I decided to write about the Joel reading in my Century column for this week, because I find his language and imagery—like that of many of the prophetic books—so rich and inspiring. But if I were preaching myself (not that I ever have to) I would probably choose to address the omissions from the Jeremiah and Timothy readings.
When I was a small girl I went to an excellent Sunday school where we were introduced to lots of Bible stories with very few be-good-or-else threats attached. I learned a great many interesting things, including knowing by heart the seven plagues that were inflicted on Pharaoh and his people. This is where I first encountered locusts.
I have been thinking about Jacob a lot recently. I was commissioned to write a short story about genetic modification and chose to write about Jacob’s spotted-sheep breeding program (Gen. 30:37–43)—perhaps the oldest example of deliberate gene manipulation for profit.