By Elizabeth Anderson The new trial use commemorations approved by the Episcopal Church’s 2018 General Convention include several feasts that are both ancient and widespread, despite their previous absence f... Read More...
To understand the celebration of John’s beheading takes a mature understanding of Christian vocation, life, and mission.
Luke provides drama, humor, and poignant moments. Amid all his other achievements, he is one of the most elegant stylists in the pages of Scripture.
One of the best things about Advent is the presence of John the Baptist, that hair-shirt-wearing, locust-eating, wild-man prophet, the “voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”
Perhaps we could say that what the Baptist said does not matter as much as the fact that he said it, how he said it, to whom he said it, in whose name and by what authority he said it, and at what cost he said it. Perhaps what Jesus says about his own good works and about John’s confrontation with the authorities, even if it hardly amounts to a political philosophy, is what the Church needs to sure of before it can have a political philosophy. Perhaps if we have a problem with Matthew 11 it is that it just too clear and simple to be ignored.
The Gospel reading for this week, in which John called all of us to repent is indeed good news. It is good news precisely because it demands that we face God’s grace and allow ourselves to be changed by it.
For the past several years, I've committed myself to reading passages from the Church Fathers during the Daily Office. Here is one such reading.
This Advent has been different. The early push to Christmas decorations in the mall and the early rush to Christmas music on the radio grated, if it is possible, a little bit more.