Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, Sunday, April 1, 2012, Palm Sunday (Passion Sunday) (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.) 


Liturgy of the Palms Reading:
v. 1 Why would Jesus send two disciples rather than one?  Which two do you think he sent?

v. 2 How did Jesus know there would be a colt there?

v. 8 What is the meaning of spreading cloaks and leafy branches on the road?  What might be a modern equivalent?

vs. 9-11 What is being quoted?

Liturgy of the Passion Readings:
v. 4 I take this verse personally.

v. 6 Who is speaking?

v. 7 What does it mean to set one’s face like flint?

vs. 4-9a How does this passage inform our observance of Passion Sunday and how does our observance of Passion Sunday influence how we might read and interpret this passage?

v. 9 Is this a proof-text for the Hebrew understanding of the ensouled body?

v.14 How might the psalmist maintain trust in God in spite of all the psalmist’s suffering?

v. 16 What does itme for God’s facetto shine upon us?

v. 5 What mind was in Christ Jesus?

v. 6 What is God’s form?

v. 7 Was Jesus born in human likeness or was he born as human?

v. 10 There are beings in heaven with knees?  What beings under the earth have knees?

v. 1 what do you know about all the different players; the chief priests, the elders, the scribes, and the whole council?

v. 2 Did Pilate say that Jesus was the King of the Jews?

v. 10 Was Pilate’s analysis correct.  Was it jealousy that really motivated the chief priests?

vs. 16-23 I think John Shelby Spong makes a strong argument for reading this as Midrash of Psalm22.

v. 21 Why are Simon, Alexander and Rufus named?

v. 32 I know this is Mark, but I hear echoes of the ending of John.

v. 34 Where have we heard or seen Jesus’ words before?

v. 38 What symbolic statement is being made?

v. 39 What is the irony 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, March 22, 2012

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, March 25, 2012, the Fifth 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. 31 Why does Jeremiah write about coming days rather than a new age? Why the twin construction “Israel” and ”Judah”?

v. 32 God is a husband?

v. 33 How does God put a law in a person?  How does God write on the heart?

v. 34 Note that God is the agent of divine knowledge, not people.

vs. 1, 2 and 3 Here are examples of Hebrew poetic parallelism.  Are steadfast love and abundant mercy the same thing?

v. 5 If this is not a proof text for original sin, what is it?

v. 6 What is a secret heart?

v. 7 What is hyssop and how does it purge?

v. 8 God has crushed bones?

v. 9 What is the meaning of “Hide your face”?

v. 10 Does having a clean heart mean having a new and right spirit?

vs. 10-11 Is a holy spirit the sane as a new and right spirit? I think we misread this Hebrew Psalm if we bring to it our Christian Trinitarian theology.

v. 12 what is a willing spirit?

v. 5 When did Christ become a high priest? What are the functions of a high priest?  Where have we heard this quote before?

v. 6 Where is this other place?  Who is Melchizedeck and what is the order of Melchizedek?

v. 7 What is the difference between “prayers” and “supplications”?

v. 8 Was learning obedience the purpose of Christ’s suffering?

v.9 How was Christ made perfect?  What is the theological difference between being perfect from before creation and being made perfect at some later time?

v. 20 What festival?  Who are the Greeks?

v. 21 Who was Philip?  Does his home town matter?  What are the possible meanings of “see”?

v. 22 Why did Philip go and tell Andrew?

v. 23 What hour has come?  Who is the son of man?  What does it mean to be glorified?

v. 24 Why does Jesus often introduce sayings with “Very truly”?  Would Jesus ever not speak truly?

v. 27 Why is Jesus’ soul troubled?

v. 28 Is the voice for the benefit of Jesus or the benefit of the crowd standing  there?

v. 29 Why would some hear thunder and others hear the voice of angels? Do angels speaking sound like thunder?

v. 30 I guess Jesus answered my question for verse28.

v. 31 Has the world already been judged? Who is (or was) the ruler of this world?

v. 32 What is Jesus speaking about, his crucifixion? His ascension?  Both? Something else altogether?

v. 33 Once again, Jesus answers my question.

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, March 15, 2012

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, March 18, 2012, the Fourth 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. 4 Where is Mount Hor?  Why did they avoid Edom?

v. 5 Who is “you”?  What was the miserable food the people detested?

v. 6 Why would the Lord send poisonous snakes. Maybe the people needed St. Patrick as their leader rather than Moses.

vs. 8-9 What do you know about the psychological and spiritual symbolism of the rod of Asclepius?  What might Carl Jung have said about this passage?  Is there anything idolatrous about what Moses has fashioned?  Where might you find a reference to this passage in the Christian Scriptures?

v. 2 Who are the redeemed?

v. 3 Note the four cardinal directions.

v. 17 Must illness be caused by sin only?

v. 19 Who are the “they”?

v. 20 How can a word heal?

vs.21-22 Do these verses refer only to what precedes or to all God’s wonderful works?

v. 1 What sort of death is the author writing about?

v. 2 Who or what is the ruler of the power of the air?

v. 3 Does the argument presume a dichotomy between flesh and spirit?

v. 7 When and what are the ages to come?

v. 10 Is this a reference to the creation of Genesis? The argument seems to be that once saved by grace, good works will follow. Therefore, by extension, good works are evidence of our salvation.

v. 14 You gotta love John! You may want to look at what John Sanford has to say about this passage in his Jungian/Psychological commentary on John entitled Mystical Christianity. Who is speaking in this verse?

v. 16 Why do so many people quote this verse while ignoring the two before? What is the meaning of “gave”?

v. 17 So why does so much of popular Christianity sound condemnatory?  What is the meaning of “the world”?

v. 18 What is the source of condemnation?

v.19 How can we talk about light and darkness while avoiding racial overtones?  Is “shadows” a better image than “darkness”?

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, March 8, 2012

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, March 11, 2012, the Third 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. 1 How does God speak if God does not have a physical body with vocal chords?

v. 2 Do other people have another god?

v. 3 Can we have other gods after God? Lesser gods after God?

v. 4 With all due respect to Plato, what would the form of something in heaven look like?  Is there any place other than heaven above, earth below, or water under the earth?

v. 5 God experiences emotions?  Would God not punish to the fifth generation? 

v. 7 What is rightful use  of God’s name?

v. 8 How do Christians justify worshiping on Sunday rather than Saturday?

v. 12 How do children honor parents?  Is this the only word out of the ten that comes with a 
cause and effect  promise?

v. 13 What is murder?

v. 15 Define theft.

v. 16 Is it permissible to bear false witness against someone who is not your neighbor?

v.17 Does it bother you that this word seems to categorize a wife as a piece of property?

v. 1 How do the heavens speak?  Is there any difference between the heavens and the firmament?  Is the Glory of God the same as God’s handiwork?

vs. 2-4d What do you make of these verses?  What are they saying? 

v. 4c Do these verses presume a pre-Copernican universe?

vs. 7-9 How many synonyms do you see for “law”? Is ”fear” in anyway a synonym for” law”?

v. 10 At the close of the market on March 7, 2012, Gold was trading for $1,683.30 an ounce.  How sweet is honey?  Was there any other known sweetener at the time of the psalmist?

v. 11 What is the reward?  Does this verse lead to works righteousness?

v. 12 Do not forget the advice of the oracle at Delphi.  Know thyself.

v. 13 Who are the insolent?

v. 14 Pet Peeve Alert!  This is not a Prayer for Illumination.  Displays of personal piety by praying a personal prayer aloud have no place in the lectern or pulpit before preaching or the classroom before teaching. If you want to pray this silently before you preach or teach, fine, but I do not want to hear you pray aloud for yourself.

v. 1 How is the message of the cross foolishness?

v. 19 Where is this written?

v. 20 Who is the one who is wise?  Certainly not Socrates! Who is the debater of this age.  Was 
Paul erecting a straw opponent or might he have had someone specific in mind?

v. 22 And how shall we read John’s book of signs in light of verse and argument?  What is wrong with wisdom?

v.25 God is foolish and weak?

vs. 18-25 Pay particular attention to the various chiastic literary structures of Paul’s argument

v.13 What does it mean to go “up” to Jerusalem?

v. 14 Why would anyone sell cattle, sheep or doves in the temple?  Why were money changers presentin the temple?

v. 15 Did Jesus drive out only the sheep and the cattle?

v. 16 What is wrong with God’s house being a marketplace?

v. 17 Where is this written?

v. 18 See 1 Corinthians 1:22

v. 21 Does this verse add to or detract from the account?

v.22 What was it about the resurrection that reminded the disciples about anything Jesus said?  What “scripture”?

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, March 1, 2012

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, March 4, 2012, the Second 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.1 Last week, we encountered Noah and Noahic Covenant.  This week, we encounter Abraham and the Abrahamic Covenant.  How do these two covenants inform our understanding of Lent and Easter?

v. 3 What is the meaning of “felon his face”?

v. 4 What is the meaning of “nations”?

v. 5 Why does God change Abram’s name to Abraham?

v. 7 In verse 2, God promises to establish a covenant with Abraham.  In this verse, the promise is extended to Abraham’s offspring.

v.15 Why does God have Abraham change Sarai’s name to Sarah?  What is the difference between a covenant and a blessing?

v. 23 Why does the psalmist refer to offspring of Jacob/Israel rather than Abraham?

v. 24 Is the Psalmist the afflicted?

v. 25 What is the great congregation?

v. 27 Remember what?

v. 29 is life being contrasted with death?

vs. 30-31 Is this promise for the church as much as for Abraham and his offspring?
       
v. 13 Did only Abraham have faith, or did his descendants also have faith?

v. 14 Logical

v. 15 Again, logical.

v. 16 What does Paul mean by “the faith of Abraham”?

v. 20 Is distrust the opposite of faith?

v. 21 Faith as trust rather than assent to doctrine.

v. 31 Why does Jesus not begin to preach this until Chapter eight?

v. 32 Did Jesus not always speak openly?  Why did Peter rebuke Jesus.

v. 33 Why did Jesus look at the disciples, rather than looking at Peter, when he rebuked Peter? What might the multi-faceted meaning of “Get behind me Satan”?

v. 34 What cross?

v. 35 I think this is the kernel of wisdom in the husk of this passage.

v. 38 who might Jesus have in mind when he refers to those who are ashamed of him?

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.