"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Return from Exile
Isaiah 55:1-11 Commentary
by Corrine Carvalho
When Cardinal Bergoglio, a Jesuit priest from South America, was elected Pope last year, many Roman Catholics were shocked that something so unexpected had occurred.
In a similar way, many people around the world were amazed when the United States elected an African-American, Barack Obama, to be President. Sometimes, just when you get used to the idea that “there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9), something unprecedented happens.
The writer of this particular poem felt the same kind of shock at an unexpected, but fortuitous turn of events. This poem was written towards the end of the Babylonian Exile and contains the profound joy felt by those who saw God’s work in the international politics of their day.
At the time that the poem was written, the elite of Judah had been in exile for a little more than two generations. The targets of this oracle were the grandchildren of those who had been forcibly exiled when Jerusalem had fallen in 586 BCE. They had kept their identity as Jews telling stories to their children and grandchildren of the glory that had been Jerusalem.
By 538 BCE, however, Babylon had been conquered ...
| Bible Text
Summer 2020 Readings
2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
Narrative Lectionary 104: Return from Exile
December 15, 2013
Join Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker for "I Love to Tell the Story," a conversation on Year 4 of the narrative lectionary. This podcast covers texts for Dec. 15, 2013: Isaiah 55:1-11 (corresponding Gospel: John 4:13-14).