What we’re doing on this blog on Mondays is looking back and forth at the Daily Office readings (or lessons) so we can better process together what the Scriptures are saying, and list the recommended Propers for the Communion or Antecommunion service for each day of the week.
Last week: 1 Kings 12-14, 2 Chronicles 12-15, Hebrews 11-13, James 1-2, Zechariah 2-8, Matthew 16-20
Next week: 1 Chronicles 16, 1 Kings 15-19, James 3-5, 1 Peter 1-4:6, Zechariah 9-15, Malachi 1, Matthew 21-24
The “crazy visions” of Zechariah are drawing to a close and we’re getting to the second half of the book, populated by oracles – messages from God to various contemporaries of Zechariah. The visions of chapters 1-6 in particular were apocalyptic in nature, functioning on one level to encourage the then-leaders of Jerusalem to continue rebuilding the Temple (much like Haggai did in the previous book), and on another level providing pictures of judgment that would only find their proper fulfillment in the ministry of Christ Jesus. The oracles of Zechariah, primarily in chapters 9-4, speak against the oppressive regimes of foreign powers such as Persia, foretell the coming Christ (or Messiah), and look forward to when God’s people will be perfectly cleansed and united under their Good Shepherd.
Appropriately, our readings from the Gospel of St. Matthew are also reaching an apocalyptic section as the coming week unfolds: our Lord’s parables after his triumphal entry in Jerusalem become increasingly focused on the Kingdom of God and the day of judgment. At the end of the week we’ll read through chapter 24’s famous discourse about the destruction of the Temple (which was fulfilled about 35 years later).
The Old Testament lessons in Morning Prayer, meanwhile, continue through the much more mundane writing style of Israelite history. As the kings of Israel and Judah get increasingly apostate from the true worship of the Lord, the narrative spends less time with them and more time with the prophets, especially Elijah, who were faithful to Him.
This is the week of Proper 21 (or 15th after Trinity in the traditional calendar), so keep in mind that the historic Prayer Book default is that a mid-week Eucharist will repeat the Collect & Lessons (the propers) for yesterday. Otherwise, we recommend…
- Monday 9/30 = St. Jerome or Votive *
- Tuesday 10/1 = St. Remigius or Votive
- Wednesday 10/2 = Votive
- Thursday 10/3 = Votive
- Friday 10/4 = St. Francis of Assisi or Votive
- Saturday 10/5 = Votive
* A Votive is a “Various Occasion” (page 733 in the BCP 2019). The traditional appointments are Holy Trinity on Sunday, Holy Spirit on Monday, Holy Angels on Tuesday, of the Incarnation on Wednesdays, of the Holy Eucharist on Thursdays, the Holy Cross on Fridays, and of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturdays.