22 February 2010

Feb 22

Reference links:
Old Testament

Leviticus boring? No! Leviticus is hilarious! Take today's reading, for example, in between all of the advice about skin diseases and infections we get this gem,
if [a man] loses hair on his forehead, he simply has a bald forehead
I am still giggling over that one. And then there's this,
Those who suffer from a serious skin disease must tear their clothing and leave their hair uncombed. They must cover their mouth and call out, 'Unclean! Unclean!'
That said, I do not think I would want to be on the Ancient Israeli health care plan. It seems to be more concerned with keeping infections out of the community at large than helping the infected individual. That is, of course, better than nothing, but thank the God I do not believe in for modern medicine.

New Testament

More familiar stories: The people in Jesus' hometown reject him. Jesus sends out the twelve disciples to heal and teach and cast out evil spirits. Herod Antipas kills John the Baptist because his daughter dances well.

Psalms and Proverbs
I am silent before you; I won't say a word,
for my punishment is from you.
But please stop striking me!
I am exhausted by the blows from your hand.
When you discipline us for our sins,
you consume like a moth what is precious to us.
Each of us is but a breath.

Hear my prayer, O Lord!
Listen to my cries for help!
Don't ignore my tears.
For I am your guest --
a traveler passing through,
as my ancestors were before me.
Leave me alone so I can smile again
before I am gone and exist no more.
David's psalms vacillate widely in message. One aspect of the message that is neglected by popular quotation is the despair of many of the psalms. David declares repeatedly that he is blessed by God, but just as often, he laments God's apparent neglect. In today's reading, David goes even further and asks for God to just leave him alone. I am sure Job would be sympathetic.