Daily Office Readings for Wednesday of Proper 27 Year 1
“He read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the book of the law.” (Nehemiah 8:3)
From before we were Christians we have had a tradition of reading from, and listening to, the words of the Book. Perhaps not listing from early morning to midday but surely showing up and listening to the Word being read.
And hopefully, our ears too, are attentive to the Bible and the spiritual reflections shared in the words of the sermon on our own first day of the week, Sunday morning. Maybe the words heard will cause us to go further when we get home or at least ponder what they might mean.
As Episcopalians, we give special attention to the Gospel for the Eucharist. It is important not only who reads it, (some level of clergy) but also where it is read, amidst the people. Also, if the service has music, special music is played and a hymn sang for the introduction of the Gospel which is called a gradual or sequence hymn. Our Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry, said that as the Gospel Book is carried out to the place where it will be read, the people in congregation turn, and “reorient” themselves to it as it passes the point where they are.
That is what we are all called to do, to reorient ourselves in following the Gospel of Christ. But it is only if we show up on Sunday mornings that the men and the women and those who can understand that the ears of all the people will be attentive to the Gospel.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John+