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.

Exodus 22:20-26

The Book of the Covenant (Exodus 20:22-23:19 see 24:7) is understood to be the oldest legislation in the Hebrew scriptures, probably dating to premonarchical times. There are many parallels to Mesopotamian laws. Usury (22:25) applied only to the Hebrew people – there is no forbidding taking interest on a loan to non-Hebrew.

Deuteronomy 34:1-12

This is the conclusion of the book of Deuteronomy, and the conclusion of the long pentateuchal saga of Israel’s formation. It is unclear if Moses’ grave was kept secret or forgotten.

Leviticus 19:1-2, 15-18

Holiness is here expressed as copying and sharing in the life of God through a series of commands expressing loving the neighbour (fellow Israelite), and including the alien (19:34).

1 Thessalonians 2:1-8

Paul’s faithfulness to the good news, and his care for the Thessalonians was the motivation for his actions whilst in Thessalonica.

Matthew 22:34-46

This is another question posed to test Jesus in the ongoing challenge of Jesus. 613 commandments are identified in the Torah – 248 positive injuctions, and 365 negative commandments. Hillel had “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah”.

Today’s readings online