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

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Paean of Praise: Bible Commentary on Micah 7 with poem by James Thomson, Song

Daily Readings
Job 28 Exodus 18 Micah 7 I Corinthians 6

Daily Text: Micah 7

Paean of Praise
Reminding us of Elijah’s fear (I Kings 19:14) that the faithful have disappeared from the land, this passage in Micah 7 concludes that all have sinned and there is no one left but the prophet, though he intends to serve the LORD. The reality pointed to in this passage is that there is always a remnant, but never more than a remnant willing to serve the Lord. God alone is trustworthy. Trustworthy enough to restore Israel one day, whether this implies Samaria or Jerusalem. He will not only bring his people out into the light of his grace, but he will rebuild the city walls and even extend her boundaries.

In the concluding prayer the people pray to their God for evidence of his love, for marvelous works like those demonstrated when he brought them out in the Exodus from the land of Pharaoh. Marvelous acts that will cause the nations to ‘marvel,’ will shame them into obeisance, encourage them to themselves come to him and fulfill God’s intention that Israel will be a nation of priests to bring the other nations to YHWH. Finally, in a paean of praise, Micah ends in a hymn dedicated to the uniqueness of God, the One who pardons iniquity, passes over transgression, lets go of his anger, delights in showing clemency, and having compassion for his own. In all of this he literally destroys the confessed sins of his people by trodding them underfoot and casting them all into the depths of the sea. These final verses of Micah are a pointer to the love of God never surpassed before or after Micah. They create a network of understanding for John 3:16 and the sacrifice of Christ, for a loving God, whose love knows no bounds.

Song
James Thomson

1834-1882

Let my voice ring out and over the earth,
Through all the grief and strife,
With a golden joy in a silver mirth:
Thank God for life!

Let my voice swell out through the great abyss
To the azure dome above,
With a chord of faith in the harp of bliss:
Thank God for Love!

Let my voice thrill out beneath and above,
The whole world through
O my Love and Life, O my Life and Love,
Thank God for you! 407:1036

Collect for the Day
Let all the world in every corner sing,
my God and King!
The heavens are not too high,
his praise may thither fly;
The earth is not too low,
his praises there may grow.
Let all the world in every corner sing,
my God and King!
[475:253:521 George Herbert (1593-1632)

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