Ezekiel – That they might know I am the Lord
Over the period from August to October 2020 — COVID-19 willing!!! — our principal focus for Sunday sermon reflections will be the writings of the prophet Ezekiel.
Ezekiel appears in the Revised Common Lectionary cycle about 10 times, although largely as a ‘supporting artist’, complementing other readings or events in the liturgical calendar. Our 2020 series will be to look more closely at the preaching of the prophet himself, now supported by whatever other texts pops up in the Lectionary on those Sundays.
Ezekiel is a ‘long haul’ read, and attention to the whole of the text in detail would take a couple of years of Sundays! We will, instead, draw from the text via a series of themes central to Ezekiel, in order to develop a picture of his proclamation and what it might mean for us today. The principal text(s) for the coming Sunday’s reflection will be made known via the weekly MtE Update posts on our home page.
Preparing for the series
Whether you are going to be following the services online or attending MtE once we’re back for worship post-COVID-19, you’ll find it helpful to read the whole of Ezekiel. It’s a long text, and may take a couple of sittings.
Good support for this reading can be found from the Bible Project’s summary of the book in two videos — Part 1 and Part 2 (about 15 minutes in total) — and from Professor Christine Hayes’ introduction to Ezekiel in her Yale lectures (about the first 30 minutes of this lecture). A text intro with a structural breakdown of the book can be found here.
Two possibilities include Nancy Bowen’s ‘Ezekiel’ (Abingdon Old Testament Commentary – full range of purchase options), or Bruce Vawter and Leslie J. Hoppe’s ‘Ezekiel: A New Heart’ (International theological commentary – full range of purchase options. The Interpretation commentary series is also a reliable resource; the Ezekiel one can be previewed here, with a full range of purchase options (paperback) here (hardback and e-versions are also available). These three commentaries haven’t been sighted (libraries are not yet open on the COVID-19 regime!) but can be expected to be quite accessible and are commended on the basis for the quality of the series of which they are parts.