It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Reflection on readings for April 30

I will sing of loyalty and of justice;
to you, O Lord, I will sing.
(Psalm 101:1)

Judges 11:1-12:15
Jephthah was the son of a prostitute and Gilead (person's name or just somebody who lived in the town of Gilead?) Driven from town, he formed an outlaw band. When the Ammonites made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead asked Jephthah to command their army. He bargained with them obtaining their promise that he was successful in defeating the Ammonites, he could be the city's leader.

He then bargains with God. He makes a vow that if he is victorious, when he returns home he will offer as sacrifice the first person who comes out of his house. He was victorious. He did return home. And the first person out of his house was his daughter. He blames her, "You have become the cause of great trouble to me. I can't take back my vow."

Her response indicates that she knew about the vow. We're left to wonder if she intentionally sacrificed herself.
(adapted from Gender, Power, & Promise, Danna Nolan Fewell and David M. Gunn).

John 1:1-28
Commentators have explained that John was impressing upon us that the Word was always in the world, was present at its creation. We use these opening verses of his Gospel to support our understanding of the Trinity.

Yet, I am pondering on verse 10, "He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him." Why did the world not know him? Has the world caught on yet?

I keep reading. Verse 11 says "He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him." Okay, many of the Jews of his day did not convert to Christianity. But, how many Christians of my own day really accept Christ; that is, do we show evidence of this acceptance by the way we live our lives?

"And the Word became flesh and lived among us," (v14). In their commentary, John, Gail R. O'Day and Susan E. Hylen point out something that I had totally missed--The use of first person pronouns--John intended for his readers--intends for his readers--to understand and accept that the Word is here--As O'Day and Hylen put it, "The eternal Word of verses 1-2 now completely enters the human and time-bound sphere by becoming flesh...The story of God and the Word is no longer a cosmic story, but is an intimately human story.

Psalm 101:1-8

Proverbs 14:13-14
Even in laughter the heart is sad,
and the end of joy is grief.
The perverse get what their ways deserve,
and the good, what their deeds deserve.

Prayer for Today: Lord, you have come into our world and lived among us. Open us now to see your presence. Mold us into acceptance of your will and obedience to your intentions. Amen.

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