The Word Made Flesh: Delving into the Gospel of John

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Dear friends in Christ,

Word made flesh: Delving into the Gospel of John. The Gospel of John holds a unique place in the New Testament. Not only does it differ from the synoptic gospels in some details, it also reads as the most “philosophical” of the gospels. Yet it is still about the person Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Mary. So what does “In the beginning was the Word” tell us about the Jesus who walked on earth, touched and healed those who were ill, and held children in his arms? The task of these two Sunday classes, presented by guest lecturer Matthew Knotts of the University of Leuven, is to orient us to the gospel of John and illuminate what it can teach us about God, his relationship to us, and our relating to him – that is, prayer.

In this first lecture, on March 26 at 10 a.m., we look at the famous Prologue of the Gospel of John, which summarizes the entirety of the Gospel itself. In this soaring text, the author of John encapsulates the entire Paschal Mystery: the story of creation, the incarnation, and the ultimate passion, death, and resurrection of Christ. Here we explore what is meant by “light” and “darkness,” and the claim that the Word came unto his own and his own received him not.

This two-session class concludes April 2.

Rowan Williams in Holy Week. We are pleased to welcome to Saint Thomas the Rt. Rev. Rowan Williams, current head of Magdalene College, Cambridge, and former Archbishop of Canterbury. Williams is giving a series of addresses at the parish during Holy Week (April 9 – 14) with the theme, “Transforming Power: The Cross of Christ and the Kingdoms of the World.” More details about Dr. Williams’s visit are available on a special page on our website. See his preaching and speaking session below:

April 9, Palm Sunday: preaching at the 11 a.m. Liturgy of the Palms and Solemn Eucharist of the Passion
April 10, Holy Monday: speaking after the 5:30 p.m. Solemn Eucharist
April 11, Holy Tuesday: speaking after the 5:30 p.m. Solemn Eucharist
April 12, Holy Wednesday: speaking at 5:30 p.m. before the Office of Tenebrae
April 13, Maundy Thursday: preaching at the 5:30 p.m. Solemn Liturgy
April 14, Good Friday: preaching at the 5:30 p.m. Solemn Liturgy

In addition, Dr. Williams has agreed to talk with the Sunday class at 10 a.m. on April 9 on the topics of Church, theology, and spirituality.

The Rector’s Christian Doctrine Class: “When things go wrong” – Sacramental Confession and Healing ministry.This class continues on Tuesday, March 28, 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.

A long reading list. David Bentley Hart is one of the best American theologians writing right now, and in a recent article listed 25 (or more) books that he would recommend for “a very long trip–maybe a convalescent’s journey down to the seaside to take the purging air, or some other trip suitably Edwardian in nature and extent.” Any thoughts about this list? I’ve read none of them, so all recommendations are welcome.

Finally, in the class on Sunday, March 12, I unsuccessfully attempted to distribute an article I penned a few years ago that took as its subject Rowan Williams and interfaith engagement. It can be found here.

Yours in Christ, Joel