Re the Daily Office Readings August 16 Anno Domini 2020

Samson, Woodcut by Eberhard Viegener

The Lessons: Judges 16:15-31; 2 Cor. 13:1-11; Mark 5:25-34


The Samson story ends on a strange combination of notes: anger, exaltation, answered prayer, death, and “He had judged Israel twenty years.”

Blind Willie Johnson’s powerful “If I had my way” retells Samson’s story, while leaving his death unstated. It captures one current in protest, that combination of rage and passion for some combination of justice and revenge that no longer attends to the cost, personal or otherwise. Better than acquiescence to or cooptation by “the wicked world,” but not, we hope, the only option.

Samson, also a riddle in which the people of God are mirrored. Lest this sound strange, consider the political choices those who self-identify as God’s people have made and are making.

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