Thursday, June 28, 2012

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, Sunday, July 1, 2012, the Thirteenth 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 Why Ziklag and why two days?

v. 17 Intoned?

v. 18 I believe the next Indiana Jones film will be “Cataloging the Book of Jashar”

v. 20 Why Gath and Ashkelon?

v. 24 Whom did Saul clothe with crimson?

v. 27 How many times have we now heard the refrain “How the mighty have fallen”?  Why does David (and/or the writer) keep repeating it?

v. 1 Where are the depths and how deep are they?

v. 2 How do we deal with Psalms that anthropomorphize God?

v. 3 Does God mark, or not mark, iniquities?

v. 4 Keep in mind that this “forgiveness” proceeds the ministry of Jesus.

vs. 5-6 What does it mean to “wait for the LORD”?  I am inclined to think of contemplative prayer.

v. 7 This psalm already introduced forgiveness in v. 4.  Now it introduces love and redemption.  This sounds like New Testament Christian theology.

v. 7 What generous undertaking would that be?

v. 8 In other words, I do not have the power to command you, but I can embarrass you.

v. 9 Let’s  pour on the guilt.  Is this Paul’s idea of a Stewardship sermon?

vs. 10-11 Is Paul reminding the Corinthians of a previous but unfulfilled financial pledge.

vs. 13-14 This is beginning to sound like a sermon to the 1% about helping the 99%.

v. 15 Some inequality is ok, but not extreme wealth in the midst of extreme poverty?

v. 22 Why would Jairus fall at the feet of Jesus?

v. 23 What is so special about the laying on of hands?  Why do Presbyterians not usually associate prayer for healing with the laying on of hands when it is so biblical?

vs. 25-34 Why does this account interrupt the story?

v. 25 Is there anything special about “12 years”?

v. 27 What had she heard?  Why did she touch his cloak?

v. 30 What might power going forth from oneself feel like?

v. 34 Is this not an after the fact proclamation?

v. 36 Are the words “Do not fear, only believe” mean for Jairus or for someone else?

v. 37 An example of the inner three being given an inside track.

v. 39 What is the difference between death and sleep?  I hate the euphemism “putting pets to sleep” and prefer the verb “euthanize”.

v. 41 Why take her by the hand?  Why might the gospel preserve the original Aramaic?

v. 42 When was the last time you, or anyone you know, were overcome with amazement?

v. 43 Why would Jesus order that “no one should know this”?  Know what?

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.

Look for me at the PC(USA) General Assembly in Pittsburgh. I will be posting Lectionary Ruminations for July 8 from there.  I may, or may not, also be blogging about the Assembly.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, June 24, 2012, the Twelfth 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. 32 What is the relationship between David and Saul at this point?  Why does David refer to himself in the second person?

v. 33 Typical advice to a young pastor going up against entrenched interests of an older generation?

v. 34 Lions, (but no tigers), and bears, Oh my!

v. 36 Is the reference to “this uncircumcised Philistine” a racial slur or just trash talk before the battle?

v. 37 While David makes it sound in verses 34-36 that he deserved all the credit for defeating lions and bears, he now gives credit to God.  In this regard, you may want to take another look at last week’s Psalm.

v. 38 What is the irony that Saul clothes David with his (Saul’s) armor?

v. 39 Is this really a comment about armor or a veiled comment about political reality?

v. 40 Is there any symbolism in David choosing “five” smooth stones?  You may want to take a look at Eugene Peterson’s book Five Smooth Stones.

v. 42 Déjà vu

v. 43 Whose gods?

v. 45 Look again at last week’s Psalm.

v. 47 What might this verse say about the military doctrine of “Shock and Awe”?

v. 48 Since David ends up felling this Philistine with one smooth stone, why did David pick put five smooth stones in his bag?

v. 9 Why does this verse not fit the circumstances of the First Reading?

v. 10 While the previous verse may not fir the circumstances of the First Reading, I think this verse does.

v. 12 Who avenges blood and what does that mean?

v. 15 Can you think of any nation caught in the very trap it set for others?

v. 17 What, and where, is Shoel?

v. 20 Good advice, even, or especially, for Americans.

v. 1 Who are “we”?

v. 2 Is this a quote from Scripture?

v. 3 What accusations is Paul defending his ministry against?

vs. 4-5 Poor Paul!

vs. 6-10 Did anyone ever argue that Paul was humble?

v. 12 Ouch!

v. 35 What day? Who are “them”?

v. 36 What does the comment “just as he was” mean?  What does it add to the text and its meaning?

v. 38 How could Jesus know they were perishing if he was sleeping through the storm?  Even though this is Mark and not John, is there more than one level of meaning here?

v. 39 What point is being made?

v. 40 Again, is there more than one level of meaning here?

v. 41 When was the last time you were filled with great awe?  Is their question rhetorical?

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, June 14, 2012

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, June 17, 2012, the Eleventh 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. 34 Is the anything significant about Ramah or Gibeah?

v. 35 Who is “he”, the LORD or Samuel?  Imagine that, the LORD was sorry! 

v.  2 So the LORD instructs and helps Samuel construct a ruse?

v.  3 Is this why the LORD instructed Samuel to fill his horn with oil?

v.  4 Why were the elders of Bethlehem trembling?

v.  5 Was Jesse one of the elders?  Were his sons? In this context, what does it mean to be sanctified?

v. 6-7  Things are not always as they seem.  In both ecclesiastical and secular settings, the person who most looks the part is not always the person the God has chosen.  Nevertheless, they are still the person chosen, hired, elected or called.  In this case, however, not so! Lesson learned?

v. 10 Should we associate any symbolic significance to the number seven?

v. 12 What are the various alternate translations of this verse?

v. 13 Would the spirit of the LORD not have come upon David if Samuel had not anointed him? Note that David is not named until after he is anointed?

v. 1 To whom is the Psalmist writing?  Does the reference to God’s name serving as protection suggest that God’s name was understood by some as having magical properties?v. 

v. 2 What sort help and support might be imagined?

v. 3 What is the difference between an offering and a sacrifice?

v. 4 What if the heart’s desire and plans are not according to God’s will?

v. 5 I wonder what these banners looked like.  I doubt if they looked like the liturgical banners some churches display.

v. 6  What does God ever do with the left hand, if anything?

vs. 7-8 Let this verse be a warning to those advocating for increased spending on defense and who claim that a nation’s security is directly related to the size of its armed forces.

v. 9 Who is “us”?

v. 6 Why must we be away from the Lord while at home in the body?  Can modern Christians read this without help from Descartes?  How can we read it as first Century Christians would have read it?

v. 10 Does this suggest a work’s righteousness?

v. 11 What is the fear of the Lord and who does one know it?

v. 12 What is this verse about?

v. 13 What is Paul’s logic?

v. 17 Even though I agree with it, this is a pretty bold statement.  Does it logically flow from what precedes it?

v. 26 I love the kingdom sayings (parables), even though I do not fully understand them, sort of like the person who does not know how seeds that were scattered take root and grow.

v. 29 This sounds as though reaping is a good, not a grim, undertaking.

v. 30 Not just any seed, but a mustard seed.

vs. 30-32 So, don’t judge a book by its cover, or a seed by its size, or a son of Jesse by his age.

v. 33 “The Word”?  How able are we to hear it?

v. 34 So why did the disciples often appear not to get it?

 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, June 7, 2012

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, June 10, 2012, the Tenth 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.) 


My ruminations focus on 8:4-20.

v. 4 Why was Samuel at Ramah?

v. 5 What did the elders mean by saying ”your sons do not follow in your ways”?  Were the elders experiencing Kingness envy?

v. 6 Why did the elder’s request displease Samuel?

v. 8 Some peoples just do not change.

v. 9 Is this foresight or hindsight?

v. 11 The first military draft?

v. 13 Forget military conscription, this is sounding like slavery.

v. 14 Eminent domain?

v. 19 Of course the people did not listen to Samuel. People hardly ever listen to a prophet.

vs.  11-20 How do American Christians hear these verses in the midst of a presidential election year and the rhetoric of both The Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street?

v. 1 What “gods”?

v. 2 What direction do you face when you give thanks to the LORD?

v. 4 All the kings of the earth shall praise the LORD?  Who is this psalmist kidding?

v. 7 What is the symbolic meaning of God’s right hand (other than discrimination against left handed people)?

v. 8 To whom is this verse addressed?

v. 13 Where is this quote from?

v. 15 Does this “your” refer to only Christians in Corinth or to a larger group?

v. 16 What is the outer nature and what is the inner nature?

v. 17 What is the “slight momentary affliction” to which Paul refers?

v. 18 How do we look at things that cannot be seen?  I want to default to Plato’s forms here.

v. 1 If Paul had been of a trade other than tentmaker, would he have employed a different 
metaphor?

v. 20 When was the crown together before now?  Who could not eat?

v. 21 Whose family?

v. 22 Who, or what, is Beelzebul?

v. 23 How did we get from Beelzebul to Satan?

v. 25 Who does Jesus think he is, Abraham Lincoln?

v. 29 What is “blasphemy” against the Holy Spirit and why does Jesus day this? Theologically speaking, can there really be an unforgivable, eternal sin if God chooses to forgive it?

v. 31 What bothers?

v. 32 What sisters?

v. 33 Is this a rhetorical question?

vs.  34-35 What sort of family values are being demonstrated 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.