Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Deuteronomy 26:1-11

Year C - Lent1 or Conviction1
February 14, 2016

When you destroy those alien to you in their land and settle it for yourself, there is a ritual asked that bears within itself a most interesting insight.

First, bring the first fruits (which probably won’t be the best fruit to come, but is to be representative of the rest of the harvest) to the Priest/Levite in the place designated as G*D’s locus (again, all too easy to read literally as uniquely G*D’s place and setting up a false distinction between sacred and profane).

Second, rehearse your received tradition of how you left slavery to enslave the land and lives of others.

Third, a three-fold celebration is to go on between yourself, the Levite/Priest, and those now alien in their own land.

What is this business of “the aliens who reside among you, shall celebrate with all the bounty G*D has give you and your house”?

How might these aliens celebrate? Will they imagine that as your boat rises, so will theirs? This is an age-old lie used to keep labor under control. Will they have a bit of time to themselves when you are off celebrating that little relief is worth celebrating? Will they be truly joyful that you have gotten yours and they are at least still alive?

Where is the temptation in this passage? Is it removed?

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