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My housegroup has been following the ambitious plan of covering the entire span of the Old Testament across three weekly meetings. Obviously it is not feasible to get into great depth but that is enough time to develop an overview, understanding the sequence of events and how the different books fit together.

We started by covering “The Law” and “The Histories”: everything from Genesis up to Ezra and Nehemiah. These cover the chronological length of the Old Testament from Creation until the re-establishment of the Jerusalem Temple about five centuries before Christ. Last night we were looking at “The Prophets”. These are the last sixteen books of the Old Testament but the time period they cover begins perhaps as far back as nine centuries before Christ.

To start and close the evening, I read a poem that I had spotted linked to in my twitter feed yesterday afternoon. I will give the first three stanzas and a link for more if it whets your appetite:

prophets awake exhausted from their dreams.
their beds soaked in sweat,
the ebbing fever of their visions
still ringing in their ears.

they arise each morning
to a world made anew in love;
a love that frightens us like a drunk
passed out on the sidewalk.
we turn away from our chance to live.

prophets see and hear this world,
not as they would wish it,
but just as it is. they do not turn away.

By Roshi Doshi on Open Windows & Unlocked Doors

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