Tuesday, August 27, 2013

God Always Provides, Even in the Wilderness

I don't like it most of the time when we make odd cuts in our lectionary texts. Sometimes I get it. The gospel from Luke for this week gives us a moral that we just had last week, which the committee has wisely cut to avoid repetition this week. But sometimes it's a serious disservice. We have this habit of cutting out the cultic sections of our lectionary readings. And you can see that this week in the fact that we're only supposed to read Hebrews 13:1-8 and 15-16, but not the middle verses.

This happens elsewhere, mostly in the Old Testament readings, but of all the NT readings it is a particular problem with Hebrews—a Judean writing with strong priestly influences, and one which we have been translating against the Jews for many hundreds of years. Hebrews is mostly unreadable today, and of all of the books of the Bible, the only one that I refuse to trust in English rendering. Let me show you why, as I attempt to show you the gospel in our Hebrews passage for this week. (My own translation can be found here, and the NRSV for reference here.)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Leaving Camp and Taking the Last Place: Pentecost +15 C

Fixing up our old house and moving into a new one has totally upended my writing practice—and I need it back if I'm ever going to graduate. So, in the interests of rebuilding it bit by bit, let's start with some lectionary practice, for the sake of trying to hear and speak the gospel. It's the 15th Sunday after Pentecost coming up, and as I do Greek first and foremost, here are the NT pericopes from Hebrews 13 and Luke 14. May it help you as much as it helps me, if not more!