Welcome to St. Peter's Episcopal, Port Royal
Block Print by Mike Newman
Port Royal Tutoring! (June 13- Aug. 29)
Ken Pogue is reviving the tutoring program for the summer. It will cover PSAT and ACT Test preparation for junior and seniors. It will be held in the Parish house on Monday's nights except for July 4 and 11.
Details are here
Lessons in how to read music from the weekly bulletin.
Current Lesson, Part 14, Aug. 21, 2016 - Information about hymns
Link to the reports from Jan 17 Annual Meeting
Daily meditations in words and music.
Your daily prayer online, since 1999
"We invite you to make a 'Sacred Space' in your day, praying here and now, as you visit our website, with the help of scripture chosen every day and on-screen guidance."
Saints of the Week, August 21 - August 28
|Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux, 1153|
|[Martin de Porres, 1639 and Rosa de Lima, 1617, Witnesses to the Faith in South America]|
|Saint Bartholomew the Apostle|
|Louis, King of France, 1270|
|Thomas Gallaudet, 1902, and Henry Winter Syle, 1890|
|Augustine, Bishop of Hippo and Theologian, 430; also [Moses the Black, Desert Father and Martyr, c. 400]|
August 21, 2016 (full size gallery)
August 22 - 5:30pm, Port Royal Tutoring
August 24 - 1:00pm, Summer Choir
August 27 - Gleaning!
August 28 - 9:00am, Holy Eucharist, Rite I
August 28 - 11:00am, Morning Prayer, Rite II
School supplies! We are collecting school supplies at both services on Aug. 28 for Bowling Greene Elementary or Caroline Social Services. According to the Free Lance-Star, the average family spends $635 preparing for the school year. The school supplies that St Peter’s collects will help families in need with this ongoing expense. Thanks!
Save Sept 23 for Lyra!
Lectionary, August 28, 2016
I. Theme - Our lives should exhibit humility and love
Feast of Simon the Pharisee" - Peter Paul Rubens (1618-1620)
The lectionary readings are here or individually:
Today's readings remind us that our Christian way of life is characterized by humility and love. The wisdom teacher Sirach warns his readers to avoid arrogance, violence and pride. The author of Proverbs counsels about having a humble attitude and being content with one’s own social status. The author of Hebrews urges readers to make Christian love a practical reality in their lives.
At a banquet, Jesus teaches the meaning of true humility.Jesus’ teachings on humility challenge us, and cause us to go deeper—it is not enough to humble ourselves in the presence of others, but to actively reach out and invite those who would not be invited to join in. We are called to live out our witness, especially when it is hard and goes against the grain of the world. How does the invitation of Jesus challenge us at the table as we celebrate?
Some of us may know the honor of sitting at the head table at some social or business function. Because recognition of our importance is a coveted honor, the scene in Jesus' parable of the wedding feast is familiar to us. Who has not looked for his or her place card near the host and been disappointed to find other names at the seats of honor?
The twinge we feel when we do not make the head table at important meetings reveals the fact that we still have a trace of the old nature in us. We want to look rich before people; we forget how rich Christ has made us before God.
Our earthly status is always insecure; it waxes and wanes, and the retirement party inevitably comes. Newcomers take our place, and we are expected to go fishing–or at least stay out of the way of our successors. Not so in God's service. Once a saint, always a saint here. We are never retired from work in the kingdom. Our future is to be more glorious than is our present in God's service.
God continues to give freely to us who are poor in what matters most. Our attempts to emulate God's generosity and hospitality are received and honored when done in the spirit of humility that befits God's image in us. Then, like God, we too can enjoy the company of those who can never repay us.
Gospel this week -"The Way up is Down with God" - Luke 14:1, 7-14
"Feast of Simon the Phrarisee" - Peter Paul Rubens (1618-1620)
I love David Lose’s comment on this passage -“If there was ever a gospel reading that invited a polite yawn, this might be it. I mean, goodness, but Jesus comes off in this scene as a sort of a progressive Miss Manners.” He later backs off of it
Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem. And so this, and all reported encounters with religious authorities, are going to clarify and sharpen the division between Jesus' vision of right now, right here, being the time and the place for the realization of God's Kingdom, and the authorities' anxiety to keep social peace as defined and enforced by the Roman occupiers
He is invited to dinner by the big cheese – “house of a leader of the Pharisees”. Jesus does not seem to be invited for the hospitality of it, but for the hostility of it. The setting seems hostile. Sabbath controversy stories in chapters 6 and 13 had both ended with pharisees on the defensive (6:7; 13:17). Chapter 11 had ended with the pharisees "lying in wait for him, to catch him in something he might say" (11:54).
Thus Jesus is not being watched closely to see what they might learn from him. He is being watched closely to assess just how much of a threat he really might be. He is being tested outside of the admiring crowds. Jesus is watching them very closely in order to make observations about human conduct. He wanted to contrast their kingdom of ritual with the kingdom of God emphasizing mercy and radical inclusion.
The word pharisee can mean "to separate". The Pharisees were a group of people who separated themselves from the riffraff of society. They sought to live holy and pure lives, keeping all of the written and oral Jewish laws. Often in the gospels, Pharisees are pictured as being holier-than-thou types, the religious elite. They felt that they had earned the right to sit at the table with God. They criticize Jesus because he doesn't separate himself from the "sinners and tax collectors."
The Gospel is sandwiched between two other situations. Just before the Gospel Jesus heals a man with dropsy and defended that Sabbath healing. He may have been the bait
There are two main scenes here with advice:
1. Going to banquet sit at the lowest place so you can move up rather than forced down
In Israel, the meal table played a very important role, not only in the family, but in society as well. When an Israelite provided a meal for a guest, even a stranger, it assured him not only of the host’s hospitality, but of his protection Also in Israel (as elsewhere), the meal table was closely tied to one’s social standing. “Pecking order” was reflected in the position one held at the table
Jesus knows that most people would want to take the place of honor. What is interesting is that those who put themselves forward to take the highest or most dignified place might be removed not to the second place but to the lowest place
And, Jesus takes pains to show that this "demotion" is really an experience of humiliation. Rather than seeking to put ourselves forward, we are to wait until we are invited up to the honored position.
When the guests jockeyed for position at the table, Jesus spoke to this evil as well (vv. 7-11). While they believed that “getting ahead” socially required self-assertion and status-seeking, Jesus told them that the way to get ahead was to take the place of less honor and status. Status was gained by giving it up. One is exalted by humbling himself, Jesus said.
Note that Jesus is not criticizing the system but how people operate within it.
His exhortation is to pursue humility, a concept with significant status connotations. Humility was very rarely considered a virtue in Greco-Roman moral discourse
Humility doesn’t mean being passive. Letting others walk all over us Jesus shows by his life that being humble didn't mean being passive, but, when necessary, it meant taking out the whip and driving the self-centered bullies out of the temple.
There is a balance between being humble without self-degradation or shame o letting others "walk all over" us vs. deliberately putting ourselves above others through self-exaltation or arrogance
Exaltation depends too if you are doing the exalting or God Raising up and exaltation belong to God; recognition of one’s lowliness is the proper stance for human beings. The act of humbling oneself is not something for its own sake, but for the sake either of God or of Christ .Jesus advises a strategy of deliberately and consciously living beneath one's presumed status in order to receive even greater honoring later.
Some scholars speculate that this teaching would particularly apply to Luke and his first readers as they were higher status Gentiles, and the mixed-status Christian communities would require them to live beneath their comfort zone. God would later recognize and honor their accepting of lower social standing.
Here is a paradox indeed. The way up is down. To try to “work up” is to risk being “put down.” Those who wish to be honored must be humble and seek the lowly place. Those who strive to attain the place of honor will be humiliated
2. If you are the host, don’t invite who can in turn invite you and be repaid but invite “ the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind” and be repaid by God
St. Bartholomew, the Apostle, August 24
Bartholomew was one of the earliest apostles of Jesus. He has been associated with the name "Nathaniel" only by the process of elimination with other apostles. The Gospel of John introduces him as a friend of Phillip.
Caesarea's Ecclesiastical History claims that following the ascension he traveled in mission to India where he left behind a Gospel of Matthew. Along with Jude, Bartholomew is said to have brought Christianity to Armenia. He was executed for allegedly converting the Armenian King Polymius to Christianity.