Monday, June 8, 2015

Lectionary Ruminations 2.0 for Sunday, June 14, 2015, the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (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.

15:34 Is the anything significant about Ramah or Gibeah?
15:35 Who is “he”, the LORD or Samuel?  Was the sorrow caused by having made Saul, rather than someone else king, or simply making anyone a king over Israel?
16:1 What is a horn and why would God want Samuel to fill one with oil?
16:2 Why would Saul kill Samuel? So the LORD instructs and helps Samuel construct a ruse?
16:3 What do we know about Jesse?
16:4 Why did the elders of Bethlehem tremble when they saw Samuel?
16:5 Was Jesse one of the elders?  Were his sons? In this context, what does it mean to be sanctified? Why sacrifice in Bethlehem? Why not Bethel or Shechem?
16:6 Why did Eliab look the part?
16:6-7  Things are not always as they seem.  In both ecclesiastical and secular settings, the person who most looks the part is not always the person God has chosen.  Nevertheless, they are still the person chosen, hired, elected or called because they look the part.  In this case, however, not so! Lesson learned?
16:8 After he screwed up with Eliab, how did Samuel know God had not picked Aninidab?
16:10 Should we associate any symbolic significance to the number seven?
16:11 What if there had not been an eight son?
16:12 What are the various alternate translations of this verse?
16:13 Would the spirit of the LORD not have come upon David if Samuel had not anointed him? Note that David is not named until after he is anointed?

20:1 To whom is the Psalmist writing?  Does the reference to God’s name serving as protection suggest that God’s name was understood by some as having magical properties? Why the God of Jacob and not the God of Abraham, or Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob?
20:2 What sort help and support might be imagined? What is the sanctuary?
20:3 What is the difference between a burnt offering and a sacrifice?
20:4 What if the heart’s desire and plans are not according to God’s will? See 1 Samuel 16:7.
20:5 Who are “we”? I wonder what these banners looked like.  I doubt if they looked like the liturgical banners some churches display.
20:6  Who is the LORD’s anointed? What does God ever do with the left hand, if anything?
20:7 Let this verse be a warning to those advocating for increased spending on defense and who claim that a nation’s security is directly related to the size of its armed forces.
20:8 Who are brought to their knees and fall?
20:9 Why did the King need saved? Who is “us”?

5:6 Why must we be away from the Lord while at home in the body?  Can modern Christians read this without help from Descartes?  How can we hear it as first Century Christians would have heard it?
5:7 Must faith be set against sight? What about the phrase “I will believe it when I see it.”?
5:8 Does this sentiment fly in the face of incarnational theology?
5:9 How do we please Lord?
5:10 Does this suggest a work’s righteousness?
5:11 What is the fear of the Lord and how does one know it? Are you familiar with Rudolf Otto’s “Idea of the Holy” and the mysterium tremendum et fascinans?
5:12 “Again”? What is this verse about?
5:13 What is Paul’s logic?
5:14-15 Does “die for all” lead to a universalism? What does Paul mean “all died”?
5:16 What is a worldly point of view?
5:17 Even though I agree with it, this is a pretty bold statement.  Does it logically flow from what precedes it? Might this be Paul’s equivalent of the “born from above” or “born anew”  of John’s Gospel?

4:26-27 I love the kingdom sayings (parables), even though I do not fully understand them—sort of like the person who does not know how seeds that were scattered take root and grow. Does the type of seed matter or make any difference?
4:28 Does the soil really do this by itself?
4:29 This sounds as though reaping is a good, not a grim, undertaking.
4:30 Is this a rhetorical question?
4:31 Not just any seed (see Mark 4:26), but a mustard seed.
4:30-32 So, don’t judge a book by its cover, or a seed by its size, or a son of Jesse by his age (see 1 Samuel 16:7 and 16:11)
4:33 I wonder what ever happened to these similar parables, how many were remembered and preserved and how many went in one ear and out the other and were forgotten? What does Mark mean by  “the word”?  How able are we to hear the word?
4:34 So why did the disciples often appear not to get it if Jesus explained the parables to them? How do those to whom we preach or teach affect the way we teach or preach?

ADDENDUM
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 like The Presbyterian Church of Cadiz on facebook

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