Sunday, May 24, 2015
Lectionary Ruminations 2.0 for Sunday, May 31, 2015, Trinity Sunday (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: What do we do with Trinity Sunday, one of only two Sundays (also Christ the King) with a special theme not specifically related to an event in the life and ministry of Christ? I once heard a professor in a Doctor of Ministry seminary say that the Doctrine of the Trinity is not Biblical but it is essential. In the Roman’s Reading one can fond reference to the Spirit of God; Abba, Father; and Christ. Is that the Trinity? In your mind, is the Trinity a conundrum, an enigma, a paradox, or simply a mystery we must ponder?
6:1 In what year did King Uzziah die and why does it matter? Should Isaiah’s vision be literalized?
6:2 What are seraphs? Consider Numbers 21:4-9. And “feet might be a euphemism for what?
6:3 Does the threefold “Holy” justify this passage being used on Trinity Sunday? What or who are “hosts”?
6:4 What are pivots and thresholds? What sort of smoke filled the house and why?
6:5 Why does Isaiah express woe? What is the danger of seeing the LORD of hosts?
6:6 How can a figurative/symbolic live coal blot out sin?
6:8 “us”? Why am I thinking of Dan Schutte?
29:1 Who and what are the heavenly beings? Are there more types of heavenly beings than angels and/or seraphs?
29:2 What is holy splendor?
29:6 What, or where, is Sirion?
29:8 Where is Kadesh? Is there anything special or significant about its wilderness?
29:3-10 So much for “still small voice” imagery. How does an establishment church of the middle class status quo come to terms with a storm God?
29:11 God’s people will certainly need strength to survive a storm. When was the last time a storm brought peace? Or is this peace the peace of a calm after a storm?
8:12 If we are not debtors to the flesh, what then are we debtors to? I doubt Paul had MasterCard or Visa in mind.
8:13 What does Paul mean by “flesh” and “Spirit”? Must there be a dichotomy between Spirit and flesh?
8:14 How are we led by the Spirit of God?
8:15 Theologically speaking, why does Paul contrast a spirit of slavery with a spirit of adoption? When did you last cry “Abba! Father!”?
8:16 How many spirits are being mentioned in this passage?
8:17 Is that a pretty big “if” as in “if, in fact we suffer”?
3:1 Were not all Pharisees leaders?
3:2 Consider John 4:6-7 as juxtaposition. We? For whom, or of whom, is Nic speaking? What signs?
3:3, 5 Is being born from above the same as being born of water and Spirit?
3:4 What are “re-birthing” therapies?
3:6 Must we read and interpret this through a Pauline lens? See Romans 8:13.
3:7 Are we still astonished by this statement of Jesus?
3:8 I think Jesus was not referring to direction. So we do not know where people born of the Spirit come from or are going to?
3:9 Is this not still our question?
3:10 I think professional Church types are all a little like Nic at night at one time or another. We really do not fully understand of what we speak, teach and preach. Sometimes we are groping for answers in the dark.
3:11 We? Our? For whom, or of whom, is Jesus speaking?
3:12 Of what earthly things did Jesus talk about that Nic did not believe? Now it seems that we have two dichotomies, flesh/spirit and earth/heaven.
3:13 Ascension day has passed, but in the context of this passage, it has not yet happened. Is this an anachronism – a Post Ascension Theology being read back into a pre Ascension event – the Evangelist putting words into the mouth of Jesus? Or is this an example of Jesus being prescient?
3:14 I refer you back to Isaiah 6:2 and again suggest you read and ponder Numbers 21:4-9. Perhaps Numbers 21:4-9 would have been a better First Reading to pair with this Gospel than the passage from Isaiah.
3:16-17 Maybe too much has already been read and said about this passage. Then again, maybe not enough has been preached about this passage in its literary context.
A group of ministers/preachers were sitting together at a table and discussing the Doctrine of the Trinity. Unexpectedly, Christ appeared, pulled up a chair and sat down with them. One of the ministers/preachers explained to Jesus how the group had been discussing the Doctrine of the Trinity, trying to understand it, but were still perplexed, so asked Jesus “How can these things be?” Jesus responded “Are you Christian ministers/preachers of the Word and Sacrament and yet you do not understand these things?