19th November 19

This small blog has just had its 100th comment, rescued from the spam, in which a woman suggested that perhaps this place could do with snappy headlines. Good for marketing. Good SEO.

But it misses the point of the dated posts. They are the readings for the day. For the new people, they come from the Revised Common Lectionary, and I generally use either the English Standard Version or the New American Standard Bible.

Since I’m not American, I tend to spell correctly, and the ESV does that. Today’s text implies that the nations will be there on the day of judgment. That the tribes of Israel have been given to us as an example. Of what not to do.

And that God will call the righteous of Israel to their homeland, leaving the evil outside… a diaspora ignoring prophecy.

This was fulfilled in the restoration of the temple under Ezra and Hehemiah, but not fully. That will take a temple not builded with human hands. Which leads to one error: Israel is not the Gentiles, and the Gentiles are not Israel. Blake is poetic, but there is no Jerusalem to build in Whanganui, or England.

William Blake’s Cottage, by Blake


And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon Englands mountains green:
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On Englands pleasant pastures seen!

And did the Countenance Divine,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here,
Among these dark Satanic Mills?

Bring me my Bow of burning gold:
Bring me my arrows of desire:
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire!

I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In Englands green & pleasant Land.

William Blake, 1810

The nations will exist. And God will set his glory on all of them. It is the task of the church to be completely non exclusive and preach the glorious word of God to all nations. It is not our job to make the Maori Jews, or the Ashkenazim, but to declare Christ: incarnate, dying, resurrected, risen, and to come in power.

Ezekiel 39:21-40:4
21 “And I will set my glory among the nations, and all the nations shall see my judgement that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid on them. 22 The house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God, from that day forward. 23 And the nations shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity, because they dealt so treacherously with me that I hid my face from them and gave them into the hand of their adversaries, and they all fell by the sword. 24 I dealt with them according to their uncleanness and their transgressions, and hid my face from them.

25 “Therefore thus says the Lord God: Now I will restore the fortunes of Jacob and have mercy on the whole house of Israel, and I will be jealous for my holy name. 26 They shall forget their shame and all the treachery they have practised against me, when they dwell securely in their land with none to make them afraid, 27 when I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them from their enemies’ lands, and through them have vindicated my holiness in the sight of many nations. 28 Then they shall know that I am the Lord their God, because I sent them into exile among the nations and then assembled them into their own land. I will leave none of them remaining among the nations any more. 29 And I will not hide my face any more from them, when I pour out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, declares the Lord God.”

40 In the twenty-fifth year of our exile, at the beginning of the year, on the tenth day of the month, in the fourteenth year after the city was struck down, on that very day, the hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me to the city. 2 In visions of God he brought me to the land of Israel, and set me down on a very high mountain, on which was a structure like a city to the south. 3 When he brought me there, behold, there was a man whose appearance was like bronze, with a linen cord and a measuring reed in his hand. And he was standing in the gateway. 4 And the man said to me, “Son of man, look with your eyes, and hear with your ears, and set your heart upon all that I shall show you, for you were brought here in order that I might show it to you. Declare all that you see to the house of Israel.”