Advent 2 – John’s Rough Comfort – December 6, 2020

John’s Rough Comfort

#HandelsMessiahComfort, O comfort my people, Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, the prophet Isaiah says.  Today’s passage from Isaiah is one of its most tender and beautiful sections.  Most of Handel’s Messiah comes from this passage — O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion, Ev’ry Valley Shall Be Exalted, the Hallelujah Chorus.  You can hear the carol Comfort, Comfort Ye My People in these words, and Go Tell It On the Mountain.  And how about Prepare Ye The Way of the Lord from the rock musical Godspell?

The passage we read from Isaiah this morning is so very important that Mark’s Gospel begins with it, right after the statement of the Gospel’s purpose.  …

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All Saints’ Day – Wear Your Pearls on All Saints’ Day – November 1, 2020

Wear Your Pearls On All Saints’ Day

#EmmanuelNewportWe celebrate All Saints’ Day today with the Beatitudes from Matthew’s gospel.  In the Episcopal Church, All Saints’ Day is one of the seven principal feasts of the church year, and one of the four days that we baptize new Christians.  Why do we read the Beatitudes on All Saints’ Day?  For a couple of reasons, right off the bat.

First, being a saint is about being blessed, and the Beatitudes are all about being blessed blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are those who mourn, blessed are the meek.  The saints are blessed — and the ones who go through the process of canonization are beatified, another form …

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