Thoughts for Saturday 15th August, 2020

Psalm 133; Genesis 42:1-28; Matthew 14:34-36

 

Saturday 15 August

 

Psalm 133 is a very beautiful poem, at the heart of which David has placed a powerful simile. It’s similar, I think, to A Red, Red Rose. In that great poem and song, what Burns manages to do, in order to emphasise the permanence of love, is to move us from the images of a rose and a tune, both of which are transient, to those of seas and rocks instead – which are both seemingly permanent. And this is precisely what the psalmist does as well – by moving us from the image of Aaron and the anointing oil running down his beard, at that time when he would have been made a priest, to the dew on Mount Hermon. One is transient, and the other (at 2,814 metres above sea level) is as permanent and everlasting as we are ever able to imagine. The difference, of course, is that while one focuses on romantic love, the other is about the love of God.

 

While Aaron is most often mentioned along with his more famous brother, Moses, it’s good here, I think, that he gets a passage all to himself.

 

Moving to our Old Testament passage, the three days that Joseph’s brothers spend in prison reminds us, as Christians, of that period of time between Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection.

 

We feel sorry for Simeon, and wonder why he was chosen to be the hostage for all the others. He wasn’t the oldest. Reuben was. But Reuben had taken no part in Joseph’s kidnapping, and indeed had actively opposed it. This then would have ruled him out. The next in terms of age, Simeon, was therefore ‘it’. It must have been a worrying time, but maybe it gave him a chance to reflect, not only on the crime he’d committed against his brother, but on the carnage he (and his other brother Levi) had wreaked on the people of Shechem, and which had also caused his father, Jacob, so much trouble (see Genesis 34).

 

Let us pray:

 

Lord, help me to live this day, quietly, easily.

To lean upon Thy great strength, trustfully, restfully.

To wait for the unfolding of Thy will, patiently, serenely.

To meet others, peacefully, joyously.

To face tomorrow, confidently, courageously,

 

(by St Francis of Assisi)

 

Amen.


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