Thursday, September 1, 2011

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, September 4, 2011, the Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

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 are linked to the NRSV via the oremus Bible Browser.)


Exodus 12:1-14
v. 1 God now speaks top BOTH Moses and Aaron. What about Mariam?

v. 2 What month? I think Israel recognized at least two calendars, one civil/religious and the other agricultural.

v. 4 How many people does it take to eat a lamb?

v. 10 Do not let anything remain until the morning! BUT, if anything does remain until the morning, burn it. What sort of logic is this?

v. 12 What is the irony here? Why is judgment executed on the gods of Egypt rather than upon Pharaoh?

v. 13 Is the blood a sign for the whole congregation of Israel or a sign for God?

v. 14 Do “day of remembrance”, “a festival”, and “a perpetual ordinance” all suggest the same thing to you?

Psalm 149:1-9
v. 1 What is a “new song” and the difference between a “new song” and any other sort of song?

v. 3 When was the last time people worshipping in your congregation praised God’s name with dancing? When was the last time you heard a tambourine (or a lyre) in worship?

v. 5 Singing for joy on couches?

v. 6 I do not like the militaristic imagery. This and the following verses are beginning to sound like a call to a holy war.

Romans 13:8-14
v. 8 Here is a solution to our national debt!

v. 9 Of all the commandments, even all the ten commandments, why are these four mentioned?

v.11 What time is it? “For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers” is logically a true statement unless there is no salvation.

v. 12 What are the works of darkness? What is the armor of light?

v. 13 May we logically assume that “reveling and drunkenness, debauchery and licentiousness, quarreling and jealousy” are among (or all of) the works of darkness?

vs. 12-13 Is the assumption thatsome types of behavior are more typically engaged in at night and refrained from during the day?

v. 14 Putting “on the Lord Jesus Christ” is the antithesis of gratifying desires of the flesh”?

Matthew 18:15-20
v. 15 How does someone “sin” against you?

v. 16 What “word” are these “witnesses” confirming?

v. 17 What does it mean for church member to be “as a Gentile and a tax collector”?

v. 18 Have we heard these words before, in another context?

v. 19 Just two? Anything? Is this an example of hyperbole?

v. 20 What does it mean to “gather in my name”?

vs. 15-21 Is this an example of primitive church discipline, or something else?

ADDENDUM
In addition to serving as the half time Designated 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 our my WyzAnt page and follow the appropriate links.

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