Sunday, November 1, 2015

Lectionary Ruminations 2.0 for Sunday, November 8, 2015, the Thirty-Second 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.

3:1 Why does Naomi refer to Ruth, her daughter-in-law, as her daughter? What type of security does Naomi have in mind? What is Ruth’s ethnicity?
3:2 Does it matter that Boaz would be a kinsman by marriage and not by blood? How is Boaz related to Naomi? Who were his young women and what sort of work were they doing?
3:3 What sort of anointing might Naomi had in mind?  What did Naomi mean when she told Ruth not to make herself known? Is there anything significant, or symbolic, about “the threshing floor”?
3:4 I think Ruth uncovered more than, or something else than, his feet.  Could this verse be employing a euphemism? Is this a PG-13 Scripture?
4:13 What is the meaning of “took”? The LORD “made” her conceive?
4:14 What women?
4:15 Whom is this verse about?
4:16 The grandmother nurses her grandson?
4:17 Why would the women say “a son has been born to Naomi” when it was really her grandson, born to Ruth?  What is significant about this lineage? Might this verse inform and influence our views on immigration?

127:1 Does the Psalmist have any particular house, or any particular city in mind? Juxtapose tis verse with Hebrews 9:24. I think Socrates and Aristotle had some things to say about foundations of houses. Our strength is not in the war horse or chariot but in our values.
127:2 This seems opposite of our workaholic culture. Benjamin Franklin reportedly said “Early to bed, early to rise, makes one healthy, wealthy, and wise.”
127:3 Does this verse justify pairing this Psalm with the reading from Ruth?
127:4-5 What do you make of this simile? Personally, I do not like the militaristic imagery but It probably made a lot of sense at the time. Why would someone speak with their enemies in the gate?

9:24 Is this a reference to the Jerusalem temple? Juxtapose this verse with Psalm 127:1. Did Jews think of the Jerusalem Temple as a copy of a heavenly temple?
9:25 The high priest did not offer himself but rather sacrificed animals. Does this verse have any bearing on our understanding of the Eucharist?
9:26 Since Priests do not sacrifice themselves; does this analogy break down in the final analysis?
9:26-27 Can you follow the argument in these two verses? I wish more had been said.

12:38 Whom is Jesus teaching?  What do you know about the scribes?
12:39 Where were the best seats in a synagogue? Where are the best suits in a Christian sanctuary?
12:40 How were scribes devouring widow’s houses? When does a prayer become long? Is there a difference between “saying” a prayer and “praying” a prayer?
12:41 Where in the temple was the treasury? Do you think there were seats opposite it or would Jesus have been sitting on the floor?
12:42 These are very common coins, still available from collectors.  With the rate of inflation, what would be their worth today? What is the significance of the woman being poor and being a widow?
12:43 Where were the disciples that Jesus had to call them?
12:44 The widow may have demonstrated faith, but was she practicing good stewardship? How that this verse been abused by religious charlatans and hucksters?

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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