Readings and stuff for Sunday (Oct 24)
Back to the normal service schedule this Sunday. The next "joint service" will be on December 5 (2nd Advent) when we celebrate the end of the capital campaign.
The first reading for this Sunday is from the Book of Sirach, and I'll bet a week's pay that most people have never heard of this book of the Bible. The more common name for the book is "Ecclesiasticus", but in recent years the Church has tried to avoid calling it that because it's often confused with the similarly-named "Ecclesiastes" – see?
Ecclesias is a Greek word that means "church"
Ecclesiastes means "preacher"
Ecclesiasticus means "book of the church"
Aren't you glad we've finally got that straightened out. Both of these books are part of the "wisdom literature" of the Hebrew Bible.
The Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament, is divided into four categories.
The oldest part of the Bible, the first five books of Moses, is called the "Torah" or "the Law".
Next come the writings of the Prophets.
This is followed by the Histories (like Chronicles or First and Second Kings)
Finally comes the Wisdom Literature (Psalms, Wisdom of Solomon and Ecclesiastes).
The Puritans of New England used to teach that the Torah tells us what God wants us to do; The Prophets tell us what happens if we don't; The Histories tells us what happened when we didn't; The Wisdom Literature tells us what happens when we do.
Thank you and God bless you for all you do for our parish family.