Sunday, May 3, 2015

Lectionary Ruminations 2.0 for Sunday, May 10, 2015, the Sixth Sunday of Easter (Year B)

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: May 15 is Mother’s Day but the last time I checked Mother’s Day was not a liturgical day? How will you deal with this Hallmark Day? If I were leading worship I would pray for mothers with a petition such as this one within the Prayers of the People but I would not preach a sermon on Mother’s Day or sing any sort of hymn tying into Mother’s Day. Have you considered what women who have never wanted to be a mother, or wanted to be a mother but have not been able, hear when motherhood is celebrated in worship? How do people feel when we celebrate motherhood in worship when they themselves have not had a good relationship with their mother or their mother was abusive?

10:44 How does the Holy Spirit fall?  Does hearing refer to physical or spiritual phenomena, or both?
10:45 When was the last time someone in your worshiping community was astounded?  What is the gift of the Holy Spirit and how is it poured out?
10:46 What was more astounding, the people speaking in tongues, or the people extolling God?
10:47 Is this a rhetorical question? Here is an example of people receiving the Holy Spirit before they were baptized, but there are other instances in Acts where people are baptized and then receive the Holy Spirit.
10:48 How do we reconcile baptism in the name of Jesus Christ with Trinitarian baptismal formula?

98:1 What makes song new?  Are old songs not good enough?  How can we talk about God’s right hand and holy arm without over anthropomorphizing God?  Is this a right hand conspiracy?
98:2 How has the LORD revealed vindication?
98:3 Is it possible for the LORD to not to remember?
98:4 What sort of noise is joyful?  Does “all the earth” refer only to human beings or to all living creatures? Could “all the earth” also refer to waterfalls, wind, the sound of waves braking on a sandy beach, etc?
98:5-6 What?  No organ?  No piano? No guitar? No drums?
98:7 I think the question I raised in relation to 98:4 has been answered.
98:8 I have heard floods literally clap, but I have never heard hills literally, only metaphorically, sing.
98:9 Will God judge all the earth, or only human beings? Is the pslmist making any distinction between the earth and the world?

5:1 Is it also true that everyone born of God believes that Jesus is the Christ?  Is being “born of God” the same as being born anew, or born from above?
5:1-2 Note the transition from the singular “child” to the plural “children”.  To what commandments is the author referring?
5:3 Would Paul agree that the commandments are not burdensome?
5:4 What is the meaning of “conquer”?  What is the meaning of “faith”?
5:5 Is there a difference between believing and saying that “Jesus is the Son of God”? Does this verse ask a rhetorical question?
5:6 To what is the author referring when writing about “water and the blood”?  How does the “Spirit” testify?  What does the author mean “the Spirit is the truth”?

15:9 Who is speaking?  How does one abide in anyone’s love?
15:10 Whose commandments?  What are these commandments?  If we keep the Son’s commandments, can we then ignore the Father’s commandments? What is the difference between the Son’s commandments and the Father’s commandments?
15:11 Is your joy complete?
15:12 Is this the answer to my question raised in relation to 15:10? But 15:10 spoke of commandments inn the plural. In this verse commandment is singular.
15:13 What does it mean to lay down one’s life?
15:14 So this friendship is conditional?
15:15 Did Jesus ever call people servants?
15:16 This is sounding very Reformed and Presbyterian!  The Father will give us whatever we ask only if we bear everlasting fruit? What does it mean to ask “in my name”?
15:17 I heard only one command in 15:12, so why the switch back to the plural?

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. Please like The Presbyterian Church of Cadiz on facebook.

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