SUMMIT TO SHORE: Theologically and philosophically informed eclectic ruminations on everything between summit to shore, especially cycling, hiking and backpacking, kayaking, religion, spirituality, philosophy, theology, politics, culture, travel, poetry, and creative writing by John Edward Harris, a progressive Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Minister of the Word and Sacrament.
Sunday, March 15, 2015
Lectionary Ruminations 2.0 for Sunday, March 22, 2015, the Fifth Sunday in Lent (Year B)
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. FOR
AN UPDATED AND REVISED VERSION, GO TO THIS LINK Preface: If you are preaching in a PC(USA) church this coming Sunday, how might the passage of amendment 14-F affect what you preach? Should it even make a difference? If so, why? If not, why not?
51:1 Here are examples of
Hebrew poetic parallelism.Are steadfast
love and abundant mercy the same thing? I am old enough to remember what a ink
blotter was, but do younger people know what it means to “blot out”? May delete,
erase, or strike over would be a better translation today.
51:2 Is iniquity the same
as sin? Note that sin is singular.
51:3 Are transgressions the
same as sin? Again, note that sin is singular, so why do many Prayers of
Confessions use “sins” rather than ‘sin”?
51.4 Some Calls to
Confession call us to confess our sins against God and neighbor, but can we
really sin against anyone other than God?
51:5 If this is not a proof
text for original sin, what is it? Does this verse have any bearing on the
51:6 What is the inner
being? What is a secret heart? What is the relation between truth and wisdom?
51:7 What is hyssop and how
does it purge? I wish the Psalmist had said “fresh snow” because the snow still
around a week after the last storm was pretty dirty and ugly.
51:8 What is the source of
this joy and gladness? God has crushed bones?
51:9 What is the meaning of
“Hide your face”? Note that in this verse “sins” is plural. Note also that it
is not transgressions but iniquities being blotted out (see 51:1).
51:10 This is one of my
favorite verses of Scripture. What is a
clean heart? Does having a clean heart mean having a new and right spirit? Are
we the passive recipient of a new and right spirit that God puts in us or do we
bear some responsibility for welcoming and even nurturing a new and right
51:11 Is a holy spirit the
same as a new and right spirit? I think we misread this Hebrew Psalm if we
bring to it our Christian Trinitarian theology. Note that the previous spirit
asked God to “put a new and right spirit within me” while this verse asks “do not
take your holy spirit from me.”
51:12 One must have once
enjoyed the joy of God’s salvation in order to be restored to it. What is a
Remember the Psalm 119 is an acrostic
psalm. I will be using Psalm 51:1-12 rather than this alternate.
119:9 I wonder what the psalmist’s
definition of a “young person” was. What is a pure way? What did the psalmist
mean by the LORD’s “word”?
119:10 Note that the psalmists seeks the
LORD with whole heart, not whole mind or intellect. Are the commandments the
same as the “way” in 119:9?
119:11 Once again heart rather than mind
or intellect. What does it mean to treasure?
119:12 How does the LORD teach? What are
119:13 How else shall the psalmist
declare if not with the lips? What are ordinances?
119:14 What are the LORD’s decrees and do
you delight in them?
119:15 How might the psalmist understood
meditating? I wonder if what the psalmist had in mind was anything like
mindfulness meditation or contemplative prayer? What are precepts? What are the
LORD’s ways. Note that “ways” is plural!
5:5 Is the common
perception that priests become priests to glorify themselves? At the time of
Jesus, how did one become the high priest of the Jerusalem Temple? When did
Christ become a high priest? What are the functions of a high priest?Where have we heard this quote before?
5:6 Where is this other
place? Who is Melchizedeck and what is
the order of Melchizedek?
5:7 What is the difference
between “prayers” and “supplications”? Does this verse describe the work of a
high priest? Is our reverent submission a perquisite for God hearing our
5:8 Was learning obedience
the purpose of Christ’s suffering?
5:9 How was Christ made
perfect? What is the theological
difference between being perfect from before creation and being made perfect at
some later time?
5:10 Is “designation” the
same as “appointed” in 5:5?
12:20 What festival?Who are the Greeks? Does the adoration of the
magi at all inform how we might read this passage?
12:21 Who was Philip? Does his home town matter? What are the possible meanings of “see”?
12:22 Why did Philip go and
tell Andrew? I wonder where Peter, James and John were.
12:23 What hour has
come? Who is the Son of Man? What does it mean to be glorified?
12:24 Why does Jesus often
introduce sayings with “Very truly, I tell you”? Would Jesus ever not speak truly?
12:25 Did the grain of
wheat love its life or not love its life?
12:26 What does it mean to
serve Jesus? What does it mean to follow Jesus?
12:27 Why is Jesus’ soul
troubled? What “reason” is Jesus speaking about?
12:28 How is a name
glorified? Is the voice for the benefit of Jesus or the benefit of the crowd
12:29 Why would some hear
thunder and others hear the voice of angels? Do angels speaking sound like
12:30 I guess Jesus
answered my question for 12:28.
12:31 Has the world already
been judged? Who is (or was) the ruler of this world? Driven out to where?
12:32 What is Jesus
speaking about his crucifixion, his ascension, both, or something else altogether?
Does “all people” point to possible universalism? Does “lifted up” possibly
allude back to last week’s reading from Numbers and John?
12:33 Once again, Jesus
answers my question for 12:32.
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. Please
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