Monday, September 29, 2014

Lectionary Ruminations 2.0 for Sunday, October 5, 2014, the Twenty-Seventh 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.

PREFACE: This Sunday is World Communion Sunday. How will this influence how you approach these texts?

20:1 What might it mean that what follows are referred to as “words”?  How did God speak them? Why does he Revised Common Lectionary skip over some of these words?
20:2 Why, in the NRSV and many other translations, does “LORD” appear in all uppercase letters? Why does the LORD need an introduction?
20:3 What about other gods “after” the LORD?
20:4 What about imaginative or imaginary forms?  Does Plato’s theory of forms have anything to say here?  What about Anselm’s ontological argument?  How do we make idols today?  How do Moslems avoid making idols?
20:7 What about making a rightful use of the name of the LORD? What is the name of the LORD?
20:8 When is the sabbath day? I think Seventh Day Adventists have a right to boast about this one.  How do you remember the sabbath day and keep it holy?
20:12 This one comes with a promise—or is it a reward? Why?
20:13 What is murder?  We seem to have wordsmithed this one to death!
20:14 Does this commandment prohibit premarital sex?
20:15 Unless the thief is already rich and has the government behind them?
20:16 What about bearing false witness against people who are not your neighbor?  Does Jesus have anything to add here?
20:17 Why does “house” appear before “wife”?  What about anything that belongs to someone other than your neighbor?
20:18 Where did the sound of the trumpet come from? Why were the people afraid?
20:19 Why did the people think they would die if God spoke to them?
20:20 Is the fear of God the only motivation not to sin?
20:1-20 Early in my ministry I discovered Jan Milic Lochman’s Signposts to Freedom: The Ten Commandments andChristian Ethics and I highly recommend it as a thoughtful interpretation of the Ten Commandments.

19:1-6 Do we have to buy into a pre-Copernican three-tiered universe in order to read this as God’s word?
19:1 How do the heavens tell the glory of God?
19:2-4 Is anyone else confused by these verses?
19:4b-6 Is this an anthropomorphic personification of the sun? Why is the moon not mentioned?
19:7-9 Were you aware there are so many synonyms for “law”?
19:10 Since when is the law, any law, more desirable than gold and sweeter than honey?
19:11 Is reward the only motivation for keeping God’s law?
19:11 Is this a rhetorical question?
19:If one simply keeps away from the riff raff, all will be well?
19:14 This verse is often quoted/prayed by preachers before they preach a sermon, and I think wrongly so.  A Prayer for Illumination prior to the reading of Scripture is sufficient for both the reading of the word and the preaching of the word.

3:4b Is there a pun or innuendo at work here?
3:5 Is Paul bragging? Establishing his Jewish credentials?
3:6 Did Paul really think he was blameless under the law?
3:7 What gains might Paul have had?
3:8 What has Paul lost?
3:9 Why is Paul so concerned about righteousness?
3:10 How will Paul become like Christ in his death?
3:11 Why the “if”?
3:12-14 What metaphor is Paul employing? What prize is Paul looking forward to?

21:33 Is this really a parable? Is it acceptable to equate God with the land owner?  Who might the tenants be?
21:34-36 Who might the slaves be? Why did the tenants treat the slaves as they did?
21:37 A son, but not necessarily an only son.
21:38 How would killing the son get the tenants the inheritance?
21:39 Who might the son be?
21:40-41 Who answered Jesus? Who might the other tenants be?
21:42 Where might we read this in scripture?
21:43 What is the issue, producing fruits or not treating representatives of the landowner so harshly? What are the fruits of the kingdom? Is this parable a “kingdom parable”?
21:44 Who or what is the stone?
21:45 Why were the chief priests and Pharisees listening? If verse 45 is true, what, then, is the irony of verse 46?


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

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