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, July 09, 2006

Aligned with Evil: Bible Comment on Ezekiel 39 with poem by Wilfred Owen, Anthem for Doomed Youth

Daily Readings
Psalm 104 I Samuel 9 Ezekiel 39 John 18

Daily Text: Ezekiel 39

Aligned With Evil
Exile is no more; regathering is the theme of the day. And then Gog attacks. But the invaders begin to fall to the ‘attacks’ of the LORD. So great are their losses that it will take special teams seven months to find all of their slain simply for burial. And so great the amount of wood from weapons and shields and chariots that Israel will have their firewood for seven years! No trees will need to be cut that entire time. Simultaneously, Israel’s fortunes are to be restored so completely that they will forget their shame, will be secure in their land and in their God. He will pour out his spirit upon them. He overlooks nothing in redeeming them and reclaiming them for his own. John in the Revelation refers to Gog and Magog, perhaps confusing these names, seeing them as parallel rather than Gog being the prince of the kingdom, Magog. They are aligned with evil, but the image is the same, that is, innumerable foes surrounding the people of God and the beloved city, Jerusalem. And again the elements consume the mighty hosts, and God protects his own.

Anthem for Doomed Youth
Wilfred Owen1


What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle
Can platter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries for them; no prayers nor bells,
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,--
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.

What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys, bu in their eyes
Shall shine in the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
The pallor of girls’ brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.
1English soldier, killed in World War I.

Collect for the Day
O God of eternal light, heaven and earth are the work of your hands, and all creation sings your praise and beauty. As in the beginning, by your Spirit, you gave life and order to all that is, so by the same Spirit redeem us and all things, through Christ our Lord.
[476:845:104 Psalm prayer]


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