Thursday, April 7, 2016

Lectionary Ruminations 2.0 for Sunday, April 17, 2016, the Fourth 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.

9:36 Is there anything we need to know about Joppa to help interpret this Passage?  What does the name Tabitha mean?  If Tabitha is not Greek, what language is it?  Does her being devoted to good works and charity suggest an appeal to works righteousness?
9:37 Who are “they”?  Is there anything suggestive about her body being placed in “an upper room”?
9:38 What do we know about Lydda and why was Peter there?
9:39 Do we need to know anything about weeping widows to help us understand this verse?
9:40 Why would Peter put them all outside. Did anyone remain in the room with Peter, and if so, whom? If no one remained in the room with Peter, how do we know what Peter did?
9:41 Who are “the saints”?
9:42 Why would people believe in the Lord rather than believing in Peter?
9:43 Do we know anything else about Simon, other than that he was a tanner? Does it matter that he was a tanner?

23:1-6 Is this Reading too familiar for us to hear in it anything new?
23:1 Who is this Psalm speaking about?  Can the image of a first century middle-eastern shepherd still speak to an industrialized, postmodern world?
23:2 People usually do not mind being led, but most people do not want to be “made” to do anything, even lie down in a green pasture.
23:3 How is a soul restored?  What is a right path?
23:4 What is the darkest valley you have ever walked through?  What evil(s), if any, do you or most people fear?  What are rods and staffs used for?
23:5 What does it mean to have a table prepared for you?  Would you want to eat in the presence of your enemies?  Have you ever been anointed with oil?  Have you ever anointed someone with oil?  What might oil symbolize and signify? What does it mean for a cup to overflow?
23:6 Would you rather have goodness and mercy precede you or follow.  Would you like to dwell in the house of the LORD the rest of your life?  What and where is the house of the LORD?

7:9 After what?  What is being described?  Who is robed in white, the lamb or the multitude?
7:10 Did they cry out in one language or many languages?
7:11 How would you describe this scene in your own words? What sort of gesture is falling on one’s face?
7:12 Does it make any difference that they sing rather than say? What is the symbolism of a sevenfold ascription of praise?
7:13 Was this a rhetorical question?
7:14 What was the great ordeal? How does washing anything in blood make it white?
7:15 Where is this temple?
7:16 Does this remind you of anything, even other Scripture?
7:17 Is a lamb being a shepherd ironic? How many springs of the water of life are there?

10:22 At what time? What is the festival of the Dedication?
10:23 What is the portico of Solomon and where was it in the temple?
10:24 What suspense?  “If”?
10:25 Did Jesus ever really come right out and tell he Jews that he was the Messiah?  What works was Jesus referring to?
10:26 Why did they not belong to his sheep? This is the third Reading this Sunday that mentions sheep!
10:27 Should we be reading this in light of anything else this gospel?
10:28 What sheep snatcher might Jesus have had in mind?  Is there a difference between eternal life and everlasting life?
10:29 Why is Jesus so concerned about snatching?
10:30 Have fun unpacking this six word statement. How does it follow from what came before in this reading?

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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