Monday, April 18, 2016
Lectionary Ruminations 2.0 for Sunday, April 24, 2016, the Fifth 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.
11:1 What Gentiles had accepted the word of God?
11:2 What is the difference between a circumcised and uncircumcised believer?
11:3 What was wrong about Peter eating with uncircumcised men?
11:4 Some people may need step by step explanations and others may follow intuitive leaps. Which type are you?
11:5 How and why did Peter enter into a trance? What is a vision. Have you ever been in a trance or experienced a vision? What is the difference, if any, between a “vision” and a “big dream”?
11:6 What is significant about the animals that Peter describes?
11:7 Did Peter audibly hear a voice that others could have heard or did he hear a voice in his vision that others would not have been able to her? Whose voice did Peter hear?
11:8 What does it mean that something is profane or unclean?
11:9 What had God made clean?
11:10 It seems that for Peter, things come and happen in threes. Why might that be?
11:11See what I mean, “three” men!
11:12 What “Spirit” is Peter referring to? Who is the “us”? Who are these “six brothers”?
11:13 Had this man also experienced a vison?
11:14 What is the definition of a “household”? What is the implication regarding baptism of infants?
11:15 So there was the rush of a mighty wind, tongues as of fire, and people speaking in various languages? It seems that the Holy Spirit fell upon these Gentile believers before they were baptized
11:16 Would Peter not have remembered this saying of Jesus if the account narrated above had not happened? What sayings of Jesus might Peter never have remembered and are now long forgotten?
11:17 Is this a rhetorical question?
11:18 How can one be silenced and at the same time praise God? If Gentiles were not under the Law of Moses, then what did they have to repent of?
148:1 Why is God usually praised from the heights but not the valleys?
148:2 Who, or what, are the host?
148:3 How do celestial objects praise God?
148:4 How many gradations of heaven are there? How many heavens are between the highest heavens and the lowest heavens?
148:5 Does this verse refer to one of the creation accounts but not the other?
148:6 Does this assume a pre-Copernican universe?
148:7 What are Biblical sea monsters?
148:8 If elements of weather obey God’s commands, then are natural weather disasters sent by God?
148:9 What trees, if any, are not included?
148:10 Does cattle include all domesticated livestock?
148:11 While present throughout this psalm, the Hebraic poetic parallelism is particularly evident in this verse.
148:12 Does this verse remind you of any other verse or passage from the Jewish Scriptures?
148:13 How can one praise the name of the Lord when the Lord’s is not to be pronounced?
148:14 What is a “horn” and what does it symbolize?
21:1 This Sunday we have at least two visions, this one and the one narrated in the First Reading from Acts. Why do people no longer have visions like these? When I read this passage I think of how C.S. Lewis described the new heaven and new earth in his Chronicles of Narnia. Why would the sea be no more?
21:2 Why are cities feminized? The story of God’s mighty acts might have started with a garden but it ends with a city! Apparently God was into urban renewal. Note that Acts 11:5 also presents a vision of something coming down from heaven.
21:3 Note that the text says God will dwell with God’s peoples and does not say that God’s peoples will dwell with God. Why the plural “peoples”? Whose voice is heard?
21:4 We may usually associate this verse with The Service of Witness to the Resurrection.
21:5 Who is seated on the throne? Write what?
21:6 Where is the spring of the water of life? Did this passage lead to legends of the “fountain of youth”? What about the hungry?
13:31Gone out from where or what? Who is “the Son of Man” and what does this phrase mean? Where does the image of “the Son of Man” come from?
13:32 What in the world is John saying here?
13:33 Who are the “little children”? Why are these “little children” distinguished from the Jews?
13:34 If this is a new commandment, what was the old commandment?
13:35 So the new commandment is that disciples are to love other disciples? What about people who are not disciples?
ADDENDUMI 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.