Archives for November 2020

From the Pastor – November 22, 2020

We do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, about those who have fallen asleep, so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose, so too will God, through Jesus, bring with him those who have fallen asleep. (1 Thess. 4:13-15) How many times have we gazed at a crucifix and seen that inscription: “I.N.R.I.”  We know it means something about Jesus being “King of the Jews,” even if we don’t remember that it comes from the first letters of the Latin inscription meaning “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews:  Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum.  The key is understanding what’s behind that inscription.  Is it just a “mocking” inscription provided by Pontius Pilate?  Was it placed there to enrage the Jewish Sanhedrin?  Or is it part … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – November 15, 2020

Jesus told his disciples this parable:  “A man going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one – to each according to his ability. Then he went away.” (Mt. 25:14-15) When I was a child, I remember having a picture book outlining today’s parable of the talents.  And in the book, the word “talent” was translated “bag of gold.”  And that’s  precisely what Jesus is talking about here.  In the original Greek, the word used is ???????? (talenton), which is a unit of measurement.  It was the amount of a precious metal that would fill an amphora, which was approximately one cubic foot.   The weight (and value) would depend upon the type of metal.  While certainly a “liberal” translation, the term “bag … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – November 8, 2020

“'Lord, Lord, open the door for us!' But he said in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.' Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”  (Mt. 25:11-13) What does it mean to “fear the Lord”?  Fear seems to be something negative.  We associate it with threats and negative consequences.   So what does the Psalmist mean today when he says that those who “fear the Lord” are blessed? Perhaps surprisingly, “fear of the Lord” is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, along with Wisdom Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge and Piety. Fear of the Lord is more closely related to “awe,” and allows us to be aware of the glory and majesty of God. A person with wonder and awe knows that God is the perfection of all we desire: perfect knowledge, perfect goodness, … [Read more...]