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

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Corruptible: Bible Comment on II Chronicles 24 with poem by Charles William Stubbs, Conscience and Future Judgment

Daily Readings
Sirach 17, II Kings 12, II Chronicles 24, Jeremiah 31

Daily Text: II Chronicles 24

Joash could have been one of the greatest of all of the Davidic kings. He had as a fearful deterrent the evil Athaliah, his grandmother, and the marvelous godly example of his mentor, Jehoiada, the high priest. By and large he did what was right, while Jehoiadah lived and held influence over him. The reality is that he was somewhat weak listening to the voices closest to him. When Jehoiadah lived no longer, those voices changed radically.

Zechariah, Jehoiadah’s son, and perhaps the companion of Joash in his early years, attempted to step into the shoes of his father. He called Joash to account, in one of the most startling passages of II Chronicles 24, but to no avail. For his pains the king commanded that he be stoned to death in the outer court of the temple itself. With his dying breath, Zechariah, calls out, “May the LORD see and avenge.” Sad figure this Joash, reminding us of Herod with John the Baptist! Is this another example of a weak person or simply the corruption that almost always accompanies political power? Hard to say, but worth observing in our selves and in our contemporaries.

Conscience and Future Judgment
Charles William Stubbs

I sat alone with my conscience
In a place where time had ceased,
And we talked of my former living
In the land where the years increased,
And I felt I should have to answer
The question it put to me,
And to face the answer and question
Through all eternity.

The ghost of forgotten actions
Came floating before my sight,
And things that I thought were dead things
Were alive with a terrible might;
And the vision of all my past life
Was an awful thing to face,
Alone with my conscience sitting
In that solemn silent place

And I know of the future Judgment,
How dreadful soe’er it be,
To sit alone with my conscience
Will be judgment enough for me.

Collect for the Day
God our consoler and redeemer, save your people coerced and made captive by the powers of evil, and bring us into the way of freedom and liberty prepared by the sacrifice of your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ.

[476:901:142 Psalm prayer]


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