The vials of the wrath of God

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Dear friends in Christ,

The vials of the wrath of God. The Sunday class continues its study of the Revelation of Saint John the Divine on Sunday, January 29 at 10 a.m. In the sixteenth chapter of the Apocalypse, the images John sees continue to darken as the Prince of Peace overcomes the powers and principalities of the world. The class meets on the fifth floor and previous attendance is not required.

The Spring Theology Lecture. The Rev. Fleming Rutledge is the speaker for the Spring Theology Lecture this year. Her most recent book, Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ, has been highly praised across the ecumenical spectrum, garnering praise from many quarters. Katherine Sonderegger of Virginia Theological Seminary writes of Crucifixion,

“Fleming Rutledge here lays out the horror of the cross with unflinching honesty and with a patient, full exposition of the rich themes of Christ’s redeeming death. She does not shy away from the demands of her theological vision, taking up motifs of satisfaction, substitution, rectification, and divine wrath in turn. Throughout, Rutledge draws on the rich storehouse of a preacher. The whole world stands under her gaze – literary examples, political folly and cruelty, horrendous evils of war and torment and torture, religious timidity and self-deception, human faithlessness and sin. But always the gospel rings out. Christ’s cross has won the victory, and it is all from God. This book is a moving testimony to the courage, intelligence, and faithfulness of one of the church’s premier preachers. Every student of the Scriptures needs this book.”

The lecture is on Wednesday, March 8, at 6:30 p.m.

The Psalms: Placeholders of Memory. On Sunday, February 12, at 10 a.m., the Rector gives an introductory talk about the psalms. In particular, he looks at how they are an important part of the life of the Church and its liturgy, and examines them in relation to folk music and folk melody around the world as a means of remembering stories and binding people together in community. Father Turner hopes to offer further talks on the different genres of psalms and the way they have been an essential part of the daily office in cathedrals and parishes, monastic houses, and everyday homes.

The Rector’s Christian Doctrine Class: God the Holy Spirit: Being “fully alive” with the gifts of the Spirit. This class continues on Tuesday, January 31 at 6:30 p.m. in Andrew Hall. Primarily intended for those who wish to be confirmed or received into the Episcopal Church, it is also open to any who are interested in the topic of the day.

J. S. Bach the Christian. It has been said that “Beethoven tells you what it’s like to be Beethoven and Mozart tells you what it’s like to be human. Bach tells you what it’s like to be the universe.” In a fascinating recent article in the New Yorker, titled “Bach’s Holy Dread,” the author reviews several recent books that take up a less-studied aspect of the much-studied composer: his “unruly obsession with God.” It isn’t wholly complimentary: Bach’s extant remarks on Judaism bear uncomfortable anti-Judaic overtones. Nonetheless, the portrait that results is one of a faithful Christian, struggling with an earthly faith, resulting in heavenly music.

Yours in Christ, Joel