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

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Bible Comment on Ezekiel 41 with poem by Beth Bachmann, Forms: Temple Detail

Daily Readings
Wisdom of Solomon 1:16-2:24, I Samuel 10:27b-11:15, Ezekiel 41:5-26, John 20

Daily Text: Ezekiel 41:5-26

Temple Detail
Side chambers three stories high with passageways widening as one ascends, and paneling with recessed frames. A pattern etched into the walls of the nave of cherubim and palm trees may seem like a small thing, but it is large enough for God to communicate to the prophet. Square doorposts and a wooden altar, double doors and close measurements. What does the temple detail mean? Could it have some relationship to the divine-human dialogue or the creator-created dimension in religious reality?

Ezekiel 41:15b-26 probably supplements the description following 41:4, and if so, is the only section out of sensible order in the three chapters 40-42 [508:227]. That Ezekiel is not the only author here is obvious.

Beth Bachmann

The sugary clouds dissolve, give way to the rain
that distributes itself tentatively on my window.
I too am uncertain, unwilling yet to rise and shut
the louvers, to call in the animals. I cannot take in

how a thing with so much purpose also captivates.
Where I’m from, form doesn’t hold a candle
to function: the arm of the iron well pump,
though beautiful, recedes from the water;
the neck of the swan is a fickle gesture
compared to the dark meat under its wing.

In this masked light, rain rolls off the chapel
roof onto the ground. Tomorrow the men will
come out to fit the eaves and square the gutters.

Collect for the Day
O God, the divine seeker, you are light to the lost, bread to the hungry, deliverance to the captive, healing to the sick, eternal vision to the dying, and harbour to every soul in peril. Gather the wanderers from every corner of the world into the community of your mercy and grace, that we may eternally praise you for our salvation in Jesus Christ our Lord.
[476:855:107 Psalm prayer]


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