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

Monday, January 09, 2006


Daily Readings
Isaiah 54 Genesis 8 Isaiah 8:1-9:7 Acts 7

Daily Text: Isaiah 8:1-9:7

Maher-shalal-hash-baz, ‘Spoil speeds—booty hastens,’ probably an Egyptian soldier’s chant [470:95] “Let the spoil hasten,” or in today’s parlance ‘Bring it on!’ It is the 3rd of the prophetic name-signs given to Ahaz and Judah to guide them into God’s path, but they reject it as seen in verse 5. Ahaz rejects the gentle brooks of Judah for the rampaging floods of Assyria, floods that will inundate Judah and all but drown it, certainly losing for Ahaz his independence. One of the most timely prophecies in chapter 8 begins in verse 11 where Isaiah is counseled by the LORD not to fear or dread what the people fear and dread, that is, he is not to get caught up in the popular politics of the day, but instead is to fear and dread a holy God, who will then become sanctuary for him, as he would have for the people and the king if they had walked in the fear of the LORD. How timely for us in early 21st century America!
In a 5th prophecy, 16-18, Isaiah seals the testimony inscribed on the tablet in 8:1, and celebrates the signs given to him and in his (3) children from the LORD of hosts. Chapter 9 brings a transition from anguish to light and joy for at Ahaz’ death a new king, probably Hezekiah, is anticipated in vss. 2-7. The Davidic dynasty will be continued in righteousness not only in Hezekiah’s reign, but continued in Josiah’s. This is the historical context for the great Christian prophetic interpretation of the coming Messiah, who is also one of David’s line.

Laura Simmons

Now each man knows a different God!
Each for himself doth see
A shape of doom; a vengeful Judge—
A fearsome mystery—
Or, blessed hope! A strength, a Friend—
Beloved utterly.

A Shadow, brooding and malign—
Or sanctuary blest.
No thing man knows so well as this—
The God within his breast.
The God he makes—and fears; or loves—
His soul’s most precious guest!

Yet, spent and stark, into the night
How like men always go!
Each staring back upon a Cross
Of matchless love, and woe:
And all men clutch that seamless robe,
Both God’s friend, and his foe!

Collect for the Day
Blessed is the Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who has chosen faithful prophets to speak words of truth. Blessed is the Lord, for the revelation of Torah, for Moses His servant and Israel His people, and for the prophets of truth and righteousness.
[The New Union Prayer Book, before the reading of the Haftorah (471) p. 420]


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