Thursday, January 31, 2013

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, February 3, 2013, the Fourth 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.) 

1:4 Has the word of the LORD ever come to you, and if so, how?

1:5 I doubt this could be used as an argument for life beginning at conception as this sounds like life, or personhood, begins even before conception.  What do you know about the philosophy of George Berkeley?  Is this God talking to Jeremiah?

1:5 The “I do not know how to speak” and “I am only a boy” defense.  It never seems to work.

1:8 Do not be afraid of who, the nations?

1:8 Does this remind you of any other perhaps similar accounts in the Hebrew Scriptures?  Is this a call narrative?

1:10 Note two pairs of destructive activities and one pair of creative activities.

Psalm- Psalm 71:1-6
71:1 What comes to your mind when you hear the word “refuge”?  What is so bad about shame?

71:2 How does the LORD incline the divine ear?

71:3 How is a rock of refuge like a fortress?  Do any particular rocks to your mind when you hear “rock of refuge”?

71:5 “Help me Obi Wan Yahweh, you're my only hope.”

71:6 Does this verse justify the Lectionary pairing this Psalm with the First Reading from Jeremiah?  Does this verse justify referring to the LORD as a midwife?

SecondReading - 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
13:1-13 Why read this in Sunday worship if there is no wedding to follow?  What can be said about passage that has not already been said?  Why do we tend to read this at weddings when we really need to read it at divorce proceedings and in the midst of church conflict?

13:1 What do angels sound like?

13:4-7 Anything missing in this definition?  How about Jenny (Ali McGraw) telling Oliver (Ryan O'Neal) “Love means never having to say you’re sorry” as written by Erich Segal?

13:11 Is there a difference between being childish and childlike?

13:12 It is a little enigmatic, nevertheless, this is one of my favorite verses.  Is there any play on the idea of “icon” here?  What is the difference between a thing reflected and its reflection?

13:13 Where did faith and hope come from?

Gospel - Luke 4:21-30
4:21 Who is speaking?  To whom is he speaking?  What is the setting?  What scripture?

4:22 All?  Is this hyperbole?  When was the last time you were amazed by anyone’s words?  I think it is interesting that the speaker is identified as Joseph’s son rather than Mary’s son.

4:23 Where did this proverb come from?  What were people saying about his time in Capernaum?

4:24 What do you think about this?

4:25 What does this have to do with anthing?

4:28 Why were they filled with rage?  I thought they were all amazed.  What happened between  verse 22 and verse 28?

4:29 Why am I thinking about swine?

4:30 How did he do 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.

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.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, January 20, 2013, the Second 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.) 


62:1 Who is speaking?

62:2 What is the significance of a new name?

62:3 What is a diadem?

62:4 What is the meaning of married land?  Does this metaphor justify this passage being paired with John 2:1-11?

62:5 Does this verse inform any New Testament metaphors?

36:5  Where does the LORD’s love extend from?

36:6 Is this just a poetic way of saying height and depth?  Do dogs and cats and other animals and pets have to be baptized or born again to be saved?

36:7 What sort of avian creature is God being likened to?

36:9 Does this lead to myths and legends about the fountain of youth?  How do we see light in light?  Do we see light, or what light illuminates? Is light a wave or a particle?

36:10 So God’s steadfast love does not extend to strangers?

12:1 Are most Christians today informed or uninformed about spiritual gifts.

12:2 Is this a valid portrayal of paganism?  What is the difference between Paganism and Atheism? Agnosticism?

12:3 Really?

12:4 Why am I thinking about Isabel Briggs Myers?

12:4-6 Is there any scheme at work here: gifts-Spirit, services-Lord, activities-God?

12:8 What is the difference between wisdom and knowledge?

12:8-10 Was this list meant to be exhaustive or just suggestive?

2:1 How does this passage foreshadow the resurrection?  Why is the mother of Jesus not named?  Who do you think was being married?

2:3 Is she stating the obvious?  Why tell Jesus?  Did he not already know?

2:4 Why does Jesus address his mother as “Woman”?  What “hour” is he referring to?

2:5 What gave the mother of Jesus the right and authority to tell the servants what to do?  Maybe she was catering the reception.  Is “servants” a play on words?  Do the disciples always do what Jesus tells them?

2:6 Is there any significance in the number of jars?  Does the number of jars matter?  What are the jewish rites of purification?

2:7 Does this assume that the jars were empty?  Does it make a difference?  Is there any significance that the jars were filled to the brim?

2:8 Did the servants draw out water or wine?  Who and what was the chief steward?

2:9 This reads as if the servants drew water out of the jars but that the water turned to wine as the servants were taking it to the steward.

2:10 Why serve good wine first and then inferior wine?

2:11 If this was the “first” of his signs, how many were there and what were they?  Is there any significance to “Cana of Galilee” being mentioned twice?  What do you know about Tabgha?  Was his glory hidden before this?  Did his disciples not believe in him before this?

2:1-11 This is one of my favorite passages in my favorite Gospel.  I think it could several sermons to unpack, interpret, and apply 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.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Summit to Shore Meets The Log of Spartina

One blog I regularly follow is The Log of Spartina. While I do not read every word its author, Steve, posts, I do look at every photograph he posts because Steve is a professional Photographer, and it shows on his blog.

I do not remember how I learned about Steve’s Blog, but we share enough in common that I sometimes enjoy reading it.  In addition to both of us being sailors (obvious) and loving seafood, Steve has sailed in some of the same areas my wife and I have kayaked, including  Baltimore’s developed Inner Harbor, Maryland’s wild Assateague Island National Seashore, the little picturesque harbor of  Onancock, VA,  Virginia’s Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, and  the waters around Ocracoke, NC.   Steve’s shallow draft boat has taken him places I would never be able to sail Mischief, my four foot draft C&C 24 Mischief.  Nevertheless, I dream of sailing many of the places he has already sailed. 

I knew that Steve lived somewhere near Virginia Beach, so I contacted him a month before my wife and I were to vacation in Virginia Beach to see if he might be willing to meet us for lunch or dinner and if he might shows us his hand made sailboat Spartina.  In spite of the fact that we had never met, and perhaps against the best intentioned advice of his wife and a few of his own reservations, he accepted my invitation.
At Steve’s suggestion, and to fit his work schedule, we recently met for lunch at Chick’s Oyster Bar  overlooking the waters of Lynnhaven Bay in Virginia Beach.  I could not think of many other better places for three sailors who love seafood to meet for lunch.  Chick’s is one of the few restaurants I know where I can get a hamburger topped with lump crab meat while dining out on a plastic sheet protected deck overlooking and set right up against a bay.
Over lunch, we talked about sailing, photography, how Steve came to make and sail Spartina, how I came by Mischief, and many other common interests and experiences, as well as blogging on the blogspot platform.  We discovered that the three of us were all three years within the same age and shared some of the same philosophies about sailing.  Unfortunately, we were not able to see Spartina, but Steve issued us an open invitation to sail on her when the weather and our calendars permit.

After lunch, as we were preparing to leave, I asked my wife to take a photo of Steve and me.  A framed nautical Chart of Chesapeake Bay hanging on the wall above a picnic table out on the deck seemed to offer the perfect backdrop.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, January 13, 2013, the Baptism 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.) 
 
43:1 To whom is the LORD speaking?

43:2 What waters is being referred to?  When Christians read this passage in light of the Sacrament of baptism, are we misreading the Hebrew Scriptures, or simply exercising Hebrew Midrash from a Christian perspective?  I wonder how post Shoah Jews read and interpret this passage.

43:3 PC(USA) Presbyterians: Do not forget the opening lines of A Brief Statement of Faith.  How was Egypt given as a ransom?  Why the mention of Ethiopia and Seba?

43:4 I like the first part of this verse, but the second part rubs me the wrong way.

43:5-6 Note that all four cardinal directions are named.

43:6 Note that sons and daughters are both mentioned, a rare inclusive verse!

43:7 Could this verse not be used to argue for universalism?  This could provide for an interesting juxtaposition in relation to the exclusiveness of Christian Baptism.

29:1 What does it mean to ascribe?  How do we ascribe?  What, or which, heavenly beings are addressed here?

29:2 Do you worship in holy splendor?  What does holy splendor look, smell, sound, feel, and taste like?

29:3 What does the voice of the LORD sound like?  Would you recognize it if you heard it?  Being a sailor and kayaker, I really like and relate to this verse.  What if I was land locked and had never experienced the ocean or other large body of water?

29:4 I think the LORD deserves a contract as an announcer and/or commercial spokesperson.

29:5-9 Think of the scene/passage in The Hobbit where Bilbo and the dwarves find themselves amidst giants “hurling rocks at one another for a game, and catching them and tossing them down into darkness where they smashed among the trees far below, or splintered into little bits with a bang.”

29:10-11 How do we reconcile images of a storm god with peace?

8:14 Is the setting important?  What if the apostles had been someplace else, other than Jerusalem, when they heard this news?  Should it be that Samaria (not Samaritans?) had accepted the word of God?  Why was James not sent?

8:15 Does this sound a little judgmental to you?

8:16 Who is this verse talking about?  Why, in the NRSV, is this verse in parenthesis?

8:17 What is so special about the laying on of hands?  Even though this is the Epistle for Baptism of the Lord, Baptism is not mentioned in this verse.  Is it possible for a person or a people to receive the Holy Spirit without being baptized?

3:15 What people?  When was the last time people in the pews of churches you know filled with expectation?  Why would people think John could be the Messiah?

3:16 What is so special about the thong of a sandal?  Is the doublet “Holy Spirit and fire” merely poetic, or something more?

3:17 What is a winnowing fork and what is it used for?  What is a threshing floor and what is it used for?  What is chaff?  How do we preach the Gospel in an urban environment where all people know about wheat is that comes in five pound bags and they probably have no idea what the imagery of this passage is communicating?  Why was chaff burned?  Does this passage require the existence of a fire filled hell?

3:21 Really?  All the people?  Do you think this is an exaggeration?  What does it mean for heaven (singular, not plural) to be opened?  So the Holy Spirit was someplace over the Jordan River, on the other side of earth from people along a declination of plus or minus 180 degrees?  What is the meaning of “bodily form”?  Whose voice came from heaven and what did it sound like?  Where and when might we hear this again?

 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.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Sailing: Philosophy for Everyone: Catching the Drift of Why We Sail


Sailing: Philosophy for Everyone: Catching the Drift of Why We Sail
Edited by Patrick Goold; Forward by John Rousmaniere ISBN 978-0-470-67185-6
A Review by John Edward Harris

One of the many titles available in the Wiley-Blackwell Philosophy for Everyone series, Sailing: Philosophy for Everyone: Catching the Drift of Why We Sail offers philosophers real world application of philosophical principles and invites sailors to critically reflect on their sailing experience.  If you are a philosopher and want to learn about sailing, you could do better by taking a sailing class or reading an instructional book. If you sail and either have a philosophical bent or want a little help reflecting on your sailing experiences, this is the best book I know of.

I am both an amateur philosopher, having taught Introduction to Philosophy as Adjunct Faculty based on my M.Div., and an amateur cruiser, having completed ASA 101, 103 and owning and sailing a C&C 24 on New York’s Jamaica Bay.  As a sailor and a philosopher, I loved most of this book.

The fifteen chapters, divided into four parts, are written by either philosophers who sail or sailors who have critically reflected on sailing. In Part 1, PASSING THROUGH PAIN AND FEAR IN THE PLACE OF PERPETUAL UNDULATION, Jack Stillwaggon considers the Certo ergo sum dimension of sailing.  Gary Jobson provides a racer’s point of view. Crista Lebens draws primarily on Aristotle’s “eudaimonia” and phronesis to reflect on a typical day sailing.  In my favorite chapter, Richard Hutch applies Rudolf Otto’s idea of mysterium tremendum to ponder the spiritual dimension of sailing.

In Part 2, THE MEANING OF THE BOAT - THREE SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT, James Whitehill offers a reflection from a Zen point of view.  Gregory and Tod Basham’s chapter on The Stoic Sailor was my fourth favorite chapter.  I highlighted more text in it than any other chapter except one.   Steve Horrobin’s “Sailors of the Third Kind” was my third favorite chapter and the one in which I highlighted the most text.  In case there was any doubt, Horrobin convinced me that of the three types of sailors, I am the third kind.

In Part 3, BEAUTY AND OTHER AESTHETIC ASPECTS OF THE BEAUTY OF THE SAILING EXPERIENCE, Nicholas Hayes’ reflection on the Race to Mackinac left me a little cold because I am not a racer.  Steve Matthew’s chapter on Sailing, Flow, and Fulfillment, however, invited me to reflect on the “flow” I sometimes experience sailing as well as sea kayaking, even though he writes from the perspective of a sail boarder. My second favorite was Chapter 10, “On the Crest of the Wave: The Sublime, Tempestuous, Graceful, and Existential Facets of Sailing.”  In it, Jesus Ilundain-Agurruza, Luisa Gagliardini Graca, and Jode Angel Jauregui-Olaiz helped me understand why, for me, navigare necesse est.  Their chapter 10, along with Hutch’s Chapter 4, would have justified my purchasing this collection of essays.  In Chapter 11, Jesse Steinberg and Michael Stuckart consider what is “instrumentally valuable” and “intrinsically valuable” about sailing.

In Part 4, PHYSICS AND METAPHYSICS FOR THE PHILOSOPHICAL SAILOR, Sebastian Kuhn’s chapter 12 considers the relativity of sailing. John D. Norton considers wind, apparent wind, and created wind in Chapter 13, a chapter that forced me to remember what I learned in high school about vectors, and in the Appendix contained more math than most would be comfortable with.  In Chapter 14, Tamar M. Rudavsky and Nathaniel Rudavsky-Brody consider the gods, fate and the sea.  Hilaire Belloc’s Chapter 15 transforms a crossing of the English Channel into an archetype sail.

Because Sailing: Philosophy for Everyone: Catching the Drift of Why We Sail is a collection of essays rather than the work of one author, it can seem uneven.  While for some, its choppiness can be a challenge, it can also provide some excitement.  Sailors, from racers to cruisers, and sailboarders to blue water circumnavigators, will most likely find some wind for their sails in these pages and lead them to wonder if indeed the unexamined sail is not worth sailing.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Summit to Shore Turns Four


There seems to be some debate about the average lifespan of a blog.  I have seen numbers as low as a few weeks and as high as two to three years.  Summit to Shore has apparently beaten the odds.  It turns four years old today! I started Summit to Shore, and blogging, on January 5, 2009. With a post entitled Ex-Nihlio, I entered the blogosphere.
Looking back  over the past four years, I think I started blogging for several reasons.  First and foremost, I wanted to learn about blogs and how to blog, as well as to learn more about social media.  In other words, I wanted to keep up with the times and I believe that the best way to learn is to do. 
Yes, I read a couple of books and on line articles about blogging but I more or less just jumped into the blogosphere without much preparation. I have learned a lot along the way.  In good Socratic fashion, however, I have also learned that when it comes to blogging and social media there is a lot I do not know.  It sometimes seems that social media is changing so fast one must be working in it full time to keep up with it. I use social media in my profession, but social media is not my profession, just part of it, one tool in my professional toolbox.  I therefore sometimes find it difficult to keep up with all the trends and changes.  Nevertheless, I try.
I also entered the blogosphere because I felt like I had something to say – not that anyone would want read what I wrote.  I may not be the world’s best writer, but I like to write.  I sometimes feel like there are words and ideas within me that I have to write down, or else I will burst.  Blogging offers me an outlet for some of my creative energies.  It also provides me a forum for some of my ideas and opinions.
I have sailed against the wind by not blogging about one particular topic.  Summit to Shore is certainly an eclectic blog, covering everything between, well, summit to shore.  In the beginning I had intended to be eclectic, but to write more about mountains and summits than I have.
When I lived in West Virginia, I spent a lot of my free time hiking and backpacking.  I often hiked two to four days a month, covering 8-16 miles a day hiking in some rough mountainous terrain at high altitude, at least by eastern standards.  After moving to New York City five and a half years ago, I thought I would spentd a lot more time climbing and hiking in the Gunks, Catskill’s and Adirondacks, but the reality of traffic and tolls soon altered my ideas.  It takes me at least an hour and a half and over $10 in tolls just to drive up to the Gunks for a day of hiking or climbing, and finding climbing partners whose skills and experience were compatible with mine was not always easy.
I can drive from my home to Jamaica Bay in half an hour and pay no tolls.  With a sit-on-top kayak kept on Jamaica Bay at the Sebago Canoe Club, where I can almost always find someone to paddle with,  I quickly found myself drawn more to the shore than the summit.  Two and a half years ago my wife and I took sailing lessons and  I bought a used C&C 24 sailboat, which I also keep on Jamaica Bay. This past summer we sailed on average probably one day a week.  A year ago I acquired a Necky Chatham 17 traditional kayak which I also keep on Jamaica Bay at the Sebago Canoe Club.  Is there any wonder, then, why I have ended up posting more about sailing and kayaking than hiking and climbing?  I also often cross post many of my kayaking related posts to the Sebago Canoe Club Blog,
Almost three years ago I took on the “Lectionary Ruminations” Column on Presbyterian Bloggers and soon started cross posting “Lectionary Ruminations” to my blog as well.  While between 25-45 people read my “Lectionary Ruminations” post every weak on Presbyterian Bloggers,  I will soon complete the three year lectionary cycle and will no longer post on Presbyterian Bloggers, which seems to have outlived its lifespan.  It has been six months since anyone else has posted to Presbyterian Bloggers, so I plan to update, expand, and edit my previous “Lectionary Ruminations” postings and continue posting them exclusively on Summit to Shore.
For the first two and three quarter years of Summit to Shore, I was working less than full time and had free time to write.  For the past sixteen months I have been working two half-time jobs, or the equivalent of a full time job, and have not had as much free time.  Therefore I post less than I used to, devoting most of my creative energies to “Lectionary Ruminations” with an occasional post about sailing, kayaking, politics, culture, or anything else between summit to shore..
Glancing at my BLOG ARCHIVE suggests that I started blogging like a sprinter and over the past four years have slowed down to a reduced but more manageable pace.  Here are the numbers.
2009    213 posts
2010    161 posts
2011    90 posts
2012    70 posts
According to All Time Stats, as of 10:40 AM this morning, there have been 53,598 pageviews and I have made 535 posts, with eighteen followers (THANKS ONE AND ALL). These have been the most popular posts.
We Sailed, posted August 27, 2012, has received 659 pageviews, nearly twice as many as the next most viewed post.

PC(USA) GA Vice Mod Visits NYC Presbytery at the God Box, posted October 8, 2009 , has received 346 pageviews.


A Prayer for Newtown, posted December 17, 2012, has received 339 pageviews.


Stuck, posted June 15, 2010, has received 317 pageviews.

At least one post from each year made it into the top six.  Three of the top six posts, however, are from the most recent year.  I suspect "We Sailed," "A Prayer for Newtown," and "Stuck" will continue receiving additional pageviews and that "A Prayer for Newtown" will eventually rise to second place while "Stuck" will eventually rise to third.
Happy Birthday, Summit to Shore, and may your best years be ahead of you.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, January 6, 2013, the Epiphany 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.) 

FirstReading Isaiah 60:1-6
60:1 While this is a very appropriate text for Epiphany, what was the original light Isaiah was referring to?

60:2 How do we deal with cultural pejorative association with darkness?

60:3 Does “nation” refer to political entities or peoples?

60:4 Where were the sons and daughters?

60:5 How do we read and interpret this when humans have overfished most species?

60:5 Does this passage shed light on the reading from Matthew, or should we interpret the Matthew Reading as Midrash on this Isaiah 60:1-6?

72:2 What does it mean that God gives the king justice?

72:2, 4 I wish Congress would read these verses!

72:6 Are you familiar with the King’s connection to the land in the grail legend?

72:10 Do you think this verse justifies this Psalm being associated with Epiphany?

72:12-14 More verses for 99% or 47%?

3:1 So Paul was a prisoner for the Gentiles but not the Jews?

3:2 Paul seems to be emphasizing his ministry to the Gentiles while not saying anything about the Jews.

3:3 What mystery is Paul talking about?

3:4 What is the mystery of Christ?  Why all this talk about mystery.  Is Paul trying to appeal to Gentile mystery religions?

3:5 Note the plural apostles and porphets.  Paul places himself in a company.  He is not alone.

3:6 What body?

3:7 How does one become a servant of the gospel?

3:8 I would rather be the least of all the saints than the greatest of all the sinners, but are not all saints forgiven sinners?

3:9 If you know the plan of the mystery, then is it still a mystery?  This mystery was hidden “in” God?

3:10 Is this one of the earliest uses of the “church”?  Rulers and authorities are in the heavenly places?

3:11 Do “eternal purposes” require a doctrine of predestination or a sort of Christian fatalism?  Where does free will fit in here?

3:12 I like the note of “boldness and confidence” rather than the shame and doubt.

2:1 When was the time of King Herod?   Forgetting what you think you know from familiar carols, according to this Scripture, how many wise men were there?  Must the original “Magi” be translated “men”?  Where in the East might they have come from?

2:2 What does it mean that the Magi saw a star at its rising?

2:3 I can understand why Herod would be frightened, but why would all Jerusalem be frightened?

2:4 Are the chief priests and scribes in any way the Jewish equivalent of the pagan Magi?

2:6 What prophet is being quoted?

2:7 Why did Herod practice secrecy?

2:8 What is the meaning of “sent”?

2:9 Do you know how to use a sextant?  What sort of stars rise, move, and then stop?

2:10  When was the last time you were overwhelmed with joy?

2:11 House?  What happened to the stable?  How many treasure chests might there have been?  What is the symbolism, if any, of the gold, frankincense, and myrrh?  Does the fact that three types of gifts are mentioned mean that there had to be three magi?

2:12 Have you ever been warned in a dream?  What other dreams and how many other dreams are there, in any, in the Gospel According to Matthew.  What might Morton Kelsey, John Sanford, Joseph Campbell and/or Carl Jung have said about this dream?

 ADDENDUM
This is the first Sunday since 2008 that Epiphany falls on a Sunday.  The Lectionary Readings for Epiphany are the same for Years A, B, and C.  It has been my desire, when the service of Epiphany is at night, to combine it with a star watching party including local astronomers with their telescopes, a desire not yet realized.

 How long after the fact do we include concerns in the Prayers of the People?  It has been a few weeks since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut.  How many Churches continue to include Newtown in their Sunday public prayers?  Here is a link to the first petition of my Prayers of the People the Sunday after Newtown.  The petition is original.

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.
 
I have been posting Lectionary Ruminations to Presbyterian Bloggers for nearly three years.  I will attempt to continue posting through the Scripture Readings for February 10, 2013, Transfiguration of the Lord.   I may continue posting Lectionary Ruminations to my personal blog, Summitto Shore but not here.  If you have been following these posts, please migrate over to my personal blog.