Thursday, September 8, 2011

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, September 11, 2011, the Twenty-Fourth 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 14:19-31
v. 19 Are the “angel of God” and the “pillar of cloud” one and the same; or, are they different manifestations of the same reality?

v. 20 What is the meaning of “army”? How could fleeing slaves have an army in the military sense of the word? How could the cloud light up the night? What did not come near the other?

v. 21 How might we variously understand the action of Moses stretching his hand over the sea? What, if any, is the significance of the wind? Might the causeway at Lindisfarne, off the eastern coast of England, in any way help us envision how God might have been working here?

v. 22 How might we variously understand “wall”?

v. 24 Why did the Egyptian army panic?

v. 25 Why did Captain Kirk, in a damaged Enterprise, enter the Nebula when Kahn, in a perfectly functioning starship, sought to engage him in battle?

v. 26 What is it about the hand off Moses?

v. 27 When did the water’s part and when did the water’s return? How might we variously understand “tossed”?

v. 28 Does this verse conflict with the one before it?

v. 30 If it was the LORD that saved Israel, why did Israel “fear” the LORD and believe in Moses as well as in the LORD?

Psalm 114:1-8
v. 1 When did Israel go out from Egypt?

v. 2 Is the reference to “Judah” a reference to a, to a people, or both?

v. 3 Does this verse conflate two events?

v. 4 How do mountains and hills “skip”?

vs. 5-6 Why are bodies of waters being compared, or poetically paired, to mountains and hills?

v. 7 Is this a reference to the God of the earthquake?

v. 8 When did God turn rock into a pool of water and flint into a spring of water?

Exodus 15:1b-11, 20-21
v. 1b Yes, there are other psalms, or songs, in the Bible, other than in the Book of Psalms. Who first sang this one? This is an alternative to Psalm 114. Which of the two, if either, will you use, and why? How are they different and how are they similar?

v. 3 Must we maintain this militaristic image of God, especially on a day such as 9-11-11?

v. 6 What is the significance of the LORD’s ”right hand”?

v. 8 God has nostrils? The parting of the waters was the result of God sneezing?

v. 11 And the answer to the questions asked in this verse is . . .

v. 20 Miriam was a prophet? Why is she identified as Aaron’s sister rather than as the sister of both Aaron and Moses? When was the last time you heard a tambourine played in a service of worship?

Romans 14:1-12
v. 1 What does it mean to be “weak in faith”?

v. 2 This verse sounds shockingly timely.

v. 4 “Servants of another”? Who is Paul talking about? “Their” own lord? How many “lords” are there?

v. 5 Is Paul talking about the Sabbath and the Lord’s Day (Saturday and Sunday), or what?

v. 6 Do you know the meaning of the word “adiaphora”, especially as Calvin used it?

vs. 7-9 These verses are often used as part of the funeral liturgy. What do they have to do, however, with what precedes or follows?

v. 11 Where is this written?

Matthew 18:21-35
v. 21 Why might the word “church” seem out of place here? How might we account for it being used here? Is there anything special about the number “seven” in this context?

v. 22 Is there anything special about “seventy-seven”? Are there parallels to this passage in the other Gospels, and if so, how do they agree and disagree?

vs. 23-35 Does this qualify as a “Kingdom Parable”?

v. 35 Is this a threat? Does this verse suggest that forgiveness, even salvation, is revocable?

ADDENDUM
Asking the obvious, how do any of these Readings help us preach, and/or teach, ten years to the day, of the tragic events of 9-11-2001? Are you dumping the lectionary for other readings?
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.

No comments: