Sunday, December 22, 2013

Weekly Scripture Reflections (Daniel, Luke, and Revelations)

These are my notes on the week's readings. I'm posting them here just because I realized I wanted to start keeping track of my notes! The bolded quotations are just phrases that really stood out to me. 

Notes on the end of Daniel:
-Daniel sounds so different than the other Old Testament prophets. His diction and word choice - even in translation - sound foreign when compared to, say, Isaiah. I think it must be the influence of his Babylonian education.*
And here's the thing: how cool is that? When Daniel heard the Lord, he described the experience in his own voice. Yet it's recognizably the word of the Lord. The message rings true with the rest of the Scripture. You can hear the formational experience of the prophet in the diction, and apparently the Lord was willing to let that abide, and yet it doesn't - in the least - obscure the strength and goodness of the Lord's word to His people.
So cool.

-is Daniel 9 related to Solomon's temple dedication prayer? < --This was my question as I listened to it this time through.
In Daniel 9, Daniel prays:
O my God, incline Your ear and hear! Open Your eyes and see our desolations and the city which is called by Your name; for we are not presenting our supplications before You on the account of any merits of our own, but on account of Your great compassion.
O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and take action! For Your own sake, O my God, do not delay, because Your city and Your people are called by Your Name. (vs. 18-19)
Now, doesn't that sound like Solomon's prayer here, when he dedicated the temple?
When Your people Israel are defeated before an enemy, because they have sinned against You, if they turn to You again and confess Your name and pray and make supplication to You in this house, then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of Your people Israel, and bring them back to the land which You gave to their fathers. (I Kings 8:33-34) 
Daniel was doing what Solomon had asked the Lord to let his people do: turn towards the Lord and repent and beg for restoration.

-Dan. 10: "the thing was true, but the time appointed was long"

-Dan. 10 - he saw the vision; the men with him didn't, but trembled . . . like Paul on the road to Damascus.

-"oh Daniel, a man greatly beloved, stand upright, for unto thee I am now sent"

-there is still really a lot in Daniel that I just do not understand . . .

Notes on Luke 1:
-I love Luke's introduction. "In order". Hear, hear! "that you may be sure of the things wherein you have been instructed . . ." Luke speaks my language!

-"blessed is she who believed! for . . ." (like Abraham - Mary believed (and it was counted to her as righteousness? seems so . . .))

-"that we, being delivered from our enemies, might serve Him without fear . . ."

-Luke 1 is just such a dear, dear chapter. It's so familiar - if you pray any of the daily offices in the BCP, you know the Magnificat and Zechariah's song - and the more I hear it and read it, the more I love it . . . it feels like family history, you know? but better, and greater, and more glorious . . .

Notes on the end of Revelation:
-Rev 21: "behold, the tabernacle of the Lord shall be with man . . ." Seriously. This whole passage. Where we're heading. Where we've been (it's the Old Testament promise, finally come really, really true).
"I will give to him that is athirst . . ."

-Rev. 21 - the measuring of the holy Jerusalem - this is like undoing what was done in Ezekiel, when the temple was measured and the glory of the Lord departed . . . and now the Lord is the temple and the Lamb the light . . .

-in Rev. 21, the list of those who will not be there sounds so harsh, until you stop to think that if you let adulterers and whoremongers and sorcerers in . . . then you have to live with adultery and prostitution and horrors . . . and how is that heaven? those are all those things that make this earth such a terror and a burden to live in. And that will all be gone. Thank God.

-"seal not the words of this book . . ." this isn't a secret. Let them know what's coming. "and he who is righteous, let him be righteous still, and he that is filthy, let him be filthy still . . ."

*To be totally honest, listening to Daniel - at least in the KJV version - reminds me of the style of the Tarkheena's storytelling in Lewis' The Horse and His Boy.

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