Showing posts from February, 2016

The Fourth Sunday in Lent, 6 March 2016

The Fourth Sunday in Lent, 6 March 2016 Joshua 5:9-12 Psalm 32 II Corinthians 5:16-21 St. Luke 15:1-3, 11bn-32 Max Beckmann, The Prodigal Background: Inheritance in Jesus’ time In the Israel of Jesus’ time inheritance was largely patrilineal.   I say “largely” because there are biblical instances of an inheritance passing from the father to a daughter (see Numbers 27:1-4 ). The laws of inheritance were complicated by the code that did not allow the land passing from one tribe to another. The whole of the code is transmitted in the later verses of Numbers 27 and again in Numbers 36 . The firstborn son was entitled to receive a double portion of the estate, while other sons received lesser amounts. Joshua 5:9-12 The  Lord  said to Joshua, "Today I have rolled away from you the disgrace of Egypt." And so that place is called Gilgal to this day. While the Israelites were camped in Gilgal they kept the Passover in the evening on the fourteent

The Third Sunday in Lent, 28 February 2016

The Third Sunday in Lent, 28 February 2016 Exodus 3:1-15 Psalm 63:1-8 I Corinthians 10:1-13 St. Luke 13:1-9 Background: The Name of God Names are important. They become a part of our psyche and self-awareness, and our naming of God functions much in the same way. We identify with it. What is interesting in the Judeo-Christian traditions is that there are several names that are used to identify God, some of which seem familiar, and others that are or seem foreign. The unspoken name of God, YHWH, which in the Hebrew uses the substitute Adonai (Lord), is the subject of the first lesson for today – The Burning Bush, and the unspoken name. It seems appropriate given that in addition to the unspoken nature of the name, there was also no provision for image. Other names, however, are used in the Hebrew Scriptures. Some were in existence before the Hebrew traditions were even formed and migrated in as a cultural expression, such as the early Semitic El, also seen in t