Lectionary Reading Introduction

This site provides something different: many sites and books provide a brief summary of the reading - so that people read out or have in their pew sheet an outline of what they are about to hear. They are told beforehand what to expect. Does this not limit what they hear the Spirit address them? This site provides something different - often one cannot appreciate what is being read because there is no context provided. This site provides the context, the frame of the reading about to be heard. It could be used as an introduction, printed on a pew sheet (acknowledged, of course), or adapted in other ways. This is an experimental venture and I will see how useful it appears.

Isaiah 49:8-16a

Chapters 40-55 form the Book of Consolation. YHWH shows maternal love to the faithful remnant of the Babylonian exile.

2 Corinthians 13:11-13

The kiss is a normal greeting - just as a handshake is in other cultures.

1 Corinthians 4:1-5

Paul's ridiculing of those in Corinth who regard themselves spiritually superior derives from the context of a culture where honour may be held by insult. The initial hearers of this message also lived in a culture of secrecy. This also provides a context and key for this text.

Matthew 6:24-34

Love and hate are Mediterranean hyperbole for attachment or not. With the masculine Aramaic noun "birds" Jesus associates sowing, reaping, gathering into barns. With the feminine Aramaic noun "lilies of the field" Jesus associates toiling and spinning.
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