Content related to Old Testament

Home » Old Testament

Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16

Lent 2B

Cutting Out the Covenant Perhaps the compilers of the Lectionary intended a compassionate reprieve for those who might have to explain the meaning of circumcision to their youngest and most inquisitive learners.  It is, however, a lamentable omission for two reasons. The first is that it truncates the literary markers of covenant-making, which typically include…

Read More

Psalm 22:23-31

Lent 2B

Considering that a portion of Psalm 22 is assigned to the Second Sunday in Lent, it seems odd that the Revised Common Lectionary would select for us not the first two-thirds of the psalm that is a whopping lament but instead the sunny-side-up concluding verses.  Psalm 22 almost seems like it’s two separate poems.  We…

Read More

Genesis 9:8-17

Lent 1B

Covenants For preachers interested in holding a cohesive theme through Lent, this year’s Old Testament lectionary readings provide an opportunity to reflect deeply on the nature of God’s relationship with God’s people through covenant.  This Sunday, it is his covenant not to destroy the earth, next Sunday, his choosing and making a great nation through…

Read More

Psalm 25:1-10

Lent 1B

If the Lectionary decided for whatever the reason to not recommend all of Psalm 25, they could have at least extended this to verse 11.  Since this is the reading for the First Sunday in Lent, you’d think the one verse of this psalm that is a straight up confession of sin would make the…

Read More

2 Kings 2:1-12

Epiphany 6B

On grief and staying the course From the outset of this story, the reader knows what is about to transpire. This is a story about, among other things, the valley of the shadow of death. It’s right there in the first clause of the first verse: “When the Lord was about to take Elijah up…

Read More

Psalm 50:1-6

Epiphany 6B

It is not difficult to see why the Lectionary has us go to Psalm 50 on Transfiguration Sunday in Year B.  There is much here about glory and shining and the splendor—very nearly we could term it the terrible splendor—that surround Israel’s God.  We are only being asked to look at the first six verses…

Read More

Psalm 147:1-11, 20c

Epiphany 5B

A pastor friend of mine who is very dapper and proper in all things, including his attire, once observed another pastor show up for a summertime seminar dinner wearing a pair of shorts.  My friend saw this and I noticed the muscles in his jaw tighten slightly before he wryly said, “I believe it is…

Read More

Isaiah 40:21-31

Epiphany 5B

Psalm 103 promises that God will satisfy our desire for good things, using words that will sound familiar from the reading of Isaiah 40: “so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.” The parallels between these texts are instructive. Psalm 103 does not begin with God’s promise of satisfaction but with forgiveness, healing, liberation…

Read More

Psalm 111

Epiphany 4B

You have to like the fact that a psalm that claims God has worked to make sure his deeds are remembered is itself written as an acrostic in the original Hebrew precisely as an aid to memorizing the psalm!  Beginning each of the 22 lines of this poem with successive letters in the Hebrew alphabet…

Read More

Deuteronomy 18:15-20

Epiphany 4B

Judges, Kings, Priests and Prophets – oh my! Up to this point in Deuteronomy, the law has spelled out the role of kings and judges and priests. Each is invested with a distinct kind of institutional authority.  However, over time, in the history of Israel and her people, these roles began to take on a…

Read More