Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Lectionary Ruminations 2.0 for Sunday, November 9, 2014, the Thirty-Second 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.

24:1 What do you know about  Shechem? The listing of “elders, heads, judges, and the officers” suggests a rather organized society, just forty years after the Exodus.
24:2 Why does Joshua point back one generation to Terah rather than to Abraham?
24:3a Why isn’t Sarah mentioned?
24:14 What is this talk about putting away other gods all about? What other God were the people worshiping?
24:15 Joshua presents three choices: Serve the gods ancestors worshiped before God called Abraham, serve the local gods of the Amorites, or serve the LORD. What choices are the people presented with today?
24:14-18 Are these verses about monotheism, or about recognizing that of all the gods, only one, the LORD, is the one who has saved us?
24:19 “You cannot serve the LORD”? What is Joshua doing here?
24:20 The LORD sounds like a jealous God.
24:21 Is this a confession of faith?
24:22 What does it mean, in this context, to be a witness?
24:23 Did the people actually have statues of foreign gods, or is this a metaphorical “put away”?
24:24 Is this also a confession of faith?
24:25 Is this a third covenant? What statutes and ordinances are being referred to?

78:1 Who is the speaking?
78:2 Apparently Jesus was not the only person in the Bible to speak in parables. What are “dark sayings from of old”?
78:3 This sounds like a reference to the oral tradition.
78:4 Why might you want to hide dark sayings from children? What are the Lord’s glorious deeds and wonders?
78:5 Is the speaker not a child of his/her ancestors?
78:6 This is really thinking far ahead, to future generations.
78:7 What is the relation between works and commandments?
78:1-7 This Psalm reads like a call to educational ministry and mission.  What would this psalmist say about the state of Biblical literacy, or lack of, in today’s church?

1:13 How might we be uninformed?
1:14 What does Paul mean “God will bring with him”?
1:15 What is this all about?
1:16-17 Does this presuppose a pre-Copernican three tiered universe?  How do we translate this into modern cosmological terms?
1:18 How are these words encouraging?  See item #16 on page 914 in the PC(USA) Book of Common Worship.  See also page 949.

25:1 Is this a kingdom parable? Is there anything special about the number ten? Is there anything special about bridesmaids?
25:2 Why five foolish and five wise?
25:3-4 Does the oil represent anything or is this just about being prepared?
25:5 What is this about “delay”?  Note that both the wise and the foolish become drowsy and fall asleep. Was “delay” the real issue?
25:6 Why midnight?  Who shouted?
25:7 Why trim a lamp?
25:9 Were the wise being selfish? Why not share lamps?
25:10 I wonder how much oil the wise had brought with them. I wonder how long their oil would have lasted.
25:12 This sounds curt.
25:13 This point does not fit.  Based on what precedes, the point ought to have been “Be prepared.  Keep a supply of oil.”  Otherwise, the wise bridesmaids should not have slept while the foolish bridesmaids did sleep.

ADDENDUM

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

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