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

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Trade, The Signature of Tyrian Life: Bible Comment on Ezekiel 28 with poem by Walter Lyman French, Your Sanctuary

Daily Readings
Psalm 90 Ruth 3 Ezekiel 28 John 7

Daily Text: Ezekiel 28

Trade, the Signature of Tyrian Life
Because the prince of Tyre has claimed divinity for himself, God will bring strangers against him. Will he continue to profess divinity as the foreigners take his mortal life? Evidently, the concept of ‘divine right’ had spread around the Middle East and it was no strange matter for rulers to claim it. On the other hand, God was not sympathetic. The prophet does go on in the lament in Ezekiel 28, strophe two, to place the prince in Edenic surroundings with the acknowledgement that he had every heavenly protection, including the guardian cherub as a colleague or companion on the holy mountain. This is the same cherub who is charged with driving him out beyond the stones of fire—a holy border for the fabled land? What was it that brought him from being blameless to iniquitous? Trade, the signature of Tyrian life. “In the abundance of your trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned” [vs. 16]!

The third strophe in this chapter relates to Sidon, a sister city of Tyre. But there is little detail here; it is as if Sidon is of little importance to Judah compared to Tyre. Finally, the chapter concludes with a prose description of the end of exile for the house of Israel, a time when God will gather them from the nations where they have been scattered, and will bring them to safety in their own lands.

Your Sanctuary
Walter Lyman French

I stand serene beside the struggling marts
Of trade, and towering temples built to greed,
Where dazzling gold rates more than human need—
And plumb the bitter depths of hungry hearts.
Where cruel, deadening strife for gain and power
And self have made life cheap and things the goal,
When self has stilled the music of the soul,
I lure you in to sit with God an hour.

I lure you in to lift your sense of worth,
To give you vision, fill your soul with life,
Reveal the Christ-like God who walks the earth
With anguish in His eyes from human strife.
I send you forth, in love, His truth to carry
With joyous hope. I am your Sanctuary.

Collect for the Day
Eternal Father of our mortal race, in Jesus Christ your grace has come upon us. For his sake, prosper the work of our hands until he returns to gladden our hearts forever. [476:828:90 Psalm prayer]


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