Re the Daily Office Readings September 5 Anno Domini 2020

Quino (“And they say that you can’t live in this country.”)

Job. Expanding on yesterday’s observation, as the argument between Job and his friends has continued, the evil worthy of divine judgment and human condemnation has come into sharper focus: indifference to or squeezing of the poor, e.g., here in Eliphaz’ speech:

5 Is not your wickedness great?
There is no end to your iniquities.
6 For you have exacted pledges from your family for no reason,
and stripped the naked of their clothing.
7 You have given no water to the weary to drink,
and you have withheld bread from the hungry.
8 The powerful possess the land,
and the favored live in it.
9 You have sent widows away empty-handed,
and the arms of the orphans you have crushed.
10 Therefore snares are around you,
and sudden terror overwhelms you,

This is the evil that Job accuses God of ignoring; it’s the evil that had no place in Job’s past. Here Job and his friends are in full agreement. In our context in which indifference and squeezing are increasingly public policy (e.g., raids on No More Deaths), that should give us pause.

Acts. As in Peter’s Pentecost sermon, Jesus’ resurrection is pivotal: if God raised Jesus, then many things need to be rethought. As in that sermon, Paul leads with the “forgiveness of sins:” “Let it be known to you therefore, my brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you; by this Jesus everyone who believes is set free [literally ‘justified’] from all those sins from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.” Commentators wonder what contrast between Moses and Jesus Luke/Paul has in mind; this commentator wonders whether this rhetorical strategy doesn’t reduce Jesus to being a better brand of detergent.

John. Among the many metaphors used in the New Testament for Jesus’ death, Jesus’ metaphor here perhaps deserves more attention: The Good Shepherd deals with the wolf.

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