Older People Rock (Heretic’s Guide Bonus for Sept 1, 2013)

“Older People Rock”

A Heretic’s Guide to the Bible Bonus

Readings from Beyond the Lectionary by David Ackerman for Proper 17: September 1, 2013

Bible Cliff’s Notes

Gospel – John 7:40-44:  People are divided in their opinions about Jesus.  Some think he’s the Messiah while others think he’s a fraud who should be arrested.  Sounds a lot like people’s ideas about Jesus today!

First Reading – 1 Kings 12:1-20 – Around 931 BCE, the kingdom of Israel divides into two separate kingdoms: Israel in the north and Judah in the south.  Jeroboam, son of Nebat, becomes king of the northern 10 tribes, while Rehoboam, son of Solomon, is left with the tribes of Judah and Benjamin.  Before the split, the whole kingdom was to have gone to Rehoboam, but as we will soon see, Rehoboam was a spoiled brat jerk who really screwed things up.

Psalm – Psalm 119:57-64 – This is part of a long progression through Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible.  It’s an “acrostic” psalm, which means that each part represents a letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  This signifies completion, as the psalm celebrates the beauty of God’s law.

Second Reading – Romans 7:7-13 – Yes, there is beauty in law, but as Paul points out, there is also trouble.  This passage highlights the fact that knowledge of the law brings an awareness of sin.  For Paul, this produces an inner conflict, because he knows that there’s a human inclination to do bad things.  An awareness of the law, then, produces the unintended consequence of causing people to want to do the very things the law prohibits.  When someone says, “Don’t eat that cookie!” what’s the first thing most people want to do?  So the naming of prohibitions generally leads to covetousness, which leads to more sin and more trouble.

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