Thursday, February 23, 2012

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, February 26, 2012, the First Sunday in Lent (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.8 God did not speak to the women?

v. 9 The Noahic, not  the Abrahamic covenant.

v. 10 What are the implications for an ecological ethic?

v. 11 Apparently God did not know about global climate change.

vs.12-13  And the name of this sign? Roy G. Biv!

v. 16 Does God really need a rainbow to be reminded of the covenant?

Psalm - Psalm 25:1-10
v. I am used to hearing about the lifting up of the eyes.  I wonder how many instances there are of lifting up of the soul.

v. 2 What is more biblical, trusting in God or believing in God?

v. 6 This sounds like the psalmist is trying to remind a forgetful God.

v. 7 I guess it is all right for God to forget some things, like my sins, but not other things, like God’s mercy and steadfast love.

v. 10 What are the paths of the Lord for those who do not keep God’s covenant and decrees?

v. 19 What spirits in what prison?

v. 20 Was this Second Reading selected in light of the First Reading, or vice versa? I compliment Paul on his theological creativity and seeing in the story of Noah a prefiguration of Christian Baptism.

v. 21 Not a removal of dirt, but what about sin?  Whose good conscience?

v. 9 In what days?

v. 10 Who saw what?

v. 11 Who heard this?

v. 12 How many times in Mark do we find “immediately”?

v. 13 Why “forty days” and not “forty days and nights”?  How did the Angels wait on him?

v. 14 Why did Jesus not come to Galilee until after John was arrested?  What is the “good news of God”?

v. 15 What time is fulfilled?

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, February 16, 2012

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, February 19, 2012, the Transfiguration 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.)  

vs. 1-12 How much does this reading influence our understanding of the Transfiguration and inform our interpretation of  Mark 9:2-9?  Can we read Mark 9:29, in part, as Midrash on this reading? What is a whirlwind?

v. 3 Who are the company of prophets here and in verse 5?  Why did Elisha bid them to keep silent?  What do you know about Bethel?

v. 5 What do you know about Jericho?

v. 6 What do you know about the Jordan? Why this travel narrative?

v. 7 Is there anything significant or symbolic about the number fifty?

v. 8 What is a mantel?  Is this a Midrash on Moses’ parting of the Red Sea?

v. 9 What is a double measure of spirit?  I would settle for half of Elijah’s spirit.

v. 11 Why does a chariot of fire and horses of fire appear?  What is their relationship to the whirlwind?

v. 12 Why did Elisha tear his clothes in two?

v. 1 Does God not summon from the setting of the sun to its rising?

v. 2 What is perfect beauty?

v. 3 Does this verse alone justify this Psalm being paired with the First Reading?

v. 5 Are we to assume from the First Reading  that only Elijah was faithful?

v. 3 Is our gospel veiled?  What sort of veil is Paul talking about?

v. 4 Who, or what, is the god of this world? How does this verse illuminate our understanding of the Transfiguration and inform our interpretation of the Gospel Reading?

v. 6 Wherein Scripture did God say “Let light shine out of darkness,”?

v. 2 Six days later, after what?  Why does Jesus always seem to take with him Peter, James and John?  Whatis the meaning of the word “transfigured”?

v. 3 Was this in the days before Clorox and/or OxiClean?

v.4 Why Elisha and Moses?  What do they represent and/or symbolize?  If you had to pick two people from the Jewish Scriptures to appear with you, whom would you pick?

v. 5 Why might Peter have wanted to build three dwellings?

v. 7 Where and when have we heard something like this before?

v.8 What just happened?

v.9 Why would Jesus order Peter, James and John not to tell anyone about what they had just seen?  Why is “Son of Man” used here but not earlier in this account?  Why do the three have to wait untilafter the resurrection?

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, February 9, 2012

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, Sunday, February 12, 2012, the Sixth 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 How many juxtapositions can you find in this verse and the reading in addition to a great man suffering from leprosy?

v. 2 Is this the only Biblical instance of a captured Israelite bringing some sort of salvation to their captors?

v. 3 Who is the “my lord” being referred to?

v. 4 Who is the “his lord” being referred to?

v. 6Why was Naaman sent to the king of Israel rather than the prophet in Samaria?

v. 7 Does the king of Israel ask a rhetorical question?  Why does the king of Israel think the king of Samaria is trying to pick a fight?

v. 8 How might have Elisha heard about what had happened?  Note that in verse 3 the young girl referred to a prophet who is in Samaria, yet in this verse, Elisha refers to a prophet in Israel.

v. 9 Why seven times?

v. 11 What was the source of Naaman’s anger?

v. 12 Is there any difference between the water in the Jordan and the water in the Abana or Pharpar? Why are some rivers, such as the Jordan and the Ganges, considered sacred and holy, while others are not?

v. 1 What does it mean to “extol” the LORD?  Do you extol anyone  or anything?

v. 2 This verse pairs well with the First Reading, but can you imagine these words, or this Psalm, being spoken by Naaman?

v. 3 Is this verse about resurrection, or something else?

v. 5 I like the contrast between God’s anger and God’s favor.  Why does it seem that some people get this backwards?

v. 6 I hear echoes of other passages here.  How do we read this and the following verse in the midst or, or near the end of, The Great Recession?

v. 9 What logic is the psalmist employing?
vs.  11-12 Is it the promise of God’s grace, or the experience of God’s grace, that leads to mourning turning into dancing?

v. 24 Yes, we know this.  Although, for some, just finishing a race is reward enough, even if they do not finish first.

v. 25 How might you compare Christian spiritual disciplines to the regimen of athletic training?  What can winning athletes teach us about the Christian life?

v. 27 Is this a call to Christian asceticism, or self flagulation?

v. 40 Recalling the First Reading, I hereby proclaim this Sunday to be “Leper Sunday.”   Oh wait, this Sunday has already been proclaimed “Evolution Sunday”.  What does it mean to be made clean?

v. 41 Do you think Jesus was really moved with, or motivated by, pity?

v. 42 One of Mark’s favorite words: “Immediately”!

vs. 43-44 Why would Jesus sternly warn the man he healed not to anything about itbut to show himself to the priest?  What did Moses command to be offered?

v. 45 Why could Jesus no longer go into towns openly?

ADDENDUM
For those who are observing it, February 12, 2012 is Evolution Sunday.  How might these texts illuminate the relation of science and faith and one’s understanding of creation and evolution?

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, February 2, 2012

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, February 5, 2012, the Fifth 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.) 


vs. 21-31 This is one of the longer readings we have seen in a while.  Note that it is not prose.   How does that affect or influence your interpretation and application?

v. 21 Are these merely rhetorical questions?

v. 22 Who is “he”?  I am surprised by “the circle” of the earth as I would have expected a flat earth with four corners.

v. 24 what are the “they”?

v. 26 What are the “these”?

v. 27 Is there any instance in Scripture of anyone speaking these words?

v. 28 I hear a refrain.  This sounds like a confession of faith.

vs. 30-31 This is one of my favorite passages to read as part of a Service of Witness to the Resurrection.

v. 1 Why is it that some worshiping communities simply do not like to sing hymns and spiritual songs?

v. 2 Who are the outcasts of Israel?

v. 3 Are the brokenhearted and wounded the same people as the outcasts of Jerusalem?

v. 4 I wonder what God has to say about all the organizations that, for a small fee, will name a star after someone and register that name.

v. 5 A confession of faith as well as expression of praise.

v. 7 See my comments for v. 1

v. 9 I wish God would get up every morning to feed my dog so that I did not have to.

v. 10 So God is not a sports fan, or least not horse racing or track and field.

v. 11 What is the meaning of “fear”? Do you fear God?

v. 20c Always a good way to end a Psalm and in this case the last/ending line echoes the first/opening line.

v. 16 If? IF?  IF? I can almost resonate with Paul’s assertion.

v. 18 How do “compensated” preachers handle this one?

v. 20 But Paul WAS a Jew!

v. 21 Who were outside the law?

v. 22 How did Paul become weak?  Can anyone truly be everything to all people?

v. 29 Where did Simon and Andrew live?

v. 30 Simon was married?  Were he and Andrew living with Simon’s in-laws or were Simon’s in-laws and Andrew living with Simon and his wife?

v. 32 ALL?  Really?  I think this is hyperbole.

v. 33 The whole city? All one thousand of them? Could this be another example of hyperbole?

v. 34 Is this verse an example of messianic secret of Mark?

v. 35 So Jesus was a morning person!  Why pray in a deserted place?

v. 36 Who were Simon’s companions?

v. 39 What if Jesus had proclaimed the message but not cast out demons? What if he had cast out demons but not proclaimed the message?  Must proclaiming the message and casting out demons go hand in hand?

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.