Thursday, October 6, 2016

Lectionary Ruminations 2.0 for Sunday, October 16, 2016, the Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time (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 over reliance 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.

31:27 Are these days still to come or have they been fulfilled?
31:28 So the LORD watches over everything?
31:29 Why would the teeth of children be set on edge if their parents ate sour grapes? Where might this saying have originated?
31:30 This sounds only fair.
31:31 I again ask if these days are still to come or have already been fulfilled? If the new covenant replaces or supersedes what came before, what covenant(s) will be replaced or superseded?
31:32 In what ways was the covenant broken? What about the covenant with Noah?
31:33 But what if the people have hearts of stone?
31:34 What does it mean to “know the LORD”? It sounds as though the people will still sin but that the LORD will forgive and forget.

119:97 What law is being referred to?  How does the law become one’s meditation?  Does this have anything to do with anything like mindfulness meditation or contemplative prayer?
119:98 Why the singular “commandment” and not the plural “commandments”?  Is “commandment” a mere synonym for law?
119:99 How often have you thought/felt you had more understanding than your teachers?  Is “decrees” nothing more than a synonym for law?
119:100 This sounds like a youthful statement.  Is “precepts” just a synonym for law?
119:101 Are there only two ways, evil and good?  Is “word” a synonym for law?
119:102 How many synonyms for law, in addition to “ordinances” have we encountered so far?
119:103 I love honey.  How about you?
119:104 How do precepts and the law provide understanding?

3:14 What has Timothy learned and firmly believed?  From who had he learned it?
3:15 What sacred writings are being referred to?
3:16 What does it mean for all scripture to be “inspired” or “God breathed”? I do not see science, geology, or history in this list of what Scripture is useful for.
3:17 What does it mean to be proficient and equipped.  To borrow an idea from hiking/backpacking, what are “the ten essentials” of the Christian Faith all believers ought to be equipped with? Similarly, it does not help to have the ten essentials if one does not know how to make use of them.
4:1 In spite of this verse, why do so many Christians seem so quick to judge others? Is this an oath?
4:2 What is the message Paul urges Timothy to proclaim. Is our time favorable or unfavorable for proclaiming this message?
4:3 Who is to decide if doctrine is sound or not? How might this verse apply to health and wealth television evangelists?
4:4 What is the difference between truth and myth and who is to decide what is myth and what is truth?  How does this apply to Rudolf Bultmann and his 1941 essay on The New Testament and Mythology, in which he called for the "demythologizing" of the New Testament?  How does this apply to the myth work of people like Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell, not to mention John Shelby Spong?
4:5 Does being sober mean only refraining from alcohol or mind altering drugs?  What is the work of an evangelist?

18:1 How does one pray always?
18:2 What does it mean to fear God?
18:3 Must we always pray prayers of supplication?  What about prayers of adoration, confession, intercession, and thanksgiving, not to mention contemplative prayer?
18:4 Why would the judge refuse to administer justice?
18:5 How long would it have taken for the widow to wear out the judge, or had she already done so?
18:6 Why are we listening to a judge who neither fears god nor respects people?
18:7 Is this a rhetorical question? How is God like the unjust judge and not like the unjust judge?
18:8 How quick is quickly? Who is the Son of Man? When and why is the Son of Man coming? How does the second half of this verse follow from what precedes it?   Has the Son of Man already come or not?  If Jesus was referring to himself as the Son of Man, why did he do so?
18:4-8 Is this parable saying that we should keep pestering and complaining to God until we wear God down?

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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