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, July 18, 2015

Suppression of Judaism, a reflection on 2 Maccabees 6:1-31

The government attempted to suppress Judaism. The temple was overtaken and debauched. People weren't allowed to keep the sabbath, observe their religious holidays, or admit out loud that they were Jews. Jews were forced to take part in ceremonies favored by the government. Women who had their babies circumcised were executed. Eleazar, a scribe in high position, was tortured and executed because he would not forsake Jewish laws.

In the middle of this presentation of martyrdom, the author of Maccabees offers an explanation of why the Lord permitted these calamities: In the case of the other nations, the Lord waits patiently to punish them until they have reached the full measure of their sins. He never withdraws his mercy from us. Although he disciplines us with calamities, he does not forsake his own people."

How comforting is this explanation?

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