Thursday, October 27, 2011

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, October 30, 2011, the Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Posted each Thursday, Lectionary Ruminations focuses on the Scripture Readings, taken from the New Revised Standard Version, for the following Sunday per the Revised Common Lectionary. Comments and questions are intended to encourage reflection for readers preparing to teach, preach, or hear the Word. Reader comments are invited and encouraged. All lectionary links are to the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible via the PC(USA) Devotions and Readings website, but if you prefer another translation, feel free to use that instead. (Other references may be linked to the NRSV via the oremus Bible Browser.)

Joshua 3:7-17
v. 7 Moses’ body is barely cold in the grave and God is already promoting Joshua.

v. 8 Indiana Jones, where are you?

v. 10 By “this” refers to what?

v. 11 “the LORD of all the earth” is an interesting phrase. What about “heaven”? Listen for a refrain in verse 13.

vs. 14-17 Is the Ark taking the place of Moses’ rod? Is the purpose of this narrative to establish Joshua being equal to Moses?

Psalm 107:1-7, 33-37
v. 1 Is it not redundant to say that steadfast love endures forever? Then again, this is poetry.

v. 3 The four cardinal directions.

v. 4 Is “some” wandered in desert wastes, what did others do? Is this about the Exodus, or something else?

v. 5 I wonder if this verse influenced any New Testament authors, such as the author of John 6:35?

vs. 33-37 An example of the first being last and the last being first, or rather the topsy-turvy world of Divine judgment and grace.

1 Thessalonians 2:9-13
v. 9 Is this emphatic or interrogative? Do you think the Thessalonians really remembered? Would have they have remembered without Paul reminding them?

v. 10 I have never charged you for a single cent, or asked you for any donation to help support Lectionary Ruminations. See how pure, upright and blameless my conduct toward you has been!

v. 13 Is “constantly” hyperbole?

Matthew 23:1-12
v. 1 What does it mean when a Gospel tells us that Jesus is speaking to both the crowds and the disciples?

v. 2 What is “Moses’ seat”?

v. 3 Can you think of any current day examples ofpeople whose teachings we should follow but not follow their actions?

v. 4 What do you know about phylacteries and fringe? Are there any Christian comparisons?

v. 6 Where the best seats in Synagogues in the back?

v. 7 If you happen to be ordained and/or serving in a pastoral position, how do people address you?

v. 9 What can Hallmark do with this on Father’s Day?

v. 10 Ouch!

vs.11-12 See my rumination on Psalm 107:33-37.

ADDENDUM
In addition to serving as the half time Pastor of North Church Queens and writing Lectionary Ruminations, I also tutor part time. If you or someone you know needs a tutor, or if you would like to be a tutor, check out myWyzAnt page and follow the appropriate links.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, October 23, 2011, the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Posted each Thursday, Lectionary Ruminations focuses on the Scripture Readings, taken from the New Revised Standard Version, for the following Sunday per the Revised Common Lectionary. Comments and questions are intended to encourage reflection for readers preparing to teach, preach, or hear the Word. Reader comments are invited and encouraged. All lectionary links are to the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible via the PC(USA) Devotions and Readings website, but if you prefer another translation, feel free to use that instead. (Other references may be linked to the NRSV via the oremus Bible Browser.)

Deuteronomy 34:1-12
vs. 1-3 Why all the geographical references?

v. 4 Once again, the women are not mentioned. Why would God allow Moses to see this land, even show him this land, if he were not going to be allowed to enter it?

v. 6 We know the vicinity of where he was buried but not the actual place. Why?

v. 7 Is there any sexual connotation here?

v. 9 Joshua was ordained by Moses? What is so special about the laying on of hands? Why? What do you know about Reiki?

vs. 10-12 It was true then. Is it still true today?

Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17
v. 1 How can the Lord be a dwelling place? What does it mean to dwell in the Lord?

v. 3 Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, or in a more modern cosmology, ashes to ashes, star-dust to star-dust.

v. 4 I know this is metaphor, but do the metaphorical match. 1000years = 1 day to just a few hours.

v. 5 What does “them” refer to? Mortals? 1000 years?

v. 14 I think this verses harkens back to verse 5b. As the grass is renewed in the morning, God’s steadfast love renews us daily.

v. 17 What work?

vs. 1-6,13-17 Does this psalm reflect the pre-exodus period?

1 Thessalonians 2:1-8
v. 2 Shame on those Philippians.

v. 3 What do we do with this “gospel of God” when we usually use the terminology “Gospel of Jesus Christ”?

v. 5 I am hearing a refrain. “As you know” here and “You yourselves know” in verse 1.

v. 7 What sort of demands? What is the imagery of a “nurse tenderly caring for her own children”?

v. 8 How does Paul and his colleagues share their own selves?

Matthew 22:34-46
v. 34 Is the Gospel writer playing on some rivalry here?

v. 35 What is the meaning of “test”? Was he asking about the Decalogue or the entire Leviticual law code?

v. 37 What is Jesus quoting?

vs. 38-39 If this is the first and greatest, how can there be anything like it?

v. 39 What is Jesus quoting?

v. 40 What does Jesus add the prophets to the law?

v. 41 This is becoming a dialogue. Is this question also a test, a tit for tat?

v. 42 Were not all male Jews “sons of David”?

v. 44What is Jesus quoting?

v. 45 I want an answer!

v. 46 But as a practitioner of the Socratic Method, I think questions are good. Sometimes the questions we ask are more important than any answer we might receive.

ADDENDUM
In addition to serving as the half time Pastor of North Church Queens and writing Lectionary Ruminations, I also tutor part time. If you or someone you know needs a tutor, or if you would like to be a tutor, check out my WyzAnt page and follow the appropriate links.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, October 16, 2011, the Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Posted each Thursday, Lectionary Ruminations focuses on the Scripture Readings, taken from the New Revised Standard Version, for the following Sunday per the Revised Common Lectionary. Comments and questions are intended to encourage reflection for readers preparing to teach, preach, or hear the Word. Reader comments are invited and encouraged. All lectionary links are to the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible via the PC(USA) Devotions and Readings website, but if you prefer another translation, feel free to use that instead. (Other references may be linked to the NRSV via the oremus Bible Browser.)

Exodus 33:12-23
vs.12-23 How would you categorize this conversation between Mosses and God?

v.12 Why does Moses think God will send someone with him?

v. 14 What is God’s “presence”? Is this the answer Moses might have been expecting?

v. 15 Is Moses challenging God?

v. 17 Moses gets his way!

v. 18 What is God’s “glory”?

v. 20 Why can no one look upon the face of God and live?

v. 23 So God basically “moons” Moses?

Psalm 99:1-9
v. 1 Why would the peoples tremble? What are cherubim and how does God sit enthroned upon them?

vs. 3, 5, 9 What does it mean to be “Holy”?

v. 5 God has a footstool?

v. 6Is this Psalm as much about Moses, Aaron, and Samuel as it is God?

v. 7 Why does God not speak like this any more.

1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
v. 1 It appears three people are writing this letter. What else do we know about Silvanus?

v. 2 Always? Constantly? Is this hyperbole?

v. 4 Who is “he”?

v. 5 What do power, the Holy Spirit, and full conviction add to the word?

v. 6 How did the Thessalonians imitate Paul, Silvanus, Timothy and Jesus?

Matthew 22:15-22
v. 15 Can you spell “conspiracy”?

v. 17 What trap is being set?

v. 18 What was their malice? Why are they hypocrites?

v. 19 What is the irony here?

v. 20 I suggest you consult some other translations of this verse. What are other options for the Greek translated here as “head”?

ADDENDUM
In addition to serving as the half time Pastor of North Church Queens and writing Lectionary Ruminations, I also tutor part time. If you or someone you know needs a tutor, or if you would like to be a tutor, check out my WyzAnt page and follow the appropriate links.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, October 9, 2011, the Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Posted each Thursday, Lectionary Ruminations focuses on the Scripture Readings, taken from the New Revised Standard Version, for the following Sunday per the Revised Common Lectionary. Comments and questions are intended to encourage reflection for readers preparing to teach, preach, or hear the Word. Reader comments are invited and encouraged. All lectionary links are to the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible via the PC(USA) Devotions and Readings website, but if you prefer another translation, feel free to use that instead. (Other references may be linked to the NRSV via the oremus Bible Browser.)

Exodus 32:1-14
v. 1 The people grow impatient with Moses and in the vacuum left by his leadership turn to Aaron. What lessons can pastors learn from this?

v. 2 As of the closing bell last Wednesday, the spot price of Gold was

v. 3 An example of group think?

v.4 Why a calf? Why is “calf” singular and “gods” plural?

v. 7 Finally, God speaks up. It is about time!

v. 9 What does it mean to be stiff necked.

v. 10 Is God offering Moses a bribe? A reward? A temptation?

v. 11 Note that God is the God of Moses, not of the people. Is Moses buttering-up God?

v. 13 Why are the women never mentioned?

v. 14 God changes the divine mind?

vs. 1-14 Is there a a kernel of a Stewardship Sermon anywhere in this Reading?

Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23
v. 1 According to the rules of logic, must not love endure forever in order to be steadfast?

v. 4 What does it mean to be remembered by God?

v. 5 This is beginning to sound like a nationalistic Psalm.

v. 6 Here is a good phrase to include in a prayer of confession of sin.

v. 19 Are we to read this as a comment on how our ancestors in verses 6 sinned?

v. 23 Is Moses an illustration of what it means to “stand in the breach”?

Philippians 4:1-9
v. 1 How and why are the Philippians Paul’s “joy and crown”?

v. 3 Whom is Paul addressing as “my loyal companion”? What does this verse possible say about women serving as leaders in the early church? Is “The Book of Life” available from Amazon.com and/or available for download on a kindle?

v. 4 This is surely an often quoted verse.

v. 6 Does the advice of this verse depend on the fact that “The Lord is near”?

v.9 I wish we knew exactly what the Philippians had learned, received, heard, and seen.

Matthew 22:1-14
v. 1 In seems the author is aware that Jesus often spoke in parables.

v. 2 Here is “a kingdom parable”. Must we equated the king with God and the son with Jesus?

v. 4 Was there not a previous parable where a king sent slaves?

v. 5 What does it mean to “make light of” something?

v. 10 So the kingdom of God is filled with both good and bad?

v. 11 How gosh, going to a royal underdressed!

v. 12 I think he should have answered “Your slaves invited me and I was gathered in with everyone else here”.

v. 13 I know this is only a parable, but still, this seems like harsh punishment simply for showing up at a royal wedding underdressed.

v. 14 What is the difference between being “called” and “chosen”.

ADDENDUM
In addition to serving as the half time Pastor of North Church Queens and writing Lectionary Ruminations, I also tutor part time. If you or someone you know needs a tutor, or if you would like to be a tutor, check out my WyzAnt  page and follow the appropriate links.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

About the October (and November) 2011 Header Image

The most recent header photo served as the header image of Summit to Shore for two months, August and September, because it was both a summit and a shore photo. I took the shot from a summit but overlooking a shore scene.

This month I am switching to something completely different, an original colored pencil sketch rather than an original photograph. I sketched this during the past couple of months, scanning the original sketch and saving it as a jpg image. I am thinking about adopting it as the semi-permanent header image of Summit to Shore rather than posting a new header image in December.

What do you think? Should I keep this header image for several months, or post a new one in December.