went to church regularly… well, synagogue actually. But according to the
writer of the Gospel of Luke, he customarily went to synagogue on the
Sabbath, “as was
his custom” (Luke 14:16). As he was one of the men in the synagogue,
Jesus was also a “lay reader” (Luke 14:17) reading from the Torah, which
should please and validate lectors and lay readers everywhere.
Majesty Queen Elizabeth II also goes to church regularly. Most everyone
knows that I am professed Royal Family groupie, evidenced by the
numerous Internet photos
I find of HM The Queen, attending church most every Sunday and wearing
some brightly colored ensemble complete with matching hat and shoes and
If Jesus and The Queen go to synagogue/church regularly, well then… we should also!
week’s Gospel story is a wonderful double whammy for us: Jesus stands
to read in the synagogue, is handed the scroll of the prophet Isaiah,
and in his reading
proclaims to the world just who he is while validating the old prophet
Isaiah’s own words: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has
anointed me to bring good news to the poor.”
you imagine what sitting in the synagogue that day would have been
like? I can just hear the comments now. “Who is this guy, and who does
he think he is?” On the
other hand, someone there might have said, “I was at that big wedding
last week, and I witnessed him turn huge jugs of water into wine. He
must be the one sent by God.”
New Testament contains numerous instances where Old Testament scripture
is quoted within the New Testament writings. These double whammies
always capture my attention,
as I think there is double meaning that I must understand or a double
message that I must glean.
Edward Elgar’s (1857-1934) “The Spirit of the Lord” is probably the
best known choral setting of this beautiful text. It is a movement from
his oratorio The
Apostles, Op. 49 (1903), a narrative choral work depicting the
calling of the apostles and their reactions to Jesus’ teaching,
crucifixion and ascension.
Sir Edward is probably best known for his Pomp and Circumstance marches
written between 1903 and 1930. When Sir Arthur Sullivan died in 1900,
many in England
considered Elgar to be the successor of Sullivan as “first musician in
the land.” He received numerous honors during his lifetime including
being named Master of the King’s Musick in 1924. He held nine honorary
doctorates including Yale University and the University
of Pittsburgh in the USA.
originally scored for double chorus and full orchestra, the opening and
closing sections of this Sunday’s 10:30 anthem “The Spirit of the Lord”
hushed, spellbinding and immediately captivating. Elgar’s masterful
craft is exhibited by this scoring for huge musical resources and then
calling for the most sotto voce sounds, thus making the hearers pay close attention.