poet and Hymn Writer
  • Landelinus of Vaux, Roman Catholic Abbot; Aubert of Cambrai, Roman Catholic Bishop; Ursmar of Lobbes, Roman Catholic Abbot and Missionary Bishop; and Domitian, Hadelin, and Dodo of Lobbes, Roman Catholic Monks

16 (George Berkeley, Irish Anglican Bishop and Philosopher; and Joseph Butler, Anglican Bishop and Theologian)

  • John Francis Regis, Roman Catholic Priest
  • Norman Macleod, Scottish Presbyterian Minister and Hymn Writer; and his cousin, John Macleod, Scottish Presbyterian Minister, Liturgist, and Hymn Writer
  • Rufus Jones, U.S. Quaker Theologian and Cofounder of the American Friends Service Committee

17 (Edith Boyle MacAlister, English Novelist and Hymn Writer)

  • Emily de Vialar, Founder of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Apparition
  • Jane Cross Bell Simpson, Scottish Presbyterian Poet and Hymn Writer
  • Teresa and Mafalda of Portugal, Princesses, Queens, and Nuns; and Sanchia of Portugal, Princess and Nun

18 (Adolphus Nelson, Swedish-American Lutheran Minister and Hymn Writer)

  • Johann Franck, Heinrich Held, and Simon Dach, German Lutheran Hymn Writers
  • Richard Massie, Hymn Translator
  • William Bingham Tappan, U.S. Congregationalist Minister, Poet, and Hymn Writer

19 (James Arthur MacKinnon, Canadian Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr in the Dominican Republic)

  • Alfred Ramsey, U.S. Lutheran Minister and Hymn Translator
  • Charitie Lees Smith Bancroft de Chenez, Hymn Writer
  • William Pierson Merrill, U.S. Presbyterian Minister, Social Reformer, and Hymn Writer

20 (Joseph Augustus Seiss, U.S. Lutheran Minister, Liturgist, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator)

  • Charles Coffin, Roman Catholic Priest and Hymn Writer
  • Hans Adolf Brorson, Danish Lutheran Bishop, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator
  • Johann Friedrich Hertzog, German Lutheran Hymn Writer

21 (Aloysius Gonzaga, Jesuit)

  • Bernard Adam Grube, German-American Minister, Missionary, Composer, and Musician
  • Carl Bernhard Garve, German Moravian Minister, Liturgist, and Hymn Writer
  • John Jones and John Rigby, Roman Catholic Martyrs

22 (Alban, First British Martyr)

  • Desiderius Erasmus, Dutch Roman Catholic Priest, Biblical and Classical Scholar, and Controversialist; John Fisher, English Roman Catholic Classical Scholar, Bishop of Rochester, Cardinal, and Martyr; and Thomas More, English Roman Catholic Classical Scholar, Jurist, Theologian, Controversialist, and Martyr
  • Gerhard Gieschen, U.S. Lutheran Minister and Hymn Translator
  • Paulinus of Nola, Roman Catholic Bishop of Nola

23 (John Johns, English Presbyterian Minister and Hymn Writer)

  • Heinrich Gottlob Gutter, German-American Instrument Maker, Repairman, and Merchant
  • Nicetas of Remesiana, Roman Catholic Bishop
  • Wilhelm Heinrich Wauer, German Moravian Composer and Musician

24 (NATIVITY OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST)

25 (William of Vercelli, Roman Catholic Hermit; and John of Matera, Roman Catholic Abbot)

  • Domingo Henares de Zafira Cubero, Roman Catholic Bishop of Phunhay, Vietnam, and Martyr; Phanxicô Đo Van Chieu, Vietnamese Roman Catholic Catechist and Martyr; and Clemente Ignacio Delgado Cebrián, Roman Catholic Bishop and Martyr in Vietnam

26 (Isabel Florence Hapgood, U.S. Journalist, Translator, and Ecumenist)

  • Andrea Giacinto Longhin, Roman Catholic Bishop of Treviso
  • Philip Doddridge, English Congregationalist Minister and Hymn Writer
  • Virgil Michel, U.S. Roman Catholic Monk, Academic, and Pioneer of Liturgical Renewal

27 (Cornelius Hill, Oneida Chief and Episcopal Priest)

  • Hugh Thomson Kerr, Sr., U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Liturgist; and his son, Hugh Thomson Kerr, Jr., U.S. Presbyterian Minister, Scholar, and Theologian
  • James Moffatt, Scottish Presbyterian Minister, Scholar, and Bible Translator
  • John the Georgian, Abbot; and Euthymius of Athos and George of the Black Mountain, Abbots and Translators

28 (John Gerard, English Jesuit Priest; and Mary Ward, Foundress of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary)

  • Plutarch, Marcella, Potanominaena, and Basilides of Alexandria, Martyrs
  • Teresa Maria Masters, Foundress of the Institute of the Sisters of the Holy Face
  • William and John Mundy, English Composers and Musicians

29 (PETER AND PAUL, APOSTLES AND MARTYRS)

30 (Johann Olaf Wallin, Archbishop of Uppsala and Hymn Writer)

  • Gennaro Maria Sarnelli, Italian Roman Catholic Priest and Missionary to the Vulnerable and Exploited People of Naples
  • Heinrich Lonas, German Moravian Organist, Composer, and Liturgist
  • Philip Powel, English Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr

Floating

  • First Book of Common Prayer, 1549

 

Lowercase boldface on a date with two or more commemorations indicates a primary feast.