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

Friday, March 03, 2006

Character of Deceit: Bible Comment on Hosea 12 with poem by Theodosia Garrison, Stains

Daily Readings
Job 21 Exodus 9 Hosea 11:12-12:14 I Thessalonians 5

Daily Text: Hosea 11:12-12:14

Character of Deceit
Hosea 12 focuses on the deceit that characterizes Israel. From birth Jacob was the Supplanter. True enough he strove with God at Bethel and gained God’s blessing, but that was long past and it is now high time that the nation known as Jacob/Israel/Ephraim returns to God. Love and justice need be held fast, while waiting continually upon the Lord. Instead Ephraim is a trader, a mere Canaanite, using false balances, and at the same claiming innocence. It is as if his wealth is proof of his sterling character!

The LORD disagrees. He would prefer to remember Jacob during the Exodus and would rather Ephraim still lived in tents, instead of expensive houses, honoring that covenant. Down the centuries God has spoken through the prophets casting visions and bringing discipline and accountability, for Israel has committed iniquity in town and temple, Gilead and Gilgal.

Once upon a time Jacob fled from his brother Esau to Aram and there guarded sheep to acquire his wives. Likewise God, through the agency of the prophet Moses, guarded Israel to gain a faithful people. Jacob achieved his wives, but as a people he has disappointed the Lord so bitterly that the Lord will allow his crimes to fall upon his own head punishing him for his insulting deceitfulness against the divine.

Theodosia Garrison

The three ghosts on the lonesome road,
Spake each to one another,
“Whence came that stain about your mouth
No lifted hand may cover?”
“From eating of forbidden fruit,
Brother, my brother.”

The three ghosts on the sunless road
Spake each to one another,
“Whence came that red burn on your foot
No dust or ash may cover?”
“I stamped a neighbor’s hearth-flame out,
Brother, my brother.”

The three ghosts on the windless road
Spake each to one another,
“Whence came that blood upon your hand
No other hand may cover?”
“From breaking of a woman’s heart,
Brother, my brother.”

“Yet on the earth clean men we walked,
Glutton and Thief and Lover;
White flesh and fair it hid our stains
That no man might discover.”
“Naked the soul goes up to God,
Brother, my brother.”

Collect for the Day
Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan: Come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations; and, as you know the weaknesses of each of us, let each one find you mighty to save; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. [BCP:218:First Sunday in Lent]


Blogger Norm said...

The Book of Genesis is not written yet, but the stories are well known.

9:37 AM  

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