Thursday, September 29, 2011

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, October 2, 2011, the Twenty-Seventh 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 may be linked to the NRSV via the oremus Bible Browser.)

Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20
v. 1 What might it mean that what follows are referred to as “words”? Why does he Revised Common Lectionary skip over some of these words?

v. 2 Why, in the NRSV and many other translations, does “LORD” appear in all uppercase letters?

v. 3 What about other gods “after” the LORD?

v. 4 What about imaginative or imaginary forms? Does Plato’s theory of forms have anything to say here? What about Anselm’s ontological argument? How do we make idols today? How do Moslems avoid making idols?

v. 7 What about making a rightful use?

v. 8 I think Seventh Day Adventists have a right to boast about this one. How do you remember the Sabbath and keep it holy?

v. 12 This one comes with a promise—or is it a reward?

v. 13 What is murder? We seem to have wordsmithed this one to death!

v. 14 What does this commandment have to do with premarital sex?

v. 15 Unless the thief is already rich and has the government behind them?

v. 16 What about bearing false witness against people who are not your neighbor? Does Jesus have anything to add here?

v. 17 Why does “house” appear before “wife”? What about anything that belongs to someone other than your neighbor?

vs. 18-20 What do these verses add to what precedes them? Early in my ministry, I discovered Jan Milic Lochman’s Signposts to Freedom: The Ten Commandments and Christian Ethics and I highly recommend it as a thoughtful interpretation of the Ten Commandments.

Psalm 19:1-14
vs. 1-6 Do we have to buy into a pre-Copernican three-tiered universe in order to read this as God’s word?

vs. 7-9 Were you aware there are so many synonyms for “law”?

v. 10 Since when is the law, any law, more desirable than gold and sweeter than honey?

v. 14 This verse is often quoted/prayed by preachers before they preach a sermon, and I think wrongly so. A Prayer for Illumination prior to the reading of Scripture is sufficientforboth the readingof the word and the preaching of the word.

Philippians 3:4b-14
v. 4b Is there a pun at work here?

v.7 What gains might Paul have had?

v. 10 How will Paul become like Christ in his death?

vs. 12-14 What is the metaphor Paul is employing?

Matthew 21:33-46
v. 33 If this is a parable, is it wrong to equate God with the land owner? If so, who might be the tenants?

v. 34 and likewise, who might the slaves be?

v. 37 A son, but not necessarily an only son.

v.42 Where might we read this in scripture?

v. 43 Is this parable a “kingdom parable”?

v. 45 If verse 45 is true, what, then, is the irony of verse 46?

ADDENDUM
This Sunday, for many, will be World Communion Sunday.  Do this readings lend themselves to a Eucharistic Sermon?

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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