Thursday, July 26, 2012

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, July 29, 2012, the Seventeenth 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 was the spring the time when kings went out to battle?  David had been a great military leader.  Why does he now stay behind?

v. 2 Was David a Voyeur? Was he looking for a beautiful woman?

v. 3 Does it make any difference that this was the daughter of Eliam, or that her husband was a Hittite?

v. 4 Don’t  you love biblical euphemisms?  What was the sine here, David and Bathsheba committing adultery, or the two of them having sex when she was not yet ritually pure?

v. 5 This was before the advent of home pregnancy tests!

v. 6 Why did David send for Uriah?

v. 8 Yep, another biblical euphemism!  I wonder about the nature of the present?

v. 9 Why did Uriah not go sleep in his home?

v. 11 There is your answer to the question I asked related to verse 9. 

v. 13 Why did David get Uriah drunk?

v. 14 Why did David want Uriah to die?

v. 14.5 David stands out on the royal balcony and proclaims to the crowd “I am not a crook!”  Can you spell “c-o-v-e-r-u-p”?

v. 1 So atheists but not agnostics are, according to the psalmist, fools?  I can agree with the first  line, but not the second and third.

v. 2 OK, I know, its trite, but I am reminded of the Advent/Christmas saying “The Wise (Magi) sill seek him.”

v. 3 Who have all gone astray?

v. 4 How does one eat people like bread.  Who is “they”?

v. 5 Where is “there”?

v. 6 This sounds like another Scripture passage for the 99%.

v. 7 And when will that deliverance and restoration come?

v. 14 What reason?

v. 15 What does this mean?

vs. 16-17 This sounds like a pithy platitude.

v. 18 Four dimensions!  I regularly pray that my GED students as well as those who worship where I preach and lead worship will have the power to comprehend.  Is lack of comprehension the only problem preachers and teachers face?

v. 19 What does it mean for something to surpass knowledge.  What do we call such a thing, transknosis?

v. 20 What power is at work in us?

v. 1 After what? Why did this sea have at least two names? 

v. 2 What is a “large” crowd? In the context of this gospel, what are “signs”?

v. 3 What mountain?

v. 4 How near?  So what?

v. 5 If Jesus was on a mountain, why did he look up to see people coming toward him?  It seems like he should look down.  Why ask Philip and not another one of the disciples?

v. 6 How does Jesus test us?

v. 7 By today’s standards, six month’s wages would be at least $7,250.  How much bread could y-u buy with that and how many people could you feed?

v. 8 Why Andrew?  I wonder if Andrew ever grew tired of being identified as Simon Peter’s brother?

v. 9 Jesus asked about bread, not fish and bread. Is there anything significant about five loaves and two fish?  Is there any significance to the bread being barely loaves? 

v. 10 $7,250/5000 = $ 1.45 / person.\

v. 11 What about people who might be standing?  Is this why we generally sit in the pews (not grass) to receive the eucharist?

v. 13 Is there any significance to there being twelve baskets?

v. 14 Do all “signs” lead to this public pronouncement of faith?

v. 15 When did Jesus withdraw from the mountain?  The people wanted to make Jesus King and he had not yet even given them a circus.

v. 17 Is there a subtext to the phrase “It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them”?  Why have I not noticed this verse before?

v. 18 Is the “strong wind” a metaphor for the Holy Spirit?

v. 19 Why were they terrified?

v. 2o What might “It is I” allude to?

v. 21 Did they take Jesus into the boat or not?

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, July 19, 2012

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday Sunday, July 22, 2012, the Sixteenth 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 

v. 1 Who deserves credit for the Peace of David’s later reign?

v. 2 What does the ark of God symbolize?

v. 3 What does David have in mind?

v. 4 What does it mean when “the word of the LORD” comes to a person?  Why does this mostly happen at night?

vs. 5-12 What political, theological, or other reason can you think of to justify the LORD not permitting David to build a house for the ark?  How many organizing pastor’s are not around when a congregation builds its first physical plant?

vs. 13-14a Of whom is the LORD talking?

v. 20 What is the difference between ordinary, common oil and holy oil?

v. 24 What is a horn?

v. 26 Is this a familiar cry?

v. 28 see verse 24.

v. 29 From an historical perspective, has God kept these promises?

v. 30 Children in the biological, or the metaphorical sense?

v. 36 Really?

vs. 20-37 How can a faithful Jew  or Christian, read these verses in light of the destruction of the second temple, the holocaust, etc., and not think the LORD has not lived up to divine promises?

v. 11 Who calls Gentiles “the uncircumcision”? Who calls “the circumcision” by that name?  Is Paul coining these phrases or quoting others?

vs. 12-13 Why only “Christ” in verse 12 but “Christ Jesus” in verse 13?

v. 14 How has Christ broken down the dividing wall of hostility?  What was the dividing wall of hostility?  I can not but help read this verse in light of the walls Israel has erected between Jewish and Palestinian neighborhoods.  How has the institutional church erected its own dividing walls?

vs. 15-16 Is there a difference between one new humanity and one humanity being en-grafted into another?

vs. 17-18 If there is now a new humanity, why does Paul write as if there were still two?

v. 20 Us there any theological or rhetorical connection between the :household” in this verse and the “house” in the First Reading?

v. 22 Note that in the NRSV it is “a holy temple in the Lord”, not “of the Lord”.  I am really beginning to think we ought to interpret this passage through the interpretive lens of the First Reading.

v. 30 What do you think they had done and taught?  What have you done and taught?

v. 31 The first Leaders’  Retreat?

v. 32 was the boat the deserted place or did they travel by boat to a deserted place?  Over the past two years I have become a sailor and regularly sail for up to five to seven hours at a time a twenty-four foot sailboat.  Although I do not (yet) sail alone, these sails are often retreat like in nature.  I do not need to sail to a deserted place.  The sailboat is my deserted  place.

v. 33 Sailing is often a slow way to travel, especially in a light wind or against a wind and/or current.  It is not hard for me to envision a group of people walking to a place faster than one could sail to it.

v. 34 What are sheep like without a shepherd?

v. 53 Is “crossed over” merely a geographical reference or a metaphor for something else?

v. 56 There are marketplaces in/on farms?  Is there anything special about the fringe of a cloak?  What other Gospel story does this remind you of?  Can you recall any hymn employing “fringe” imagery?  Maybe we can repeal Obama’s healthcare reform, along with Medicare, Medicaid and private health insurance and just issue sick people some fringe to touch.

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, July 12, 2012

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, July 15, 2012, the Fifteenth 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 Was one of those 30,000 named Indiana Jones?  Is there any significance to the number 30,000?

v. 2 Where was Baale-judah and what does the name mean?  What are cherubim, where were they, and how was God enthroned upon them?

v. 3 Who was Abinadab?

v. 5 What might this dance have been like?

v. 12b. I though the ark had been in the house of Abinadab.  Who was Obed-edom?  What took place in the verses, 6-12a, that are not part of the lectionary, that could explain this? Why make a sacrifice after six paces?  Why not four paces, or seven or eight?

v. 14 Déjà vu.  What is a linen ephod?

v. 16 Why might Michal have despised David?

v. 17 What is an offering of well being?

v. 19 What do you make of the giving of food?

v. 1 Is there any difference bertween “the earth: and :the world” or is this just an example of Hebraic poetic structure?

v. 2 Same question about “seas” and “riveers”?

v. 3 Ditto “hill of the LORD” and “holy place”?

v. 4 And again.

vs. 7-10 I think these verses were mis-numbered.  Where four verses exist, we ought to have six..  It is too late to change versification now, however.  How does the First Reading influence your reading and interpretation of this Psalm?

v. 3 This reads like a liturgical formula.

v. 4 This sounds like predestination.

v. 5 What is the difference between destined and predestined?

v. 6 Who is the “Beloved”?   Is this an allusion to the Song of Songs?

v. 7 How does blood bring redemption?

v. 9 What is the mystery of God’s will?

v. 10 Is this “all things” universalism?

v. 13 How is the Holy Spirit a seal that marks?

v. 14 What is “the pledge of our inheritance”?

v. 14 Herod heard of what?  What does it mean for a name to become known?  I have a hunch it is more than Andy Warhol’s fifteen minutes of fame.  Could some of been saying that “John the baptizer has been raised from the dead” is there had not been a fertile soil for belief in the resurrection?

v. 15 Of all the Prophets, why Elijah?  Who were “the prophets of old”?

v. 17-29 Is this discourse really necessary for telling the Gospel story?

v. 20 Did anyone ever refer to Jesus as a “righteous and holy man”?

v. 29 Whose disciples?  This is not an example of déjà vu but prefiguring and sounds like language used to refer to Jesus after his death.

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, July 5, 2012

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, July 8, 2012, the Fourteenth 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 All the tribes, or representatives of all the tribes?  Why Hebron?

v. 2 Could someone be putting words into their mouths?

v. 3 Is this the only instance of a covenant not involving God?

vs. 1-5, 9-10 What is the significance of moving the seat of power and authority from Hebron to the City of David?

v. 1 Where is the city of our God?

v. 2 Who is the great king?

v. 6 I do not like this simile or metaphor and would love to have some comments and 
feedback by women.

v. 9 Do you ever ponder?

v. 10 Another slight toward left-handedness.

v. 12 How many towers were around Zion?

v. 13 What is a citadel?

v. 2 This must be one of the stranger and more bizarre verses in the New Testament.  Have you ever had an out of the body experience?  How many heavens are there?

v. 4 How does Paul know this?

v. 7 What do you make of this thorn?  I think it was a person!

v. 10. I wish the Reverend Tara McCabe-Spuhler had read and ruminated on this verse before resigning as Vice Moderator of the PC(USA) 220th General Assembly.

v. 1 Who went to his hometown and what town was it?

v. 2 When was the last time anyone was astounded by your teaching?  How would YOU answer the questions asked in this verse?

v. 3 You mean Jesus was not an only child?  That his brothers but not his sisters are named is just an example of the patriarchy of the times.  Let us not return to those times or that patriarchy.

v. 5 As if laying your hands on a few people and healing them is something minor.

v. 6 Whose unbelief?

vs. 8-9 Why these instructions?  How could they be expected to accomplish their mission without a building and/or sanctuary?

v. 11 Enacting this verse can be quite cathartic.

v. 13 Why do Presbyterians not do more anointing with oil?

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. 



The photograph of a Bible that has accompanied all my postings of Lectionary Ruminations, my photograph of one of my study Bibles, was used in the PowerPoint presentation accompanying the Overture Advocate presentation to General Assembly Committee 13 as the Overture Advocates sought to inform the committee of the need for an Authoritative Interpretation that would have protected Teaching Elders and Sessions from disciplinary action for officiating at or allowing same sex weddings in the District of Columbia and states where same sex marriage is legal.