Week of Proper 11: Tuesday, Year 2   7 comments

Above:  The Arch at The University of Georgia, Across from Downtown Athens, Georgia

(I live a few miles from this site.  UGA is the professional home of several people who have harmed me.)

Image Source = Josh Hallett

Life Goes On, and So Must We

JULY 24, 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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Micah 7:14-20 (TANAKH:  The Holy Scriptures):

Oh, shepherd Your people with Your staff,

Your very own flock.

May they who dwell isolated

In a woodland surrounded by farmland

Graze Bashan and Gilead

As in olden days.

I will show him wondrous deeds

As in the days when You sallied forth from the land of Egypt.

Let nations behold and be ashamed

Despite all their might;

Let them put hand to mouth;

Let their ears be deafened!

Let them lick dust like snakes,

Like crawling things on the ground!

Let them come trembling out of their strongholds

To the LORD our God;

Let them fear and dread You!

Who is a God like You,

Forgiving iniquity

And remitting transgression;

Who has not maintained His wrath forever

Against the remnant of His own people,

Because He loves graciousness!

He will take us back in love;

He will cover up our iniquities,

You will hurl all our sins

Into the depths of the sea.

You will keep faith with Jacob,

Loyalty to Abraham,

As you promised an oath to our fathers

In days gone by.

Psalm 85:1-7 (1979 Book of Common Prayer):

1  You have been gracious to your land, O LORD,

you have restored the good fortune of Jacob.

2  You have forgiven the iniquity of your people

and blotted out all their sins.

3  You have withdrawn all your fury

and turned yourself from your wrathful indignation.

4  Restore us then, O God our Savior,

let your anger depart from us.

5  Will you be displeased with us for ever?

will you prolong your anger from age to age?

6  Will you not give us life again,

that your people may rejoice in you?

7 Show us your mercy, O LORD,

and grant us  your salvation.

Matthew 12:46-50 (An American Translation):

While he was still speaking, his mother and his brothers came up and stood outside the crowd, wanting to speak to him.  But he said to the man who told him,

Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?

And he pointed to his disciples and said,

Here are my mother and my brothers!  For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother!

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The Collect:

Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, you know our necessities before we ask and our ignorance in asking: Have compassion on our weakness, and mercifully give us those things which for our unworthiness we dare not, and for our blindness we cannot ask; through the worthiness of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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Some Related Posts:

Week of Proper 11:  Tuesday, Year 1:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/week-of-proper-11-tuesday-year-1/

A Prayer for Those Who Have Harmed Us:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2011/09/19/a-prayer-for-those-who-have-harmed-us/

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The lectionary I am following for Monday-Saturday readings omits the two vengeful verses in Micah 7, but I have included them.  In the Old Testament even expressions of hope and gratitude come mixed with anger much of the time.  Consider many of the psalms when searching for other examples of this pattern.  Such vengeful thoughts might not seem holy to certain sensibilities, but they are human, and the Bible is a product of human beings.

The reading, from the end of Micah’s book, speaks of God taking back the chosen people and forgiving them.   There will be a second exodus, this time from exile, the reading says.  And there was.  The beautiful poetry speaks of God throwing all the sins of the Jews “into the depths of the sea.”  Divine wrath, we read, will not last forever.

Yet the author wants divine wrath to fall on the foreign powers, namely oppressors, and to last forever.  I know, on the personal level, the desire for vengeance and vindication.  My cause was just, my oppressor’s was not, and he got away with what he did to me.  Who was I, after all?  I was a lowly graduate student; he was (and is) a prominent professor.  So he got away with what he did to me.  Anger, however, is a spiritual toxin, one which becomes more poisonous the longer one nurtures and imbibes it.  Yes, I remain convinced that I was a victim, but I refuse to define myself as such.  There might not be justice for me in this life, but I have come around to not objecting to forgiveness for my oppressor in this life or the next one.

Life goes on, and so must we.

KRT

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ADDENDUM:

Forgiveness occurred some time ago.  I became conscious of it only after the fact.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 17, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT PASCHAL BAYLON, FRANCISCAN

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM CROSWELL DOANE, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF ALBANY, NEW YORK

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM HOBART HARE, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF SOUTH DAKOTA

THE FEAST OF WIREMU TE TAURI, ANGLICAN MISSIONARY

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http://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2012/04/19/life-goes-on/

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