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

Friday, July 14, 2006

Bible Comment on Ezekiel 44 with poem by Oliver Wendell Holmes, A Sun-Day Hymn: Closing the East Gate

Daily Readings
Wisdom of Solomon 4:20-5:23, I Samuel 14, Ezekiel 44, Romans 2

Daily Text: Ezekiel 44

Closing the East Gate
Ezekiel 44 makes very clear that the very passage of YHWH through the East gate elevates its status to such a point that no longer are the people to pass through. With such awe inspiring measures as closing the East gate permanently, the name and presence of the LORD are elevated. There is to be a tightening of who is and who is not admitted to the inner court. For sure, no foreigner and no Israelite who is not circumcised both in behavior and in the flesh is to be admitted. This had been ignored in the latter years of Solomon’s temple. In every way there is a concern in the actual working out of the use of this new temple that observance be strict. These matters are probably no part of Ezekiel’s original vision, for his vision preceded the building of the temple by many years.

Similarly, the elevation of the family of Zadok among the Levitical priests undoubtedly is the concern of a party or lobby within the post-exilic community, and not a part of Ezekiel’s original concerns. The duties which fell on these priests, however, are not lightened, but spelled out explicitly.

A Sun-Day Hymn
Oliver Wendell Holmes
1809-1894

Lord of all being, throned afar,
Thy glory flames from sun and star;
Center and soul of every sphere,
Yet to each loving heart how near!

Sun of our life, thy quickening ray
Sheds on our path the glow of day:
Star of our hope, thy softened light
Cheers the long watches of the night.

Our midnight is thy smile withdrawn;
Our noontide is thy gracious dawn;
Our rainbow arch, thy mercy’s sign:
All, save the clouds of sin, are thine.

Lord of all life, below, above,
Whose light is truth, whose warmth is love,
Before thy ever-blazing throne
We ask no luster of our own.

Grant us thy truth to make us free,
And kindling hearts that burn for thee,
Till all thy living altars claim
One holy light, one heavenly flame.
407:205

Collect for the Day
Think through me, thoughts of God;
My Father, quiet me,
Till in thy holy presence, hushed,
I think thy thoughts with thee.

Think through me, thoughts of God,
That always, everywhere,
The stream that through my being flows
May homeward pass in prayer.

Think through me, thoughts of God,
And let my own thoughts be
Lost like the sand-pools on the shore
Of the eternal sea.

Amy Carmichael, 1868-1951
[489:203:November 7]

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