Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Lectionary Ruminations 2.5 for the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time / Proper 24 (Year A)

Lectionary Ruminations 2.5 is a further revision and refinement of my Lectionary Ruminations and Lectionary Ruminations 2.0.  Focusing on The Revised Common Lectionary Readings for the upcoming Sunday from New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible, Lectionary Ruminations 2.5 draws on over 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 sometimes pointed and sometimes snarky comments and Socratic like questions, to encourage reflection and rumination for readers preparing to lead a Bible study, draft liturgy, preach, or hear the Word. Reader comments are invited and encouraged.

EXODUS 33:12-23
33:12-23 How would you categorize the conversation between Mosses and the LORD?
33:12 Why does Moses think the LORD will send someone with him? It sounds like Moses is reminding the Lord of what the LORD has promised. Does the LORD need reminded?
33:13 Do you think Moses has found favor in the LORD’s sight? Have you found favor in the LORD’s sight? I find it interesting that Moses referes to the people as a nation when they do not have a homeland.
33:14 What is the LORD’s “presence?”  Is this the answer Moses was expecting?
33:15 Is Moses challenging The LORD or putting the LORD on notice?
33:16 Where is the LORD’s presence today? How is the LORD present today?
33:17 It seems Moses gets his way! What does it mean that the LORD knows the name of Moses? Does the LORD know your name?
33:18 What is the LORD’s “glory?”
33:19 Once again it seems like Moses is going to get what he asked for.
33:20 Why can no one look upon the face of the LORD and live? In Scripture, have there been any exceptions to this?
33:21 Why are many holy places rocks, rocky, or associated with rocks?
33:22 Why will the LORD put Moses in a cleft of the rock and cover the face of Moses?
33:23 If I am reading this correctly, the LORD is literally planning to “moon” Moses?

99:1 Why would the peoples tremble? What and where are cherubim and how does God sit enthroned upon them?
99:2 What and where is Zion?
99:3 How does one praise the LORD’s name when the LORD’s name is never pronounced? See Exodus 33:19. What does it mean to be “Holy?”
99:4 What is this righteousness?
99:5 How does one extol the LORD? What and where is the LORD’s footstool? 
99:6 Is this Psalm as much about Moses, Aaron, and Samuel as it is The LORD?
99:7 Why does the LORD not speak like this anymore?
99:8 How can the LORD be both forgiving and avenging?
99:9 What and where is the LORD’s holy mountain?

1:1 It appears three people are writing this letter.  What else do we know about Silvanus and Timothy?
1:2 Always?  Constantly? Is this hyperbole?
1:3 What work and labor might the authors be referring to?
1:4 Who is “he”? What does it mean to be chosen? Is being “chosen” the same as being called or predestined?
1:5 What do power, the Holy Spirit, and full conviction add to the word?
1:6 How did the Thessalonians imitate Paul, Silvanus, Timothy and Jesus?
1:7 Where are Macedonia and Achaia and how did the Thessalonians become examples to people in those places?
1:8 How has the faith of the Thessalonians become known in other places?
1:9 How would the people in Macedonia and Achaia know this?
1:10 Note that “rescues” is in the present, not the future tense.

MATTHEW 22:15-22
22:15 Who and what were the Pharisees? Can you smell a conspiracy?
22:16 Who were the Herodians and why were they conspiring with the Pharisees? Where these people speaking the truth even though they sought to entrap Jesus?
22:17 What is the trap that is being set? What sort of taxes were paid to the emperor and with what were they paid?
22:18 What was their malice?  Why are they hypocrites? How was Jesus aware of their malice?
22:19 What do you know about the denarius? Whose image was on the denarius? What sort of images were on Jewish coins? What and where is the irony in what is happening here?
22:20 I suggest you consult some other translations of this verse.  What are other options for the Greek translated in the NRSV as “head?”
22:21 What bore the image of the emperor? What bears the image of God? What things then, are the Emperor’s and what things are God’s? Consider Genesis 1:27.
22:22 Why were the Herodians and the disciples of the Pharisees amazed? Are you ever amazed by the words of Jesus?

I am a Minister Member of Upper Ohio Valley Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and am serving as the Pastor of the Bethlehem United Presbyterian Church, Wheeling, WV. Sunday Worship at Bethlehem begins at 10:45 AM. Here is Bethlehem United's Facebook address: https://www.facebook.com/Bethlehem-United-Presbyterian-Church-102482088303980

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