Some see a waning interest in the scriptures in our church in the United States. That’s regrettable, because we need their wisdom more than ever.
Our lectionary, with extensive readings from the New Testament and the Jewish scriptures, was created after the Second Vatican Council to bring the treasures of the scriptures to the people of God. Have they found that treasure? Have the scriptures become our daily school? Has biblical prayer become our prayer?
I don’t think so.
When we do look at the lectionary– if we do at all–I think most settle on the gospel reading and the words and actions of Jesus. At times, even the gospels can be hard to grasp, for sure, and the Old Testament readings can be even harder. Our lectionary readings these last few days about the rise and fall of Salomon are an example. Yesterday, the Queen of Sheba was praising him as the wisest man in the world. (1 Kings 10, 1-10) Today God condemns him for letting his wives set up places of worship competing with the God of Israel. (1 Kings 11, 4-13)
The Jewish scriptures were not only a prayerbook for Jesus; they described his life and mission. “Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the scriptures. “(Luke 24,27) The crowds acclaimed him: “ Never has anyone spoken like this man.” And though sinless, he suffered from a sinful world.
If we search enough we can find wisdom in the Jewish scriptures. The Jewish scriptures and the Christian scriptures belong together. In both God promises life.