Desperate times call for desperate measures, or so the saying goes. If today’s Gospel passage is anything to go by, those in authority in Jerusalem were getting rather desperate. Jesus was growing into a more obvious threat to their peace of mind. After riding into Jerusalem in triumph to the acclaim of the crowds, Jesus had cleared the Temple of the traders there. The challenge of the priests had had no effect. Even worse, when Jesus was in the Temple the next day he had humiliated the chief priests and leaders by leaving them unable to decide how to answer him when he asked if John the Baptist was sent from God. Jesus went on to tell parables which were obviously directed at the leaders. It’s easy to understand why the leaders of the Jews were becoming more and more angry and desperate to get rid of Jesus. Continue reading
Few weeks go by without someone saying just how wonderful it is that we who come from all over the world can gather in cathedral and chapel on Epiphany Island to worship God and pray together. Technology allows us to do something we could not do in our offline lives. I know that these times of coming together mean a great deal to many in our community. They remind them of God, they encourage them in their daily walk with Christ, they comfort them in times of trouble.
Gathering for worship meant a lot to the people to whom our passage from Isaiah was addressed. These were the people of Judah who had come back from exile in Babylon. Anyone with a fairly basic knowledge of the Old Testament is probably aware that God tried and tried through his prophets to help his people keep their side of the covenant. They turned away, worshipped other gods and seemed quite dismissive of the power which God has to bless and to punish. In the end, the inevitable happened and they were punished for their unfaithfulness. Once back home, it’s easy to imagine how dedicated to God they would be out of gratitude and relief. Continue reading