Thursday, December 8, 2011

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, December 11, 2011, the Third Sunday of Advent (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 61:1-4, 8-11
v. 1 What does it feel like to have the spirit of the Lord upon oneself? The rest of this verse reads like the mission statement of Occupy Wall Street, if OWS had a mission statement.

v. 2 How can “the year of the Lord’s favor” and “the day of vengeance of our God” be mentioned in the same sentence?

v. 3 What is so special about oaks?

v.4 What other ancient ruins come to your mind in addition to Jerusalem? Iona? Lindesfarne?

v.5 More Scripture for OWS?

v. 10 What does it feel like for one’s whole being to exalt in God? God has clothed us with a tux and gown?

v. 11 What is the point of this simile?

Psalm 126:1-6
v. 1 In other words, we thought it not possible?

v. 2 Why laughter?

v. 3 What great things has the Lord done for us?

v.4 What is so special about the watercourses in the Negeb?

vs. 5-6 These verse, like Advent, proclaim a reversal of the status quo.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
v. 16 Good advice.

v. 17 What does it mean to” pray without ceasing”?

v. 18 I find giving thanks in all circumstances harder than praying without ceasing or always rejoicing.

v. 19 Oh, how many ways we quench the Spirit, let me count the ways.

v. 20 How do we despise the words of prophets?

v. 21 How do we “test” anything, let alone everything?

v. 23 Note the tripartite “spirit and soul and body”? What is the difference between spirit and soul? I would feel more comfortable with “mind, body and spirit”.

v.24 What is the meaning or sense of “call”?
John 1:6-8, 19-28
v. 6 Are some “sent” and others not?

v.7 “Witness” and “testify” are not usually in the mainline and Presbyterian vocabulary. Do they make you feel uncomfortable?

v. 8 Was someone saying John was the light?

v. 19 in this context, who or what is a Levite?

v. 20 “Confessed” is an interesting choice of words. John says, “I am not” while Jesus will say, at least seven times, “I am”!

v. 21 People thought John was Kahlil Gibran?

v. 23 Are these John the Baptizer’s words or John the Evangelist’s words?

vs. 24-25 What is the connection between the Pharisees and baptism?

v.28 What is so special about the thing of a sandal?

v.28 What difference does it make where this took place?

ADDENDUM
In addition to serving as the half time Pastor of North Church Queens www.northchurchqueens.org 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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