Biblical Studies

Members of any race, nation, gender or social condition

Commenting on Isaiah 56:3-8, which talks about the inclusion of foreigners and eunuchs among God’s people, foreigners and eunuchs, that is, who keep the Sabbath and the covenant, Walter Brueggemann notes that:

the community welcomes members of any race or nation, any gender or social condition, so long as that person is defined by justice, mercy, and compassion, and not competition, achievement, production, or acquisition. (Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to a Culture of Now)

Quite so! Brueggemann is also right, it seems to me, to suggest that this ‘stance of generous inclusiveness’ is a direct contradiction of the Mosaic rules in Deuteronomy 23:1-8. Isaiah’s words are an example of prophetic critique of Israel’s ancient traditions, the kind of critique that Jesus was to continue some centuries later.

Biblical Studies · Spirituality

Every chance he gets

Luke’s Gospel is … the most forgiving of all four Gospels. Every chance he gets, Luke has Jesus forgiving people, right up to the thief on the cross and the prayer for his persecutors. … Mercy and inclusivity – Jesus’ ministry to outcasts, to gentiles, to the poor – are emphasized a great deal in Luke. … Luke’s sacred text is also called the gospel of women. Far more than any other evangelist, Luke brings women into Jesus’ life and shows Jesus’ unique way of relating to women. He wants to make Jesus available to the forgotten and diminished, and women usually were.

And sadly still all too often are.

The quote is from Richard Rohr’s ‘Daily Meditations’.