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

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Pause and Be Quiet: II Esdras 2:10-48 with poem by Charles Poole Cleaves, Rest Where You are

Daily Readings
Psalm 129, Ezra 9, II Esdras 2:10-48, I Esdras 8:68-90

Daily Text: II Esdras 2:10-48

Pause and Be Quiet
Verses 10-48 of Chapter 2 turn to what appears to be the Church. Israel’s privilege is given to her. Addressed as the ‘Mother’ in verses 15-32, with a short parenthesis referring to her as ‘nurse’, the Church is encouraged to shepherd her flock for she will be assisted by God who will send Isaiah and Jeremiah, the twelve minor prophets and the twelve apostles as resources. She is to care for the vulnerable and the dead, and God will in the end, raise them up. Ezra though rejected by Israel finds the Church responsive to his message.

Reference to Isaiah 30:15 seems to be made with the passage ‘Pause and be quiet’ because your rest will come (vs. 24). Turbulent seems to be the watchword of the world this author inhabits, but his signature seems to claim a peace that is provided by God in the middle of it all. Such words came in Genesis on the 7th day and in Hebrews as an eternal promise. In that sense this author is centered in Hebrew thought.

Rest Where You Are
Charles Poole Cleaves

When spurred by tasks unceasing or undone
You would seek rest afar
And cannot, though the rest be fairly won,
Rest where you are.
Not in event, restriction, or release,
In journeys near or far,
But in the heart lies restlessness or peace,
Rest where you are.

Collect for the Day
Save us, gracious God, from the dark forces that threaten the lives of your people, in nations and societies and in the human spirit. Deliver us from cynicism and violence, from jealousy and indifference, from fear and despair. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord.

[476:887:129 Psalm prayer]


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