Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Lectionary Ruminations 2.0 for Sunday, April 3, 2016, the Second Sunday of Easter (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.

5:27 Who brought whom from where?  What council?  Who was the high priest and what is the high priest’s function?
5:28 What in the world is the high priest talking about?  Who is the “we” who gave strict orders?  By what authority could they give such orders?
5:29 Why is only Peter named?  Who might be among the other “apostles”?  “We must obey God rather than any human authority” reminds me of one of the one of the Historic Principles of Church Order (see F-3.0101).
5:30 Note that Peter references the God of “our” ancestors. Also note that God raised up Jesus, Jesus did not rise.  Why is the cross often referred to as a tree?
5:31 What is the significance of God’s metaphorical right hand? What is the Greek word translated as “Leader” in the NRSV?
5:32 What “things”? How is the Holy Spirit a witness?  Is there a sense that God gives the Holy Spirit as a reward for obedience?

118:14 Is there any difference between strength and might? How shall we understand the meaning of salvation in a Psalm compared to salvation in a New Testament text ?
118:15 When was the last time you heard a really glad song in worship?
118:15b-16 Is this actually the glad song referenced in 118:15?
118:17 What are the deeds of the LORD and could you recount them?
118:18 Is death the ultimate punishment?  For what was the psalmist punished?  Does this verse presume an angry God of wrath and vengeance?
118:19 Where are what are the gates of righteousness?
118:20 Where is this gate?
118:21 Does the LORD ever not answer?
118:22 What is the difference between a cornerstone and a keystone?  Why would builders reject a stone?
118:23 What is the LORD’s doing?
118:24 I thought the LORD made all days.
118:25 Note the transition from the singular to the plural. What sort of “success” was the psalmist asking for?
118:26 What does it mean to come in the name of the LORD?  Where and when have we heard this before?  Where and when will we hear it again?
118:27 What festal procession?  What are the horns of the altar?
118:28 What is the meaning of “extol” and how does it differ from giving thanks?
118:29 By definition, does not “steadfast love” endure for ever?
118:14-29 Why this Psalm this day?

1:4-8 Please note that this reading is from Revelation, NOT Revelations!  What difference does it make?
1:4 Is there anything special about these seven churches, besides the fact that John wrote to them?  What do you know about letter salutations in Greek and Hebrew cultures?  What are the seven spirits?
1:5 Does this verse presume a blood atonement theory?
1:6 How are we a kingdom?  Are we a kingdom of priests?
1:7 How can those who pierced him see him if they are dead when he comes?
1:8 Is it safe to assume that everyone in a church pew understands the meaning of “I am the Alpha and the Omega”? Compare this verse to verse 4.

20:19 Is the setting our Saturday evening or our Sunday evening?  Why did the disciples fear the Jews. What sort of greeting is “Peace be with you.”?
20:20 Why did Jesus show the disciples his hands and side? Did the disciples not rejoice before they saw his hands and side?
20:21 Why is the “Peace be with you” greeting repeated?
20:22 Why did Jesus breathe on the disciples?  What is the connection between breath and the Holy Spirit?
20:23 Does it make any difference that this is perhaps the latest Gospel when interpreting this verse? What is “The power of the keys”?
20:24 I wonder where Thomas was and why he was not there. Why was Thomas called “the Twin”?
20:25 Do you know anyone who can honestly say “I have seen the Lord”?  Rather than referring to him as “doubting Thomas” I would rather refer to him as “I am not gullible Thomas”!
20:26 Were the doors also locked?
20:27 Do not doubt what?  Believe what?
20:28 Jesus invited Thomas to touch his wounds, but did Thomas actually do so?  Might “My Lord and My God” be an example of an early statement of faith?
20:29 For whom is this verse written?
20:30 I wonder what other signs Jesus may have done that are not written in this book.  I think I feel an historical novel coming on: “The Other Signs of Jesus”!
20:31 This also reads like an early statement of faith. Is this verse talking about life in the here  and now or a future life everlasting?

ADDENDUM
I am currently a Member at Large of Upper Ohio Valley Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). I am a trained and experienced Interim Pastor currently available to supply as a fill-in occasional guest preacher and worship leader or serve in a half-time to full-time position.

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