Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Lectionary Ruminations 2.0 for Sunday, April 27, 2014, the Second Sunday of Easter (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.

2:14a Whom is Peter addressing?
2:22 Are “deeds of power”, “wonders” and “signs” synonyms?
2:23 This does not sound like the same Peter portrayed in the Gospels.  “Definite plan and foreknowledge” sounds a little like predestination.  Who were outside the law?
2:24 Death might not have been able to hold Jesus indefinitely but apparently it had him for awhile, otherwise he could not have been freed.
2:25-28 Where does David say this?  Was David really talking about Jesus? How would you grade Peter’s interpretation of David’s words?
2:29 What argument is Peter making?
2:30 And God did this in the person of Solomon.
2:31 see my comments for 2:25-28.
2:32 Is Peter trying to show that the resurrection of Jesus fulfills prophecy or that the Scriptures foretold his resurrection?  What is the difference and does it matter?

16:1 How might the contemporary National Wildlife Refuge system help us understand this passage?
16:2 As you read this passage watch for the transitions between direct address and narrative. Why does the Psalmist seem to alternate between direct address to God and speaking of God in the third person?
16:3 Who are “the holy ones in the land”?
16:4 Whom is the Psalmist referring to?
16:5 What is a chosen portion?  Cup? Chosen portion?
16:6 I find this an interesting verse in light of the recent political history of the Middle East, especially regarding borders.
16:7 How does the heart instruct during the night?  Might this be a reference to dreams?
16:8 I find this to be an interesting verse.  Reference is usually made to the LORD’s right hand.  This verse almost make the LORD sound like an talisman.
16:9 With heart, soul, and body, is there more going on here than typical Hebrew poetry?
16:10 What is the “Pit” being referred to and why is it capitalized in the NRSV?
16:11 What is the path of life?  Compare the last line to 16:8.

1:3 New birth through resurrection from the dead!
1:4 Is this “imperishable, undefiled, and unfading” inheritance being implicitly compared to any other inheritance?
1:5 What does this verse say about Peter’s eschatology?
1:6 What trials might Peter be referring to?
1:8 Is this verse evidence that Peter is writing to perhaps second generation or later Christians?
1:9 Should we make anything of the tense of “are receiving”?

20:19 This reading might be for the First Sunday After Easter, but the narrative is from the events of Easter day.   What is the significance of Jesus’ words “Peace be with you.”?
20:20 Did the disciples not recognize Jesus until after he showed them his wounds?
20:21 Why might Jesus have repeated what he said? How did the Father send Jesus?
20:22 Did the disciples receive the Holy Spirit?  If so, was it Jesus words or his breathing on them, or both, that allowed them to receive it?
20:23 To whom was Jesus speaking? How shall we Protestants deal with this verse?
20:24 Why was Thomas called the Twin? Why might Thomas have not have been there?  Where might he have been?
20:25 Would Thomas have said this if it were not for what is described in verse 20? In this Gospel’s scheme of things, whom might Thomas represent?
20:26 Now we are dealing with events on the same schedules as we are, a week after Easter.  Did the disciples make it a habit to gather in the same place on a weekly basis?  This time the doors are shut but not necessarily locked.  How many times have we now heard “Peace be with you.”?
20:27 Jesus invites Thomas to touch his wounds, but does Thomas do so?  Was seeing the wounds, and being invited to touch them, enough to ignite Thomas’ belief?
20:28 Can we categorize Thomas’s reaction as a statement of faith?
20:29 Whom is this verse referring to when it speaks of “those who have not seen and yet come to believe”?
20:30 I wonder what “other signs” are being thought of.  I think there is a novel or two waiting to be inspired by this verse.  Perhaps Dan Brown will take up the challenge, writing “The Other Signs of Jesus”. I find it interesting that this Gospel refers to itself as a “book”.
20:31 Who is the “you” being addressed?

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