Other comments on this day's readings can be found here.
Reading 1 - Exo 23:19
"Do not cook a young goat in its mother's milk" (Exo
Here is an interesting prohibition, which is found three times
in the Law: in Exo 23:19; 34:26 and Deu 14:21.
At least five possible meanings have been suggested -- not
necessarily mutually exclusive:
The mother would suffer from still producing milk, with no offspring to
The Canaanites revered milk as coming from certain goddesses (and so
this might be seen as a warning to keep away from worship of the idols of the
This could be a prohibition against imitating the superstitious
rites of the Egyptians, who, at the end of their harvest, cooked a kid in its
mother's milk and sprinkled the broth as a magical charm on their gardens and
fields, to render them more productive the following season.
should not be killed so young, being cut off in its prime. (Christ the sacrifice
suffered in the midst of his own people.)
And, finally, possibly... a
warning to parents: do not "destroy" your child with the "milk" of excessive
kindness and coddling!
Reading 2 - Psa 77:19
"Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty
waters, though your footprints were not seen" (Psa 77:19).
It is surely true: those who walk on or through the sea leave
There were no tracks when the Glory of the Lord crossed
through the waters of the Red Sea, leading His people. After the waters
returned, not even the locality of the crossing would be known except by
tradition. It would take an eye of special discernment, an eye of faith, to
"see" the work of Yahweh -- and this has always been true!
Job 9:11; 23:8,9 express a similar idea. Likewise, Pro
30:18-20 -- although the subjects are drastically different!)
With this may be compared also Hab 3:15 -- a chapter with
several close resemblances to Psalm 77.
On a different plane also, "Oh, the depth of the riches of the
wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his PATHS
beyond tracing out! 'Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his
counselor?' [Isa 40:13] 'Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?'
[Job 41:11]. For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be
the glory forever" (Rom 11:33-36).
And, finally, is this Jesus walking on the sea (Mat 14:22-36;
Mar 6:45-56; Joh 6:15-21)?
Reading 3 - Mark 9:37
"Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name
welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent
me" (Mar 9:37).
"The theme of the child runs through a whole section of the
Gospel of Mark, but always with the child standing as a type of the genuine
believer. The child's well-being is made the measure of conduct, the child's
spirit is the rule by which others are judged. Not that Jesus would idealize
children; growing up in a large family, he had doubtless seen the 'foolishness'
that is bound up in the heart of a child (Pro 22:15). But he saw the child as
small, dependent, and therefore trusting; he saw also the child's directness and
simplicity, the outward-looking to those who are loved and admired. There is a
candid logic in children which can be devastating to their more complicated
elders, and it is this which enables them to recognize a truth and see its
consequences; and that is the frame of mind which makes faith possible. In this
Jesus saw in children the type of the children of God. And it is in the service
of such as these that the true disciple will find his exaltation" (LG Sargent,