Solomon is approached with a serious dilemma. The equation doesn’t seem to add up. Two mothers. One baby. In what's declared as an act of wisdom, Solomon decides to cut the baby in half to correct the equation. When threatening to do so, the truth is discovered and the baby is returned to his mother.
While moderating at a recent presbytery meeting, I had a new insight into this particular story.
Sometimes, when one church is struggling, another church helps out. One church I interviewed (for the From Death to Life project) was a new ethnic church development that was
given a building, basically for free, from a church that died. But we
all know you get what you pay for, and the building they got had more
than a few structural problems. They received some support for the
pastor’s salary from their denomination, but the building was weighing
them down with repair bills.
There must have been some Lutherans sitting in that conference room
when the Revised Common Lectionary was birthed. That is the only
explanation that I can come up with for Ephesians 2:1-10 having a role
on the Fourth Sunday in Lent, Year B.
been meaning for some time to come back to a topic that has been
garnering attention, the news that some Bible translations aimed at
predominantly Islamic contexts were not using the phrase “son of God,”
ever since I circulated an online article mentioning the news and was
met with expressions of concern because that particular piece posed the
matter in an inflammatory manner. (See Eddie Arthur’s blog post and longer pdf for more information.)
it comes to this issue of translation, I think that replacing “son of
God” with something else can be not only appropriate, but in keeping with
the spirit of the history of biblical translation.
When Abby Kelley, a 19th-century abolitionist, expressed a
desire to address the Connecticut Anti-Slavery Society, this is how a
local minister argued against her right to do so:
No woman will speak or vote where I am moderator. It is
enough for a woman to rule at home… she has no business to come into
this meeting and by speaking and voting lord it over men. Where woman’s
enticing eloquence is heard, men are incapable of right and efficient
action. She beguiles and binds men by her smiles and her bland winning
voice… I will not sit in a meeting where the sorcery of a woman’s tongue
is thrown around my heart. I will not submit to PETTICOAT GOVERNMENT.
No woman shall ever lord it over me. I am Major-Domo in my own house.
It’s not, of course, the only way. Monasteries meet daily, while the
Old Testament festival pattern suggests three times a year. (Deuteronomy
16:15-16: “For seven days celebrate … Three times a year you must
I’m taking a class on the Gospel of Luke this semester, and
one of my assignments is to engage in an ongoing spiritual practice
related to that particular Gospel. So for the entire semester I am
reading the Magnificat daily. It’s a passage that I’ve been drawn to in
recent years, but it has been particularly illuminating to be dwelling
on it during Lent this year, since it is typically confined to the Advent
season. Somehow the triumphal language of the justice that God has
already accomplished fits with the modern treatment of Advent as a
celebratory season. But Lent is a season of penance, which puts an
entirely different spin on the text.
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