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29 January 2011

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

I have so many favorite scriptures! Yet when I'm asked for a favorite (or five) I can't just pick one. So here are my favorites in no particular order and contents subject to change on a daily basis. My rationales are at the bottom:

 My favorite biblical books are:
Job
Isaiah
Judith
Tobit
Mark

My favorite biblical characters are:
Sheerah
Jezebel
Joseph
Athaliah
the Blessed Virgin

My favorite verses are:

1 Enoch 42:1, 3
Wisdom could not find a place where she could dwell
But a place was found for Her in the heavens.
Then Wisdom went out to dwell with the children of the people
But she found no dwelling place…
And She dwelt with them like rain in a desert
Like dew in a thirsty land.

Luke 1:42-45
“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me?  For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy.  And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”

Jeremiah 31:3

The I AM appeared to her from far away. I have loved you daughter
with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithful love to you daughter.

Song 1:8
Woman, pastor your flock woman!

Matthew 28:20
Remember, I am with you always - until the end of time!

"Whys" and "Wherefores":
I love Job for its bad theology - sh!t happens and the world is full of bad theologians, pastors and friends who will try to blame you for your troubles. Yet the God of Job is Immanu-El. God is powerfully present with Job. And Job experiences some sweet to soften the taste of the bitter.
I love Isaiah for its poetry.
I love Judith for her prayer and courage and head-taking @ss whipping.
Tobit is just a romp with a sweet love story.
Mark is my favorite, go to gospel. Its early date and clear Jewish context give it more authority to me.

Sheerah the city builder is my favorite biblical character. I love that she named one of the cities she built after herself. 
"Jezebel wasn't a 'ho - she was straight gangsta!" From one of my favorite sermons (by me)! I just love her - the real Jezebel who can be found reading between the lines and who even appears (without her name) in a psalm before she was demonized.
I like Joseph as Zaphenath-paneah. When his family sold him out he made a new life as an Egyptian and was just fine without them. They needed him. He didn't need them.
Athaliah was another hard core queen, really a female king. The bible omits much of her reign because she was so powerful and successful and that was, well, just embarrassing.
For me the Blessed Virgin Mary (Miriam of Natzeret) is the quintessential disciple. She is the one who shows me what it is to be a Christian. And a Jew. And something more than both.

Enoch is a wild ride, but the Wisdom language is so rich and powerful. God is free to be herself in all of her glory.
The Ave (with its antecedents in Judges and Judith) is hands down my favorite biblical prayer - even with its post biblical verse.
I love the places where God uses feminine language to speak to the people as a city or perhaps to individual women and most certainly to me. This passage from Jeremiah is one of my favorites but I have volumes of these gender appropriate translations.
A small piece from the Song where a female shepherd and male shepherd put their flocks together. I have preached this at the marriage of two clergy.
And back to Job, or when I'm feeling like Job, I am grateful to know that God in Christ Jesus is always with me, even until the end of time.

3 comments:

  1. I love this for your perspective. You give me much to ponder and look up.

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  2. I adore Mark. And Job for many of the same reasons. Thanks for playing!

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  3. I love the way you did today's FF! I also love Mark, so it's good to read your perspective. Thank you.

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