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

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Relational Blessing: Bible Comment on Leviticus 26 with poem by Theodore Spencer, from Heritage

Daily Readings
Psalm 58, …Numbers 5, ……Leviticus 26, ….Matthew 4

Daily Text: Leviticus 26

Relational Blessing
Following an introduction of the commandments, Leviticus 26 has the promise of abundant blessing for following them and horrible curses if they do not. Such belief in material rewards and punishments for the obedience and disobedience of a nation is ever a thorny issue. The realities of history do not confirm such teaching. In Ezekiel, in the Psalms and in the New Testament this is often individualized and proves to be just as unsatisfactory. Everyone knows evil people who do wonderfully, and saints who face disaster after catastrophe. The Book of Job is clear about rejecting this sort of prima facie distortion of reality. Matters are not so cut and dried. Relationship with God is something like relationship with others, there is much give and take and those who attempt to live rightly before God do it not out of fear of punishment or promise of blessing, but because relationship with God teaches us right action for its own sake. Blessing when it comes is embraced and disaster when it comes is simply dealt with, knowing God is close at hand through either. Is that not true in all relationship?

from Heritage
Theodore Spencer

What fills the heart of man
Is not that his life must fade,
But that out of his dark there can
A light like a rose be made,
That seeing a snowflake fall
His heart is lifted up,
That hearing a meadow-lark call
For a moment he will stop
To rejoice in the musical air
To delight in the fertile earth
And the flourishing everywhere
Of spring and spring’s rebirth.
And never a woman or man
Walked through their quickening hours
But found for some brief span
An intervale of flowers,
Where love for a man or a woman
So captured the heart’s beat
That they and all things human
Danced on rapturous feet.
And though, for each man, love dies,
The rose to his children’s eyes
Will flower again, again,
Will flower again out of shadow
To make the brief heart sing
And the meadow-lark from the meadow
Will call again in spring.

Collect for the Day
God of justice, sweep away all tyranny and viiolence that righteousness and equity may prevail among your people. We ask in the name of Jesus Christ. [476:779:58 psalm prayer]


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