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Dovetails

What really struck me about this morning's readings was how they join together so well. I discovered that joining is not so easy when as a boy my woodwork teacher engaged us in making a pencil box, as a project to demonstrate the strength and beauty of dovetail joints. Well that was the theory - the tails of my doves, four per corner so sixteen in all, appeared to have been in mortal combat with cats and either needed to be forced together with the heaviest mallet or else have unplanned gaping spaces filled with evil smelling animal glue. I never used the box for pencils, there were no right angles and in any case it was due, to earlier miscalculations, too short for the standard HB.

Listen though please to a portion of our readings again.

So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation. Therefore I tell you do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink or about your body what you will wear

And then Jesus continues with the I ages of the birds of the air and the lilies of the field. These two passages, one from the very first pages of the Bible and this second from the Gospel of Matthew go perfectly together they fit seamlessly.

Often in our reading of the New Testament we preferentially discern the differences between the God of  forgiveness, reconciliation, self sacrifice and love revealed in Jesus from that sterner God of the Old Testament,the God of law and judgement. As we heard earlier a couple of weeks ago in this Gospel Jesus said that he did not come to "abolish the law or the prophets but to fulfil, for truly I tell you until heaven and earth pass away not one letter, not one stroke of a letter will pass from the law." Jesus constantly stressed the continuity between God the Father and God the Son from which we know that God was and is and always will be loving.

In this Bible there is a blank page and a title page between Malachi and Matthew, there is a gap in the dovetail of the canon and I am not especially unhappy with it for it speaks truly:  "The new covenant, commonly called the New Testament of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" but let's not get too used to it, for I rather think that Jesus was a far better carpenter than that and that the story of God's caring for his people is continuous and what is more important is continuing.

Amen.

 


 

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