Please remember in your prayers and thoughts the 6 Christian Martyrs murdered at the Nashville Covenant School and also for their families. The six are three nine year olds: Evelyn Dieckhaus, William Kinney, and Hallie Scruggs; and three school staff members: Mike Hill, Katherine Koonce (head of the school), and Cynthia Peak.
A founder of the parish Don Baldwin has gone on to greater life. We extend our sympathy to and pray for his wife Jody and his whole family. The funeral will be held on May 8 at 11 AM at St. Andrew & St. Margaret of Scotland. Don was Senior Warden, Sunday school teacher and much more at the parish. He also made sure that every visitor and member felt welcome and appreciated.
The Most Rev. Mark Haverland, Metropolitan, Anglican Catholic Church
Easter II. May 4, 2003. Saint Stephen's, Athens; Saint Nicholas's, Cleveland. (reprinted with permission)
Saint John X, verse 11 - I am the good shepherd.
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen
The scholar who probably more than anyone shaped one of the unfortunate modern language liturgies was a man named Massey Shepherd. Shepherd argued, among other things, against the use in prayers of metaphors involving light and darkness. His thought was that in a day of electric light bulbs, spiritual metaphors of light and darkness were no longer meaningful to modern people. Nobody fears the dark when he can flip a switch to create light. I guess Shepherd never was a child afraid of the dark, never stubbed his toe in the dark, never encountered a dark alley, and never drove out of a long, long tunnel into bright sunshine.
Light and dark, of course, are realities that modern Americans still easily understand, though a few days in rural Haiti or camping certainly help to reinforced their meaning. Still there is a point to the idea that Biblical images and metaphors, which are often rooted in ancient, rural, and tribal societies sometimes require explanation and translation for people in a modern, urbanized, and individualistic society. Many Americans, perhaps most, have never seen or eaten a goat, and millions have probably never touched a sheep, much less lived in close proximity to them. When the images and metaphors are Biblical, however, it is our duty to consider them carefully and learn their meanings rather than to ditch them as hard to understand. And so it is with the Good Shepherd. Most of all we learn the meaning of Biblical images and figures by learning from elsewhere in the Bible.
In 1993 I visited the beautiful Byzantine church of Saint Saviour in Chora in Istanbul. The mosaics of this ancient building are mostly intact, and one ceiling painting is an electrifying mosaic of the Resurrection. The scene is a common icon in Orthodox art. Our Lord is striding forward dynamically in a brilliant, white robe. He holds in each hand a passive wrist of Adam and Eve, whom he is drawing forth from their tombs. Under the scene lies Satan, bound and chained, with the metal work of hell's gates scattered all around. Standing by Eve's tomb is a young man in white holding a shepherd's crook.
At first you might think that the young man is a depiction of our Lord himself in another guise, as the Good Shepherd. And in part he is. But then you realize that he also is Abel, Eve's son, who, as we learn in Genesis iv.2, was 'a keeper of sheep'. That is the King James' Version translation. The Hebrew says literally, 'Abel was a feeder of sheep.' The son stands by his mother's tomb with the sign of his profession in his hand.
Consider what the icon teaches us. First, Abel is by a tomb because death has some power over Abel. The original sin of our first parents, his parents, brought death upon us all. We all shall have a tomb or its equivalent because of original and personal sin. In the case of Abel we read explicitly of his death in Genesis iv. He is, you will recall, the victim of the first murder, by Cain, his brother, and God says of that murder to Cain, 'the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.' (Genesis iv.10) Eve's sin led to death for her son, for sin grew into more sin, and that sin and death called from the earth to God for action.
But, secondly, Abel is standing by the tomb. We all come to a tomb, but the tomb does not hold us. Abel shall rise, as his parents rise. Death is not the final thing. There are four last things - death, judgement, heaven, and hell - and death is only the first and the least of the four. The resurrection of the body and the life of the world to come are far greater than death. That Abel stands teaches us that life is more ultimate than death.
Thirdly, Abel, who is presented as a shepherd, is in fact a foreshadowing of our Lord who says, 'I am the good shepherd.' Abel is, in the literal Hebrew, 'a feeder of sheep', and our Lord says of himself as the good shepherd that he shall lead his sheep 'in and out [to] find pasture' - that is, to feed (St. John x.9). Likewise as Abel was the victim of a murder at the hands of his brother, so our Lord was murdered by his brethren. As Abel's sacrifice was acceptable to God, so our Lord's sacrifice was pleasing to his Father. In the icon our Risen Lord and his prototype, Abel, are both dressed in white and both stand, for both are good shepherds, though the figure of our Lord is larger and most central, since he is the fulfillment of the mere foreshadowing which was Abel.
Finally however, in one matter our Lord and Abel differ. The blood of innocent Abel cried unto God from the ground calling for vengeance upon his guilty brother. But not so with the blood of our Lord. In this respect he is closer to the Old Testament figure of Joseph than of Abel. For innocent Joseph's suffering led him to say the following to his brothers:
‘[Y]e thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you [ahhh - there is the good shepherd feeding again - and remember that Joseph's brethren are employed in Egypt as shepherds; I will nourish you...], and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.’ (l.20f.)
Where Abel's blood cried forth for vengeance against his brother, not so with Joseph, whose sufferings were meant by God for good for his brothers. So too with our Lord, of whom, Hebrews says, that his 'blood of sprinkling...speaketh better things than that of Abel.' (xii.24) That is, our Lord's blood was shed, not to increase our guilt, but rather in atonement for our sins and as a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction for every wrong ever done by anyone in any place.
Abel was a feeder of sheep. Joseph nourished his shepherd brethren and comforted them and spake kindly unto them. Our Lord, more excellently still, gives us angel's Food, the Bread of heaven, his own and very Body and Blood, to nourish us. His Blood shed forth upon the cross calls not for vengeance upon us, but rather comforts and speaks kindly to us.
Our Lord is the Good Shepherd, the new and greater Abel, the true and blessed Joseph. On Easter he burst forth from the spicéd tomb to draw forth from all tombs in all ages the sons of Adam and the daughters of Eve and to lead us up the heavenly way. Let us now be fed and nourished by him and this great Sacrament revere.
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: therefore let us keep the feast. Not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
Please click here to donate to St. Andrew & St. Margaret of Scotland
Sunday, 7:45 AM, 9:00 AM, and 11:15 AM services (for online participation for the services go to: https://www.facebook.com/saintsofscotland/)
Vestry Meeting, Monday, April 24, 7:30 PM
Wednesday at Noon – Holy Communion and anointing for healing ( for online participation see above)
Men's Group, Saturday, April 29, 8:30 AM, Breakfast, Fellowship, Bible Study
May 8, 11:00 AM, Requiem Service for Donald Baldwin, followed by reception in undercroft
Your support of the Food Bank and MaRIH Crisis Pregnancy Center is greatly appreciated. The lists below tell what is needed. The MaRIH Center list has been updated. If you cannot bring items to the church, you can also click on the donate button above and then on the drop down menu that appears on the donation page choose Charity and Mercy to give a cash donation. In the comment box you can specify if the donation is for the Food Bank and/or for the MaRIH Crisis Pregnancy Center. Thank you.
Please help this month with a food donation if you are able. Christ House is very thankful for the food we provide to them each month. Please also buy low sugar cereals (and not the kid's types that have lots of sugar). Current needs include the following:
• canned meats (chicken, corned beef, spam)
• peanut butter
• canned vegetables (corn, green beans - (regular and low sodium)
• individual fruit cups (low sugar)
• canned fruit (low sugar)
• cereal (low sugar)
• pasta (regular and gluten-free)
• instant potatoes
• Macaroni & cheese kits
• Coffee, cooking oil, flour, sugar
Updated List of Needs for MaRIH Center (crisis pregnancy center)
MaRIH Center with its all volunteer staff has been providing help to mothers-to-be and mothers in need. If you can provide some of the items that are needed, please do so. (You can leave the donations where the food for the food bank is collected on the pew in the undercorft.)
Baby wipes* (an ongoing great need)
Diapers (sizes 1, 2, 3, 4*, 5*, & 6*)
Diaper rash ointment
Spring/Summer clothing for 0-3 months and 2T*
Sleeping -- Pack-n-Play*
(Bold and * are a critical need.)
Sleep Sacks: Girls 0-6 mos.
Socks: Boy/Girl 2T
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St. Andrew & St. Margaret of Scotland
1607 Dewitt Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22301-1625