Thursday, April 28, 2016

Lectionary Ruminations 2.0 for Sunday, May 8, 2016, the Seventh 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.

16:16 Who are the “we”?  What makes a place of prayer different from any other place? What is a spirit of divination?
16:17 Why was she following Paul and those with him? Why would she proclaim such a thing?
16:18 Why might Paul have been annoyed, after all, she was speaking the truth and seemed to be giving them free publicity? Note that what this girl was saying was not soothsaying but truth telling.  What was Paul’s motivation for casting out the demon?
16:19 And the moral of the story is “do not threaten someone’s livelihood”?
16:20 Who are the magistrates? How were Paul and Silas disturbing the city?
16:21What customs might Paul and Silas have been advocating and why were these customs not lawful.
16:22 Why would the crowd join in attacking them?
16:23 What is a flogging?
16:24 How many were so incarcerated?
16:25 Is there any significance or symbolism associated with midnight? When did Silas enter the scene? Who was he? What do we know about him?
16:26 Is this a description of a mere natural phenomena or something more? I can imagine chains coming loose from the wall, but stocks coming loose?
16:27 Why was the jailor about to kill himself?
16:28 Why would Paul announce their presence?
16:29 Why did the jailer fall down trembling before them?
16:30 Might there be a multi-valent meaning here?
16:31 How can a household be save based on one person’s faith?
16:32 Is speaking the word of the Lord the same as preaching a sermon.
16:33 Do you think the jailor washed their wounds using the same source of water used for the baptism?
16:34 Even though Paul and Silas were eating a meal in the jailor’s house rather than the jail, were they still prisoners?

97:1 Does it make any sense to talk about the LORD being king when living in a democratic republic?  What do coastlands symbolize or represent?
97:2 Why are clouds and thick darkness all around the LORD?  What is the relationship between righteousness and justice?
97:3 What does fire symbolize or represent?
97:4 What, if any, is the connection between thunder storms and God? How does the earth tremble?
97:5 Is this a description of volcanic activity?
97:6 Project images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope here! Yes, peoples (note the plural) behold God’s glory but do they know they are beholding God’s glory?
97:7 What about people who do not worship images?  How do gods bow down before the LORD is there are no other gods?
97:8 What is the difference between Zion and Judah?
97:9 How can the LORD be over all the earth if the earth is round? Who or what are these other gods?
97:10 Rather than hating evil I prefer loving the good.
97:11 Do the unrighteousness not see or experience the sunrise?
97:12 How can one give thanks to the LORD’s holy name when the LORD’s holy name is not to be pronounced?

22:12 Who is speaking?  This sounds like a verse in support of “works righteousness”. Will the reward enable the repayment?
22:13 Does this still need explanation or do all those in the pew understand it?
22:14 What do washed robes symbolize?  What would one wash them with? What is the tree of life”?  How else would one enter a city if not by the gates (note the plural)?
22:16 What angel is Jesus referring to?  How can one be both a root and a descendant?  What is “the bright morning star”?
22:17 Who is the bride? What is the “water of life” and how does it differ from “the tree of life”?
22:20 Who is testifying to these things?
22:21 Who is offering this blessing? Who are all the saints?

17:20 Who is asking? Who are “these”?
17:21 How does “oneness” lead people to belief?
17:22 How does glory promote oneness?
17:23 Why will complete oneness lead to the world’s knowing anything?
17:24 What would it mean for “those” to be where Jesus is?
17:25 What might this verse suggest about religious and/or spiritual knowledge?
17:26 What is the significance or symbolism of making God’s name known?

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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