Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Entry 29 Reading Day 26

Genesis 47

Dear Reader,

Joseph sold cattle and land to the people of Egypt and then took their land in exchange for food. Pharaoh seems like an uncaring person. He will only feed people if they give him something, not fo free, as he should, in my opinion, being the ruler. Who else will care for his people if he doesn’t? I’m not pleased that Joseph goes along with it. He doesn’t object, as my own church workers would, to such untoward behavior. We feed people for free!

Perhaps this is why early Christians left Egypt? I would, too. I’ll learn all about that I suppose in Exodus. I’m looking forward to that book. I’ve heard the story, of course. No one who has entered a church, ever, hasn’t heard the tale.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Entry 28 Reading Day 25

Genesis 46

Dear Reader:
This was one of those naming chapters. You know the ones that go “so and so beget so and so”. The only name I recognized was Job- poor, long suffering man. This is the sort of chapter I like least, as it doesn’t advance the tale any.

I was brightened when, toward the end of my audio segment, Jacob and Joseph were reunited to much joy on the parts of themselves and their other family I’m sure. I can only imagine want that must have felt like. One question, why are shepherds’ an abomination to the Egyptians? It seems a funny thing to get that concerned about. Perhaps they’ll go more into that next chapter.

I’m excited that after this, I have four chapters to complete and then I’m done with Book 1. Only 65 more books to go after that. Oh my, now I am starting to feel overwhelmed. At that rate, I won’t done until sometime in 2015!! Well all I can do is keep on keeping on.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Entry 27 Reading Day 24

Genisis 45

Dear Reader,

I’m feeling much better today and that’s a good thing. It’s much easier to concentrate when your nose is not all blocked up. The Bible I’ve learned is something that requires a lot of concentration. You miss things if you don’t pay attention.

I’m happy to report that in this chapter Joseph confesses his deception to his brothers and discloses his identity. They’re not even mad at him. How could they be after all? They are the ones who sold him into slavery in the first place. I guess they figured they all had his vengeance coming. Still, for myself I’m glad that it didn’t go on much longer.

I’m also pleased that Jacob and Joseph were reunited before Jacob dies. This is as it should be. I think every parent wants to see their child one last time before they go to their Maker. I also think the reverse is true.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Entry 26 Reading Day 23

Genesis 42 and 43

Dear Reader,

Today had an inauspicious beginning. I woke up with a terrible sinus headache and missed an event I hoped to cover for examiner.com. However, as is typical with me, I rallied as the day wore on. Now I'm feeling pretty perky despite its being quarter of midnight. I think I am nocturnal by nature. All that aside, I read two chapters today.

In chapter 43, Joseph still has not revealed to his brothers who he is, even though at one point he is weeping out of their site. He released Simeon to them, but then goes and plays a mean trick.

He puts the money back along with a silver cup in the saddle bags of the youngest brother. I understand that he's upset, but there has to be limit as far as acceptable social behavior. Accusing someone of stealing when they took nothing is beyond mine. If Joseph doesn't watch himself, I fear he will receive a similar comeuppance to the one his brother received. This I can say because I'm sure God doesn't ignore these things. Even from someone who serves Him faithfully.

In chapter 44, Joseph actually has his servants go and pursue his brothers and accuse them of stealing which of course they deny because they weren't aware of the trick. The oldest, being the most responsible by designation, quickly says that he will take Benjamin's place as Joseph's servant. That's where I left the story. I hope, although I'm not sure, that at this point Joseph will confess his transgression and reveal his identity.

Being a poet, I cannot resist noting, although it may be a bit off topic, two really beautiful turns of phrase. Both of them occurred when the oldest was describing his father. The first is "sorrow for the grave." I think this means either that the father will be so sorrowful that his youngest is being made to serve Joseph and he will die upon hearing the news or that he will go to his grave sad because of what happened. I don't know why this particular piece of language struck me as so important, but it did and I felt like noting it. The second phrase is "Lest, per adventure I see the evil that shall come upon my father." I gather that this means his father will be very angry with him over losing Benjamin to Joseph's servitude. I think it sounds prettier than just saying "My father will be angry withe me."

I hope my little poetic interjection hasn't bore you. However, I'm not just a lay Christian reading the Bible from cover to cover. I'm also a poet and occasionally my poet's voice will intersect with this blog. If it bothers you terribly, you can go find someone else who is also attempting to read the Bible from cover to cover and document it.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Entry 25, Reading Day 22

Chapter 42

Dear Reader,

If the Bible were a novel, this would be the part where I would say it’s getting good. Joseph, who now lives in Egypt, just encountered his brothers again, the same brothers who sold him into slavery several year prior. He pretended not to know them and even to think they were spies when all they were really were men seeking to survive the famine by buying some corn. I know this is a little vengeful and I’m sure it wasn’t Joseph’s finest moment, but had I been thrown into slavery by my family members I might have acted similarly even though I’m a good person at heart. At least he gave their money back and let them have the corn for free.

Their second problem was that there father would not let them take his youngest son back to meet Joseph and prove they were not spies as Joseph requested. This means they won’t be able to free the brother that he kept prisoner in waiting for their return. I feel sorry for the imprisoned brother, but I’m not too sorry because he went along with the whole selling Joseph into slavery thing all those years ago. As my great-grandmother would say “He had his comeuppance coming.” That being said, I do hope they managed to get him out of prison somehow.

In my calculation, I have 8 more chapters to go which means if all goes to plan, I’ll be finished with Genesis by next Friday. I realize this schedule means I’ll have to read two chapters in one day, but I think I can do that as some are short. After that, it’s on to Exodus and after that it’s on to the dreaded Leviticus. I think every queer liberation theologian, even a lay one such as myself, is a little afraid of that book because of all the homophobic and other bad things bigots say it contains.

Since when am I one to believe bigots anyway? Isn’t part of their bigotry is the lack of facts in their arguments? If I can get through that book which has the greatest amount of fear for me and still be a theist at the end of it, I’ll consider my faith unshakable. This is contrary to whatever my atheist friend, who called me a Nazi the other day, merely because I’m a believer (but that’s another story I won’t waste time on here) might want have happen instead. Such is life. You don’t always get what you want. I’m pretty sure she’s not going to get what she wants in this case. Of course, I’ll read the book as required. It’s good for me anyway.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Entry 24, Reading Day 21

Chapter 41,

Dear Reader,

This chapter should be called "Joseph saves Egypt". That's basically what happened. If he had been around Egypt would have suffered like everywhere else in the famine. I wonder if God sent messages to the other leaders of the world who didn't have as good of an interpreter as Joseph and therefore their people were victims of the famine. This, of course, we cannot know, as it was not specified. However, I hope, for the sake of them that were outside of Egypt that this was not the case. I hope their were other seers and that they helped their lands get ready, too.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Entry 23, Reading Day 20

Chapter 40
Dear Reader,

I'm very sorry I didn't post yesterday. The time just got away from me. I'm glad this chapter was short. Only 3.5 minutes. That means I can finish posting tonight and not skip another day.

I liked and didn't like this chapter. I was glad when Joseph got to prove his projection abilities, but sad when the baker hanged. It least I hope he'd done something meritorious to receive that punishment (although what that could be I do not know, I'm decidedly anti-capital punishment). I think the butler will be sad that he didn't remember Joseph. I think nothing good can come out of not remembering to mention a falsely imprisoned psychic, much less one that God is on the side off. I think nothing but bad will come to butler and Pharaoh, because of the butler's over site.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Entry 22- Reading Day 19

Chapter 39

Dear Reader,

Yay! We are back with Joseph and the narrative is making more sense! Poor Joseph! I feel awful that his master's wife is rather an evil adulteress who blamed innocent Joseph when she was the one hitting on him. I don't like it when women are blamed in the Bible for talking men into things like men had no minds of there own, but I equally don't like it when women behave poorly. It is poor behavior to commit adultery. Even back in day, I'm sure women who were unhappy left their husbands. More to the point,m this women didn't seem to love or care about Joseph. She just wanted "a little something on the side" as they say back where I'm from. If she had cared about him, she wouldn't have lied about him and had her husband send him to jail!
Good thing for Joseph that the Lord was with him in this trying circumstance! If I ever have to go jail (falsely) on a serious charge, I hope the Lord will be with me.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Entry 21- Reading Day 18

Genesis 36-38

Dear Reader,

I realized I have neglected this blog for over two weeks. Until yesterday I was simply too tired to deal with anything as involved as the bible. Two weeks ago, I was in D.C., as you may know, marching with ADAPT. Then I came home, went to Pride on May 1st where I had a great time marching with my home church, the Belchertown UCC. Following that, I went home and slept for about a week. I could have restarted this blog yesterday, but it seemed inauspicious. I preferred to wait for Mother's Day. As we all know, God is all about honoring mothers. Here, I tend to agree.

In chapter 35, nothing much happened, as far as I could determine. All it contained was a list of who bore whom to whom. I'm not one to criticize God, but in this case, I think God could use an editor. But who am I to say. Maybe that chapter will come back to be important. Although, I can't see how. The only information I might consider vital is that Esau became known as Edom.

Chapter 36 was a bit more interesting. Particularly, if you have ever heard of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Being a musical theater person when I was a kid, I have. I never knew, however, that this was a real story in the bible.

Joseph starts having all these dreams that say he'll be the ruler of everyone someday. His brothers begin to dislike him and his father rebukes him for being so big-headed.

One day, someone (I'm not entirely clear who this someone was) tells Joseph to go and join his brothers taking care of the cattle. He goes to the first place and is told they've moved on. He goes there and things go badly for him. Tired of all his boasting about his dream of being in charge of everything, his brother conspire to hurt him. They cast him into a pit and eventually he's sold into slavery by another tribe of people who find him. In one last unscrupulous act, his brothers even lie to their father about what happened to Joseph. They say a wild animal got him.

Chapter 37 had no connection, as far as I could see, to chapter 36. It tells the story of a completely different person which I was disappointed in because I wanted to know what was going on with Joseph. The more I read the bible, the more it sometimes seems very Ffordeian as in Jasper Fforde of the Thursday Next novels which make very little sense. Mind you, at times, the bible is very lucid. But at other times, you're reading along and suddenly someone who you left several chapters ago appears with no indication of why they're there. Such was the case with chapter 38.

Although, I am still not sure why Judah appeared in this chapter, I know the following facts: Judah's first and second sons were wicked people, so wicked, in fact, that God killed them. I do not understand why God did this when all the second son did was ejaculate prior to penetration so he wouldn't impregnate his dead. brother's wife. I wasn't even clear on why that needed to be mentioned. Secondly, in modern times, we don't consider masturbation a capital offense. Although, Jocelyn Elders was fired for mentioning it. Also, in this chapter, for some reason, Judah accidentally sleeps with his daughter-in-law. This alarmed me for a whole bunch of reasons. First, I don't approve intra-familial sex. I have a stepdad and that's disgusting! I don't care what the law says. It's still wrong and I don't want to think about it. How could he not know? It says that the daughter-in-law had been sent away from his house after his son died, so she could wait for his third brother to become a man and then marry him. I don't care if I haven't seen my stepdad in 10 years. He's still going to know me. She didn't tell him either which I don't understand at all. If my stepdad ever hit on me, not that he would, I would certainly who I was so he would stop. Apparently, her goal was to get over on Judah somehow for reasons I don't know.

This has the most disturbing chapter thus far. It's like watching a really bad soap opera or some reality show. What does any of this have to do with God?