Pondering for Monday, March 23, 2020

Part 1 of 2

Daily Office Readings for Monday after the Fourth Sunday of Lent: Year 2

Psalm 89:1-18; Psalm 89:19-52 Gen. 49:1-28; 1 Cor. 10:14-11:1; Mark 7:24-37

“But she answered him, ‘Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.’” (Mark 7: 28)

And with this response from the Syrophoenician mother Our Lord Jesus yielded to her faith.  Some say that this event happened so that we could see God’s inclusive love for all people. Some have even said that this happened as Our Lord Jesus was still learning who he was and the nature of his mission with us.  I prefer the first.  As Jesus intentionally went to lands outside of Israel to heal and teach, it is doubtful that he would not care about this woman’s daughter.  Also, the Syrophoenician mother shows that anyone bringing their problem to our Lord Jesus, if their faith is genuine, they will not be turned away. Thank You Lord Jesus

Part 2 of 2

Daily Office Readings for James De Koven Priest and Teacher, 1879

Psalm 84:7-12  2 Timothy 2:10-15 Matthew 13:31-33

“He put before them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.’” (Matthew 13:31 – 32)

While De Koven’s Day was Yesterday, the 22nd of March, His day was missed because it was a Sunday.  Even with this, He died on the 19th of March but it was already set aside for St Joseph. Poor De Koven, always pushed around.  But I feel the need to lift him up today.

De Koven’s devotion to ritual has kept us as Episcopalians steadfast in our physical discipline of ritual worship.  This same devotion costs him two Episcopates but he kept his tradition anyway. God has blessed us with memory, reason and skill. These gifts are essential in crafting images and art that enable us to focus our attention on God, beyond the crafts and art itself.  Icons, paintings, stained glass, candles, vestments and so on, even our beloved Book of Common Prayer are all items that help us focus on our Creator. “Because of his [De Koven] advocacy of the “ritualist” cause, consents were not given to his consecration as Bishop of Wisconsin in 1874, and of Illinois in 1875” (Great Cloud of Witnesses for March 22). He was a wonderful liturgist and priest and he held on to his traditions no matter the personal costs. I am so thankful for people of principle.

Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do.  John

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