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.

Lamentations 1:1-6

The traditional attribution of this book to Jeremiah is disputed. In the Tanak (Hebrew Bible) it is one of the Megilloth (five scrolls) including Ruth, Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, and Esther. These were read at Purim (Esther), Pentecost (Ruth), Booths (Ecclesiastes), Passover (Song), and Lamentations on Tisha B'Av (ninth of Ab - falling in July or August). This commemorates the destruction of the first and second temples - events 656 years apart but basically on the same date. This first chapter, as others, follows an acrostic pattern - each verse starting with the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4

Little is known about this prophet who spoke these pronouncements from about 605 to 600 BC. Nebuchadnezzar had just destroyed Assyria and now himself was plundering Israel.

2 Timothy 1:1-14

Since the nineteenth century the authorship of this letter has been disputed. Writing in another’s name was an acceptable part of that culture in a way it is not generally today. As with the letter we have been reading the past three weeks, this pastoral letter is addressed to an individual Christian leader - its message apply whoever the original author and recipients were.

Luke 17:5-10

The four verses skipped since last week (Luke 17:1-4) are all picked up in the synoptic parallels in years A and B. The thread of forgiveness in those verses prepare for the thread of stories about faith here.

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