Soundings

Want to learn more from different perspectives about our lessons? Soundings is a an opportunity for our Clergy to provide different insights into our readings and scripture. You may not always agree with the Clergy's interpretations. But that is why Soundings was created. To invite thoughtful discussion. You are welcome to email the author of each article to provide your comments. Welcome to Soundings!

Resisting the Apocalyptic Temptation

By Father David Fisher

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”Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
”I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.”- James Baldwin
The apocalyptic temptation is a temptation to hate; in the words of Psalm 139: “Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord?/ And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?/ I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them my enemies.”

Apocalyptic texts such as Mark 13 convey a particular theological mind set and a symbolic world that can be found in all religions, both Christian and non-Christian. In apocalyptic, the world is seen as a vast battlefield on which a war of cosmic dimensions between good and evil is being waged, and the committed believer seen as a divine warrior on the side of light and good. This cosmic dualism of good versus evil, light versus darkness, and truth versus falsehood etches a deep imprint on the religious imagination, and encourages the idealization of one’s own group and demonization of the other.

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Celebrating the Feast of Christ the King

By Father David Fisher

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In her book, Sanctuary: Being Christian In the Wake of Trump, Heidi Neumark makes an interesting comment about the origin of the Feast of Christ the King: “For churches that follow a calendar of liturgical seasons, Christ the King Sunday falls on the final Sunday of the church year, the Sunday before Advent, crowning the year. It’s a relatively recent addition to the calendar that was introduced by Pope Pius XI in 1925 as the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.

In 1925, in Italy, where the pope lived, Benito Mussolini, the leader of the National Fascist Party, had claimed that supremacy for himself. Over in Germany, also in 1925, Hitler had published his antisemitic manifesto, Mein Kampf, and rose in his bid for absolute power as the leader of the Nazi party. In light of these political developments, Pius XI decided to boldly assert that Jesus Christ is the one who reigns supreme and to remind Christians that their allegiance is to their spiritual ruler, Jesus Christ, as opposed to any earthly leader who claimed supremacy.”

True God

By Father David Fisher

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Thomas Cranmer, in his Catechism of 1548 wrote that “...by fearing, by trusting, and by loving, we may easily make a god out of a creature, which indeed is no god, but rather an idol, set up by our own fancy. But this is a horrible sin against the first commandment of God, and so much the more perilous, because it lurks in the corners of man's heart most secretly. When a man fears any creature, and thinks thus with himself, 'If such a thing be taken away from me; if such a great man be angry with me; if I escape not such a danger, then I am utterly undone, then I know not whither to run for aid and succour. Whither then shall I go? Who shall save or help me? If thou have any such thought of any creature truly in thy heart, thou makest it a god, although with thy mouth thou dost not call it a god.

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Allhallowtide

By Father David Fisher

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Allhallowtide is the Western Christian season encompassing the triduum of All Saints' Eve (Halloween), All Saints' Day (All Hallows') and All Souls' Day. The period begins on 31 October annually. Allhallowtide is a "time to remember the dead, including martyrs, saints, and all faithful departed Christians." All Hallows' Eve, often contracted as Halloween, is the eve of All Hallows (All Saints' Day), and the first day of the Allhallowtide.

On All Hallows' Eve, some believed that the veil between the material world and the afterlife thinned. In order to prevent recognition by a soul, "people would don masks or costumes to disguise their identities"; in North America, this tradition is perpetuated through the practice of trick or treating.

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