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.

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Location: Amherst, Virginia, United States

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Assassin

Daily Readings
Psalm 84 + Judges 3:7-31 + Hosea 6:1-11a + I Timothy 6

Quote of the Day
“Come, let us return to the LORD; for it is he who has torn, and he will heal us; he has struck down, and he will bind us up. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him. Hosea 6:1,2 [Earliest reference to resurrection, 8th century]

Daily Text: Judges 3:14-19
14So the Israelites served King Eglon of Moab eighteen years. 15But when the Israelites cried out to the LORD, the LORD raised up for them a deliverer, Ehud son of Gera, the Benjaminite, a left-handed man. The Israelites sent tribute by him to King Eglon of Moab. 16Ehud made for himself a sword with two edges, a cubit in length; and he fastened it on his right thigh under his clothes. 17Then he presented the tribute to King Eglon of Moab. Now Eglon was a very fat man. 18When Ehud had finished presenting the tribute, he sent the people who carried the tribute on their way. 19But he himself turned back at the sculptured stones near Gilgal, and said, "I have a secret message for you, O king." So the king said, "Silence!" and all his attendants went out from his presence.


Lectio What one word or phrase from the Daily Text leaps out at you? ‘Comment’ below.

Assassin
Three judges are named in this chapter; Othniel, Ehud and Shamgar. Little content of their time in office is given, with the exception of the story in our portion. But the pattern is clear. Israel did what was evil, God gave them over to be ruled by an oppressing monarch, the people finally turned in despair to God and he provided a deliverer, a saviour who was gifted in war and maybe wise in counsel. This deliverer or judge after delivering the people served as leader until his or her death. The story of Ehud, the Benjamite, a left-handed man, assassin, is gripping. Through deception he manages to be alone with Eglon the Moabite king and he delivers to him ‘a message from God’—a two edged sword through the belly. In the ensuing battle Ehud wrests control from the Moabites and provides three generations of peace to his people. God, it seems, uses any means.

It has often been said that history is written by the victor, and by that is meant that all of the ‘right’ is claimed by the winner. For example, the U. S. claims that its wars have primarily been in response to aggression, but scores of times we have been the aggressor. For example, we did not end up with one-third of Mexico, because they gave it to us. But our history is written so that the Battle of the Alamo makes heroes of our brave men. Biblical history, for some reason, is not written this way. That history reveals all of the nation’s warts. They lose their battles because of their sin. They win battles, because the LORD is on their side! They have become a unique people in the history of the world, but it is not on the basis of their history. Their history, as we see it in the bible, is a theological treatise. That is, it documents their relationship to God first and to nations incidentally. And it is for that God relationship that this people is known.

Meditatio What would you add to this commentary on the Daily Text? ‘Comment’ below.


Monsters
Tamara Spring Hubbard

I like to think myself different
as I light a white candle
and wave a white flag.

But what’s so different
between us versus them,
and me versus him?
what is so hidden
in blood and bone and skin?

Especially
when I gather stones,
same as them.
Unpublished

(Alternative poem? Include under ‘comment’ below.)

Oratio Conspire to respond with an act of kindness for someone you encounter today. Make it loving, low key and low risk. Hold a door, clean a car, give a flower, notice the unnoticed, make Christ’s love real. Write your experience below under ‘Comment.’

Contemplatio Enjoy what God is doing through you.

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