Midweek Message

LABC Update – August 24, 2022

Jim Hopkins

August 23, 2022


Occasionally the Revised Common Lectionary includes a passage from one of the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical books of the Bible in the Sunday readings. Such is the case this week with the inclusion of Sirach 10:12-18.

This provides me an opportunity to remind all that there is a collection of writings that is found in the Roman Catholic, Greek and Slavonic Bibles but not in our Protestant Bibles. This collection is called the Apocrypha and/or the Deuterocanonicals. These writings come from the era between the writing of the Old and New Testaments. Most of them were written in Hebrew and translated into Greek.

They came to be regarded as educational, but not authoritative, by Jewish leaders who set the canon of the Hebrew Bible. The are important in that they give us insight into the faith and beliefs of the centuries before the Common Era. They are also important because Jesus, the early Christians and the early Christian writers, would have been familiar with them.

Sirach 10:12-18

12 The beginning of human pride is to forsake the Lord; the heart has withdrawn from its Maker.

13 For the beginning of pride is sin, and the one who clings to it pours out abominations. Therefore the Lord brings upon them unheard-of calamities, and destroys them completely.

14 The Lord overthrows the thrones of rulers, and enthrones the lowly in their place.

15 The Lord plucks up the roots of the nations, and plants the humble in their place.

16 The Lord lays waste the lands of the nations, and destroys them to the foundations of the earth.

17 He removes some of them and destroys them, and erases the memory of them from the earth.

18 Pride was not created for human beings, or violent anger for those born of women.

The writer of these words was Jesus ben Sira, Jesus son of Sira.  He wrote between 180-175 BCE. He was concerned that younger, affluent, well educated, Jews thought that if they were were educated in Greek, Roman and Egyptian  ways and wisdom, they no longer needed the teachings and traditions of Judaism. Hence, his words of caution and warning. I think of James Weldon Johnson’s words in the third verse of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Lest our heart, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee.”

Pastor Jim

Today on LABC Zoom – Prayer and Bible Study with Pastor Jim 10:30, Prayers for Sergio 5:30

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