short shrift today, I'm tired already and there is much to do.
The Old Testament reading for today is chapters 38 and 39 of Jeremiah.
Jeremiah is hard reading, not -- generally -- happy and rainbows and all that. It's a hard-eyed look at the culture into which the Chosen People in the Promised Land had descended. And the coming results of that. The culture shown throughout has more than a bit to do with our world, our culture, our land. And, I fear, will have similar results. Sooner or later.
Our reading in the New Testament is chapter 1 of the Epistle to the Hebrews.
Now, two things.
- First, we call this an epistle, a letter. Some serious theologians think of it more as a speech than a letter. I don't know. There is quite a lot in Hebrews, and while long speeches, without either amplification or electronic recording systems, were by no means unknown in that era, it seems long to me. Perhaps that's my own shorter-than-once-was attention span and impatience. But there is quite a lot within the work, and I find it hard to believe people could "chew over" it while it was being spoken. But who knows.
- The other thing is authorship. Traditionally, it has been believed that Paul was the author. There is now a substantial body of belief that it was not Paul, may in fact be the product of another author as yet unknown. I don't know. I am not sure that it matters; I believe it was produced under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the real author anyway, the stenographer is less important.