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.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Reflection on readings for September 6

"Hear, O my people, and I will speak,
O Israel, I will testify against you.
I am God, your God."
(Psalm 50:7)

Song of Solomon 1:1-4:16
Jewish Study Bible introduces what is called there the Song of Songs:
"While the book's origin remains obscure, the history of interpretation of the Song in Jewish tradition is well documented. From as early as the 2nd century CE, it has been understood in both human and divine terms. In rabbinic tradition, the Song narrates the words which God and Israel spoke to each other at the Red Sea, at Sinai, or in the Tent of Meeting. The descriptions of the male lover are understood as allegorical descriptions of God while the descriptions of the female lover are understood as divine praise of Israel...."
And, not surprisingly, many commentators read this book to be about human sexual love. In this passage, for example, it's spring, the couple enjoy each other, and they want to be together.

Many Christians interpret this book, as well as the rest of what we call the Old Testament, as foretelling our relationship with Jesus Christ. For example, according to the Wesley Study Bible, Wesley asserted that this particular passage describes how the church triumphs in Christ's love and gracious call.  For example, in Matthew. Jesus says, "Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest."

2 Corinthians 8:16-24
Paul and Titus are continuing their efforts for the collection for Jerusalem. (See 1 Corinthians 16 or read ahead to chapter 9).

Psalm 50:1-23
Psalm 50 begins like a description of a trial. God the Lord summons us to judgment (1). And God is the judge (2-5).

The psalm then reminds us what true worship is--not an occasional public display but rather a consistent practice of thanksgiving (8).

What we do in worship is useful as a reminder of what we are supposed to be doing all the rest of the time.

Proverbs 22:22-23
Do not rob the poor because they are poor,
or crush the afflicted at the gate;
for the Lord pleads their cause
and despoils of life those who despoil them

This is pretty threatening.

Prayer for Today: O God, our Lord, direct our attention to your will. Amen.

Prayer for Today:

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