Thursday, December 15, 2011
Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, December 18, 2011, the Fourth 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.)
v. 1 Is this the beginning of institutionalized religion and the placing of buildings over mission?
v.2 David seems to be speaking to Nathan as God might.
v. 4 What carries more authority, the word of the king or the word of the LORD?
v. 6 What seems to be at stake here?
v. 11 Might God better live in community rather than in a building? Note the play on the word "house.”
v. 16 Was this promise fulfilled?
v. 1 How can the Psalmist, or anyone, sing forever and proclaim anything to generations? Is this nothing more than poetic hyperbole?
v.3 Apparently an allusion to the First Reading. Does this verse justify the lectionary pairing this Psalm with the First Reading? This Psalm is actually an alternate. Another possibility is the Magnificat, Luke 1:47-55. I have used the Magnificat the past few cycles and this year am opting to use the Psalm 89.
v. 19 Who is the faithful one?
v. 20 So David is the Son of God?
v. 25 What does Paul mean by “My Gospel?” What is the mystery that has been revealed?
v. 26 What does Paul mean by “prophetic writing?”
v. 26 Sixth month of what? Why Gabriel?
v. 27 How can we read this verse with 21st century sensibilities without reading our prejudices back into the text?
v. 28 What does Gabriel mean by addressing Mary as “Favored One?”
v. 29 Apparently Mary did not know what Gabriel meant.
v. 31 Note that Mary “will” conceive. She apparently was not yet pregnant.
v. 35 Is there a difference between being proclaimed “Son of God” and actually being the Son of God?
v. 36 Apparently Elizabeth was between the second and third trimester.
v. 37 Could this be the key verse of the passage?
v. 38 Where have we heard “Here am I” before?