Showing posts from July, 2014

The Eighth Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 13, 3 August 2014

The Eighth Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 13, 3 August 2014 Genesis 32:22-31 Psalm 17:1-7, 16 Or Isaiah 55:1-5 Psalm 145:8-9, 15-22 Romans 9”1-5 St. Matthew 14:13-21 Background:   Foods in ancient Israel The reading from Isaiah (see Track 2, below) sparks a question – what did people of second Isaiah’s time eat?   What was the food that they had experienced in Babylon, and what could they expect upon their return to the Levant?   In Mesopotamia crops were only possible through irrigation.   The crops common to the Mesopotamian civilization were barley, onions, grapes, turnips and apples. Beer and wine were also made.   Spices were more abundant, and were used in cooking. During times of flooding, back up foods of cow and lamb were used.   Israelite foods depended on whether the settlement was on the coastal plain, or in the hill country.   Basic foods were bread, wine, and oil, and the Bible lists seven basic foods: wheat, barley, figs, grapes olives, p

The Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 12, 27 July 2014

The Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, 27 July 2014 Genesis 29:15-28 Psalm 105:1011, 45b or Psalm 128 Or I Kings 3:5-12 Psalm 119:129-136 Romans 8:26-39 St. Matthew13:31-33, 44-52 Background: Parables Parables ask hard spiritual questions, or highlight pertinent spiritual issues, and yet they are immensely popular.   They are known prior to their use by Jesus.   A primary example of parabolic teaching in the Hebrew Scriptures is the parable that the Prophet Nathan uses to chastise David after his affair with Bathsheba (II Samuel 12:1-6 .)   Unlike a fable, which often uses animals to teach a human lesson, or allegory which substitutes symbols for the main idea of the lesson, the parable here gives the reader, and David, a conjectural case worthy of the law courts and a guilty or not guilty verdict.   The parable leads David to recognize his own guilt in the situation that the prophet speaks against.   This connection between the Law and the parable helps us