This site provides something different: many sites and books provide a brief summary of the reading – so that people read out or have in their pew sheet an outline of what they are about to hear. They are told beforehand what to expect. Does this not limit what they hear the Spirit address them? This site provides something different – often one cannot appreciate what is being read because there is no context provided. This site provides the context, the frame of the reading about to be heard. It could be used as an introduction, printed on a pew sheet (acknowledged, of course), or adapted in other ways.
This story clearly combines a naturalistic version with a driving east wind, and a miraculous version – with walls of water on either side. Mesopotamian kings boasted that their enemies, seeing their divine face, would be terrified. This image may lie behind the LORD looking down upon the Egyptian army.
There is a confusing conflation of traditions in the framing story of the death of Joseph’s father, Israel. Joseph is clearly of high status in Egypt and his father is treated accordingly in death.
Romans 14-15 are two chapters focusing on tolerance and pleasing others not ourselves. It has been suggested that there is a hymn or poem underlying today’s reading’s structure.
Last week’s text, which forms the frame for this week’s, focused on sin and its relationship to the community. Today continues this thread of how we relate to each other as sinful. Sin in this non-economic culture is understood as debt. The parable begins with a ludicrous debt: a talent was 6,000 denarii – with a denarius being a labourer’s day wage. 10,000 talents, is hence 164,000 years of work for a labourer – 7 days a week (192,000 years if you stop work for the Sabbath).