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

Saturday, September 30, 2006

He Ordered His Ways: Bible Comment on II Chronicles 27 with poem by Thomas Washbourne, Humility

Daily Readings
Sirach 18:30-19:30, II Kings 13, II Chronicles 27, Jeremiah 32

Daily Text: II Chronicles 27

He Ordered His Ways
II Chronicles 27 is noted for its record of a faithful king, finally, the first to be buried with the kings since Jehoshaphat over 100 years earlier. It is also may be noted that this is one the shortest, if not the shortest, record of any king in the Chronicles. Was it because he was good or because he was not at all charismatic? The people and even his son, Ahaz, did not follow him in his orthodoxy; they continued the corrupt patterns set by his father. Certainly goodness, per se, does not create followers, headlines or manifold columns of text! Greatness and goodness are not synonomous. Almost everything one would want said about oneself what was said about this man. ‘He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD. He did not invade the temple. He built solid defenses within and without Jerusalem. He prevailed in his one great war with Syria, though for some reason the Chronicler doesn’t mention the Syro-Ephramitic wars that probably began before his demise. He ordered his ways before the LORD, that is, he set his heart on God.’ And yet, he was not one of Judah’s great ones. In fact, it might be a good idea to mention his name, Jotham, son of Uzziah the king. It may be that the humble person stays humble and is not puffed by himself or his contemporaries. Jesus, son of Sirach, says it this way:
“My child, perform your tasks with humility;
then you will be loved by those whom God accepts.
The greater you are, the more you must humble yourself;
so you will find favor in the sight of the Lord.”
For great is the might of the Lord;
but by the humble he is glorified” (3.17-20).
We can conclude that Jotham did not find favor in the eyes of men. It depends on what one wants from life. We must choose.

Humility
Thomas Washbourne

1606-1687

Though Heaven be high, the gate is low,
And he that comes in there must bow:
The lofty looks shall ne’er
Have entrance there.

O God! since Thou delight’st to rest
In the humble contrite breast,
First make me so to be,
Then dwell with me.
407:1299


Collect for the Day
My Lord, I have nothing to do in this world, but to seek and serve thee; I have nothing to do with a heart and its affections, but to breathe after thee; I have nothing to do with my tongue and pen, but to speak to thee, and for thee, and to publish thy glory and thy will.

[286:87:260 Richard Baxter, 1615-1691]

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