Re the Daily Office Readings August 2 Anno Domini 2020

Judges 6:1-24; 2 Cor. 9:6-15; Mark 3:20-30

(The Lectionary ends the Mark reading at v.30; the above link takes the reading through v.35, for which see below.)

In the middle of encouraging the Corinthians to participate in the collection for the Jerusalem Christians Paul cites Psalm 112:9, which provides a point of entry into today’s readings.

Psalm 112 together with Psalm 111 form the only diptych in the Psalter, Ps 111 celebrating the Lord, Ps 112 celebrating the one who fears the Lord, and whose character and actions mirror the Lord’s. In the Book of Common Prayer the pair appears on pp.754-755, and repay extended contemplation. So Paul cites 112:9 as part of his encouragement that the Corinthians’ generosity mirror the Lord’s.

The pair Ps 111-112 provide a way of hearing the Judges reading: the Lord is about to do something about the Midianites; the Lord invites Gideon’s participation.

Mark, meanwhile, has given us one story (the dispute with the scribes, vv.22-30) sandwiched by another story (Jesus’ upset family, vv.19b-21, 31-35). Ps 111-112’s invitation to mirror the character and actions of the Lord: the downside is that folk respond in different ways, creating divisions. And when push comes to shove, Jesus is clear where he lands: “Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother” (v.35). Generosity.

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