wgafney's blog

Second Chance Saints

I invite you to pray with me on the theme: “Second Chance Saints.” Holy One of Old, open our eyes that we may see. In the Name of the Author, the Word and the Translator. Amen.

This evening’s first lesson, Exodus 35:21-29, comes from the weekly readings of our Jewish sisters and brothers designated for the week that began on Friday evening. The Israelites are in the wilderness – a useful space for a Lenten sermon – and the text itself is put into its final form at a time when Exodus evoked not only Egypt but also Babylon and Persia, not only immigration to Canaan but the longed for return to the Holy Land: A second chance. Since a text without a context is a pretext, let me tell you what has happened and what is really going on here.

A Reflection on Saints Perpetua and Felicity

          Saint Perpetua left us one of the earliest pieces of literature written by a Christian woman. She kept a journal of her conversion and imprisonment up to the moment of her death. One of her companions added the details of her death on 7 March 203 before his own death.

Perpetua and Felicity

This Can't Be Joseph's Son

He isn't really Joseph's son is he? He doesn't sound like a carpenter's or masonry apprentice. He sounds like a Torah-teacher. But who taught him? Who is his Doktorvater, his doctor-father? (That's what we academics call our dissertation advisor. I have a doctor-mother, a Doktormutter.) At what Rabbi's feet did he sit? Who is his rabbinic teacher, master, father? Whose son is he?

In the Beginning was the Word, Third Day of Christmas 2009, St. Simon Cyrenian

In the beginning was the word, the logos, in the Gospel. In the beginning was the Aramaic Memra in the mystical tradition of Judaism on which Yochannan whom you know as John is drawing. In the beginning was the d'var, the Hebrew word for word. In the beginning was the word, the divine word, the holy word, the spoken but not yet written word, perhaps a word whispered in a still small voice.

She Is A Shepherd

Installation sermon for Pr. Becky Resch of Abiding Presence Lutheran Church, Ewing NJ: "She is a shepherd." "The women who proclaim the good news are a great force." "Raise your woman's voice with power - proclaiming good news." Are these words really in the bible? They are, although sometimes they are hard to find, especially for those who don't read Hebrew or Greek, for those who read translations by men and for those who don't have access to what my students and I call the RGT, the Revised Gafney Translation of the scriptures... Click for full text.