The treatment (and behaviour) of the weak (Exodus 12:1-14, Romans 13:1-10, Matthew 18:10-20)
If the readings the week before offered an abundance of possible themes, last Sunday’s readings raised the foundational questions of “What is the Bible?” and “How is it to be read?”
The OT passage contained an account of the last of the plagues of Egypt – the Lord striking down all the firstborn of Egypt. Is this the action of the “God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ?”
Extreme care must be taken in reading such passages and simply taking them as a description of the action, and therefore character, of God.
Quoting the OT scholar Bernhard Anderson, the vicar made the point that such stories are ‘sacred history’ – that is “aspects of the story are an artistic and imaginative expression of the conviction that Yahweh was active in history, delivering his people from servitude and calling them to serve his purpose.”
But you may object, “Aren’t you rewriting history if you don’t believe every detail?” The answer is “Yes!” History is always being rewritten. History is never static. New discoveries are being made, new insights applied, and events viewed from a new or different perspective.