Monday, February 26, 2018

Lectionary Ruminations 2.5 for The 4th Sunday in Lent (Year B)

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.

NUMBERS 21:4-9
21:4 Where is Mount Hor? Be aware that “Red Sea” may be a scribal error or mistranslation.  Why did they avoid Edom?
21:5 Is this the plural “you?” Are God and Moses that closely associated?  What was the miserable food the people detested?
21:6 Why would the LORD send poisonous snakes? You may want to take a look at the Hebrew text and consult the gleanings in the Torah. Maybe the people needed St. Patrick as their leader rather than Moses!
21:7 There is nothing like a few poisonous snakes to motivate people to repent.  Although it is part of the dubious “longer ending of Mark,” how might this passage influence our understanding of Mark 16:18?
21:8-9 What do you know about the psychological and spiritual symbolism of the rod of Asclepius?  What might Carl Jung have said about this passage?  Why did Moses make the serpent out of bronze when God had not said anything about bronze? Is there anything idolatrous about what Moses has fashioned?  See John 3:14.

PSALM 107:1-3, 17-22
107:1 Is it redundant to say that steadfast love endures forever?
107:2 Who are the redeemed of the LORD?
107:3 Note the four cardinal directions. This gathering from the four directions reminds me of an “Invitation to the Lord’s Table”. How did the redeemed become scattered?
107:17 Must illness always be a result of sin? What sin did I commit to recently give me a terrible head cold?
107:18 Why would someone loathe food?
107:19 When was the last time you cried to the LORD??
107:20 How can a word heal? I like the image of a healing word more than the image of a bronze snake on a poll (see Numbers 21:9).
107:21 What are the LORD’s wonderful works to humankind?
107:22 Are the LORD’s deeds the same as the LORD’s wonderful works? Songs of joy, imho, do not sound like funeral dirges.

EPHESIANS 2:1-10
2:1 What sort of death is the author writing about? What is the difference between trespasses and sins? Shall we read this in light of Psalm 107:17?
2:2 Who or what is the ruler of the power of the air? What about earth, fire and water?
2:3 Does this argument presumes a dichotomy between flesh and spirit? Is Paul saying that he was once disobedient?
2:4-5 How are mercy and grace related?
2:6 How can Paul speak of himself and those to whom he was writing in the present tense?
2:7 When and what are the ages to come? How many ages are there?
2:8 This might be one of the most important verses for Protestantism.
2:9 Why does Paul bring up works?
2:10 Is this a reference to the creation accounts of Genesis? The argument seems to be that once saved by grace, good works will follow. Therefore, by extension, good works are evidence of our salvation.

John 3:14-21
3:14 I love The Fourth Gospel! See Numbers 21:9. I think this is Midrash at its best! You may want to look at what John Sanford has to say about this passage in his Jungian/Psychological commentary on John entitled Mystical Christianity. Who is speaking in this verse? Does this verse lend support to crucifixes but not empty crosses?
3:15 Note that it is belief in the Son of Man, not merely looking upon him lifted up, that bestows eternal life.
3:16 Why do so many people quote this verse while ignoring the two verses before it? What is the meaning of “gave?” Should we read this in light of the akedah (Genesis 22:1-19)?
3:17 So why does so much of popular Christianity sound condemnatory?  What is the meaning of “the world?”
3:18 What is the source of condemnation? Is John saying that all are condemned prior to God sending the Son? What does it mean to believe in a name?
3:19 How can we talk about light and darkness while avoiding racial overtones?  Is “shadows” or “night” a better image than “darkness”?
3:20 But not all evil deeds are done at night. Some evil deeds are done in broad daylight but nevertheless concealed. How does light expose evil?
3:21 What if one does good deeds away from the light?

ADDENDUM
I am a Minister 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. My various blog posts have appeared on PRESBYTERIAN BLOGGERS and Appalachian Trials.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Lectionary Ruminations 2.5 for The 3rd Sunday in Lent (Year B)

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 20:1-17
The Big Ten is not a college athletic conference!
In 2015 I read this passage partially through the lens of Bruce Feiler’s 2001 best seller Walking the Bible because I finished reading it and watched a DVD of the PBS Documentary by the same name just a few days earlier. My interpretation of the Big Ten has also been influenced by Jan Milic Lochman’s Signposts to Freedom: The Ten Commandments and Christian Ethics, which I read years ago. How does what you have read, watched, or studied inform and influence how you read and interpret the biblical text?
20:1 How does God speak if God does not have a physical body with vocal chords? I like that these are referred to as “words” rather than commandments. Consider that in the First Creation Account of Genesis that God created by speaking.
20:2 Note that LORD appears in all uppercase letters. Why?
20:3 Do other people have another god or other gods? What other gods was the LORD God competing against in Exodus? What other gods does the LORD god compete against today?
Can we have other gods, lesser gods, after the LORD?
20:4 What is an idol? With all due respect to Plato, what would the form of something in heaven look like?  Is there any place other than heaven above, earth below, or water under the earth? How do Jews and Muslims handle this commandment?
20:5 Does the LORD experience emotions?  What other emotions might God experience? Would God not punish to the fifth generation? 
20:6 Wow, a factor of at least 250!
20:7 What is rightful use of the LORD’s name? What is the LORD’s name?
20:8 How do Christians justify worshiping on Sunday rather than Saturday? Can any day of the week be a person’s Sabbath if they are required to work on Saturday?
20:9 There goes the forty hour work week.
20:10 How do we distinguish between work and play? Where do hobbies and avocations fit in?
20:11Why did the LORD rest? Did the LORD need to rest?
20:12 How do children honor parents?  Is this word in effect only as long as our parents are living? Is this the only word out of the ten that comes with a cause and effect promise? What about abusive or neglectful parents?
20:13 What is murder? Is there a difference between murder and killing? How does the Just War Theory get around this?
20:14 What are the corollaries to this word? Can one argue that if sexual relations are reserved for marriage then marriage must include sexual relations? What about sex before marriage? What if one never marries?
20:15 Define theft.
20:16 Is it permissible to bear false witness against someone who is not your neighbor? Who is your neighbor?
20:17 Does it bother you that this word seems to categorize a wife as a piece of property? Is it permissible to covet something that belongs to a person who is not a neighbor?

PSALM 19
19:1 How do the heavens speak?  Is the Hubble Space Telescope a microphone for the heavens? Is there any difference between the heavens and the firmament?  Is the Glory of God the same as God’s handiwork?
19:2-4b What do you make of these verses?  What are they saying?  Is speech being poetically equated with knowledge?
19:4c-6 Do these verses presume a pre-Copernican universe? Why does the psalmist write about the sun but not the moon? Does the sun really rise or does it just appear to rise?
19:7-9 How many synonyms for “law” are there in these verses? Is “fear” in anyway a synonym for” law?” Do these verses justify the lectionary pairing this psalm with the Exodus 20:1-17 Reading?
19:10 At the close of the market on February 27, 2015 Gold was trading for $1212.60 an ounce. In 2012 it was $1,683.30 an ounce. Does the value of God’s law fluctuate with the marlet?  How sweet is honey?  Was there any other known sweetener at the time of the psalmist? I find the second half of this verse to be very sensual.
19:11 What is the reward?  Does this verse lead to works righteousness?
19:12 Do not forget the advice of the oracle at Delphi—“Know Thyself.” Are our faults sometimes hidden from us or do we simply refuse to acknowledge them?
19:13 Who are the insolent? So I shall be blameless if I stay away from the insolent?
19:14 Pet Peeve Alert!  This is not a Prayer for Illumination.  A Display of personal piety by praying a personal prayer aloud before reading Scripture has no place in worship or at the lectern or pulpit before preaching or the classroom before teaching. If you want to pray this silently before you preach or teach, fine, but I do not want to hear you pray aloud for yourself.

1 Corinthians 1:18-25
1:18 What is the message of the cross? How is it foolishness?
1:19 Where is this written? Note the chiastic structure here and throughout this passage.
1:20 Who is the one who is wise?  Certainly not Socrates! Who is the debater of this age?  Was Paul erecting a straw opponent or might he have had someone or something specific in mind?
1:21 Is Paul using wisdom in more than one sense? As an amateur philosopher, I am feeling a little hostility from and toward Paul at this point. Is Paul’s proclamation foolishness because his proclamation is about the cross?
1:22 And how shall we read John’s book of signs in light of this verse and argument? See John 2:18. What is wrong with wisdom? Is a stumbling block the antithesis of a sign?
1:23 How was Christ crucified a stumbling block and foolishness?
1:24 Can Reformed Christians claim this as a proof text for the doctrine of predestination?
1:25 How is God foolish and weak?

John 2:13-22
2:13 What does it mean to go “up” to Jerusalem?
2:14 Why would anyone sell cattle, sheep or doves in the temple?  Why were money changers present in the temple?
2:15 Did Jesus drive out only the sheep and the cattle, or did he also drive out people? What is the possible irony here?
2:16 Why were people selling doves? What is wrong with God’s house being a marketplace? How are today’s sanctuaries and churches marketplaces?
2:17 Where is this written?
2:18 See 1 Corinthians 1:22.
2:19 I doubt the Jews were asking for an after the fact sign.
2:20 Can we fault the Jews for hearing and understanding Jesus as they did? Was the Temple still under construction when this took place?
2:21 Dah! Really? Did we need to be told that? Do Christians really need an explanation or is this an example of pointing out the obvious? Does this verse add to or detract from the account? Can we cite this as an example of Jesus speaking figuratively rather than literally?
2:22 What was it about the resurrection that reminded the disciples about anything Jesus said?  What “scripture” did they believe? Is this remembering the same as the anamnesis of The Eucharist? Does this verse equate the word that Jesus had spoken with Scripture?

ADDENDUM
I am a Minister 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. My various blog posts have appeared on PRESBYTERIAN BLOGGERS and Appalachian Trials.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Silencing Fear and Doubt

            I enjoyed very little hiking during the six years I lived in the New York City Borough of Queens. The time and tolls it took to get out of the city to a trail head were prohibitive. Instead of hiking, I drove the toll-free forty five minutes to Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge where I paddled my sea kayak or sailed my twenty-four foot sailboat, but I missed hiking in the wilderness.

            When I left New York City and returned to West Virginia, I left my kayak, sail boat, and most of my outdoor gear behind. How could I go hiking? Making a bee line to the nearest REI to buy the ten essentials was easy. Overcoming the excuse of feeling I had lost my trail legs and allowed my wilderness hiking skills to atrophy were harder to overcome.

            During a mid-November stay at a cabin in West Virginia’s high alpine Canaan Valley, with the Dolly Sods Wilderness minutes away, I knew I had the minimum gear I needed for a day hike in the Sods; however, I still had some fear and doubt about my abilities. I was in my mid-fifties, over weight, and out of shape.  Even though I had previously hiked and/or backpacked every trail in Dolly Sods, I wasn’t feeling comfortable about the prospect of undertaking a solo six to seven mile day hike when daytime temperatures were predicted to stay below freezing, and there was an inch or two of freshly fallen snow on the ground.

            The Dolly Sods Wilderness can be unforgiving, especially from late fall into early spring. The area is prone to wild weather fluctuations and high winds. Nevertheless, I decided to confront my doubts and fears and to go hiking. I drove to the Laneville Cabin trail head at the southern end of Red Creek Trail and set out with the intention of making it to the top of Lion’s Head.

            Route finding along Red Creek Trail was easier than expected. I safely crossed Red Creek to access Big Stonecoal Trail. Employing the mountaineer’s rest step, I managed to ascend the steep climb without suffering a heart attack. I even enjoyed the sound of waterfalls cascading over the rocky ledges on nearby Stonecoal Creek as I hiked. Finding the side trail leading from the Rocky Point Trail to the top of Lion’s Head, I finally arrived at my destination, enjoyed the tremendous view, and reveled in the accomplishment. Then I headed back to the car, following the same route I had taken up.

            By the time I returned to the car, I wondered why I had ever doubted my ability to safely enjoy a solo Hike in the Dolly Sods wilderness in sub-freezing temperatures on freshly snow covered trails.  I was glad I had silenced and overcome the fear and doubt that almost prevented me from enjoying this wilderness adventure. Through that single day hike, I rediscovered and reclaimed my trail legs.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Lectionary Ruminations 2.5 for The 2nd Sunday in Lent (Year B)

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.

GENESIS 17:1-7, 15-16
17:1 Last week, we encountered Noah and Noahic Covenant.  This week, we encounter Abram and the Abrahamic Covenant.  How do these two covenants inform our understanding of Lent and Easter? Abram was only ninety-nine year old? Well, at least he was not one hundred years old! Will it be lost on most people that Abram’s name will be changed to Abraham?  What does it mean to walk before God?
17:2 Of all people, why did God Almighty choose Abram?
17:3 Why does Abram fall on his face? Why do we no longer fall on our faces when we encounter or come before God Almighty?
17:4 What is the meaning of “nations”? Both Jews and Arabs trace their lineage to Abram. Do any other nations or ethnic groups, other than Jews and Arabs, trace their roots back to Abram?
17:5 Why does God change Abram’s name to Abraham? What does a name change symbolize? Who else in the Hebrew Scriptures exeriences a name change? Who in the New Testament experiences a name change?Note the use of the past tense “I have made you”.
17:6 Will Abraham be exceedingly fruitful or will his descendants be exceedingly fruitful?
17:7 In verse 17:2 God Almighty promises to establish a covenant with Abraham.  In this verse, the promise is extended to Abraham’s offspring.
17:15 Why does God have Abraham change Sarai’s name to Sarah? Are there any other women in the Bible who experience a name change?
17:16 What is the difference between a covenant and a blessing? God will bless Sarah, but does God extend the covenant to Sarah? Who else will bear a son of Abraham?

PSALM 22:23-31
22:23 What does the psalmist mean by “fear”? Why does the psalmist refer to offspring of Jacob/Israel rather than Abraham?
22:24 Is the Psalmist the afflicted? How was this Psalm interpreted by early Christians?
22:25 What is the great congregation? What vows will be paid?
22:26 Why “poor” rather than “hungry” if the issue is their being fed? Shall anyone praise the LORD who do not seek the LORD?
22:27 How many ends of the earth are there? Remember what? Why “families of the nations” rather than just “nations”?
22:28 What is the meaning of dominion? I though dominion had been granted to humans.
22:29 Is life being contrasted with death? How can the dead bow down? How does the recent observance of Ash Wednesday affect how we read and hear this verse?
22:30 Is this promise for the church as much as for Abraham and his offspring? Who will tell future generations about the Lord?
22:31 How does one proclaim anything to a people yet unborn?

ROMANS 4:15-25
4:13 Did only Abraham have faith, or did his descendants also have faith? What came first, the promise or Abraham’s faith?
4:14 This sounds logical.
4:15 Again, this sounds logical. Whose wrath does the law bring?
4:16 What does Paul mean by “the faith of Abraham?” Note that adherents to the law are also guaranteed the promise.
4:17 Where is this written?
4:18 Is “hoping against hope” the same as “faith?”
4:19 Is hope or faith ever misplaced?
4:20 This sounds like faith is trust rather than assent to doctrine. Is distrust the opposite of faith? Is distrust the same as doubt?
4:21 God may be able to do what God promised, but does God always do what God is able to do?
4:22 What is Paul quoting?
4:23 How could anything written about Abraham be written for Abraham’s sake alone?
4:24 It seems Paul is now arguing that faith is belief rather than trust. How are belief and trust the same and how are they different? Does Paul call for faith in Jesus or the one who raised Jesus from the dead?
4:25 Must one believe only that Jesus was raised, or that he died for or trespasses and was raised for our justification? Does this passage assume only one particular theory of the Atonement?

Mark 8:31-38
8:31 Why does Jesus not begin to preach this until Chapter eight? How many people in the pews understand “Son of Man” language? How much time should a preacher spend in a sermon unpacking “Son of Man” language?
8:32 Did Jesus not always speak openly?  Why did Peter rebuke Jesus?
8:33 Note that Jesus look at the disciples rather than looking just at Peter when he rebuked Peter? What might be the multi-faceted meaning of “Get behind me Satan?” What are the “divine things” Peter out to be setting his mind on?
8:34 What cross? Is this the first time in Mark that Jesus or anyone else has mentioned a cross?
8:35 I think this is the kernel of wisdom in the husk of this passage. Was Peter seeking to save his own life or the life of Jesus?
8:36 Is this anything like the Faustian bargain?
8:37 Is this a rhetorical question?
8:38 Who might Jesus have in mind when he refers to those who are ashamed of him? Was this warning only for those in Jesus’ day, or for the readers Mark was writing to and for all generations? I can never recall being ashamed of Jesus but I have often been ashamed of what others, including the Church, have done, and are doing, in his name.

ADDENDUM
I am a Minister 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. My various blog posts have appeared on PRESBYTERIAN BLOGGERS and Appalachian Trials.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Still Tutoring

I started tutoring over eight years ago. Since then I have tutored students as young as sixth grade and as old as graduate students. I have tutored students in math, language arts, chess, philosophy, and theology. I have seen students raise their grade twenty-five points and two letter grades while I tutored them.

I am currently tutoring two female eighth graders who have been struggling with Algebra. I also first encountered Algebra in the eighth grade so I have empathy for these two teenagers, but my eighth grade Algebra course was forty-six years ago!

I excelled in high school math, acing the most difficult courses offered, as well as an optional course in slide rule back when we used those stone aged instruments instead of calculators. I did so well in my first year of college math that my professor had me tutoring students in the course the following fall. While I have not taken a math course in thirty-eight years, I still remember enough math, love math, and have maintained enough math proficiency to enable me to help both high school and college students with Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, and Algebra II.

I tutor each of my current students between one and two hours a session once a week, one Monday evenings and the other Tuesday evenings, both at a public library. I love helping them better understand and finally fully grasp often difficult algebraic concepts, from PEMDAS to linear equations, and quadratic equations to FOIL. I have come to realize that public school teachers often do not have the time or resources to devote to struggling students but that an hour or two of one-on-one tutoring can make a big difference.

I am offering my tutoring services to anyone within more-or-less a ten mile radius of Wellsburg, West Virginia. That includes Follansbee and Weirton, West Virginia and Steubenville, Ohio. If you or a person you know might benefit from tutoring, please visit this link to arrange for sessions.


https://www.wyzant.com/match/tutor/77187020

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Lectionary Ruminations 2.5 for the 1st Sunday in Lent (Year B)

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.

PREFACE
It is a subtle grammatical distinction that makes an important theological and liturgical point when we identify Sundays “in” Lent rather than “of” lent. Do I need to say more?

GENESIS 9:8-17
9:8 Why does God not address the women? Why are the sons not named?
9:9 This is the first, the Noahic, not the Abrahamic covenant. The Covenant with Abraham (and Sarah) came later.
9:10 What are the implications for an ecological ethic? “Every animal of the earth” reminds me of the Native American “All my relations.”
9:11 Apparently God did not know about global climate change.
9:12-13  And the name of this sign is Roy G. Biv! Note that the covenant is not just with Noah or Noah and animals but the earth.
9:14 What is the science behind this?
9:15-16 Would God forget with this sign to jog the divine memory?
9:17 Is the sign of the covenant anything like the sign (and seal) of a sacrament? By the 17th verse, I am starting to hear redundancies.
9:13-17 The rainbow is not there for us but for God, to remind God. Sacraments are not there for God but for us, to remind us.
9:8-17 It is unfortunate that this passage does not mention the number forty.

PSALM 25:1-10
25:1 I am used to hearing about the lifting up of the eyes and familiar with the lifting up hands.  I wonder how many instances there are of lifting up of the soul. How do we lift up our souls to the LORD?
25:2 What is more biblical, trusting in God or believing in God? What, in your mind, is the difference between “trust” and “belief?”
25:3 What does it mean to wait for God and in this context who is waiting for God?
24:4How can the LORD “make” us know?
24:5 How does the LORD “teach”? Note “wait” in this verse as well as 25:3.
25:6 This sounds like the Psalmist is trying to remind a forgetful God. Maybe the Psalmist needed a multi-colored reminder to set before God.
25:7 I guess it is all right for God to forget some things, like my sins, but not other things, like God’s mercy and steadfast love. Are the “sins of my youth” the same as youthful indiscretions?
25:8-9 What is God’s “way”?
25:10 How many paths of the LORD are there? Can this verse be used to defend religious and spiritual  pluralism?

1 PETER 3:18-22
3:18 Christ suffered for whose sins? Christ was “made” alive in the spirit?
3:19 What spirits in what prison? Does this account for the “he descended into hell” phrase in The Apostles’ Creed?
3:20 Was this Second Reading selected in light of the First Reading, or vice versa? I compliment Peter on his theological creativity and seeing in the story of Noah a prefiguration of Christian Baptism.
3:21 Baptism may not remove dirt but what about sin?  Whose good conscience is being referred to?
3:22 What “authorities and powers” might Peter have had in mind?

Mark 1:9-15
1:9 In what days? Why was Jesus baptized?
1:10 Who saw what? If you had been there, what would you have seen?
1:11 Who heard this voice? Whose voice was this? Will we hear anything like this again in Mark’s Gospel?
1:12 How many times in Mark do we find “immediately?” Why would the Spirit drive Jesus out into the wilderness? What do you think of when you hear “wilderness?”
1:13 Why “forty days” and not “forty days and nights”?  How was Jesus tempted by Satan? Mark does not enumerate or name them, only Matthew and Luke do. How shall we understand and interpret this “Satan?” Why does Mark mention that Jesus was with the wild beasts? How did the Angels “wait” on Jesus?
1:14 Why did Jesus not come to Galilee until after John was arrested?  Where was Jesus before he came to Galilee? What is the “good news of God?” For any news to be good one must recognize that things can always be better.
1:15 What time is fulfilled?

ADDENDUM
I am a Minister 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. My various blog posts have appeared on PRESBYTERIAN BLOGGERS and Appalachian Trials.