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.)
vs. 3-10 So much for “still small voice” imagery. How does an establishment church of the middle class status quo come to terms with a storm God?
vs. 3 & 5 Is being born from above the same as being born of water and Spirit?
v. 8 I think Jesus was not referring to direction. So we do not know where people born of the Spirit come from or are going to?
v. 10 I think professional Church types are all a little like Nic at time. We really do not fully understand of what we speak, teach and preach.
v. 11 We? Our? For whom, or of whom, is Jesus speaking?
v. 13 Ascension day has passed, but in the context of this passage, it has not yet happened. Is this an anachronism – a post Ascension theology being read back into a pre Ascension event – the Evangelist putting words into the mouth of Jesus? Or is this an example of Jesus being prescient?
v. 14 I suggest you read and ponder Numbers 21:4-9. Perhaps that would have been a better First Reading to pair with this Gospel than the passage from Isaiah.
vs. 16-17 Maybe too much has already been read and said about this passage. Then again, maybe not enough has been preached about this passage in its literary context.