January 20, 2013

                           Good morning and welcome to St. Mary’s Church

Saturday, January 26 at 10:30 am - Memorial Service for the Rev. Robert Castle. All are invited to attend. You are also invited to bring pictures and notes for a remembrance book for Mrs. Kate Castle.

Economic times, especially since hurricane Sandy, have become very challenging for many here at St Mary’s. If you have the means to contribute to the clergy Discretionary account, which helps these in needs, please consider making a contribution. Thank You. Father Tom.

Stewardship and your pledge – As a community, we share in many ways. We give God and each other prayer, time, togetherness, talents and tithing. Turning in a pledge card is a demonstration of your commitment, and helps with planning for 2013. We thank you if you have already pledged. If you have not pledged, please prayerfully consider your pledge to St. Mary’s for 2013, and turn in a pledge card today.

Bulletin announcements: If you need an announcement listed in the bulletin for the next Sunday, email Ms. Gwen by 5: pm at allowances1@gmail.com on Wednesdays.

Father Tom’s days off are Monday and Tuesday, he is available those days by phone in cases of emergencies at 1-646-692-8355… Thank you for your co-operation!

Commentary on the Readings by Arthur Cash

First Reading: Isaiah 62: 1-5

Third Isaiah here sings the praises of the Jews returning from the Babylonian exile, asking that their greatness be recognized, not only by the world, but also by the Jews themselves. When you get home and rebuild your nation, Isaiah tells them, you will emerge “a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord.” You yourselves will become a new people, and to symbolize that, God is going to change your names. Here I think the translators and editors of the New Revised Standard Version (from which are lessons are taken) made a bad choice. In the King James Bible, the name Forsaken is replaced by the name Hephzibah. But in our translation (NRSV) the new name is “My Delight is in Her.” This is awkward.  English speaking peoples never or very rarely use independent clauses as names. It is true that the Hebrew word Hephzibah means “She is delightful.” But the editors of the NRSV could easily supply that information in a footnote. In a similar manner, the editors should have followed the precedent set in the King James and allowed the name Desolate to be replaced by Beulah, which means “married.” When I was a boy, the name Beulah was not uncommon, and once in a great while one heard of someone named Hephzibah.

Second Reading: I Corinthians 12: 1-11

Today we begin a series of lessons from the remarkable Chapters 12 to 15 of Paul’s First letter to the Christian colony at Corinth. In the first letter of the series, we find Paul trying to set right the squabbles among the people about who does what in the worship services. Paul points out, first, that individuals have talents differing from the talents of others. In this community, each person should use his talent for the benefits of all. Paul reminds this congregation, made up primarily of Greek converts, that in their former lives they had been led by evil spirits into the worship of dumb idols. As Christians, they are led by the Holy Spirit to worship the living God. They are unified by baptism and by the giver of their particular talents, who is the Holy Spirit. So Jews, Greeks, Slaves, freemen are one body.

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