Things They Didn’t Teach You in Sunday School

Things They Didn’t Teach You in Sunday School

Dear Daily Devotion

I hope you found Janet Tollington’s reflections on Haggai and Zechariah 1-8 interesting as we consider how the Jewish people of old rebuilt their national life at a time when so much in the life of our nations needs renewal and restoration.

Day by day in these devotions we read passages from the Bible – a collection of books which inspire and infuriate us; the stories lead us to great faith but can also make us teeter on the edge of despair.  If we only engage with the Bible through church services, we miss many difficult passages which can make us angry or sad; often we try to address those passages in these daily reflections. 

Over the next two weeks I am going to attempt to explore a section of biblical passages which are omitted from the Lectionary, and which aren’t covered in Sunday School. These unfamiliar stories aren’t nice or edifying, and are often deeply problematic; sometimes they will trigger deep emotions in us.  We’re going to consider

  • Abraham the pimp,
  • the casting out, by Abraham and Sarah, into the desert of Hagar and Ishmael,
  • the rape of Dinah,
  • Tamar’s unorthodox fight for justice with Judah,
  • two rather more fun stories – Deborah as judge over Israel and Jael and her tentpeg,
  • the dreadful tales of Jephthah’s unnamed daughter and the Levite’s unnamed concubine,
  • Elijah’s genocide of pagan priests,
  • and St Paul’s thoughts on the Christian household and silent women, 

As we read and reflect we consider these passages and ponder how we view Biblical authority in the light of them.  These stories are rather like an emotional roller coaster, but hold tight and let’s journey together.

with every good wish


The Rev’d Andy Braunston
Minister for Digital Worship

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