April 26, 2010 (transferred from April 25)
Psalm 57 (9)
2 Timothy 4:6-11, 18
Prayer of the Day
Almighty God, you have enriched your church with Mark's proclamation of the gospel. Give us grace to believe firmly in the good news of salvation and to walk daily in accord with it, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Alleluia. This Jesus | God raised up;
and of that all of | us are witnesses. Alleluia. (Acts 2:32)
1a. Context: Mark 1:1-15
This is the beginning of THE GOOD NEWS. God’s News. The only news worth listening to! Like St. Paul after him, the evangelist Mark uses the name “good news” to refer not only to words OF Christ , or the words ABOUT Christ, but to refer to CHRIST JESUS himself. From the outset this “passion narrative with a preface” strikes us as a compilation designed to convey the central meaning of Jesus and his life, the “old,old story.” Hence there is no “Christmas Story” here for those who want one. This is tough, adult material, and needs to be handled with seriousness.
The pericope for today from Mark is closely connected to both the Old Testament passage from 2nd Isaiah (40:3) and Malachi 3:1. It is obvious that John the Baptist is understood to be the one who runs ahead of Jesus, preparing the way of the Lord. The prophetic material stresses the importance of forgiveness as an essential in the coming manifestation of the messiah. Thus is it reported at 1:4 that “ John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” John comes proclaiming metanoia, change, even a kind of “revolution” if by that we mean a “turning” not unlike the “turning” which i s described in the American Shaker hymn, “ ‘Tis a Gift to be Simple.” As the new Church Year gains momentum, the texts very quickly become even more challenging and forceful and we are invited to take part in something vastly larger than our little selves. Though Mark is addressing a first century world crying out for mercy and repentance, the need for change and metanoia was never greater than it is today. The context is prophetic proclamation. The context is “NOW!”
Novum Testamentum Graece, Nestle-Aland 26th edition © 1979, Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart; The Greek New Testament, 3rd edition © 1975, United Bible Societies, London
2. Analysis: Mark 1:1-15 [ Key Words ]
1:1 - Archei - beginning, the inception not only of the gospel, but of new being
1.1 - evangellion - good news, glad tidings - literally, proclamation, implying
some form of amnesty with the coming to power of new leadership
1.1 - Yesua - Jesus-Messiah - literally, the saving one from YHWH
1.2 - apostelloo - messenger
1:2 - kataskeuazoo - to prepare or make ready - appears once in Mark,
and 11 times in the N.T.
1.3 - Boaoo - to cry out, call or shout
1.3 - euthus - Mark’s “trademark” work - meaning “straightway” or “immediately”
1.3 - tribos - the beaten pathway or track
1.4 - baptisma - baptism
1.4 - metanoia - repentance, turning around, conversion
1.4 - aphesis - forgiveness
1.5 - chora - land, country, region
1.5 - potamos - river
1.5 - eksomologeoo - promise or confession
1.6 - enduoo - clothing, dress, to put on clothing; 1.6 - thrix - hair;
1.6 - kamelos - literally, a camel ; 1.6 - zoonei - girdle or belt;
1.6 - dermatinos - leather ; 1.6 - akris - locust or grasshopper;
1.6 - meli - honey ; 1.6 - agrios - wild
1.7 - ischuros - strong, powerful - often with the implication of evil (cf. 3:27)
but also to describe the Coming One (Mal. 3.1, 4.5, 3.23f.)
1.7 - ikanos - sufficient
1.7 - kuptoo - bowing one’s head
1.7 - luoo - to set loose
1.7 - himas - thong
1.7 - hupodeima - sandal
1.8 ego ebaptisa humas hudati - “ I have baptized you with water”
1.8 pneumati hagioo - Holy Spirit
C.S. Mann of St. Mary’s Seminary, Baltimore, MD, overturned the smug notion that the First Gospel is necessarily the first of the four gospels in its chronological formation. Drawing upon recent linguistic, literary and historical evidence, he suggested that it is at least plausible that Mark’s gospel was written AFTER Matthew and Luke and is in some sense a conflated version of those two in compressed form, with a bias in favor of Matthew. (Mark: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary. Anchor Bible Commentary, volume 27. Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1986. ) Whether or not one agrees with this provocative theory, the fact is it challenges us in much the same way that Mark’s gospel itself is issued like a challenge to our smug sensibilities. Mann notes the “clamorous note of urgency” of Mark’s gospel (p. 81), suggesting that it is this very urgency (epitomized by the term “euthus” or “straightway” which sets the tone for our entire understanding of Jesus’
life and ministry. Mann clearly understands this gospel to be addressed to people
experiencing a “worsening and darkening political situation” (p. 84) and he shows the passion account as one designed to speak in a direct, immediate way to the concerns of his audience.
For Mann, “the conflict is joined” at once at the very inception of the “good news” and it is clearly a conflict between good and evil, in a sense between “darkness” and “light” though these are not mentioned. Indeed there is much left unsaid: we are note told the origin of John the Baptizer, nor is there any explanation of his baptism. It is all presented like a “given” which the hearer is expected to understand or know. Nevertheless there is a crucial distinction being made in the passage between the baptism of John and the Baptism of the One who is to Come: “ I have baptized you with water; but the Coming One will baptize you with the Holy Spirit." In short, John’s baptism is only a glimpse of what is yet to come. This in no sense means to suggest there are “two baptisms” required for salvation, only that John’s understands himself to be the forerunner for a still more “powerful” Lord.
3. Strategy: Mark 1:1-15
This is surely one of the most compelling pericopes in the entire Gospel. And yet how easily the themes of urgency and forgiveness can be lost from our view during this hectic season of preparation for the coming of Christ. More than enough has been said about the shallowness and superficial materialism of the commercial Advent.
Enough said. The danger is that we all can easily fall into the trap of making ourselves feel guilty about the self-indulgence of Christmas, as if John were aiming his message of “good news” at the credit card companies and plastic toy manufacturers. Nor is it
sufficient to engage in preparatory nostalgia for Christmas Past. This is first and foremost a text about the God’s future reality breaking into our humdrum present and transforming it with the power of the Holy Spirit. In short, it is the Annunciation of One who is to Come, only this time to the whole cosmos.
Thus the dual theme of metanoia and forgiveness is critical to the text. Without this as the centerpiece of the sermon, the message may be hopelessly corrupted. As Thor Hall said bluntly expressed it many years ago:
“ Much preaching during Advent is dangerously close to misrepresenting the biblical message. Not a few among us reverse the factors and proclaim that God’s coming is a result of proper preparation. Not only during Advent do we twist things this way. We often preach as if repentance precedes grace and grace is the consequence of faith. But this is a misunderstanding of the nature of grace and a misrepresentation of the relationship between God and us.” (Proclamation, Series B, Advent/Christmas, Phila.: Fortress, 1975, p. 11).
This is precisely what vexes us as we try to preach this text, proclaim this Good News.
We are heavy laden with all the bad news which drones about us like flies on the dungheap of “civilization.” As I write this I am appalled by the “news” of the world. Mindless violence and bloodshed on our streets....A fatal stabbing in my child’s high school classroom....The “news” from the National Rifle Association about still more “powerful” bullets now designed to rip apart inside the bodies of their victims.... (These were previously used only by criminals and mafiosi hit men...But now they are considered “respectable” for middle class and upper class American gun-handlers.)
Two children on trial for the brutal murder of a toddler....The spectre of horrible death by starvation and the slaughter of the innocents in Sarajevo....The absurdity of MTV’s “Beavis and Butthead”.....The “buying” and selling of Native American tribal leaders and whole communities being swept away by national frenzy of Gambling and Greed.... The possible “buying” of an election by corrupt politicians in one of the states where representative democracy was originally born in the USA.....And, most pathetically, the discovery in a small town in Massachusetts that an eccentric old woman had died and lain unnoticed locked inside her house for a full four years....The atrocity has become the commonplace.
In such an context it would be easy for us to become cynical or depressed and to miss entirely the message of the simpleton and oddball, John the Baptist, dressed in his animal skins and gnawing on insects and bee’s wax and honey. Yet isn’t it exactly the simplicity of it all which we are missing? John’s message is so very, very simple. It is almost impossible to miss the point, and yet somehow we often do. He is saying, more or less, that it is in these very dark and devious times when the Lord comes to us, showing his power in strange and mysterious ways. For me it is not unlike the message of the Shaker people who came to America from England so long ago, and who now have dwindled to a few old women. The discipline of celibacy did not do much to spread their faith. Yet in spite of this, they left behind them signs and artifacts which witness to the Lord and to a simpler living of life in the Holy Spirit. Perhaps nothing tells this better than their old hymn, Simple Gifts:
‘Tis the gift to be simple,
‘tis the gift to be free, ‘tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
and when we find ourselves in the place just right,
‘twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gained,
To bow and to bend we shan’t be ashamed;
To turn, turn, will be our delight,
‘Til by turning, turning, we come round right.”
(--from Early Shaker Spirituals, ed. D. W. Patterson, United Society of Shakers: Sabbathday Lake, Maine, 1976. Recorded from 1963-1976 on Rounder Records # 0078, 186 Willow Avenue, Somerville, Massachusetts 02144.)
Now the point is not to recruit anyone to become a Shaker. The Shaker life is not for everyone. But all of us could learn a great deal from the spirituality and piety of these now forgotten people who spread throughout the northeastern United States. Above all, their understanding of the coming of the Spirit as a “Gift” is so very timely when we are about the giving and receiving of material gifts. Shaker worship was spare, unaccompanied, but filled with spiritual fervor. Their doctrines were stark and even harsh, but no harsher than John the Baptist. Indeed, one thing we can perhaps learn from them was in dealing with the widening gap between their values and beliefs and those of “the world.” Surely those who those who would follow Jesus today will find his “way” to be difficult and his “paths” to be extremely straight and narrow. Only through honest self-examination and metanoia can we repent of our past. Yet only through God’s forgiving love can we truly “turn” out as we have been called. Then and only then will we find ourselves in a spiritual “valley of love and delight” until we do in deed by our “turning” “come out right.”
Timothy Jolley, O.H.C., an Anglican Benedictine monk, once wrote of his experience in a small “valley of love and delight, ” a South African squatter camp named Vlakfontein. It is no bucolic valley of love, but actually the valley of the shadow of death and despair. It is literally “ five thousand people struggling to stay alive with everything pitted against them.” But in the midst of them there lives an elderly priest named Fr. Jeremy who “lives a peace which sparkles in his eyes each time he laughs with the children” there. After a brief sojourn among the poor and malnourished of Vlakfontein, Brother Timothy spoke of his return to the comfort and safety of the Big City: “I wearied as I saw the land of civilized masks perched on the horizon awaiting my return like a patient vulture.”
(from Mundi Medicina: Newsletter of the Holy Cross Monastery, W. Park, N.Y.,
June ‘92, reprinted in Weavings, v. VIII, n. 3, May/June ‘93, pp. 34-38.)
Each and every one of us each day of our lives is drawn toward the “valley of love and delight” which our Lord has prepared for us. Yet each day of our lives we are also called to contend with powers of evil and injustice which so permeate our world that it has become a valley of the shadow of death. May we find strength and peace and hope in the proclamation of John the Baptist, who tells in simple words of the powerful Lord who comes after him. To be simple in this way, in John the Baptist’s way, truly...it is a Gift!
For further reading on the American Shakers, I can think of no better place to start than the inexpensive Dover book by Edward Deming Andrews, The People Called Shakers (New York: Dover, 1963). Andrews was the greatest Shaker scholar in American history because he was the first to gain a deeper and more sympathetic understanding of the Shaker people after generations of curiousity-seekers and sensationalists had dismissed them as an esoteric sect or cult. A visit to any of the many restored Shaker villages (from Sabbathday Lake, Maine, to Kentucky to Ohio) is for many people today a veritable “pilgrimage,” and one from which they glean many spiritual learnings.
The article by Bro. Timothy Jolley is from one of our favorite publications, Weavings, long edited with great care and attention to detail by John S. Mogabgab and printed in a beautiful format by the Upper Room (1908 Grand Avenue, Box 189, Nashville, Tennessee 37202-9929).
When not at his desk, John enjoys hiking, canoeing, and wading rivers with
fly rod in hand. Weavings remains one of the finest ecumenical
publications in North America:
5. Music Suggestions
Would it be too bold to invite the congregation to sing “Simple Gifts” on this day? How about Dona Nobis Pacem…or one of the other favorite old “simple songs” gathered into the 1996 “Christmas Revels Songbook” by John Langstaff (1920-2005)? That particular songbook is a welcome music resource at any time of year, but especially as the solstice draws near. Various texts and settings of the Shaker tune abound, including Aaron Copland’s famous version in “Appalachian Spring.” Perhaps it could serve as a gentle reminder that the ultimate charisms are inner, spiritual ones and not the glittering, gaudy, outward trappings of this commodified world of ours.
For some reason, the Hymnbook 1982 was richly blessed with “Advent Carols” on the theme of John the Baptist, a practice emulated in the ELCA’s ‘cranberry’ hymnal as well. The non-Episcopalians among us would do well to get hold of a copy and search its pages diligently.
Hymns in keeping with The feast of St. Mark include:
Herald, sound the note of judgment! (HB 70)
O Lord, How Shall I Meet You (LBW 23)
Once he came in Blessing (HB 53)
On Jordan’s banks the Baptist’s cry (LBW 36, HB 76)
Prepare the way, O Zion (HB 65)
There’s a voice in the wilderness crying (HB 75)
What is the crying at Jordan? (HB 69) - This is particularly beautiful text by Carol Drake (b. 1933) sung to an Irish melody. It captures well the urgency of the Marcan text.
Exegete - David Buehler, Ph.D., teaches on Ethics, Violence, and Food at Providence College In Rhode Island, and has edited Lexegete for two decades.
Philip and James, Apostles
May 1, 2010
Psalm 44:1-3, 20-26 (26)
2 Corinthians 4:1-6
Prayer of the Day
Almighty God, you gave to your apostles Philip and James grace and strength to bear witness to your Son. Grant that we, remembering their victory of faith, may glorify in life and death the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Alleluia. You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea | and Samaria, and to the ends | of the earth. Alleluia. (Acts 1:8)
1a. CONTEXT: JOHN 14:8-14
Pericopes for the Easter season model and recreate the experience of
discovering the Risen Jesus. We move from finding the empty tomb (Easter
Vigil, and Easter Sunday), to seeing Jesus among us (2 & 3 Easter), to a
basic appreciation of the continuing presence of the Risen Lord (4 & 5
Easter), to the reality that Jesus lives in and through a community that
draws all people to God (6, 7 Easter and Ascension). Far from observing
the resurrection of Our Lord from afar, in the Easter season, we
participate in it. (See also Adrian Nocent, OSB, The Liturgical Year, Vol. 3:
The Easter Season, Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 1977. Pp. 146-150
and p. 205 ff. )
The Gospel for today is part of this unfolding reality of resurrected life.
Although it may sound disjointed on first hearing some phrases will
undoubtedly catch the attention of both hearer and preacher: verse 6 "I am
the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but by me."
Many of us can recite this by heart, and we can easily count the times this
phrase appears in tracts and billboards.
A further 'hook' for both hearer and preacher is the fact that part (v. 1-12)
of this lesson is a proper for the funeral liturgies in both BCP and LBW
with the reference (v. 2-3) concerning 'rooms' in the Father's house. For
many this paints a picture of a heavenly home waiting for the deceased.
Though rooted in our tradition in the doctrine of Christian hope, the
popular picture may avert our attention from the presence of Christ now to
a picture that does dirt to both tradition and doctrine.
A third issue for hearer and preacher arises out of vv. 13-14: whatever we
ask in Jesus' name we will get. Sounds easy and, perhaps, magical? The
truth of this pericope lies at the heart of John's high Christology-- with
its equally high calling to all believers. These pictures expose the
preacher to the possibility of distraction from the evangelists intent and
the congregations needs. The struggle between the easy, familiar
interpretations of scripture and a true meeting of Jesus as the Christ is at
the heart of the Gospel of John.
1b. TEXT: JOHN 14:8-14
8 λεγει αυτω φιλιππος, κυριε, δειξον ημιν τον πατερα, και αρκει ημιν. 9λεγει αυτω ο ιησους, τοσουτω χρονω μεθ υμων ειμι και ουκ εγνωκας με, φιλιππε; ο εωρακως εμε εωρακεν τον πατερα: πως συ λεγεις, δειξον ημιν τον πατερα; 10ου πιστευεις οτι εγω εν τω πατρι και ο πατηρ εν εμοι εστιν; τα ρηματα α εγω λεγω υμιν απ εμαυτου ου λαλω: ο δε πατηρ εν εμοι μενων ποιει τα εργα αυτου. 11πιστευετε μοι οτι εγω εν τω πατρι και ο πατηρ εν εμοι: ει δε μη, δια τα εργα αυτα πιστευετε. 12αμην αμην λεγω υμιν, ο πιστευων εις εμε τα εργα α εγω ποιω κακεινος ποιησει, και μειζονα τουτων ποιησει, οτι εγω προς τον πατερα πορευομαι: 13και ο τι αν αιτησητε εν τω ονοματι μου τουτο ποιησω, ινα δοξασθη ο πατηρ εν τω υιω: 14εαν τι αιτησητε με εν τω ονοματι μου εγω ποιησω.
Novum Testamentum Graece, Nestle-Aland 26th edition © 1979, Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart; The Greek New Testament, 3rd edition © 1975, United Bible Societies, London
ESV Bible: http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/
8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves. 12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me  anything in my name, I will do it.
N.B. - The ESV STUDY BIBLE (and its online edition) were named as the 2009 Christian Book of the Year.... Dallas, TX—The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) announced tonight the winners of the 2009 Christian Book Awards during the 2009 Christian Book Expo (CBE) in Dallas. For the first time in the award’s 30-year history, a study Bible was named Christian Book of the Year, the ESV Study Bible (Crossway). The ESV Study Bible, which sold more than 180,000 units within five months of release, also won its category for best Bible, the first time a Bible has won both its category and the overall Christian Book of the Year award.
2. ANALYSIS: JOHN 14:8-14
The passage contains three distinct pieces: 8-11; 12; 13-14. John has a tendency to overlap sections, (Anchor Bible, volume 29A, The Gospel of John, page 623) so 13-14 both ends this pericope and begins the next, about the Paraclete. I divide the passage into sections for reasons of structure, as follows:
If you had known me, you would have known my Father also.(7)
Philip: Show us the Father, then we'll be satisfied.(8)
Have I been with you so long…?(9)…the Father dwells in me does his works.(10)
Believe me because I am in the Father and the Father in me or believe me
because of the works themselves.(11)
Jesus is leaving; what will become of the disciples? At the time of
the final redaction of John, if Brown's or Martyn's reconstruction of the
Johaninne church is at all realistic, the question is more accurately what
is to become of the church in the face of expulsion from the Jewish
community and in the face of the non-return of the Messiah? Expectation
for a return of the Messiah becomes, in light of the high Christology of the
later John, an understanding of the Christ present in the church. John's
assurance to the church is that as Jesus and the Father are one, so also,
through Christ are God and the church one. The sign that Jesus will still
be present even in his 'absence' is belief: "Believe in God…also in me" (1)
and "Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me…" (11). So the
first two sections are built very carefully to express this.
John 14:8ff. - 'The way, the truth and the life' are not in sequence or separate concepts, but expanding and built on each other. If to 'know' the Christ is to be
transformed, than truly Jesus is the 'way' in the sense of beginning a
journey. The 'truth' brings a changed perspective on ourselves, God and the
world. The 'life' is both eternal life and a changed one as we seek to be
like Jesus in faithfulness and obedience. If one looks at this passage as
perhaps St. Benedict might have, from the stand point of a rule-- a
disciplined map-- of life, we see how both the Evangelist and Jesus were
concerned for transformation of the person for God.
Thomas' and Philip's questions bring us back to our own situation as well
as to the Gospel's setting for the discourse (the Last Supper). They
sandwich the basic question for John: How do we (in more Synoptic
language) "inherit the Kingdom"? How do we know the Father? To be
shown the Father will not "suffice", as Philip and we think. In John's view,
seeing God in Jesus Christ will draw us more deeply into the 'way', which
will change our lives. So the Evangelist answers Philip's question about
'seeing' (and 'knowing') before he asks it, to move us into a discussion of
what that life will be like.
14:11 pisteuete moi hoti 'ego eu to patri kai ho pater eu 'emo. ei de me,
dia ta ' erga auta pisteuete. Brown: "Real belief in the works involves
the ability to understand their role as signs…." The works reveal that
Jesus is in the Father and the Father in Jesus. Rather than a distiction
between knowing Jesus' identity with God and seeing Jesus' works, as
implied in the English, the things Jesus do are a sign-- a sacrament-- of
Jesus' relationship to God. Jesus' oneness with God is both self-evident to
those who have eyes to see, and shown-off by what Jesus does.
But as the next section shows us, the Evangelist clearly thinks that Jesus
is not the only one who shows-off a relationship to God:
A He who believes in me (12a)
B will also do the works that I do (12b)
B' greater works than these will he do (12c)
A' because I go to the Father. (12d)
Verse 12 takes us from belief to power. Through Christ, humanity is
united with God which enables the Christian to share in the power Jesus
has. Jesus going to the Father is linked with our believing in Jesus.
Frequently, in the Synoptic tradition the works of the disciples after the
resurrection are like the miracles of Jesus himself; for John, there is no
list of marvelous works at our disposal. The 'work' ( erga) is to draw
people to God, as Jesus does; to be expressions of God, as Jesus is. In
other words, to show the way is by being on the way.
2c. a Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, (13a)
b that the Father may be glorified in the Son (13b)
a' if you (me) ask anything in my name, I will do it. (14)
Because Jesus and God the Father are one, as we become one with Jesus (or
as the Evangelist might say "know that Jesus is the Christ"!) we will
become one with God. The effect of this is that our will and spirit become
conformed to God's. So the effect of this is a two-way street: as we
become conformed to Christ, we ask and recieve what we ask; on the other
hand, Jesus works through us as we grow in Christ. John Climacus is
quoted in Esther deWaal's Seeking God: "God gives prayer to the man who
3. STRATEGY: JOHN 14:8-14
There are, as I have already noted, three possible 'booby-traps' both for the
hearer and the preacher in this Paschal gospel-text: the image of
mansions/houses/rooms in heaven; "I am the way"; and "Whatever you
ask…I will do". Fortunately, the most common misconceptions surrounding
these passages do have a base in Christian theology. The image of
mansions in our Father's house does generally point to the fact that God is
bringing all things to completion. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life,
by breaking down the barriers between ourselves and God. And we can
expect have done what we pray, as we live in conformity with the mind of
Christ as we grow in maturity with him among his people. So the preacher
does not have to fight the images we already have, so much as use them as
keys into a deeper understanding of Jesus' and John's message to the
The funeral liturgy could be a way into the passage--even during
Eastertide, perhaps especially just now! The picture of rooms or mansions
can be turned from a romantic reasurrance to an image of power by noting
that the room was prepared for us on the cross, was given to us at our
baptisms and we live in it now just as surely as we will after we have
There are many connections with the second lesson. I Peter 2:1-10
presents several coresponding images to the Gospel: putting away all
malice and nurturing in the life of Christ (I Peter 2:1-3) to knowing Jesus
as the way (John 14:4,6); Peter's spiritual house (oike) and John's mona^
--both being in and living in Christ; John's "works" (14:11b, 12) and the
priesthood described in I Peter 2:4-6-- both declaring the "wonderous
deed of him who called you out of darkness" (I Peter 2:9).
As I have said, I think a key to understanding of John's gospel is
understanding 14:6 both as a Christological affirmation and as way of life
to be put on. "The NT thought of Jesus as truth revealed. His resurrection
became the principle clue through which all other truths were to be
grasped and clarified." (Thomas C. Oden, Pastoral Theology: Essentials of
Ministry, San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1983.) And that discovery leads to
a new pattern of life in intimate relation to God through Christ Jesus.
Archbishop Ramsey said, "The whole Jesus demands the whole man." Jesus
is not only is the way, the truth, the life-- but our way, our truth, our
life. How that unfolds for us is the wonder of real life made holy in Jesus
4. REFERENCES: JOHN 14:8-14
Brown, Raymond E. THE COMMUNITY OF THE BELOVED DISCIPLE. New York:
Paulist Press, 1979.
______________. THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN. Anchor Bible, vol. 29A
Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1970.
Nocent, Adrian,OSB. THE LITURGICAL YEAR. Volume 3: Easter Season.
Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1977.
Oden, Thomas. PASTORAL THEOLOGY. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1983.
Schoenfeld, H. THE ORIGINAL NEW TESTAMENT. New York: Harper and Row,
5. MUSIC SUGGESTIONS: JOHN 14:8-14
Thou art the Way (LBW 464, HB 457)
Christ is Made the Sure Foundation (LBW 367, HB 518)
Jesus Shall Reign ( LBW 530, HB 544)
Christ is Alive, Let Christians Sing (LBW 363, HB 182)
All Hail The Power of Jesus' Name (LBW 328/9, HB 450/l)
Exegete: Andrew T. Gerns, AOA (Associate, Order of the Ascension)
Rector, Trinity Episcopal Church, Easton, PA
Lexegete™ © 2010
Dartmouth, MA 02747