Sunday, October 18, 2015

Lectionary Ruminations 2.0 for Sunday, October 25, 2015, the Thirtieth 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.

42:1 What was the question?
42:2 What would you answer The LORD? Is this a variation of the classic question “Can God make a rock so heavy that God cannot lift it?”
42:3 Is Job eating humble pie?
42:4 Is Job planning to cross examine God?
42:5 What is the difference between hearing with the ear and seeing with the eye?  Hearing is a classic Semitic posture.  Seeing is a classic Greek posture.
42:6 Despicable me?
42:10 What is the moral of this story?  What lesson has been learned and is being taught?
42:11 The LORD had brought evil upon Job?
42:12-13 Are these numbers symbolically significant?
42:14 What do these names mean? Why are only the daughters named?
42:15 Did daughters usually receive an inheritance?
42:16 is 140 symbolically significant?  Should it be taken literally?
42:17 We have a happy ending but Job still dies.

34:1 Is this a promise, a vow, or an expressed intention and desire?
34:2 How does one’s soul make its boast in the LORD?
34:3 How does one magnify the LORD?  Is this a mini Magnificat?  How does one exalt the LORD’s name when the LORD’s name is unpronounceable?
34:4 Do we seek the LORD or does the LORD seek us? How does the LORD answer us today?
34:7 Who is the angel of the LORD?
34:8 How does one taste that the LORD is good?
(34:19) If the LORD rescues the righteous, why are the righteous afflicted?
(34:21-22) This Psalm seems to suggest that evil is still a force to be reckoned with and the wicked will succumb to it while God will redeem the righteous from it.
34:1-8, 19-22 It seems obvious why the lectionary pairs this Psalm with the Reading from Job, but does the pairing invite us to read this Psalm with blinders on?

7:23 What came before the “furthermore”? Who were the former priests?
7:24 Who holds the priesthood permanently?
7:25 Is there a change in emphasis from Christ as sacrifice to Christ as intercessor?
7:26 How is it fitting?
7:27 In light of 7:25, it seems we are back to understanding Christ as sacrifice rather than intercessor?
7:28 What is “the word of the oath”?

10:46 Who came to Jericho?  Is there anything about Jericho that makes it more than just a setting for this story? “Bartimaeus son of Timaeus” seems redundant. Is there any significance to their being a large crowd? Is there any significance to Bartimaeus being blind?
10:47 What do you know about the The Philokalia, Hesychasm, The Way of the Pilgrim, and The Jesus Prayer?
10:48 Who were the many and why did they order Bartimaeus to be quiet?
10:49 Why did Jesus have Bartimaeus brought to him rather than going to Bartimaeus?
10:50 Is there any symbolism in his throwing off his cloak? Was blind Bartimaeus following the sound of Jesus’ voice?
10:51 Did Jesus really need to ask this question?  What is the significance of Bartimaeus calling Jesus “My teacher”? Apparently Bartimeaus had not been blind from birth and therefore knew what it was like to see.
10:52 What faith?  How did it make him well? What does “followed him on the way” mean?

ADDENDUM
Some may be observing this Sunday as Reformation Sunday, in which case can the story of Bartimaeus serve as a parable of the Church? Was the church at one time able to see but had become blind to the truth? Was the Reformation’s reliance on sola scriptura like a regaining of prior vision that enabled the church to once again see, recognize, and follow Jesus?

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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