Thursday, December 22, 2011

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, December 25, 2011, the Nativity of Jesus Christ (Year B)

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.)  

Isaiah 62:6-12
v. 7 Being a native of Appalachia, I resonate with this verse.  How does the mountain reference resonate with people not familiar with, or who do not have an affinity for, mountains?  Why are feet the body part mentioned?

v. 8 who are the sentinels?  The sentinels do not talk or yell, they sing.

v.9 How can ruins sing?

v. 10 What does it mean to uncover an arm?  Is this anything like the euphemism “to roll up one’s sleeve”?  Is this a proof text for universal salvation?

Psalm 98:1-9
v. 1 I am drawing connections with Isaiah 52:8 and 9

v. 2 Why all this arm talk? (see Isaiah 52:10)

v. 3 Must God be able to forget in order to remember?

vs. 4-6 I think these verses call for joyous, hearty singing rather than shallow funeral dirges I usually hear.

vs. 7-9 I am thinking of musicians  such as Paul Winter who incorporate animal sounds into their music.

Hebrews 1:1-4
v.1 How long ago? How many and in what various ways?

v. 2 Why the plural “worlds”?

v. 3 What do you make of “reflection” and “imprint”?  How are sins purified?

v.4 What name has been inherited?

John 1:1-14
v. 1 Is this an allusion to Genesis 1:1, or something else?  What do you know about the role of the logos in Greek Philosophy?

v. 2 Can we cite this verse to argue for the preexistent Christ, or only the preexistent Word?

v.5 How could darkness ever overcome light?

v. 7 Not all witnesses are called to testify, but John is.  Who believes through you and your testimony?

v. 10 Another verse which seems to support the preexistent Word.

v.12 What is meant by “power,” how does the Word give it away, and how do people use it to become children of God?

v. 14 If the Word became flesh, then the word existed before becoming flesh.

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.