Evening Prayer: June 11th (Combo Post)

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Psalms: 25, 9, 15
Old Testament: 1 Samuel 18:5-16, 27b-30
New Testament: Acts 11:19-30
Gospel: Mark 1:29-45
Patristic Reading: An excerpt from the Rule of St. Benedict

That evening, at sunset, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons………. [The next day]in the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. (Mark 1:32;35)

It strikes me as funny that Mark would go out of his way to mention that Jesus both healed the sick and prayed while it was evening/when it was still dark .

Night and darkness implies a hidden-ness…..something that is unseen. As I read this tonight, I think about those things we do behind the scenes…..or those people that quietly observe us and help us along the way without being obtrusive….

Maybe this passage speaks to the fact that we need the introverts and the silence as much as we need the extroverts and the labour for the kingdom…or as St. Benedict might suggest: Obedience, prayer and work. +

Evening Prayer: Feb. 22nd

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Psalm: 124, 125, 126
Gospel: Matthew 5:13-20
Patristic Reading: N/A today….can’t find online copy

For my thoughts on the salt and light passage, take a look at my post from earlier this month.

One thing I can add to tonight’s passage though is that the two Great Commandments are hardly an innovation of Jesus. The exact wording is in fact embedded right in the Old Testament (Deut. 6:4 and Lev. 19:18).

What Jesus is doing here in the Sermon on the Mount is reminding the people of what they already know but have forgotten.

As has been pointed out by many commentators (including my own rector) the movement is not so much a revolution of Torah Law, but rather a return to the Spirit of the Law as opposed to the minutiae of regulations.

Hopefully the Church will take these words to heart. The institutional Church can–at times–find itself bogged down by canon law and out of a desire to be conciliatory. I suppose the question bols down to this: At what point does following the rules get in the way of following the Gospel???

Drop a line in the comment section and let me know what you think. 🙂 +

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