Sunday, September 13, 2015

Lectionary Ruminations 2.0 for Sunday, September 20, 2015, the Twenty-Fifth 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.

31:10-31 Is this an example of a sexist Lectionary, not necessarily because the reading itself is sexist, but because there is no “capable husband” text to balance it? How do we hear this now that the Supreme Court has legalized same sex marriage?
31:10 On the other hand, comparing a woman to a physical item could be seen as sexist, suggesting that a capable wife is a possession, mere “arm candy”, like a “trophy wife”, more precious than jewels.
31:13 What about professional, non-domestic work?
31:15 Does the mention of “servant-girls” suggest this is a text for the more well to do?
31:16 So women could buy and own property?
31:18 Is there a double meaning here?
31:20 I wonder if her husband does this as well?
31:21 Is crimson clothing warmer than other colors of clothing?
31:22 What do you know about purple colored clothing? What does purple colored clothing signifiy?
31:23 What is the significance of “the city gate”?
31:24 So women could engage in their own business?
31:25 What does “laughing at the time to come” mean?
31:26 In other words, this woman does not keep silent.
31:28 How would a wife who is childless, perhaps not by choice, here this verse?
31:29 Is the Psalmist addressing someone specifically or talking to the idealized “capable wife”?
31:30 What does it mean to “fear the LORD”?
31:30 Might this have been a feminist  sentiment in its day?

1:1 Where do scoffers sit?
1:2 What does it mean to meditate on the Law of the LORD?
1:3 To borrow a phrase once going around facebook, following the law of the LORD bears fruits, not nuts. How are the law of the LORD and  stream of water alike?
1:4 What is chaff? What process is being alluded to here?
1:5 the wicked will not be judged?
1:6 Is thee a difference between the LORD watching over the way of the righteous and watching over the righteous?  Note that it is not the wicked who perish but the way of the wicked that will perish.

3:13 Socrates, Plato and Aristotle might agree. How does wisdom beget gentleness?
3:14 what is the relation between wisdom and truth? Does the wise person harbor envy and selfishness?
3:15 There seems to be at least two types of wisdom, earthly and spiritual.
3:16 Could we read this as a commentary on our culture?
3:17 Wisdom from above sounds preferable over earthly wisdom.
3:18 In or out of context, this is one of my favorite verses and one we should all keep in mind.  Why does the United States have a Defense Department (formerly the War Department) but has never had a Peace Department.  We have Military Academies but no nationally funded Peace Academy. Go figure!
4:1 Is this a naïve understanding of conflict?  How much of our conflict is based on psychological projection?
4:2 Were Christians actually committing murder? Are not murder and coveting against the moral law?
4:2-3 What is the difference between not asking and asking wrongly?
4:3 This is sounding like an indictment of the consumerist economy and marketing that appeals to selfish emotions.  How would this verse play out in a prosperity gospel?
4:7 I can do without devil language.
4:8 This makes sense to me and based on personal experience seems somewhat true.

9:30 Who are “they” and where was “there”?  Why did he not want anyone to know about his or their travels?
9:31 Do you think that when Jesus teaches his disciples he is teaching the church, and that when he speaks to the crowd, he is speaking to the wider culture?  Why might Jesus have used “Son of Man” imagery? Where does this imagery come from? Was Jesus applying this “son of man” imagery to himself?
9:32 How often to people in the pews or in the classroom not understand the preacher/teacher but are afraid to ask a question?
9:33 What do you know about Capernaum?  Whose house might Jesus have been in?  Do you think the Disciple’s argued often? Might “the way” be multivalent?
9:34 Is Jesus not the greatest?  Oh, right, he is the least! Have you ever know members of the church to argue about who among them is the greatest?
9:35 Why did Jesus sit them down?
9:36 Where did the little child come from? How old do you think this child might have been?
9:37 So welcoming a little child and holding him or her in my arms is akin to welcoming Jesus and thus God?  I can live with that. What does this have to do with being least of all and a servant of all, however?

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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