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

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Eucharistic Feast

Daily Readings
Psalm 29 Genesis 24 Isaiah 25 Acts 22

Daily Text: Isaiah 25

Eucharistic Feast
The universal destruction of chapter 24 moves to a new focus in chapter 25 and that focus is universal blessing and fellowship around a ‘table.’ It opens with a description of an unnamed city being destroyed, unnamed though important either because it is a world capitol (Kaiser) or because it is a principal city of Moab. For in the last verses of this chapter Moab is named as a people who are trodden under foot, and not only underfoot, but in a cesspit. Moab becomes in this passage a foil for Judah. Judah, whose capitol is Jerusalem, which sits on the mount of Zion. It is on Zion that the LORD reigns in 24:23. It is to this same mountain that the LORD of hosts offers to the nations a feast of rich food and well-aged wines. It is on this mountain that the LORD destroys death, the shroud that is cast over all peoples. There he will ‘swallow up death forever.’ And it is there that he will ‘wipe away the tears from all faces.’ Judah, but not Moab, will have its disgrace taken away. It will once again become prominent because of the care of the LORD of hosts.
Kaiser [472:200] suggests that in the Hebrew Scriptures the phenomenon of all nations coming to Jerusalem parallels the New Testament mission to go into all the world and preach the divine news to every creature. Both visions reach the nations and central to both visions, because of this prophecy in Isaiah, is a thanksgiving feast of food and wine. It is a glad image.

Sitting Around Your Table
Madeleine L’Engle

Sitting around your table
as we did, able
to laugh, argue, share
bread and wine and companionshp, care
about what someone else was saying, even
if we disagreed passionately: Heaven,
we’re told, is not unlike this, the banquet celestial,
eternal convivium. So the praegustum terrestrium
partakes—for me, at least-of sacrament.
(Whereas the devil, ever intent
on competition, invented the cocktail party where
one becomes un-named, un-manned, de-personned.) Dare
we come together, then , vulnerable, open, free?
Yes! Around your table we
knew the Holy Spirit, come to bless
the food, the host, the hour, the willing guest.
450:123

Collect for the Day
We do not presume to come to this thy Table, O merciful Lord trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table. But thou art the same Lord whose property is always to have mercy. Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen. [BCP, 337, Prayer of Humble Access]

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