Theologically and philosophically informed ecletic ruminations on everything between summit to shore, especially cycling, hiking and backpacking, kayaking, religion, spirituality, philosophy, theology, politics, culture, travel, poetry, and creative writing by John Edward Harris, a progressive Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Minister of the Word and Sacrament.
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Lectionary Ruminations 2.0 for Sunday, December 22, 2013, the Fourth Sunday of Advent (Year A)
Lectionary Ruminations 2.0
is a revised continuation of Lectionary
Ruminations.Focusing on The
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for the upcoming Sunday from New
Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible, Lectionary Ruminations 2.0 draws on nearly thirty years of pastoral
experience.Believing that the questions
we ask are often more important than any answers we find, without overreliance
on commentaries I intend with comments and questions to encourage reflection
and rumination for readers preparing to teach, preach, or hear the Word. Reader
comments are invited and encouraged.All
lectionary links are to the via the PC(USA) Devotions and Readings website.
FOR AN UPDATED AND REVISED VERSION, GO TO
With both Isaiah 7:14 and
Matthew 1:23 being among Readings, the Third Sunday of Advent is a good time to
sing the O Antiphons.Unfortunately the Presbyterian Hymnal (#9) offers only three
rather than all seven verses.Fortunately Glory to God: Hymns,
Psalms, & Spiritual Songs (#88) offers all seven verses! See the “Litany for Advent – O Antiphons” in the Book of Common Worship pages 166-167
and consider having the congregation sing the responses rather than say them.
7:10 Who is Ahaz and why is the LORD
speaking to him?Does the LORD ever
speak to you?
7:11 What is the meaning of “sign”?Do you ever ask for a sign?How deep is Sheol?How high is heaven?
7:12 Do you recall Massah and Meribah? How
do we put the LORD to the test?
7:13 How was the house of David wearing
God?How do we weary God?
7:14 Why does the Lord give this or any
sign?Isaiah says the sign shall be a “young
woman” being with child, bearing a son, and naming him Immanuel.Why do we now thin and speak of a virgin being
with child, bearing a son, and naming him Immanuel. In what sense is any
pregnancy and birth a sign, and what might it me a sign of?
7:15 What are curds and what does a diet
of curds and wild honey symbolize?At
what age might this child know how to refuse the evil and choose the good?
1:1 What does it mean to be called?What does it mean to be set apart?
1:2 Where, specifically, did God promise
1:3 How do we deal with this “decended
from David according to the flesh” when, especially at this time of year, people
tend to focus on a miraculous birth by a virgin? (see my comments on Isaiah
1:4 It seems that Paul is saying Jesus
was declared “Son of God” by his resurrection, not his baptism or birth.
1:5 Who are the “we”?
1:6 Again, what does it mean to be
called, and what does it mean to belong to Jesus Christ?
1:7 What is a saint?How do we deal with a non-Trinitarian ascription
in light of the Doctrine of the Trinity?
1:18 In what
way?What does I mean to be with child “from
the Holy Spirit”?
1:19 What is a
righteous man?How could Joseph have
exposed Mary to public disgrace?What
does it mean to “dismiss her quietly”?What would have happened to Mary and her child if Joseph had in fact
dismissed her quietly?
1:20 It seems that
angels appear to people in dreams more than in any other way.Are you familiar with what John Sanford and
Morton Kelsey have written about dream from a Christian perspective?What might Carl Jung say about this
passage?Has an angel ever spoken to you
in your dreams?
1:21 What is the
meaning of the name “Jesus” and why name him that because he will save his
people from their sins?
1:22 So the point of
this narrative is not necessarily to establish Jesus’ divinity but rather to
establish his birth as fulfillment of prophecy.
1:23 See Isaiah
7:4.Why was Joseph instructed to name
the child “Jesus” rather than “Immanuel”?
1:24 What does it
mean to “take her as his wife”?
1:25 Does the mention
of Joseph not having marital relations with Mary serve to establish Jesus’
divinity, Mary’s Virginity, or the fulfillment of prophecy?What if the author of Matthew had been
familiar and/or worked with the Isaiah in the Hebrew rather than the Latin?