Second Sunday of Christmas, Year C
Sirach 24:1-12; John 1:1-18
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Grace to you and peace, from the one who is, and who was, and who is to come. Amen.
So how about that for something different?
Today we read from a book called Sirach,
a book written about 130 before Jesus' birth by a Jewish teacher and temple leader,
a book which looks and feels and sounds much like the book of Proverbs,
a book which offers brief teachings on daily living,
and which eloquently describes God's wisdom as coming to the people Israel.
This deuterocanonical book is included in Roman Catholic and Orthodox Bibles,
but not in the Bibles we Lutherans and other protestants generally use.
That word, deuterocanonical, refers to books that are not in the canon,
that is, not in the accepted collection of Biblical books,
but which constitute a sort of "second canon,"
nonetheless recognized for their faithfulness.
The early Church fathers read and commented on the deuterocanonical books,
as did the Jewish rabbis of their era.
Martin Luther commended Sirach and other deuterocanonical books
for reading and personal study,
and we would do well to keep them in our reading from time to time.