Thursday, January 24, 2013

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, January 27, 2013, the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)


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.) 

8:1  Is “all” hyperbole? What people gathered?  How many Americans will think of Richard Nixon when they hear this?  Geographically, where is the Eater Gate?  What does it mean that Ezra was a scribe?  What is the book of the law of Moses?

8:2 Was Ezra a priest, a scribe, or both?   Or were there two people named Ezra?  What about people who could not hear with understanding?  How do we hear or not hear with understanding?  Is there anything special about this date?

8:3 This was not a twenty minute reading of Scripture.

8:5Why did the people stand up when Ezra opened the book?

8:6 What does it mean to bless the LORD?  I thought God usually blessed individuals and communities, not the other way around.  What is the meaning of first raising hands and then bowing heads?

8:8 Who was reading, Ezra, or others as well?  Note that they were not onlky reading but also interpreting.  This is beginning to sound like the reading of Scripture and the ex[position of a sermon.

8:9 So Ezra was both a priest and a scribe!  Who were the Levites, what did they teach, and how did they teach it?  Why would people weep when they hear the words of the law?

8:10 Who is speaking? Note the sending of portions to those for whom nothing is prepared.

19:1 Are these spiritual heavens or astronomical heavens?  What is the difference?  What is a firmament?

19:2 Is there any significance to the day being paired with speech and the night being paired with knowledge?

19:3-4a What is this, a conundrum?

19:4b-6 How can we apply pre-Copernican poetry in a post-Copernican world?

19:7 So that is why the Lectiionary pairs this Psalm with the First Reading!

19:7-9 How many synonyms of Law can you identify in these verses?

19:10 Id one is familiar only with a tradition of hellfire and damnation preaching; and an image of a vengeful, wrathful, punishing God, how would these verses sound?

19:12 Is this a rhetorical question?

19:13 Keep jerks away from me and I will not be a jerk?

19:14 Pet Peeve Alert! Why must so many preachers employ this as an exercise in personal piety before preaching?  Does not a more communal Prayer for Illumination serve better?

SecondReading - 1 Corinthians 12:12-31a
12:12 How can we hear old, tired metaphors in new ways?

12:13 What does it mean to “drink” of one Spirit?  Is Paul already thinking of the Lord’s Supper or does this imagery suggest his later comments about it?

12:26 Perhaps Congress needs to hear this more than Sunday worshipers.

12:28-31 Is this meant to be all inclusive or in any way hierarchical based on the order of those things mentioned?

12:31 What are the greater gifts (note that it is plural)?

4:14 Was Jesus earlier not filled with the power of the Spirit?  Note that “a report” is singular, not plural.  I wonder what the report was.

4:15 Praised by everyone?  Is this hyperbole?

4:16 Note that he had been brought up in Nazareth but not necessarily born there.

4:18-19 What if Jesus had been handed a different scroll?  Who is speaking within the context of Isaiah?

4:20-21 Would Jesus not have spoken if the eyes of all had not been fixed on him?

4:21 What did Jesus mean by this?

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.

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