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 18, 2006

Bible Comment on Ezekiel 47 with poem by Russell Bowie, God of the Nations: Provision for Everyone

Daily Readings
Wisdom of Solomon 8, I Samuel 17:55-18:27, Ezekiel 47:13-48:35, Romans 6

Daily Text: Ezekiel 47:13-48:35

Provision for Everyone
The summary of Ezekiel’s vision in Ezekiel 47:13-48:35 includes a provision for everyone, aliens receiving full citizenship in the new Israel, a re-division of the land among the twelve tribes in a smaller country bounded by the Jordan on the east and the Great Sea on the west. The division is evidently an equal one this time, with Dan being the northernmost tribe with a strip of land running from the west, east to the Jordan. Every other tribe’s allotment runs similarly, and evidently of equal size. The half-born tribes, Dan and Asher in the North, Zebulon and Gad in the South are the furthest from Jerusalem. Five full-born tribes are north of Jerusalem and three south of it. The lands set aside for supporting the temple priests and Levites, the city dwellers and the prince follow chapter 41, again with strips of land running from the Great Sea to the Jordan River. To everyone a place.

The significance of this passage seems to lie in its provision for the newly created Israel, returning, or should one say, returned from exile. It has a national structure, a religious base, economic provision, a king and a capital city. Most important of all, its God is present. Jerusalem is even to be re-named, ‘The LORD is There.’

God of the Nations
W. Russell Bowie

God of the nations, who from dawn of days,
Hast led thy people in their widening ways,
Through whose deep purpose stranger thousands stand
Here in the borders of our promised land.

Thine ancient might rebuked the Pharaoh’s boast,
Thou wast the shield for Israel’s marching host,
And, all the ages through, past crumbling throne
And broken fetter, thou hast brought thine own.

Thy hand has led across the hungry sea
The eager peoples flocking to be free,
And, from the breeds of earth, thy silent sway
Fashions the nation of the broadening day.

Then, for thy grace to grow in brotherhood,
For hearts aflame to serve thy destined good,
For faith, and will to win what faith shall see,
God of thy people, hear us cry to thee.

Collect for the Day
O God of love, we pray thee to give us love:
Love in our thinking, love in our speaking,
Love in our doing, and love in the hidden places of our souls;
Love of our neighbours near and far;
Love of our friends, old and new;
Love of those with whom we find it hard to bear,
And love of those who find it hard to bear with us;
Love of those with whom we work,
And love of those with whom we take our ease;
Love in joy, love in sorrow;
Love in life and love in death;
That so at length we may be worthy to dwell with thee,
Who art eternal love.

William Temple, 1881-1944
[489:202:November 4]


Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

"The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people." Gilbert K. Chesterton

12:34 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home