Thursday, January 26, 2012

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, January 29, 2012, the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

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.)  


v. 15 Who is speaking?

v. 16 Is there any other reference to the people saying this?

v.19 What does it mean to be held accountable by God?

v. 20 What other gods?  Do we ever presume to speak in God’s name when God has not commanded us to speak?

v. 1 Who are the upright?

v. 2 What are the works of the Lord? How does one study them?

v. 6 What is the heritage of the nations?

v. 9  What is meant by “redemption”?  What is the difference between “Holy” and “awesome”?

v.10  What is meant by “fear”?  What is meant by “wisdom”?

v.1 When was the last time you were concerned about food offered to an idol? What is meant by knowledge?

v. 2 I think Socrates would have liked this verse?

vs. 4-6 what is Paul really saying about idols, gods and God?

v.7 what is the relation between knowledge and conscience?

vs.7-13  What is more pastoral, to dumb things down, or to set high expectations while helping people meet those expectatons?

v. 21 Who are “they”?

v. 22 When was the last time you were astounded by someone’s teaching?.  I’m glad I am not a scribe.

v. 23 How convienant!

v. 24 What is the irony here?

v. 25 What would Jesus rebuke this truth speaking  spirit, even if it was an unclean spirit?

v. 27 Indeed, what is this?

v.28 When was the last time you associated the word ”fame” with Jesus?

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, January 19, 2012

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, January 22, 2012, the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

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.)  


v. 1 What was the “word of the Lord” before the incarnation and how did it come to people?

v. 2 What do you know about Nineveh and what would be a modern equivalent?

v. 3 Three days to walk across? Really?  Is this perhaps hyperbole?

v. 4 What is so special about forty?

v. 5 So ritual without real repentance is OK?

v.10 This verse must a Process Theologian’s favorite.

v. 5 Who or what else might your soul wait in silence?  What does it mean to “wait in silence”?  What do you know about contemplative prayer?

v. 6 Are rock, salvation and fortress merely poetic synonyms or does each noun offer a unique  nuance?

v.7 Are deliverance and honor related?

v. 8 What times might we be tempted not to trust in God?  How does one pour bout one’s heart before God?

v. 9 What is the difference between a breath and a delusion?

v. 10 Why would anyone put confidence in extortion?  It is OK if riches increase, but if they do, do not set your heart on them.  How does this verse counteract the prosperity gospel?

v.11What is the meaning of “once” and how is it related to “twice.”

vs.  11-12 Is God’s steadfast love the source of God’spower?

v.29 What is “the appointed time” being referred to?  How does any time grow short?   So much  for family values. This must be Newt Gingrich’s favorite verse!

v. 30 Let those who buy be as though they had no possessions? That is un-American!

v. 31 What is the present form of the world? How does it pass away?  Are Plato and C. S. Lewis any help here?

v. 14 Is “after” a chronos or a kairos  reference? What is “the good news of God”?

v. 15 Is the good news of God the news that the time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God has come near?  How does the kingdom of God come near?

vs. 16-17 It sounds like Jesus had a thing for brothers.  I wonder why.

vs. 18-20 It sounds like Mark has a thing for “immediately”.

v. 20 Why would Jesus call James and John but not their father or the hired men?  I think it is a shame that the father’s name is not given here.

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, January 12, 2012

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, January 15, 2012, the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

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.)  


v. 1 What does it mean that “the voice of the Lord was rare in those days”?  What does the voice of the Lord sound like? Is the voice of the Lord rare today?

v. 3 What do you know about the spiritual discipline of incubation?  Have you ever slept in the sanctuary of a church?

v. 4 Where have we heard “Here I am” before? 

v. 7 How can God be calling a person by name if that person does not know God or the word of God has not yet been revealed to that person?

v. 8 Is there any symbolism behind the fact that God called Samuel THREE times?

v. 10 The Lord “stood” there?  Physically?  Is this a metaphor?

v. 11 What makes your ears tingle?

v. 13 Woe to the parents of pks!

v. 15 How many people do you think might of experienced a spiritual vision but are afraid to talk about it with anyone, even their pastor?

v. 16 Samuel still responds to Eli the same way he responded to God.

v. 19 Whose words, Samuel’s or God’s?  How does one earn the trustworthiness of others?

v. 1 How does the Lord search us?  What does it mean to be known by the Lord?

v. 4 How can God know what we are going to say before we ourselves know?

v. 5 What does it mean to be hemmed in by God?

v. 6 What was inscribed on the Temple at the Oracle of Delphi?

v. 13 What about in-vitro fertilization?

v. 14 Is the Human body, or the human eye, still enough evidence to support an argument for creation from design?  What would Darwin say about this verse?

v. 15 Was the psalmist made in the depths of the earth or in his or her mother’s womb?

v. 16 Is this book available for kindle or the nook?

v. 17 How much do thought’s weigh?

v. 18 Do you recall the story of Augustine and sand at a beach?

v. 12 I think this might be Ron Paul’s favorite verse.

v. 13 What is the definition of fornication? Did it mean anything different in Paul’s day than it does today?  How do we responsibly deal with this verse when many young adults are postponing marriage until they are in their late 20’s or even early 30’s?

vs. 12-18 Of all possible actions that might not be beneficial, why is Paul singling out fornication?

vs. 19-20 I think these verses have been used to speak out against the use of alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, meat, and who knows what else.

v. 43 What happened the day before this? Please note: Jesus found Philip.  Philip did not find Jesus.  I think I will market a new bumper sticker saying “Jesus Found Me”.

v. 45 Who are “we”?  Son of Joseph?  Why not son of the Virgin Mary?

v.46 Is this a rhetorical question?  Is not “come and see” the quintessential invitation?  I prefer it to “Are you saved?”

v. 47 How could Jesus know this?

v. 48 I think Psalm 139:16 would have been a better answer.

v.49 And Jesus did not even ask Nathaniel who people said he (Jesus) was!

v. 51 Was this ever  fulfilled or is Nathaniel still waiting to see this spectacular thing?

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, January 5, 2012

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, January 8, 2012, the Baptism of the Lord (Year B)


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.)  

v. 1 There are several ways the verb can be translated.  Is it “when God created” or “when God began to create” or something else altogether?  What difference does it make?  Take a close look at the user notes in one or two study Bibles, or better yet, the gleanings and notes in The Torah.  Why is thispassage paired with Mark’s account of Jesus’ baptism?

v. 2 What is the Hebrew word for “wind” and how else can the word be translated?

v. 3 What, if any, is the significance of light being the first thing created?

v. 4 What if God saw that the light was not good? How did God separate the lighgt from the darkness?

v. 5 Can there be day without night, or night without day?

vs. 1-5 How does one preach/teach this passage in a post Copernican and post modern world, especially considering there is at least one other Biblical (and different) account of creation?

v. 1 Who are the heavenly beings?

v. 2 What is the name of the LORD?

vs. 3-11 How can one teach/preach using storm god imagery while recognizing that storm god imagery is not the only imagery applied to the LORD?  Sleeping under a small tarp in the wilderness during a nighttime thunder and lightning storm and hiking on a high wilderness ridge during a daytime thunder and lightning storm has greatly influenced how I read this passage.  What are your experiences of storms and how do those experiences influence how you understand this passage?

v. 1 Who was Apollos? What else do you know about him?  Why does Paul mention him?

v. 2 How could someone be a disciple and never have heard about the Holy Spirit.

v. 3 Were these disciples actually baptized by John?

v. 5 Did Paul actually baptize them with water, or simply lay his hands on them?  What is the difference between being baptized “in the name of the Lord Jesus” and being baptized “in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit”?  What does it mean to speak in tongues?  What does it mean to prophesy?

v. 7 “About” seems to be a relatively general term while “twelve” seems to be very specific and pointvto the twelve tribes of Israel and “the twelve” disciples of Jesus.

v. 4 I much prefer the descriptive phrase “John the baptizer” rather than the more usual “John the Baptist.”   At least Mark agrees with Acts regarding a description of John’s baptism.

v. 5 “All the people of Jerusalem” seems to be hyperbole.

v. 6 Where does this imagery come from and what does it point to?  Might locusts refer to something other than bugs?

v. 7 As I have asked in a previous rumination, what is so special about the thing of a sandal?

v. 8 Might this be some literary foreshadowing or reading developments back into the text?

v. 10 What do the heavens being torn apart look like?  Is there a difference between the Spirit “descending like a dove” and “descending as a dove”?  Did anyone other than Jesus see these things?

v. 11 Did anyone other than Jesus hear this voice?

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.