Monday, October 23, 2017

Lectionary Ruminations 2.5 for the 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time / Proper 26 (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.

JOSHUA 3:7-17
3:7 Moses’ body is barely cold in the grave and God is already promoting Joshua. How might we apply this to pastoral transitions and pastoral authenticity? Who really needs to know that God is with Joshua, Joshua or the people?
3:8 Indiana Jones, where are you? Why should Joshua stand still in the Jordan?
3:9 How might this verse be used liturgically?
3:10 “By this” refers to what? Joshua seems to tell the people something a little different than what God told him. Who will do the driving out?
3:11 “the LORD of all the earth” is an interesting phrase.  What about “heaven?” Listen for a refrain in verse 13. It sounds like the ark will lead the way and the people will follow.
3:12 I wonder how these men were selected. Why were only men selected?
3:13 How will this be different than the parting of the sea?
3:14-17 Is the Ark taking the place of Moses’ rod?  Is the purpose of this narrative to establish Joshua being equal to Moses? How could the people cross on dry ground if the water had only recently stopped flowing? Wouldn’t the bottom of the Jordan not be muddy? I wonder how deep and wide the Jordan would have been at the place of crossing.
3:16 It sounds like the waters were heaped up far off in the distance. Does this make a difference?
3:17 It sounds like the ark first led the way, then took up position in the middle,  and finally brought up the rear.

PSALM 107:1-7, 33-37
107:1 Is it not redundant to say that steadfast love endures forever?  Then again, this is poetry.
107:2 This is sounding like a call and response.
107:3 Note the four cardinal directions. When where the people gathered in?
107:4 If “some” wandered in desert wastes, what did others do?  Is this a reference to the Exodus, or something else?
107:5 I wonder if this verse influenced any New Testament authors, such as the author of John?
107:6 I think there are many Psalms that express this sentiment.
107:7 Is the “straight way” always the most direct and best way?
107:33-37 Is this an example of the first being last and the last being first, or rather the topsy-turvy world of Divine judgment and grace.
107:35 This is sounding antithetical to the imagery of the First Reading.

2:9 Is Paul bragging? Do you think the Thessalonians really remembered?  Would they have remembered without Paul reminding them? By the way, I have never charged you a single cent, or asked you for any donation to help support Lectionary Ruminations 2.5.
2:10 Would Paul be defending his conduct if they had not been some accusation(s)?
2:11 In what other letters does Paul seem to take upon himself the parental function?
2:12 What does a life worthy of God look like?
2:13 Is “constantly” hyperbole? How can one discern the difference between a human word God’s word?

MATTHEW 23:1-12
23:1 What does it mean when a Gospel tells us that Jesus is speaking to both the crowds and to his disciples?
23:2 What and where is “Moses’ seat”?
23:3 Can you think of any current day examples of people whose teachings we should follow but not follow their actions?
23:4 What do you know about phylacteries and fringe?  Are there any Christian comparisons? What burdens do preachers, pastors, and minister types place on others?
23:5 Would a current example be the size of the cross one wears? The Christian bumper stickers on one’s vehicle? The Christian tats on one’s body?
23:6 Where the best seats in Synagogues in the back? Where are the best seats today? Where is the place of honor at banquets?
23:7 If you happen to be ordained and/or serving in a pastoral position, how do people address you and how do you want them to address you?
23:8 I am glad the PC(USA) has abandoned the terminology of  “Teaching Elder” and gone back to “Minister of Word and Sacrament.”
23:9 What can Hallmark do with this on Father’s Day? Has this ever been used against Roman Catholics?
23:10 Ouch! There goes my six years as an adjunct faculty “instructor” of Theology, Religion, and Philosophy down the toilet.
23:11-12 Where have we heard this before? See my rumination on Psalm 107:33-37.

I am a Minister of the Word and Sacrament Member of Upper Ohio Valley Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and am serving as the Interim Pastor of the Richmond United Presbyterian Church, Richmond, Ohio. Sunday Worship at Richmond begins at 11:00 AM. Some of my other blog posts have appeared on PRESBYTERIAN BLOGGERS and The Trek.

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