Adventus

"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"It is impossible for me to say in my book one word about all that music has meant in my life. How then can I hope to be understood?--Ludwig Wittgenstein

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Sunday, January 30, 2005

"The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?"

Easy to think you are in this all by yourself. Jane caught this reference, even as it was running through my head all day, looking for a connection. Made it to church late today, and what was in the lectionary?

THE LESSON: MICAH 6:1-8 ,
Hear what the LORD says: Rise, plead your case before the mountains, and let the hills hear your voice. Hear, you mountains, the controversy of the LORD, and you enduring foundations of the earth; for the LORD has a controversy with his people, and he will contend with Israel. "0 my people, what have I done to you? In what have I wearied you? Answer me! For I brought you up from the land of Egypt, and redeemed you from the house of slavery; and I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. 0 my people, remember now what King Balak of Moab devised, what Balaam son of Beor answered him, and what happened from Shittim to Gilgal, that you may know the saving acts of the LORD." "With what shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?" He has told you, 0 mortal, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

And better than that, was the rest of the lectionary:

THE PSALM: PSALM 37:1-7

1 Do not fret yourself because of evildoers;
do not be jealous of those who do wrong.

2 For they shall soon wither like the grass,
and like the green grass fade away.

3 Put your trust in the LORD and do good;
dwell in the land and feed on its riches.

4 Take delight in the LORD,
and he shall give you your heart's desire.

5 Commit your way to the LORD and put your trust in him,
and he will bring it to pass.

6 He will make your righteousness as clear as the light
and your just dealing as the noonday.

7 Be still before the LORD
and wait patiently for him.

THE EPISTLE: 1 CORINTHIANS 1:26-31

Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, so that no one might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, in order that, as it is written, "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord."

THE HOLY GOSPEL: MATTHEW 5: 1-12
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."
Could spend a fruitful week just exegeting each of these, especially in their juxtaposition to each other....

The Lord be with you.


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