Try as I might to blog every day on my journey through the Bible, there would always be days when that just wasn’t possible. This is one of those days!
So, here are my thoughts on today’s readings cut down to a handful of words. Because real life doesn’t give you the spare time you would like and tonight’s Parochial Church Council meeting must come first. And my “routine” of the past few nights – namely to write after the kids have gone to bed – is out of the window. So I am writing this to the backdrop of arguing children, cut fingers and the perennial favourite: who is doing the washing up?
Genesis 13, 14 and 15. Abram and Lot are wondering through the lands of Canaan. Abram has an idea, that they should split the lands between them to avoid further conflicts. So they choose their own lands and start to build towns. So far, so good. But there is a war which lasts over a year and includes Abram, Lot and all their neighbours too. The writer goes into a lot of detail about who was involved in the war and which side they were on. Finally, there is a battle in the valley of the Dead Sea and the armies of Sodom and Gomorrah are defeated. The victors plunder the cities and head for home. Abram sends his army to meet the invaders and they re-take the possessions and the women who had been captured.
Hooray for Abram! God rewards him with a promise: he will have as many descendants as there are stars in the sky. Abram believes God, even though his wife is barren.
Meanwhile, Matthew 5 is still telling us what Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus stresses to his listeners (that’s us!) that we should obey the law. But his comments about “turn the other cheek” and “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” are obviously not meant to be taken literally. It’s a metaphor. A little physical discomfort is worth it if you remember to follow the law. Jesus ends with a really powerful command: “Love your neighbour” and “If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different to anyone else?”
My youngest daughter has cut her finger on the Sellotape dispenser. I try to explain that I’ll sort it out when I’ve finished writing, but she doesn’t understand. Now, that could be a metaphor!
The writer of Psalm 6 is pleading with the Lord to answer his prayer. And at the end, he is certain that the Lord will do so.
Proverbs 1:29-33 and if we remember that it is personifying Wisdom, “All who listen to me will live in peace” could be something I’d say to the children tonight. Right after I’ve bandaged my daughter’s finger…