Monday, September 8, 2014

Lectionary Ruminations 2.0 for Sunday, September 14, 2014, the Twenty-Fourth 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.

14:19 Are the “angel of God” and the “pillar of cloud” one and the same or are they different manifestations of the same reality?
14:20 What is the meaning of “army”?  How could fleeing slaves have an army in the military sense of the word?  How could the cloud light up the night?  What did not come near the other?
14:21 How might we variously understand the action of Moses stretching his hand over the sea?  What, if any, is the significance of the wind? If God was acting here, why did Moses need to do anything? Might the causeway at Lindisfarne, off the eastern coast of England, in any way help us envision how God might have been working here?
14:22 How might we variously understand “wall”?
14:23 Why do chariot drivers driving chariots not like mud?
14:24 When is the morning watch? Why did the Egyptian army panic? Are the pillar of fire and pillar of could one and the same?
14:25 Why did Captain Kirk, in a damaged Enterprise, enter a nebula when Kahn, in a perfectly functioning starship, sought to engage him in battle?
14:26 What is it about the hand off Moses? Why does God need to work through the hand of Moses?
14:27 When did the water’s part and when did the water’s return?  How might we variously understand “tossed”?
14:28 Does this verse conflict with the one before it?
14:29 Is this merely a restatement of 14:22?
14:30 How did the Egyptians end of on the seashore?
14:31 If it was the LORD that saved Israel, why did Israel “fear” the LORD and believe in Moses as well as in the LORD?

114:1 When did Israel go out from Egypt? Why do we have a comment about strange language?
114:2 Are the references to “Judah” and “Israel” a references to places, a people, or both?
114:3 Does this verse conflate two events? What does “Jordan turned back” mean?
114:4 How do mountains and hills “skip”?
114:5-6 Why are bodies of waters being compared, or poetically paired, to mountains and hills?
114:7 Is this a reference to the God of the earthquake?
114:8 When did God turn rock into a pool of water and flint into a spring of water?

15:1b Yes, there are other psalms or songs in the Bible other than in the Book of Psalms.  Who first sang this one?  This is an alternative to Psalm 114.  Which of the two, if either, will you use, and why?  How are they different and how are they similar?
15:2 This sounds like a statement of faith.
15:3 Must we maintain this militaristic image of God?
15:6 What is the significance of the LORD’s “right hand”?
15:8 God has nostrils?  The parting of the waters was the result of God sneezing?
15:11 And the answer to the questions asked in this verse is? Who or what are the “gods”?
15:20 Miriam was a prophet?  Why is she identified as Aaron’s sister rather than as the sister of both Aaron and Moses?  When was the last time you heard a tambourine played in a service of worship? When was the last time you saw dancing or yourself danced in a service of worship? The last line sounds like a refrain; a restatement of 15:1b.

14:1 What does it mean to be “weak in faith”? Who were/are the weak in faith and how can they be welcomed?
14:2 Are vegetarians weak?
14:3 Is Paul writing about only diets?
14:4 Who are “servants of another” and who is the “another”? How does this passage inform Church discipline?
14:5 Is Paul talking about the Sabbath and/or the Lord’s Day (Saturday and Sunday), or what?
14:6 Is Paul writing about fasting? Do you know the meaning of the word “adiaphora”, especially as Calvin used it?
14:7-9 These verses are often used as part of the liturgy for Witness to the Resurrection and I myself have spoken these words numerous times graveside.  What do they have to do, however, with what precedes or follows?
14:10 I think this is more than a rhetorical question.
14:11 Where is this written? What does this have to do with the topic at hand?

18:21 Why might the word “church” seem out of place here?  How might we account for it being used here?  Is there anything special about the number “seven” in this context? Do you think Peter was really looking for an answer or for justification of his own views and practice?
18:22 Is there anything special about “seventy-seven”?  Are there parallels to this passage in the other Gospels, and if so, how do they agree and disagree?
18:23-35 Is this a “Kingdom Parable”? Is this passage is not about wealth then what is it about?
18:24 What is the current value of ten thousand talents?
18:28 What is the current value of a hundred denarii?
18:34 How can the master hold his slave accountable for a debt he has already forgiven?
18:35 Is this a threat?  Does this verse suggest that forgiveness, even salvation, is revocable? Will God hand the unforgiving over to be tortured?

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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