Thursday, April 11, 2013

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, April 14, 2013, the Third Sunday of Easter (Year C)

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.) 

9:1 What does “meanwhile” tell us about how this passage functions in its literary context?  Was Soul only breathing threats and murder or had he already acted?

9:2 What are “letters to the synagogus” and why did Saul want them or need them?  How many synagogues might have been in Damascus at this time?  What do you know about Damascus?  How would one “belong to the Way” and why is “Way” capitalized?

9:3 What does light from heavenly usually symbolize?

9:4 Whose voice did Saul hear?

9:5 What is the meaning of Saul’s question “Who are you, Lord?”

9:7 Who were travelling with Saul?

9:8 What might Saul’s blindness symbolize?  How might it have been caused?

9:9 What might the “three days” allude to?  Why would he or did he not eat or drink for three days?

9:10 What else do we know about Ananias?  What is a “vision”?  Where before have we heard “Here I am, Lord”?  Why can we not read what Paul experienced as a “vison”?

9:11 What do we know about Straight Street?  How popular of a name was Judas?  Where was Tarsus?  What do you think Saul was praying?

9:12 Why is Saul’s vision not recounted from Saul’s perspective?  What is the symbolism and significance of laying on of hands as it related to healing?

9:13 What had Saul done in Jerusalem?

9:14 Did the chief priests really have the power to bind anyone?  Would Rome have permitted such an action?

9:16 Why must Saul suffer?

9:17 Since when did being filled with the Holy Spirit enter the equation?  Had Jesus told Ananias this or did Ananias come up with this on his own?

9:18 What is the difference between “scales” and “something like scales”?  Does knowing that something physical seemed to fall from Saul’s eyes add or detract from the account?  Who baptized Saul?

9:18 What do you think was happening whith Saul was with the disciples in Damascus? 

9:18 How soon after his baptism and after regaining his strength is “immediately”?  Is “He is the Son of God” the core, the kernel of, the essence of the Gospel, or just Saul’s early proclamation?

9:1-20 This is not the only Biblical account of Paul’s conversion.  Where else can we read about it and how are all the accounts similar and different?

30:1 Drawn up from what or where?

30:2 What does it mean to “cry to God for help”?

30:3 Where or what is Sheol and is it synonymous with the Pit?

30:4 How can one give thanks to the LORD’s  holy name when one is not supposed to pronounce the LORD’s holy name?

30:5 Why must the LORD be angry at all?

30:6 What prosperity?

30:7 How and why does the LORD hide the divine face and why is the Psalmist dismayed?

30:8 Are supplications always accompanied by tears?

30:9 Is the Psalmist bargaining with the LORD?  Is the Psalmist appealing to God’s logic?

30:10 Must those who supplicate the LORD  ask the LORD to hear them, or does the LORD listen to the prayers of all even when not asked to listen?

30:12 Why does the Psalmist praise and give thanks? 

5:11 What do voices of angels sound like?  What is the difference between living creatures and elders?  What is a myriad?  Is this hyperbole?

5:12 Note the sevenfold ascription of praise.  Why seven?  When was the last time you heard ayone singing a hymn “with a full” voice, especially in a Presbyterian church?

5:13 Are you surprised that every creature sings?  Apparently, all of critters do indeed have a place in the choir!  Why might these creatures offer only a fourfold ascription of praise?

5:14 Who, or what, are these four living creatures?  Why am I thinking of the Book of Kells?  Who are the elders?  Why do they fall down when the worship?

21:1 After what things?  Where is the Sea of Tiberias and what do you know about it?

21:2 How many people did Jesus appear before?  Why are the “two others” not named?

21:3 Why is it that Simon is usually the first one to always speak? Might his words have more than one meaning?

21:4 Once again, the resurrected Jesus appears but those who knew him do not recognize him.  What gives?

21:5 Why might Jesus have addressed those in the boat as “Children”?

21:6 What difference does it make what side of the boat you fish from?

21:7 What disciples didn’t love Jesus?  How did this disciple finally know that the person on the beach was Jesus?

21:9 Where did the fish and bread that was on the grill come from?

21:11 Is there any symbolic significance to the number 153?

21:12 We already had a “Last Supper”.  Is this the “First Breakfast”?

21:13 Why do we not serve little pieces of fish when we celebrate communion?

21:15 More than what?

21:17  Why did Peter feel Bad?  Is there any symbolic significance to Jesus asking Peter basically the same question three times?

21:18 What in the world, or in the otherworld, is Jesus talking about?

21:19 How did the Gospel writer know this?

21:1-19 Might we refer to this passage as “Grilling with Jesus” or “Barbecue on the beach”?

In addition to serving as the half time Pastor of North ChurchQueens 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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