Scripture Commentary for November 20, 2016

Arthur Cash Scripture commentaries Leave a Comment

PROPER 29

Nov. 20 – 26

 

FIRST READING

Jeremiah 23: 1 – 6

The prophet disclaims false or delinquent priests and prophets.  In time, he says, God will send a descendant of David who will rule wisely and bring justice.  A historian probably would say Jeremiah is predicting the rise of a worldly king.  But Christians treasure this passage, for to them, he prophecies the coming of Christ.

NO ALTERNATIVE READING

SECOND READING

Colossians 1: 11 – 20

In this passage, Paul reaches high for an understanding of Christ.  The Christ he envisions uses his glory and power to “rescue” us from evil, but he is more than a redeemer.  I think Paul’s words “in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell” are critical, but difficult to understand.  They have been rendered with more clarity in other translations:  “For it pleased God that in the Son all the fullness of deity should dwell.”  In my view, this means that the creative powers and sustaining powers of God the Father exist also in Christ.  Of course in our religious traditions they have different “histories” known to us in stories or myths; that is, they are different “persons.”  In my own mythical imagination, they can talk to one another, which they couldn’t do if they were one person.  Discourse between them (to continue my myth) is possible because their wills and intentions differ.  Nevertheless, the divine attributes of capacity and capability are the same in Father and Son.  I don’t do justice to the beauty of Paul’s inspired words, but of course I’m only a humble interpreter of his vision.

We are not at the end of the three-year cycle of readings.  We begin them again.  Next Sunday, my commentaries on the Old Testament and Epistle you will have heard three years ago.

 

 

 

©Arthur H. Cash

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