Monday, August 18, 2014

Lectionary Ruminations 2.0 for Sunday, August 24, 2014, the Twenty-First 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.

1:8 Thus begins the Moses cycle/narrative.  What does this verse say about the importance of memory? Might we consider this reading a feminist narrative?
1:9-10 How might these verse inform current thinking and analysis of American immigration policy and even recent events in Ferguson, Missouri?
1:11 What do we know about Pithon and Rameses?
1:12 What lesson might be learned from this?
1:13-14 What Governments are ruthless today?
1:15 Were Shiphrah and Puah the only two midwives?
1:16 Why kill the males but allow the females to live.  The opposite would seem to make better sense.  I wonder if Shiphrah and Puah served as midwives only to Hebrew woman or also to Egyptian women
1:17 In this context what does it mean to fear God? Did Shiphrah and Puah engage in civil disobedience?
1:19 When is it alright to lie?
1:22 Was Moses the only Hebrew baby boy thrown into the Nile? How might this verse and 1:16 inform our understanding of the account of the slaughter of the innocents found in Matthew 2:13-23?
2:1 Why are the man and woman not named?  Is there anything special about the house of Levi?
2:2 What might have happened if she saw that he was not a FINE baby? Is there anything significant about the time span of three months?
2:3 What else was once plastered with bitumen and pitch? What is the Hebrew word translated as “basket” and how else is it used in the Hebrew Scriptures?
2:4 Did the mother tell the sister to watch or did the sister take this watching upon herself?
2:5 This seems like a fortuitous and ironic development.
2:6 Why did she think this might be a Hebrew baby?
2:7 I think the sister acts somewhat boldly here as she makes the best of the opportunity.
2:8 This sounds like a strange construction since this is the boys sister and thus his mother is also her mother, yet she is referred to “the girl”.
2:9 The child’s own mother ends up nursing her child who might have died if the daughter of the man who ordered his death had not found him and had pity.
1:10 Yes, this explains the name Moses, bit is there also some foreshadowing going on here?

12:1-2a Sometimes when I begin a responsive reading and the response sounds shallow, hollow, and barely audible, I will repeat the call phrase.  Might something similar be happening here?
12:2b Who are Israel’s enemies that attacked?
12:2b-6 Does this Psalm reflect the Exodus? Why is this Psalm paired with the First reading?
12:8 This sounds like a familiar refrain.

12:1 What is a “living” sacrifice?  What is “spiritual” worship?  Is there such a thing as unspiritual or spiritless worship? How might Paul have addressed the holocaust, or Shoah?
12:2 What is the difference between “conformed” and” transformed”?  How are our minds renewed?  Why does Paul write about the renewing of our minds rather than the renewing of our hearts?
12:3 How do we measure our faith? Do you think that sometimes Paul thought to much oh himself?
12:4 What does Paul mean by “members”?
12:5I understand the logic with the exception of the last phrase.  How are we individually members one of another? Might holography and holograms help us here?
12:6 “We have gifts that differ” in the NRSV is “We have gifts differing” in the KJV. It is the biblical phrase that inspired Myers and Briggs to title their book applying Jung’s type theory Gifts Differing.  You may want to also look at 1 Corinthians 12. What are your gifts?

16:13 Where did Jesus enter from?  Is there anything special about the district of Caesarea Philippi?  Why would Jesus ask his disciples this question?  Does the average person in the pew or Bible Study have a clue about the baggage associated with “Son of Man” language and imagery?
16:14 Apparently there were various views of who Jesus was. I guess times have not changed.
16:15 Here is the quintessential question. What is your answer? IMHO, Statements of Faith prepared for examination of a candidate or transferring minister tells us more about a person’s breadth of theological education and ability to think systematically than they do about what a person actually believes.
16:16 As usual, Peter is the first to speak up.  Did he get it right or did he stick his foot into his mouth? Compare the Gospel parallels.  Can we think of each of the Gospels as a somewhat unique answer to this question?
16:17 What does this say about the nature of revelation?
16:18 What is the play on words with “Peter” and “rock”?  What and where is Hades?
16:19 What are the “keys to the kingdom”?  What does it mean to “bind” and to “loose”?
16:20 Why would Jesus order his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah?  Has this passage just equated “the Son of Man” with “the Messiah”?

ADDENDUM

I am currently serving at the Interim Pastor of The Presbyterian Churchof Cadiz, worshipping at 154 West Market Street, Cadiz, Ohio, every Sunday at 11:00 AM.

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