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The Rt. Rev. W. Nicholas Knisely, DD SOScBy Bishop Nicholas Knisely
Thursday, December 10
Psalm 37:1-18; Amos 9:1-10; Matthew 23:13-26
Listen to the author read their meditation and prayer:
I used to ask couples in marriage prep about when their families celebrated Christmas. They knew exactly what I meant. Sometimes they answered Christmas Eve, sometimes Christmas Morning. Occasionally it was Christmas dinner. What they meant was that was when they all sat down to open their presents. That’s what Christmas meant to them.
Which misses the point. Christmas is a season, not an event. But we have so focused on the act of exchanging presents, that we’ve redefined the season and completely changed its meaning. That’s exactly what Jesus accuses the religiously observant people of his day of doing. They missed the point of the laws they were obeying. They focused on the letter and not the spirit.
If you’re anything like me, you do the same thing too. Not just with Christmas either. I do it with Advent, feeling proud of keeping it and not Christmas. I do it with my charitable giving and with the outreach ministry I offer. I’m proud that I’m being such a good person. Which is totally missing the point.
The point is that all of this must be about growing closer to God or it is worthless to my spiritual growth. If it becomes about me doing the right thing and feeling good about myself then I fail, because that takes me toward me and not toward God.
Holy One, break open my life so that I might live it not for my own justification, but so that I might be nearer to you. Amen.
The Rt. Rev. W. Nicholas Knisely, DD SOSc
2015 Blandy Lecturer
Bishop, Diocese of Rhode Island
KINGSTON, RHODE ISLAND
The Rt. Rev. W. Nicholas Knisely, DD SOSc delivered the 2015 Blandy Lectures. Bishop Knisely was born and raised in Pennsylvania and met his wife Karen while they were both students at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster. Later, as a graduate student at the University of Delaware, he decided to leave behind his studies of Physics and Astronomy and was sent to Yale/Berkeley Divinity School to study for the priesthood. He completed his Masters of Divinity and was ordained to the diaconate in Delaware in 1991, then to the priesthood in 1992. Bishop Knisely was elected to be the 13th Bishop of Rhode Island in June of 2012, and was ordained Bishop on November 17th, 2012. In 2013 he received an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity, also from Berkeley Divinity School at Yale.
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