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

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

What Are We Waiting For? - Reflections on Zephaniah 3:14-20

In the midst of this unrestrained litany of salaciousness, Zephaniah speaks hope. The prophet enacts in his final words the very essence of the gospel of God, the announcement of hope when none appears at all likely or possible.

Monday, December 6, 2021