Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Lectionary Ruminations 2.0 for Sunday, July 6, 2014, the Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (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.

 

Even after skipping over some verses of chapter twenty-four, this is still the longest of the day’s Readings.
24:24 Who is speaking?
24:35-40 Is sounds like things have turned out pretty well for Abraham and Sarah.  Almost sacrificed, Isaac is now of marrying age.  What to do? He cannot marry one of the locals, can he?  Do we find in these verses the roots of a prosperity Gospel?
24:37 The land Abraham and Sarah are living in is still considered a foreign land.
24:42 What is it about springs? Is the LORD not also the God of the person speaking?
24:42-44 Do these verses remind you of any verses in the NT, John 4:1-42 perhaps?
24:45 What does it mean to “speak in one’s heart”?
24:47 Who are these people and why are they being named?  What is the significance of the ring and bracelets?
24:49 Is the servant speaking to Rebekah, the LORD, or someone else?
24:58 Can we consider this “The call of Rebekah”?
24:59 Why does Rebekah have a nurse?
24:60 Can we read this as the blessing of Rebekah?
24:61 I wonder how many maids accompanied Rebekah.  How does a nurse differ from a maid?
24:62 What do we know about these places?
24:65 Why was Rebekah not veiled until she was about to meet Isaac? How does this verse shed light on current debates about the hajib?
24:67 Why did Isaac take Rebekah into his mother’s tent rather than his own? Freud might have something to say about this verse.

45:10-15 While these words were not originally addressed to Rebekah, they do seem to fit.  This reads like a liturgy from a royal wedding.  Has anyone reading here ever used them in a wedding liturgy?
45:11b Is this just an example of the sexism of patriarchy?
45:16-17 The psalm seemed to have been speaking to and of the Bride.  Now it seems to speaking to the Bridegroom/King.

Perhaps this alternate reading is suggested by the love mentioned in Genesis 24:67.
2:8-13 Can you hear these words coming from, perhaps, Rebekah’s mouth?  These are some of the most sensual passages in Scripture.  I think we do them disservice to spiritualize them and see them as anything less than biblical erotica.  Do Presbyterians hear them any differently after the most recent General Assembly?
2:9 Why the plural “our”?
2:11 Why do we have this reference to the seasons and weather?
2:12-13 Do these verses suggest more than just natural fertility and human love?

7:15 Here are some Pauline verses I can finally identify with!
7:16 Why?
7:17 Does the devil makes us do it?
7:18 I too, know this.
7:19 Sometimes even the good we think we are doing is corrupted and ends up being sinful.
7:20 I doubt if the “sin” defense would stand up in a court of law.
7:21 Is this just a play on words or 180° theological move?
7:22-23 What is the contrast being made between “inmost self” and “members”? How many “laws” are there?
7:24 Could we ever use this liturgically as part of a Confession of Sin or does it sound to antiquated?
7: 25 What does this phrase add to Paul’s argument?

11:16 Why might I read this differently in my 50’s than I would have in my 20’s?
11:17 Is this a quote? From what or where is Jesus quoting?
11:18-19 Why does John get dragged into this? It seems that prophets are damned if they don’t and damned if they do?  How do those in the pews hear and understand “Son of Man”?  What point is Jesus making by referring to Lady Wisdom and “Her” deeds?
11:25 What “things” have been hidden from some and revealed to others?  Who are the “wise and intelligent” and who are the “infants”?  Does the mention that the Lord of heaven and earth has “hidden” these things place this in the genre of apocalyptic literature or a mystery religion?

11:28-30 These verses seem to stand on their own.  Are they out of context?  Do they naturally and logically follow from what precedes them?  How might they add to our understanding of the previous verses? I think a whole sermon could be preached, a whole lesson developed, around these three verses. What is Christ’s yoke?  What is his burden? 

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