Week of Proper 7: Saturday, Year 2   2 comments

Above:  Jeremiah Lamenting Over the Destruction of Jerusalem, by Rembrandt van Rijn

Lamentations

JUNE 30, 2018

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Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), of The Episcopal Church, contains an adapted two-years weekday lectionary for the Epiphany and Ordinary Time seasons from the Anglican Church of Canada.  I invite you to follow it with me.

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Lamentations 2:2, 10-19 (TANAKH:  The Holy Scriptures):

The Lord has laid waste without pity

All the inhabitants of Jacob;

He has raised in His anger

Fair Judah’s strongholds.

He has brought low in dishonor

The kingdom and its leaders.

Silent sit on the ground

The elders of Fair Zion;

They have strewn dust on their heads

And girded themselves with sackcloth;

The maidens of Jerusalem have bowed

Their heads to the ground.

My eyes are spent with tears,

My heart is in tumult,

My being melts away

Over the ruin of my poor people,

As babes and sucklings languish

In the squares of the city.

They keep asking their mothers,

Where is bread and wine?

As they languish like battle-wounded

In the squares of the town,

As their life runs out

In their mothers’ bosoms.

What can I take as witness or liken

To you, O Fair Jerusalem?

What can I match with you to console you,

O Fair Maiden Zion?

For your ruin is vast as the sea;

Who can heal you?

Your seers prophesied to you

Delusion and folly.

They did not expose your iniquity

So as to restore your fortunes,

But prophesied to you oracles

Of delusion and deception.

All who pass your way

Clap their hands at you;

They hiss and wag their head

At Fair Jerusalem:

Is that the city that was called

Perfect in Beauty,

Joy of All the Earth?

All your enemies

Jeer at you;

They hiss and gnash their teeth,

And cry:

We’ve ruined her!

Ah, this is the day we hoped for;

We have lived to see it!

The LORD has done what He purposed,

Has carried out the decree

That he ordained long ago;

He has torn down without pity.

He has let the foe rejoice over you,

Has exalted the might of your enemies.

Their heart cried out to the Lord.

O wall of Fair Zion,

Shed tears like a torrent

Day and night!

Give yourself no respite,

Your eyes no rest.

Arise, cry out in the night

At the beginning of the watches,

Pour out your heart like water

In the presence of the Lord!

Lift up your hands to Him

For the life of your infants,

Who faint for hunger

At every street corner.

Psalm 74:1-8, 17-20 (1979 Book of Common Prayer):

1  O God, why have you utterly cast us off?

why is your wrath so hot against the sheep of your pasture?

2  Remember your congregation that your purchased long ago,

the tribe you redeemed to be your inheritance,

and Mount Zion where you dwell.

3  Turn your steps toward the endless ruins;

the enemy has laid waste everything in your sanctuary.

4  Your adversaries roared in your holy place;

they set up their banners as tokens of victory.

5  They were like men coming up with axes to a grove of trees;

they broke down all your carved work with hatchets and hammers.

6  They set fire to your holy place;

they defiled the dwelling-place of your Name

and razed it to the ground.

7  They said to themselves, “Let us destroy them altogether.”

They burned down all the meeting-places of God in the land.

8  There are no signs for us to see;

there is no prophet left;

there is not one among us who knows how long.

17  Remember, O LORD, how the enemy scoffed,

how a foolish people despised your Name.

18  Do not hand over the life of your dove to wild beasts;

never forget the lives of your poor.

19  Look upon your covenant;

the dark places of the earth are haunts of violence.

20  Let not the oppressed turn away ashamed;

let the poor and needy praise your Name.

Matthew 8:5-17 (An American Translation):

When he [Jesus] got back to Capernaum, a Roman captain came up and appealed to him,

My servant, sir, is lying sick with paralysis at my house, in great distress.

He said to him,

I will come and cure him.

But the captain answered,

I am not a suitable person,sir, to have you come under my roof, but simply say the word, and my servant will be cured.  For I am myself under the orders of others and I have soldiers under me, and I tell one to go, and he comes, and my slave to do something, and he does it.

When Jesus heard this he was astonished, and said to his followers,

I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such faith as this.  And I tell you, many will come from the east and from the west and take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the Kingdom of of Heaven, while the heirs to the kingdom will be driven into the darkness outside, there to weep and grind their teeth!

Then Jesus said to the captain,

Go!  You shall find it just as you believe!

And the servant was immediately cured.

Jesus went into Peter’s house, and there he found Peter’s mother-in-law sick in bed with fever.  And he touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and waited on him.

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The Collect:

O Lord, make us have perpetual love and reverence for your holy Name, for you never fail to help and govern those whom you have set upon the sure foundation of your loving-kindness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

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A Related Post:

Week of Proper 7:  Saturday, Year 1:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/12/14/week-of-proper-7-saturday-year-1/

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At this point I have been exploring much of 2 Kings.  Recently I have written of so many aspects of that text that I recognize many of them in Lamentations 2.  I have nothing new to say or write about them.  So I choose to be quite brief in my remarks for this post.  If you, O reader, are of such a mind, reread the preceding Monday-Saturday posts, beginning with “Week of Proper 5:  Monday, Year 2” (https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/08/04/week-of-proper-5-monday-year-2/).  Pay very close attention to the recurring sin of idolatry.

Other than that, read Lamentations (preferably all of it) aloud.  Most people who have experienced the Bible over time have done so orally; either they have read it aloud or someone has read it to them.  One approaches a text differently when one hears it than when one reads it silently off a page.  So read Lamentations aloud.  Let it wash over you and through you.  Listen to God speaking to you through it.

I also recommend listening to the Thomas Tallis settings of Lamentations.  In fact, I have been listening to YouTube recordings of those settings while typing this post.  Listen–really listen–to the music.  The words are Latin, but the English words are not hard to find; begin with Chapter 1, verse 1.  The music, from the 1500s, captures the essence of the biblical author’s grief.  You, O reader, might even choose to read the text aloud while playing the Tallis music.

May the peace of the Lord be with you today and always.

KRT

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