The Meaning of Life: The Hippo and the Crocodile (BONUS CONTENT)

My sincerest apologies to David Ackerman for posting this late. Although he got it to me on time, I am posting it after the Sunday it was intended for. David, the next time we are together, I am indebted to you for one swift kick in the ass.

 Please take the time to read David’s fantastic commentary, and to check out his book, “Beyond the Lectionary.”

“The Meaning of Life: The Hippo and the Crocodile”

A Heretic’s Guide to the Bible Bonus

Readings from Beyond the Lectionary by David Ackerman for Proper 23: October 13, 2013

Bible Cliff’s Notes

 First Reading – Job 40:15-41:11 – After Job incessantly complains to God about his sufferings, God finally gives him an answer.  Out of the great whirlwind, God at last reveals the meaning of why Job has suffered so terribly.  God’s answer: think about the hippo and the croc.  Yes, that’s right: the hippo and the croc.  If this sounds a teeny bit strange to you, just hang in there because you’re not the only one who thinks it’s odd.

Psalm – Psalm 119:121-128 – 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 – 2 Corinthians 13:5-10 – Paul has just spent a good bit of 2 Corinthians defending himself against a bunch of accusations.  Near the end of his letter, he tells the Corinthians to examine themselves, because he doesn’t want to have to be harsh when he comes to them again.

 Gospel – John 8:48-59 – Some religious leaders put Jesus to the test, accusing him of being a demon-possessed outcast.  Jesus tells them that if they keep his word, they won’t die.  This only reinforces their negative opinion of him.  They respond, “Abraham died, and… are you greater than our father Abraham?”  Jesus then talks about how glad Abraham was to see his day and says to them, “Before Abraham was, I am.”  Such a claim to divinity/eternality/whatever really gets their goat.  They pick up stones to throw at him, but he hides and leaves.


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