A Rainbow for All

What a relief! The church lectionary skips about ten chapters in the Book of Isaiah and we jump today to chapter 25, a wonderful pause from God's apocalyptic threats. Here instead we find again the image of God as savior and provider for the poor and the suffering. It is the perfect companion to today's reading in Genesis …

Synthetic Lives

It is always amusing to watch the squabbles of pop stars and entertainment icons. The latest is the one between the pop singer Elton John and the fashion icons Dolce & Gabbana. Of course it's hypocritical of D&G to use words like 'synthetic' when everything they stand for is synthetic. High fashion is synthetic; the …

God’s π

Yesterday, March 14, marked the annual observance of Pi Day. It only works in the American way of writing dates, so it's mostly in this country that mathematicians get excited. But yesterday wasn't just March 14, it was March 14, 2015: 3-14-15 in the usual shorthand that we write dates, and Pi to four decimal places …

Apocalypse Again?

The reading from Genesis 8:4-21 brings to an end the narrative of the Flood and we hear God make a promise to Noah:  Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And when the Lord smelled the pleasing odor, the LORD said in his …

Gregory Palamas and the Theology of Deification

The second in a short series of Bible Study classes exploring the themes of the Sundays of Lent focused on St. Gregory Palamas, who is commemorated on the Second Sunday of Lent in the Orthodox Church (last Sunday, March 8th). Palamas is most associated with the Orthodox doctrines of deification and the distinction of essence and energies. …

Apocalypse Now!

The daily readings from Genesis this week, Monday-Friday, take us through a grindingly slow reading of the entire flood narrative (Genesis 6:9-8:22). I see no need to spend time on the separate daily readings from these chapters of Genesis this week. The story makes for expensive special effects in a lame Hollywood movie - though one must be fair and …

When times are critical

The primeval story reaches a cataclysmic climax. Genesis 5:32-6:8 introduces Noah in the midst of a world on the edge of apocalypse. And indeed the language is apocalyptic, straight out of a science-fiction movie. There are "sons of God" who seem to be angelic beings that come down to earth to take earthly women as …

Holy, Holy, Holy

Today I want to focus on the Isaiah reading, though Genesis will not be totally ignored. Isaiah 6:1-12 is the vision in the temple of God's holiness. It is an extraordinary passage. Ezekiel (chapter 1) was granted a vision of the glory of God that is much wilder and phantasmagorical than Isaiah's vision; but there too the voice …