Saturday, August 09, 2014

Highlighting the Bible, Part XVII, Jeremiah, Lamentations, and Ezekiel

A.Hanson, Taize 2009
The book of Jeremiah is set in a time of disaster and uncertainty.  This prophet spoke of God's destruction on the world because of the unfaithfulness of the people of Judah.  This makes it hard to read at times, particularly given the metaphors the that the prophet chooses to use.  But Jeremiah points continually again and again to the activity of God.

The Book of Lamentations is a series of five poems mourning the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians in 586 BCE.

The Book of Ezekiel is also a prophetic telling of the events leading up to the exile, promises of restoration and a vision for healing and hope in the future.  Ezekiel is a wild and rich book full of fantastic imagery and is quite fun to read.

Because these three books are not used frequently in the lectionary, it suits the purposes of this series to cite what actually appears in the lectionary.

A. The following texts from the book of Jeremiah appear in the lectionary:

Jer 1:4-10 (Jeremiah's call and commission)

Jer 11:18-20 (Jeremiah's life threatened)

Jer 14:7-10 (The Great Drought)

Jer 14:19-22 (The people plead for mercy)

Jer 15:15-21 (Jeremiah complains again and is reassured)

Jer 20:7-13 (Jeremiah denounces his persecutors)

Jer 23:1-6 (restoration after Exile; the righteous branch of David)

Jer 23:23-29 ("Am I a God nearby?…Who can hide in secret places that I cannot see them?")

Jer 29:5-9 (Jeremiah's letter of hope to the exiles in Babylon)

Jer 31:1-14 (The joyful return of the exiles)

Jer 31:31-34 (A new covenant)

Jer 33:14-16 (The righteous branch and the covenant with David)

B. The following passages from the book of Lamentations appear in the lectionary:

Lam 3:22-33 ("The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases")

C. The following passages from the book of Ezekiel appear in the lectionary:

Eze 2:1-5 (The vision of the scroll)

Eze 17:22-24 (Israel exalted at last)

Eze 18:1-4 (Individual retribution)

Eze 18:25-32 ("Hear now, O House of Israel: Is my way unfair?")

Eze 33:7-11 (God's justice and mercy)

Eze 34:11-16, 20-24 (God, the True Shepherd)

Eze 37:1-14 (The Valley of the Dry Bones)

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