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Monkey's picture

The MonkeyBar Challenge Week 48

Hi everyone,

Daniel begins today as we're on our way out of the prophets. And in the New Testament there's four letters in seven days. Keep it going.

26 Nov: Dan 1:1 – 2:23; Psalm 134:1 – 3; 1 Peter 5:1 – 5:14
27 Nov: Dan 2:24 – 3:12; Psalm 135:1 – 12; 2 Peter 1:1 – 1:21
28 Nov: Dan 3:13 – 4:18; Proverbs 29:1 – 9; 2 Peter 2:1 – 2:22
29 Nov: Dan 4:19 – 5:16; Psalm 135:13 – 21; 2 Peter 3:1 – 3:18
30 Nov: Dan 5:17 – 6:28; Psalm 136:1 – 12; 1 John 1:1 – 2:11
1 Dec: Dan 7:1 – 8:14; Psalm 136:13 – 26; 1 John 2:12 – 2:27
2 Dec: Dan 8:15 – 9:19; Proverbs 29:10 – 18; 1 John 2:28 – 3:10

Have a great week!
Monkey


Community of Readers's picture

Episode #47: Opportunity in exile

Daniel is not just the story of four brave young men. It is a whole new moment in the story so far. Now in the shadow of a foreign empire, how should the people of Yahweh live? In this brave new world, with strange gods and alien customs can Israel survive? Most unlikely of all, could faith in Yahweh thrive?


Matt Valler's picture

When you pass through the waters

I’ve been reflecting recently on the exorcism at Gerasa (Luke 8:26-39) in which Jesus heals a man possessed by a whole horde of demons and the story of Peter at Cornelius' house (Acts 10) in which faith comes to the Gentiles for the first time. They are not stories that seem to naturally go together (even in the account of Luke-Acts of which they are both a part). But perhaps they should. And here’s why.

The thing about this particular exorcism which is almost always ignored is that the scene is laden with Roman imagery. Gerasa was a big Roman military base, whose symbol was a boar - a provocative symbol of anti-Jewish Gentile piggery, a profoundly deep 'uncleanness'. Then the demon is called 'Legion' - the name for an army battalion. It actually makes a lot of sense to tell the story as... In the heart of a highly militarised area, Jesus drives 'Legion' into a herd of pigs and they are drowned in the sea, just like the Egyptian 'pigs' get drowned in the Exodus story - those archetypal imperial gentile oppressors. In other words, Jesus just symbolically exorcised the Romans from the Promised Land! And that's why the people all crapped themselves and begged him to leave (8:37).


Monkey's picture

The MonkeyBar Challenge Week 47

Hi everyone,

Nearly there, at the end of the year... but this week at the end of Ezekiel. And in the New Testament we're about to whip through a load of smaller letters again.

19 Nov: Ezek 36:1 – 37:28; Psalm 129:1 – 8; James 3:1 – 3:18
20 Nov: Ezek 38:1 – 39:29; Proverbs 28:7 – 17; James 4:1 – 4:17
21 Nov: Ezek 40:1 – 40:49; Psalm 130:1 – 8; James 5:1 – 5:20
22 Nov: Ezek 41:1 – 42:20; Psalm 131:1 – 3; 1 Peter 1:1 – 2:3
23 Nov: Ezek 43:1 – 44:31; Psalm 132:1 – 18; 1 Peter 2:4 – 2:25
24 Nov: Ezek 45:1 – 46:24; Proverbs 28:18 – 28; 1 Peter 3:1 – 3:22
25 Nov: Ezek 47:1 – 48:35; Psalm 133:1 – 3; 1 Peter 4:1 – 4:19

Enjoy!
Monkey


Community of Readers's picture

Episode #46: New vision

Ezekiel is one of the strangest works of the Old Testament. To understand it we have to enter into a different world. Here we journey with the Israelite exiles as they face the departure of Yahweh and marvel at their courage as they find new vision for the future. But the undercurrents matter. Because the vision will shape the future, for good or ill.


Monkey's picture

The MonkeyBar Challenge Week 46

Hi everyone,

It's been a long slog but this is not the time to give up! Keep on swinging and we'll reach the end in no time!! Ezekiel awaits - and Hebrews, then James.

12 Nov: Ezek 22:23 – 23:49; Proverbs 27:15 – 22; Heb 11:1 – 11:16
13 Nov: Ezek 24:1 – 25:17; Psalm 124:1 – 8; Heb 11:17 – 11:40
14 Nov: Ezek 26:1 – 27:36; Psalm 125:1 – 5; Heb 12:1 – 12:13
15 Nov: Ezek 28:1 – 29:21; Psalm 126:1 – 6; Heb 12:14 – 12:29
16 Nov: Ezek 30:1 – 31:18; Proverbs 27:23 – 28:6; Heb 13:1 – 13:25
17 Nov: Ezek 32:1 – 33:22; Psalm 127:1 – 5; James 1:1 – 1:27
18 Nov: Ezek 33:21 – 35:15; Psalm 128:1 – 6; James 2:1 – 2:26

Enjoy!
Monkey


Community of Readers's picture

Episode #45: Poetic imagination

The psalms possess a power unknown to prose. As they paint pictures with a pulse they expand the Israelites' minds and hearts. But they also reshape theology in deeply creative ways. What do these psalms teach us about imaginative faith? And how can we live them in our modern world?


Monkey's picture

The MonkeyBar Challenge Week 45

Hi everyone,

It's the start of Rung 12 - our penultimate section of readings!! We're well into the kaleidoscopic visions of Ezekiel. And also well into Hebrews. Now is not the moment to grow faint!!

5 Nov: Ezek 7:1 – 9:11; Psalm 119:161 – 168; Heb 6:13 – 7:10
6 Nov: Ezek 10:1 – 12:28; Psalm 119:169 – 176; Heb 7:11 – 7:28
7 Nov: Ezek 13:1 – 15:8; Psalm 120:1 – 7; Heb 8:1 – 8:13
8 Nov: Ezek 16:1 – 16:63; Proverbs 27:5 – 14; Heb 9:1 – 9:15
9 Nov: Ezek 17:1 – 18:32; Psalm 121:1 – 8; Heb 9:16 – 9:28
10 Nov: Ezek 19:! – 20:44; Psalm 122:1 – 9; Heb 10:1 – 10:18
11 Nov: Ezek 20:45 – 22:22; Psalm 123:1 – 4; Heb 10:19 – 10:39

Have a great week
Monkey


Community of Readers's picture

Episode #44: One nation under threat

Joel gives voice to a nation under attack. As an army tears up the ground like a swarm of locusts, his call for repentance and war is clear. In the wake of 9/11 has our response to attack been constructive? And have we found ourselves ensnared by the same ideological dreams or can we find a path to freedom?


Monkey's picture

The MonkeyBar Challenge Week 44

Hi everyone,

We're skipping about all over the place this week. Lamentations finishes, we spend a day in Obadiah, a couple more in Joel, and then we're right into the third of the Big Three: Ezekiel. In the New Testament we take a quick glance at Philemon before moving onto Hebrews.

29 Oct: Lam 2:7 – 3:39; Psalm 119:121 – 128; Phm 1:1 – 1:25
30 Oct: Lam 3:40 – 5:22; Psalm 119:129 – 136; Heb 1:1 – 1:14
31 Oct: Oba 1:1 – 1:21; Proverbs 26:13 – 22; Heb 2:1 – 2:18
1 Nov: Joel 1:1 – 2:17; Psalm 119:137 – 144; Heb 3:1 – 3:19
2 Nov: Joel 2:18 – 3:21; Psalm 119:145 – 152; Heb 4:1 – 4:13
3 Nov: Ezek 1:1 – 3:27; Psalm 119:153 – 160; Heb 4:14 – 5:10
4 Nov: Ezek 4:1 – 6:14; Proverbs 26:23 – 27:4; Heb 5:11 – 6:12

Enjoy!
Monkey