Evening Prayer: Eve of the Nativity of St. Jean-Baptiste

Leave a comment


Psalm: 103
Old Testament: Sirach 48:1-11
New Testament: Luke 1:5-21

Y’know…..for all my religious education and seminary training….I’ve never quite understood the connection between Elijah and John the Baptist. I mean….it makes sense since Elijah preached repentance and destruction just like Jesus’ cousin…..but why is he the prophet singled out for comparison???

I don’t pretend to know the answer and would welcome any feedback from my readers as to why Jewish/Early Christians would have made this connection. πŸ™‚

That aside, I was drawn to a line that was repeated both in the lesson from Sirach, and is repeated with slight adjustment in Luke. Check it out:

At the appointed time…you will turn the hearts of parents to their children (Sirach 48:10)

The Third Evangelist quotes this same line, but adds an extra role for Elizabeth and Zechariah’s son.

With the spirit and power of Elijah he will go before him, to turn the hearts of parents to their children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord (Luke 5:17)

What causes me to scratch my head a little bit is that John the Baptist’s ministry was not exactly lovey-dovey. If anything, his call to repentance and harsh words against the Pharisees seems extremely divisive.

But what if the parent talked about….the one we are reunited with….is not a human one. What if our hearts are being turned to the Father??? Then the reading and comparison starts to make sense.

If our relationship to the Father is broken, then every other relationship in our lives can be potentially off-balance. The call to repentance and baptism is not to avoid destruction and wrath…..but as an invitation to right-living and right-relationship.

Tonight we thank God for sending his messenger to make our crooked ways straight and to prepare a highway for our God…..so that we might know our Father face-to-face. +

Note to the reader: You will have to forgive my use of the French name tonight….it’s one of the few times I let my ethnic heritage show even though I can’t speak the language very well πŸ˜‰

Morning Prayer: April 7th

Leave a comment


Psalm: 69
Old Testament: Jeremiah 22:13-22
New Testament: Romans 8:12-27

For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ – if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him to receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ – if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. (Romans 8:15-17)

One thing that’s often missed in interpreting this passage is that the term “Abba” is not simply a word which means father. It is a slang word and a term of endearment much like “Daddy” in English.

Paul’s reflection on adoption shows us that the process itself is not one which is strictly legal, but is one of affection and genuine desire both on our part, and on the part of the One who came to save us.

In Christ, God has begun a new covenant. A contract and promise that assures us that we are loved…and that everything God has is also ours for the asking. πŸ™‚

Through faith in the Son, we are offered not only eternal life, but a protector, a Saviour, someone to wipe our tears, someone to correct us when we go wrong, and someone to encourage us building up our talents and pursue our many vocations in this life….leading us in the end to the Father who will give us his signet ring, put the best cloak on us and pull out all the stops in order to rejoice at the presence of his precious children. πŸ™‚ +

Evening Prayer: Feb. 7th

Leave a comment


Psalm: 77
Gospel: Mark 9:30-41
Patristic Reading: An excerpt from St. Bonaventure’s Breviloquium (Scroll down to second reading)

Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, β€˜Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’ (Mark 9:36-37)

If I may, I would like to share a personal story….. πŸ˜€

Last year, I had the privilege and honour to preach on the parable of the Prodigal Son. Technically, I should not be allowed to do this as I have no lay license, nor am I ordained :P.

But by the grace of God, I find myself with a congregation and pastor at St. Jude’s who have been kind enough to let me hone my homiletical skills I began to learn in seminary school, and are incredibly supportive of my ministry.

For that continued trust and oppurtunity, I am blessed, humbled and eternally grateful. ❀

In preparing the sermon, I was incredibly perplexed and nervous. What could I possibly say about a parable that is so well known and ingrained in the Christian consciousness???

I had all the exegesis done……I knew the basic narrative structure, the emphasis on repentance, the unconditional love of the Father for us all……But I felt like there was no way I could express it accurately……And then, a mircale happend πŸ˜€

On March 8th, my nephew Liam was born, and the lightbulb went on for me.

God loves us–all of us–as precious infants. With no precondition, no expectations, no hinderances……He just loves us as we are, and through all of our ups and downs. πŸ˜€

When I finally realized this….and proclaimed it out loud on Sunday….something changed within me. I realized that in the same way I could love my nephew in the first second of meeting him, that is how we are all viewed by the Father. As such, that is how we are called to recognize others. After all, we are all children of God. πŸ™‚

Our friends, family, and even those we hate were at one time tiny infants. At one time, we were all innocent and totally dependent on another for our lives and for love and affection. None of us can claim to be any more or less special than anyone else on earth. We are all precious to God and to one another. :D. Alleluia! Alleluia! ❀

%d bloggers like this: