Week of Proper 11: Friday, Year 2   3 comments

Above:  A Shepherd

Hope in God

JULY 22, 2022


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.


Jeremiah 3:14-18 (TANAKH:  The Holy Scriptures):

Turn back, rebellious children–

declares the LORD.

Since I have espoused you, I will take you, one from a town and two from a clan, and bring you to Zion.  And I will give you shepherds after My own heart, who will pasture you with knowledge and skill.

And when you increase and are fertile in the land, in those days

–declares the LORD–

men shall no longer speak of the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD, nor shall it come to mind.  They shall not mention it, or miss it, or make another.  At that time, they shall call Jerusalem “Throne of the LORD,” and all nations shall assemble there, in the name of the LORD, at Jerusalem.  They shall no longer follow the willfulness of their evil hearts.  In those days, the House of Judah shall go with the House of Israel; they shall come together from the land of the north to the land I gave your fathers as a possession.

Psalm 121 (1979 Book of Common Prayer):

1  I lift up my eyes to the hills;

from where is my help to come?

2  My help comes from the LORD,

the maker of heaven and earth.

3  He will not let your foot be moved

and he who watches over you will not fall asleep.

4  Behold, he who keeps watch over Israel

shall neither slumber nor sleep;

5  The LORD himself watches over you;

the LORD is your shade at your right hand,

6  So that the sun shall not strike you by day,

nor the moon by night.

7  The LORD shall preserve you from all evil;

it is he who shall keep you safe.

8  The LORD shall watch over your going out and your coming in,

from this time forth for evermore.

Matthew 13:18-23 (J. B. Phillips, 1972):

[Jesus continued,]

Now listen to the parable of the sower.  When a man hears the message of the kingdom and does not grasp it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart.  This is like the seed sown by the road-side.  The seed sown on the stony patches represents the man who hears the message and eagerly accepts it.  But it has not taken root in him and does not last long–the moment trouble or persecution arises through the message he gives up his faith at once.  The seed sown among the thorns represents the man who hears the message, and then the worries of this life choke it to death and so it produces no “crop” in his life.  But the seed sown on good soil is the man who both hears and understands the message.  His life shows a good crop, a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.


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.


A Related Post:

Week of Proper 11:  Friday, Year 1:



I have pondered the reading from Jeremiah 3 and sought something new to say.  What can I write that I have not written four or more times already?  Jeremiah speaks of the future return of the Jews from exile and their abandonment of idolatry.  There will be judgment, but mercy will follow.  I have written this many times already.

We read that YHWH has espoused the chosen people.  This speaks of a marital relationship.  Yet the chosen people are also likened to children.  Prophets mixed their metaphors.  I have also tilled this ground.

On a historical level, I note that the Ark of the Covenant was missing from Jerusalem by the final years of the Kingdom of Judah.  But that does not make for a useful devotional point, at least not today.

So I emphasize the hopeful nature of the reading from Jeremiah 3.  There is hope in God.  There is restoration–and better than that–in God.  This is the Lord’s doing.  May we respond to such great love and return that affection as best we can.


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