Thursday, August 2, 2012

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, August 5, 2012, the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (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. 26 Why is Bathsheba not named in this verse?

v. 27 How long was the period of mourning?

v. 1 How did Nathan know about what David had done?

vs. 1-6 How could David not realize or understand what Nathan was doing?

vs. 7-10 Nathan speaks truth to power.  Who is serving Nathan’s role in American society and politics today?

v. 13 Does David’s reaction surprise you?

v. 1 Does it make any difference to one’s interpretation or application of this Psalm if the “me” was or was not David?  Is there a difference between “steadfast love” and “abundant mercy”, or is this just a Hebraic poetic literary device?

v. 2 Ditto “wash” and “cleanse” as well as “iniquity” and “sin”?

v. 3 See above.

v. 4 Was David’s sin against only God?  What about Uriah?  When we sin, is our sin against God only or also against the image of God in others?

v. 5 Is this a proof text for the doctrine of original sin?

v. 6 More poetic parallelism, or is there a theological point being here, that truth is similar to, or the same as, wisdom?

v. 7 Why hyssop?  I remember when it seemed like snow was pretty white, but more recently it seems to contain a lot of soot.

v. 8 What bones have been crushed and why?

v. 9 When it comes to God and sin, can we assume “out of sight, out of mind”?  God may see and know everything, but what if God chooses to turn away and forget?

v. 10 Does this verse envision a heart and spirit transplant, or transformation?

v. 11 Would God ever cast anyone away?  Would god ever take back the holy spirit.  Note the lower case “h” and “s”.  I think this Psalm does not assume a Doctrine of the Trinity and one ought not to impose a Christian Doctrine on a Jewish text.

v. 12 Parallelism aside, in my English speaking mind, I cannot but help making a distinction between “Restore” and “sustain”, but I doubt the distinction exists in the original Hebrew. 

v. 1 Ya gotta love Paul’s use (overuse?) of “therefore”.  What precedes his “therefore”?  Does this verse presume a Doctrine of Election?

v. 3 What is the unity of the Spirit?

v. 5 How do we interpret this verse in light of the Roman Catholic and Protestant split and the plethora of Protestant Denominations?

v. 8 Where is this said?

vs. 9-10 Why are these verses in parenthesis?

vs. 11-14 Why did Christ give gifts.

v. 14-16 By using the “We”, did Paul suggest that he too was a child?

v. 24 I wonder how many boats there were.  Is “looking for Jesus” merely a physical activity?  After all, this is the Fourth, and often a multivalent, Gospel.  Where these people “seekers” in the modern sense?

v. 25 This is not the most profound question to ask someone after looking for them and finally after finding them. Imagine climbing a mountain in search of enlightenment form a master and upon arrival, instead of asking “What is the meaning of life?” you ask “When did you come here?”

v. 26 Jesus does not answer the question asked of him but rather assaults their motivation for their looking for him.

v. 27 This is a theologically loaded verse. Have fun unpacking it.

vs. 28-29 As much as I love this Gospel, these verses seem to suggest that what is important is right belief, not right action.

v. 30 An interesting reappearance of “work” in light of the preceding verses.

v. 31 What are these people and Jesus so obsessed with food, bread and manna?

v. 34 What about the manna needing to be consumed the day it was gathered?  What about the phrase in the Lord ’s Prayer “give us this day our daily bread”?

v. 35 One of the “I am” sayings found in the fourth Gospel.  Hoe does bread keep one from being thirsty?

ADDENDUM

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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