Thursday, February 7, 2013

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, February 10, 2013, the Transfiguration of the Lord (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.) 

34:29-35 This reading was undoubtedly paired with the Gospel Reading because they both mention mountains, shining faces, and narrate a theophany.  What is the difference between reading the Luke passage through the lens of Exodus and reading the Exodus passage through the lens of Luke?

34:29 If you had looked at the face of Moses, what would you have seen?  When was the last time anyone left a worship service with a shining face?  Do you knowing anyone whose seems to beam, not because they use make-up or cleansing cream, but because they seem to radiate a spiritual energy within them?

34;30 What about the shining face of Moses scared Aaron and the people?

34:32 What is the meaning of “in commandment”?

34:33 Why did Moses put a veil on his face?  Is there any value in drawing a possible metaphorical connection between the veil over Moses’ face and the veil in the Temple?  Those familiar with Celtic Christianity might wonder if the vei over Moses face was made of gossamer.

34: Why would Moses take off the veil when speaking with God?

99:1-9 How does this Psalm help interpret and shed light on (pun intended) both the First Reading and the Gospel Reading?

99:1 Why would people tremble just because the LORD is king?  Why would the earth quake just because the LORD sits enthroned upon the cherubim?  When was the last time you trembled in the presence of the LORD? What are cherubim and where might we find them?  Should we call Indiana Jones in for help?

99:3 What is great and awesome about the LORD’s name?  Other than the LORD’s name, can you think of anything awesome?

99:4 What sort of justice does this Mighty King love?

99:5  Where is the LORD’s footstool?

99:5 What did the LORD’s voice sound like?  Is there a difference between decrees and statutes?

99:8 Why the past tense?  Note that verses 1-7 and 9 speak of the Lord in the third person while this verses addresses the Lord in the second person.  Why the change?  Is it significant?

99:9 Where is the LORD’s mountain and does the mention of a mountain justify the lectionary assigning this Psalm for use on The Transfiguration of the Lord? 
3:12 What hope?

3:13 Glory was being set aside?  Does Paul’s use of Moses’s veil as a metaphor justify assigning this passage to The Transfiguration of the Lord?

3:14 Whose minds were hardened?  Are our minds ever hardened, and if so, how?

3:14-15 Be careful of possible anti-Semitic interpretation of these verses.  Christians as well as Jews often have hardened minds and can read the Hebrew Scriptures through a metaphorical veil which hides and distorts.

3:17 How do we interpret this verse in light of the Doctrine of the Trinity?

3:18 Even though our veil has been removed, we still do not look at the LORD directly, but through a mirror?  I might prefer to look at God directly, even if through a veil, than without a veil but at a reflection.  To what does “the same image” refer?  Is it the image of God in which humans were created? Is it the image of Christ?  Is it the image of Moses reflecting the image of God?

4:1 What ministry?

4:2 What shameful things do we hide that we should renounce?

9:28-36 You may want to check the parallels in Matthew 17:1-8 and Mark 9:2-8.

9:28 Eight days after what sayings?  Is there any significance to the number eight? What mountain?  Why go up a mountain to pray?   Can Jesus not pray anywhere?  Note that once again Jesus takes with him the elite three— Peter, James, and John—a counter balance to the REALLY big three—Jesus, Moses and Elijah.

9:30 What is significant about Moses and Elijah?  Why these two men?

9:31 What departure?

9:32 Is this a veiled reference (pun intended) to someone’s future falling asleep in the Garden while Jesus prayed?

9:33 What is the meaning of “not knowing what he said”?  How often do we, like Peter, stick our foot in our mouth, not knowing what we have said?

9:34 Why would entering a cloud induce feelings of terror?

9:35 Whose voice?  Where and when have we heard this, or something like this, before?

9:36 why did they keep silent?  When were “those days”?

9:37-43 How do these verses add to, or detract from, the Reading’s focus on The Transfiguration?  If we choose to include these optional verses (I will not include them) then we might want to point out that while Peter wants to stay on the mountain to build a museum, Jesus descends back into the trenches and gets back to the business of exorcizing demons and healing the sick. In that regard, who are the faithless and perverse generation?

9:38 Does this verse echo 9:35?

9:40 Were the disciples that powerless?

9:41 What is the meaning of this?

9:43 What does it mean to be astounded?  When was the last time you were astounded by God?

ADDENDUM
In addition to serving as the half time Pastor of North ChurchQueens  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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