Monday, September 7, 2015

Lectionary Ruminations 2.0 for Sunday, September 13, 2015, the Twenty-Fourth 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.

1:20 This passage seems to personify wisdom in the feminine, so why not use the original Greek “Sophia” rather than the English translation “Wisdom”?  This verse also seems to display the Hebraic poetic device of repetition.
1:21 This and the previous verses reminds me of the classical Greek philosophers who taught in the agora or walked around the city teaching as they walked.
1:22 Does this verse contrast the simple with the wise?  Are the simple the same as scoffers and fools?
1:23 Who is speaking?  Can all thoughts be expressed in words, or must some thoughts be expressed through non-lingual representative arts?  Does DaVinci’s Last Supper or Dali’s Last Supper say something about the Last Supper that words cannot express?
1:24 Does Wisdom stand and the door and knock?
1:25 How does Wisdom off counsel and reproof?
1:26-27 I think Wisdom is being personified in too human of a way.
1:28 Does Wisdom hide?
1:29 Is knowledge the same as the fear of the LORD?  Is knowledge the same as wisdom?
1:30 Whom is being described?
1:31 We reap what we sow?
1:32 Scary advice as the United States moves into a presidential election cycle.
1:33 How does listening to Wisdom help one not dread disaster?

19:1 The Astronomer’s Bible/Gospel!  Did you know that the Vatican has both an observatory and an astronomer?  I would love to have Neil deGrasse Tyson reflect on this verse. What is a firmament? What is the difference between the heavens and the firmament or is this just a Hebraic poetic device?
19:2. What is the relationship between speech and knowledge?
19:3-4 How does a voice go out through all the earth if it is not heard?
19:4b-6 How do you interpret and apply a passage that assumes a pre-Copernican three-tiered universe in a post-Copernican world?
19:7 How did we transition from the heavens to the law? Is there some assumed natural/divine law relationship? Watch for all the synonyms of law in this and the following verses. You may want to juxtapose this verse as it talks about “making wise the simple” with the First Reading.
19:8 What is the relationship between the heart and the eyes?
19:9 What does the Psalmist mean by “fear of the Lord”?
19:10 At the close of the market on Friday, September 4, 2015, gold was selling for $1,121.80/ounce. I think the price of honey as perhaps ten cents an ounce or less.
19:11 How does God’slaw offer both warning and reward?
19:12 We all have our blind spots and sometimes others, including God, know us better than we know ourselves.
19:13 Can anyone really be blameless?
19:14 One of my personal pet peeves is that this verse should not be used as a public prayer by a preacher before the preaching of a sermon, ESPECIALLY after a Prayer of Illumination has already been prayed before the reading of Scripture.

3:1. Using PC(USA) nomenclature, is James referring to “Teaching” Elders in particular, Sunday School Teachers, or teachers of faith in general?
3:2 How true!   Who, but Jesus, is perfect?
3:3 What is the equivalent of a verbal bridle?
3:4 Ahhhhhh, sometimes the will of the pilot is overcome by the wind, lack of piloting skill, poor equipment, etc.  A rudder on a sailboat is of no use if there is no wind.
3:5a The tongue not only boasts of great exploits but can take us places we never wished to go. 
3:5b-6a I doubt the author had in minds the tongues of fire associated with Pentecost.
3:6b But the same member that curses can also bless.  The same tongue that expounds hate can also verbalize love.
3:7 I think this is not true. This is hyperbole.
3:8 What do you think, true or not true?
3:9-10 See my rumination for verse 6b.
3:11 Not at the same time, but perhaps alternately.
3:12 True, true, but what about reverse osmosis and distillation?
3:1-12 In the age of social media and the internet, is the tongue really the problem, or is it the mind that not only tells the tongue what to say but the fingers to type and text?

8:27 Was Caesarea a village and Philippi a village Like Minneapolis / St. Paul, or were there several villages in the region of Caesarea Philippi?  Who do people in our culture say that Jesus is?
8:28 Why would people have thought Jesus was any of these?
8:29 This is the question Jesus asks each and every one of us.  Who do you say Jesus is?  Does your answer depend on who is asking the question? Did Peter answer correctly? You may want to compare Peter’s answer here with his answer in Matthew and Luke.
8:30 Why the order not to tell anyone about him?  What do you know about “the Messianic Secret”? Have we heard this before in this Gospel? Did we hear Jesus say something like this this last week in Mark 7:36?
8:31 Note the verb “began”., suggesting an ongoing process. John the Baptist,  Elijah, one of the prophets, Messiah, the Son of Man?  So many identities, titles, and names!  Why did Jesus refer to himself as the Son of Man, or was he referring to someone else?
8:32 Why did Peter take Jesus aside and why did he rebuke Jesus?
8:33 Why did Jesus rebuke Peter and call Peter “Satan”?
8:34 What does it mean to take up one’s cross?  What is your cross? Had Peter earlier failed to deny himself and take up his cross when he rebuked Jesus?
8:35 This reads like a conundrum.
8:36 Does this matter at all to a generation that once embracing YOLO?
8:37 Is there any answer to this question? Is this the Faustian bargain?
8:38 I am not ashamed of Jesus or the Gospel but I often ashamed of what some have said and done in his name and in the name of the Gospel. How was Jesus’ generation adulterous and sinful? How do you think Jesus’ generation compares to our own?

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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