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

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Last Four Kings: II Chronicles 36 with poem by Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke, Sion Lies Waste

Daily Readings
Ezekiel 19, II Kings 24:18-25:30, II Chronicles 36, Jeremiah 52

Daily Text: II Chronicles 36

The Last Four Kings
The last four kings of Judah are covered quickly, deliberately, and leaving Josiah’s memory rather fresh. Each of these four go into exile. Each of the four did what was evil in the sight of the LORD. Each of these four was subservient to either Egypt or Babylon. Each of these four reflect the fulfillment of Huldah’s prophecy [cf. chapter 34]. Each of these four add to the sin of Judah, the ignoring of the Sabbath and temple observance. Each of these four illustrate the need for the land to observe sabbath in the Levitical sense of the land lying fallow for a time—in this case for a long time, ten sabbath years. Each of these four is a prelude to Exile and rebuilding following the approximately 70 years of exile.

II Chronicles 36 ends by a reference to Cyrus and Persia the conditions that set up the political reality experienced by the Chronicler. This same ending is the beginning of the book of Ezra, and leads smoothly into the next chapter of our story.

Sion Lies Waste
Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke

Sion lies waste, and thy Jerusalem
O Lord, is fallen to utter desolation.
Against thy prophets and thy holy men
The sin hath wrought a fatal combination:
Profaned thy name, thy worship overthrown,
And made thee, living Lord, a God unknown.

Thy powerful laws, thy wonders of creation,
Thy word incarnate glorious heaven, dark hell,
Lie shadowed under man’s degeneration,
Thy Christ still crucified for doing well.
Impiety, O Lord, sits on thy throne,
Which makes thee, living light, a God unknown.

Man’s superstition hath thy truths entombed,
His atheism again her pomps defaceth;
That sensual unsatiable vast womb
Of thy seen church thy unseen church disgraceth.
There lives no truth with them that seem thine own,
Which makes thee, living Lord, a God unknown.

Yet unto thee, Lord, mirror of transgression,
We who for earthly idols have forsaken
Thy heavenly image, sinless, pure impression,
And so in nets of vanity lie taken
All desolate implore that to thine own,
Lord, thou no longer live a God unknown.

Yet, Lord, let Israel’s plagues not be eternal,
Nor sin forever cloud thy sacred mountains,
Nor with false flames, spiritual but infernal,
Dry up thy mercy’s ever springing fountains.
Rather, sweet Jesus, fill up time and come
To yield the sin her everlasting doom.
395:259

Collect for the Day
O Merciful God, who answerest the poor,
Answer us,
O Merciful God, who answerest the lowly in spirit,
Answer us,
O Merciful God, who answerest the broken of heart,
Answer us.
O Merciful God,
Answer us.
O Merciful God,
Have compassion.
O Merciful God,
Redeem.
O Merciful God,
Save.
O Merciful God, have pity upon us,
Now,
Speedily,
And a near time.

[286:279:847 Prayer in Darkness of Spirit,
Day of Atonement]

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