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

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Many Are Invited, But Few Accept: II Esdras 7:107-8:19a with poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson, Follow the Christ

Daily Readings
Psalm 138, Esther 3:1-13 [Apoc.] Addition B, 3:14-15, II Esdras 7:102-8:19a, Revelation 6

Daily Text: II Esdras 7:102-8:19a

Many Are Invited, But Few Accept
The existence of God is acknowledged and within His life, all life subsists. That seems to be recognized in 8:7. Still Ezra speaks out suggesting that it were better that humankind not be born than that it perish in torments. Ezra suggests that only one-ten thousandth of humankind may be saved! This number is not meant as an estimate or a cap, but a reality that those who serve God are rare among humankind. The great of mass of others may not even be interceded for on the day of judgment. Intercede continuously while they live in their mortal flesh, but once they pass into immortality, intercession is no longer possible. The pain Ezra feels over this is excruciating. In Christian literature this heart for those headed for perdition is given to each follower of Christ. But as in II Esdras, so in Matthew 22; the man not ready for the wedding feast is thrown into outer darkness without hesitation.

Follow the Christ
Alfred Tennyson
from: “Idylls of the King: Gareth and Lynette”

Man am I grown, a man’s work must I do,
Follow the deer? follow the Christ, the King,
Live pure, speak true, right wrong, follow the King—
Else, wherefore born?

Collect for the Day
God of creation and fulfilment, help us to seek and discover your purposes, that we may become willing instruments of your grace, and that all the world may come to love and praise your name, in the kingdom of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

[476:896:138 Psalm prayer]


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