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

New Life - Reflections on Ezekiel 37:1-14

In response to the question of YHWH God, “Mortal, can these bones live,” the prophet first says, “YHWH God, you know,” which may be a way politely of saying, “Not likely!” But God has not yet given up on Israel, nor on us, because the prophet is asked to animate these bones with his prophecy, with his prophetic voice. 

Monday, March 20, 2023

Seeing as YHWH Sees? - Reflections on 1 Samuel 16:1-13

We preachers must be careful not to fall into the traps of simplism when we seek to elucidate these subtle and rich texts. After all, YHWH sees us as well, we claim, and evaluates our employment of the sacred texts, weighing our hearts as we ply our homiltical trade. Read more carefully, I regularly hear God say. 

Monday, March 13, 2023

What is Meaning, Anyway - Exodus 17:1-7

The Bible is a book filled with puzzles. To ask the question of the meaning of any text is to ask a very complicated question. Is the meaning what the author meant, what it may mean to this or that reader, or something else entirely different? 

Monday, March 6, 2023

The Ancient Text Lives! - Reflections on Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7

I propose something different today in my look at the familiar passage. I will newly translate the whole thing with an eye out for a few of the multiple nuances that might be captured in the actual words as I hear them. And along the way of my reading, I will emphasize those places where a preacher might reap a wonderful homiletical harvest.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

The Mystery of the Mountain - Reflections on Exodus 24:12-18

At Ex.24, Moses, like Jesus later, calls selected followers to join him on a high mountain, this time the sacred hill of Sinai (or Horeb in another tradition).  One can easily see the tokens in Exodus of the later Jesus story of transfiguration: clouds and fire and divine voice. 

Monday, February 13, 2023

Choice - Reflections on Sirach 15:15-20

The book has been a very popular one both for Jews and Christians, leaving a profound impact on the proverbial literature of the West. It is filled with moral, cultic, and ethical maxims, folk proverbs, psalms of praise and lament, theological and philosophical reflections, homiletic exhortations, and rich comments about life and customs of the time. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Gloom Becomes Light - Reflections on Isaiah 9:1-4

The verse speaks of a time when the subjects  of the text, namely Zebulun and Naphtali, were “in anguish” and were experiencing “gloom.” This period of Israelite history is known as the Syro-Ephraimitic War. Hence, gloom and contempt were the orders of the day. But now Isaiah promises light. “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those living in the land of zalmaweth—light has shone on them” (Is.9:2). 

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

A Light to the Nations - Reflections on Isaiah 49:1-7

“I will create you as a light to the nations in order that my work of saving may reach to the end of the earth” (Is.49:6). Here is nothing less than the ultimate statement of God’s desire for the whole creation. 

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Shalom Without End - Reflections on Isaiah 7:2-7

If shalom means “unity,” and it does, and if the coming of Jesus at Bethlehem offers shalom to the world, and it does, then we have got to find a way to celebrate shalom this year rather than the Christmases we have witnessed over most of our lifetimes. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2022