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.

Exodus 34: 4-9

Exodus 32-34 appears an insert in descriptions of the tabernacle. YHWH (LORD) relates to the verb "to be". "Merciful" in this passage relates to the word for womb. God is as intimate with us as two from the same womb. The attributes of God stand in strong contrast to Mediterranean culture.

Genesis 1:1-2:4a

The Priestly, later, Northern creation story is a wonderful, bold refutation of the Babylonian creation myth, the Enuma Elish (link off this site). It is a hymn or poem with seven verses and a recurring refrain. In the first three verses ("days") God ("El") makes things, in the next three God fills them. The story is not one of a war, or of polytheistic astrological deities, but astonishing, positive claims made by captives in exile.

2 Corinthians 13:11-13

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

John 3:16-18

This gospel uses the word "world" seventy-nine times - both in a positive sense and in a negative sense deriving from the positive reception of its message in the 50s and the negative experiences of rejection in the late 80s.

Matthew 28: 16-20

Baptism was not originally with this as a "formula" said at the time of baptism, but rather "in the name of" meant "on behalf of" and "into the nature and actions of". That the "name of" is singular anticipates the development of the doctrine of the Trinity.
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