The Lively Lectionary Old Testament is a blog that reflects on the Old Testament text from the Revised Common Lectionary each week.

Grief-Filled, Yet Hopeful Poems - Reflections on Lamentations 1:1-6; 3:19-26

Though we can never know who wrote these poems, they were obviously composed in the shadow of supreme destruction, forged in the fires of tragedy and despair; Lamentations 1 makes that context clear enough. But even that horror was not able to extinguish the hope that one may always find in God and God’s never-failing love and mercy.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Weeping, After Attacking - Reflections on Jeremiah 8:18-9:1

Jeremiah, in the face of the terror suffered by his recalcitrant people, those same people that he has called into question again and again, can no longer merely attack them; he must also suffer with them, must empathize with them. No true prophet can only bring doom and destruction; she must identify, and stand in the place of those to whom she speaks.

Monday, September 12, 2022

A Change of Gods? - Reflections on Jeremiah 2:4-13

 Paul Tillich’s famous formulation for what God must be for us, namely our “ultimate concern,” or “the ground of our being,” well delineates what Jeremiah is saying to his own people. A rejection of YHWH leads to the acceptance of other things as ultimate concern, as ground of being, and such an exchange leads to a desire for self-sufficiency, a will to go it alone, a conviction that we have no need for God or God’s call for justice and righteousness among all of God’s people. 

Monday, August 22, 2022

A Very Sharp Call - Reflections on Jeremiah 1:4-10

Today’s text focuses on YHWH’s call, and a memorable one it is. “Before I shaped you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I consecrated you—I appointed you a prophet to the nations” (Jer.1:5). 

Monday, August 15, 2022

A Very Dark Love-Song - Reflections on Isaiah 5:1-7

 I suggest that the short poem of Isaiah 5:1-7 is one of the strangest love songs ever composed. The prophecy of Isaiah is little less than a mirror of God’s anger against the chosen people, along with God’s unbreakable hope for them at the same time.

Monday, August 8, 2022

Our Turn! - Reflections on Joshua 5:9-12

This Lenten season, the call for justice is sounded loud and clear as we are reminded that Lent is both a time for self-examination and a time for allowing that examination to lead to engagement with our human siblings in a search for righteousness and justice. 

Monday, March 21, 2022

The Surprising Blessing - Reflections on Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18

This Lent I wished to focus on issues of justice and righteousness in the community, rather than in individual spirituality or getting closer to God on our own. What this odd chapter adds to that emphasis is the significance of a God who simply cannot be penned in or defined in ways that allow that God to be approached by traditional means of religious activity.

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Great Solace Amid Great Pain - Reflections on Isaiah 43:1-7

In Isaiah we find a brilliant representation of that most basic and uncanny statement of God’s hallowed promise to us all: there is, in the end, no death, no exile, no pain, no hopelessness, in which God may not find life in it. 

Monday, January 3, 2022