Coming Attractions March 13 – 19 (Week of 2 Lent, Year 2)

The readings are listed in the Book of Common Prayer p.953, and appear on various websites including Forward Movement, Mission St Clare.

Genesis 41:14-43:34 The action slows to allow us to observe and wonder about the changing choices the protagonists make, even the self-contradictory ones (naming one’s son “Manasseh” in celebration of forgetting). It looks like the narrator is constrained also by knowledge of Egypt’s economics, so that while there’s silence re whether the people are paid for the grain collected, we’re told that they must pay to get it back.

1 Corinthians 4:8-7:24 These chapters provide opportunity to wonder about multiple issues. For example, the role of our context in determining what we find self-evident, what we find surprising and/or objectionable. (In my time in Latin America, the surprising text was 7:4, specifically “the husband does not have authority over his own body”!) For example, strategies for dealing with behavior that threatens communion. I wonder about 5:11: is there tension between this strategy and Jesus’ practice with Judas (cf. John 12:6), who finally self-expels from the Twelve?

Mark 3:7-5:20 William Faulkner: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” We might notice the ways Faulkner’s observation plays out in these stories, e.g., the role of the past in the formation of the different soils the word encounters (4:1ff). Or, we might take Jesus’ “Have you still no faith?” (4:40) as an invitation to review the preceding stories: is the question/complaint justified? In what circumstances might Jesus direct that question to us? Finally, the exorcisms, usually not part of our experience. M. Scott Peck’s People of the Lie is a helpful entry point.

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