Today in the Spirit: Lent 5A

Posted on March 20, 2023

The designation of Lent 5 as “Passion Sunday” in the BCP 2019 is a return to that same designation in the BCP 1928 (maybe earlier, but I couldn’t find it elsewhere), where also the two-week period from Lent 5 Sunday through Holy Saturday is called “Passiontide.” The Collect and readings assigned in Lent 5A continue…

Today in the Spirit: Lent 4A

Posted on March 13, 2023

Lent is a season the church employs to teach that, by the light of the Son of God coming into the world, darkness opposed to the One God is exposed. In these middle weeks of Lent Year A the church assigns long Gospel readings from the Book of John in which there is significant dialogue…

Today in the Spirit: Lent 3A

Posted on March 6, 2023

“It gives me great pleasure to see the stubbornness of an incorrigible nonconformist warmly acclaimed.” The Scriptures, contrary to Albert Einstein, understand stubborn disobedience to the word of God to be a non-conformity in which the Almighty takes no pleasure (though he forgives it through Christ!). The readings and Collect assigned for Lent 3 every…

Today in the Spirit: Lent 2A

Posted on February 27, 2023

Having established in Lent 1 that the world into which the Son of God has been revealed is inhospitable to say the least, the church assigns Bible readings in Lent 2 which highlight one critical theater of internal conflict for the believer: faith versus works as the path to fellowship with God. The Collect with…

Today in the Spirit: Lent 1A

Posted on February 20, 2023

In the season of Lent our walk with Jesus just as he walked (1 John 2:6) through the liturgical year takes a turn to face the reality of opposition from the devil and rebellion in the human heart both set like armies gathered in formation against the revelation of the Son of God. If Christmas…

The Liturgical Home: Shrove Tuesday

Posted on

It’s time for Shrove Tuesday, also called Pancake Day, Mardi Gras, and Carnival. And I’m excited, not only because we will eat pancakes but also because it means we are only a day away from Lent, my favorite season of the year! The End of the Carnival The word Carnival comes from the Latin expression,…

The History of the Holy Week Collects

Posted on April 10, 2022

In this post we outline the history of the Holy Week Collects, which are found on pages 607-609 of the Book of Common Prayer 2019. In researching this topic, we drew especially from commentaries by Massey Hamilton Shepherd, Jr., Marion J. Hatchett, and C. Frederick Barbee and Paul F. M. Zahl. What is a collect? A collect is…

10 Ways to Preach the Easter Sunday Sermon

Posted on March 27, 2018

Talk about pressure—the Resurrection is the biggest event in the history of the world. Individuals and families who rarely darken the doors of a church will find their way into your sanctuary on Easter. While our culture has morphed the moment into lilies, butterflies, eggs, and bunnies, people still desire to hear this story. And why not?…

Epiphany: A Bridge to the Season of Lent

Posted on February 23, 2017

Next week, Christians worldwide will turn their hearts and minds—and foreheads—to Ash Wednesday. People have begun pondering and discussing what their Lenten practices will be this year. Worship pastors and musicians select hymns and worship songs to ensure we have plenty of ‘alleluias’ before that word is silenced for forty days. Your weekend grocery shopping…

What They are Saying About the Crucifixion

Posted on March 22, 2016

Golgotha, the place of the skull, where nails smashed through the wrists and feet of Jesus, the teacher from Nazareth in Galilee, can stand for the skulls of every genocide. Betrayal by friends, self-preserving denial, making sport with prisoners, the mockery of crowds, spectators drawn to the spectacle, the soldiers doing their duty and dicing…