Fr. James' Lectionary

The Lectionary is both a reading program for completing all of Holy Scripture on a one year schedule, and a daily comment on a portion of the day's reading wedded to a poem to give an added perspective on the theme.

Location: Amherst, Virginia, United States

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Promise and Faithfulness

Daily Readings
Proverbs 25 + Joshua 8 + Jonah 3 + Ephesians 3

Quote of the Day
Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20, 21

Daily Text: Joshua 8:1-2, 30
Then the LORD said to Joshua, "Do not fear or be dismayed; take all the fighting men with you, and go up now to Ai. See, I have handed over to you the king of Ai with his people, his city, and his land. 2You shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king; only its spoil and its livestock you may take as booty for yourselves. Set an ambush against the city, behind it."
30 Then Joshua built on Mount Ebal an altar to the LORD, the God of Israel,

Promise and Faithfulness
The difference between the first approach to Ai and the second was critical. In the first approach the report of the spies was taken without attending to the sin in Israel. The result was disaster. This time, with the sin addressed, and the people once more faithful to the covenant and listening for the guidance of God, Ai falls easily before the military of Joshua. The land has been promised, but it is coming at the price of faithfulness to YHWH. Having learned that, Joshua completes the mopping up of the campaign in Ai and then builds an altar and leads the people in teaching and worship. This is a lesson to be learned throughout the history of this people. It is a lesson contemporary in its application and must be learned and practiced daily by us all. The promises of God come with the faithfulness of God’s people. Hope springs out of the connection between promise and faithfulness.

To Zion

O people long oppressed and stricken sore,
Condemned as wanderers on the earth to mourn
Across the age-long darkness of thy fate,
There breaks at length the radiance of the dawn.
Behold a land, thy birthright and thy home,
On thee by Heaven bestowed, by Heaven withdrawn
Yet promised to thy seed forevermore;
Yea, He, the Mighty One, Himself hath sworn.
Behold its plains unsown, its rock-strewn slopes,
Whereon no more the vine and almond grows.

Those barren hills again shall cedars crown,
The land for thee shall blossom as the rose.
Return to thy rest, at last return;
Cry to the South “Give back! Give back O North!”
Those mountains summon and those valleys cry,
By twos and threes, by tens, in troops go forth
Though yet afar the Peace of Zion waits,
Perchance through flames and blood they pathway lies,
Fear not—Be strong—Thy heritage regain
O Judah, tarry not! Israel arise.


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