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.
The Hebrew people came out of their tents and asked “What is it?” ie. “manna?”. Each morning they would gather their what’s-it.
In the children’s version of the Jonah story Jonah’s anger and God’s reproving of him is regularly missed out.
The final words of Deutero-Isaiah are possibly addressed to those of the Hebrew people in Babylonian exile who are not following the call to return to Jerusalem.
Over the next four Sundays we read Paul’s letter to the Philippians. Philippi was a Roman colony in Macedonia. Around the year 50 CE, Paul, Timothy, Silas, and others had visited Philippi during Paul’s second missionary journey founding a church there (Acts 16:11-40). This was Paul’s first church foundation in Europe – a predominantly gentile church for whom Paul had special affection. Paul is writing from prison, but the particular imprisonment and hence dating of this letter is disputed (mid 50s to early 60s). Paul’s urging to the equivalent of “live as citizens” (1:27) is within the context of Philippi being a Roman colony in which some would have Roman citizenship.
To the first workers the vineyard owner promises the “usual daily wage”, to those he employed later he promised “I will pay you whatever is right.” To the later ones he gives a denarius, acting as patron, treating them as if they were family. The resulting envy from those hired first is a desire to acquire that very vineyard – ie. to see the vineyard owner dead.