Why does the lectionary omit the story of Shiphrah and Puah, the Hebrew midwives who played a key part in our salvation history (Exodus 1.15-end)? [Answers, 6 April]
Your answers: C.N.W.’s answer to this question boils down to saying that there isn’t room for everything in the lectionary, and especially not all the Old Testament. While undoubtedly true, this answer doesn’t really address the question why Shiphrah and Puah in particular are left out.
Another approach notes that women’s stories make up a rather small proportion of scripture: by implication, the scriptural authors saw them as less important. Perhaps the lectionary compilers have left out this valuable story about the midwives for the same reason.
Emma Laughton (Reader)
As a server at Holy Trinity, Queen Square, in Bath, I was surprised one Trinity-tide to find myself laying out in the sacristy for solemn evensong a cope with the Star of David embroidered on the hood, together with a stole decorated with swastikas. In the post-war era, this was a shocking combination. Stitched pre-war, the stole drew on the Byzantine crux gammata or gammadion cross, because it could be constructed from four Greek gammas. Is this one-off, or have any of your readers come across a comparable amalgamation of emblems?
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