Sunday, November 29, 2015

Lectionary Ruminations 2.0 for Sunday, December 6, 2015, the Second Sunday of Advent (Year C)

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 I would have expect “Hear” rather than “See”.  Who is speaking?  Note that in the NRSV the first occurrence is “Lord” and the second occurrence is “LORD” –what is the difference?
3:2 Is this a rhetorical question?  What is a refiner’s fire like?  What is fuller’s soap?
3:3 Who are the descendants of Levi?  How are gold and silver refined?
3:4 Why would an offering not be pleasing to the LORD?  How has the offering changed compared to times past?

1:68 What is the first word in the Latin Vulgate? What has the Lord God of Israel redeemed the people from?
1:69 Is there any savior that is not mighty?
1:70 Is there a grammer problem with a single “mouth” but plural “prophets”? What holy prophets might Zechariah (or Luke) have had in mind?
1:71 At the time of Zechariah, who would the enemies and the haters have been?
1:72 Had the Lord God of Israel forgotten the covenant?
1:73 What oath?
1:74  Can one serve with fear or in fear?
1:75 What is the difference, if any, between holiness and righteousness?
1:76  What child? To who is Zechariah speaking?
1:77 Is there a difference between knowledge of salvation and salvation? How does one gain knowledge of salvation?
1:78 What is “the dawn from on high”?
1:79 Who sits in darkness? How does death cast a shadow?

1:3 When and how often does the author remember the Philippians?
1:4 How does one pray constantly?
1:5 How does one share in the gospel?
1:6 Who began the good work? What was the good work? What and when is the day of Christ?
1:7 What does it mean to hold a person in the heart?
1:8 What is meant by “the compassion of Jesus Christ”?
1:9 What knowledge?  What is full insight? How does prayer overflow?
1:10 What does it mean to be pure and blameless?
1:11 What is the harvest of righteousness and who has produced it?

3:1 What year would this have been?  Why are all these people and their positions named? Is all this historically accurate and does it matter if it is no isn’t?
3:2 Why was John in the wilderness?  Was this a prelude to desert spirituality?  What is so special about fierce landscapes like wilderness and the desert? Is the “wilderness” by definition a liminal place?
3:3 Would this be both banks of the Jordan?  Is this the Jordan before it flows into the Sea of Galilee or after it flows out from the Sea of Galilee toward the Dead Sea?
3:4 Where in Isaiah is this written?  Did the prophecy dictate that John had to be in the wilderness, or did John’s being in the wilderness lend itself to this prophecy? Why do the Lord’s paths need to be made straight?
3:5 Why fill a valley?  Why make a mountain low?  In light of mountaintop removal mining, this verse raises images of bad stewardship of the earth.
3:6 Does “all flesh” include non-human flesh?

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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