Monday, April 2, 2018

Lectionary Ruminations 2.5 for The 3rd Sunday of Easter (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.

ACTS 3:12-19
3:12 When Peter saw what? What people did Peter address? Who walked?
3:13 What about Sarah, Rebecca, Leah, Rachel, Zilpa and Bilha?
3:14 How often do we make liturgical use of “the Holy and Righteous One?”
3:15 Is this the only occurrence of “Author of life?” How often do use that phrase liturgically? What had Peter and the others (Who were the others?) witnessed, the killing, the rising, or both?
3:16 Whose faith, Peter’s or the man’s?  What is faith in a name? Could this verse lead to using the name of Jesus simply as part of an incantation? What is faith that is through Jesus?
3:17 Why does Peter address the people as “friends”? Is ignorance any excuse?
3:18 Is “all the prophets” hyperbole?
3:19 Repent of or from what? Does “wiped out” suggest any sense of washing or cleansing?

4:1 God of my right? What about God of my left?  What does the Psalmist mean by “You gave me room?”
4:2 Are vain words the same as lies?
4:3 What does it mean to be set apart by the LORD? Who are the faithful?
4:4 Sin only when you are not disturbed?  Does being disturbed promote sin? Ponder what? Can this verse be used in support of contemplative prayer or even mindfulness meditation?
4:5 What are “right sacrifices?” How could right sacrifices be offered after the destruction of the Second Temple?
4:6 Who were these “many?” Is there a difference between seeing the face of the LORD and the light of the LORD’s face shining on you?
4:7 Who are the they of “their?” Is the LORD the generator or source of our emotions?
4:8 Might this have been a Psalm associated with evening prayers?
4:1-8 Why was this Psalm paired with the First Reading?  What is their theological or thematic unity? 

1 JOHN 3:1-7
3:1 It is one thing to be called a child of God. It is another thing altogether actually to be one.
3:2 Who is the “he” yet to be revealed?  Does the writer have another—a second—revelation in mind, or is this Christ’s return?
3:3 Why the emphasis on purity? Does hope purify?
3:4 I thought sin was separation from God.  John’s definition of sin seems more instrumental and less existential than I am comfortable with. It is, however, one of the shortest definitions I know of.
3:5 John defined “sin” in the previous verse but writes about “sins” in this verse. What is the difference between sins (plural) and sin (singular)?
3:6 This reads like pretty strong language, especially when, as a Reformed Christian I believe that we all sin and fall short of the glory of God. What does “abide” mean and what is it all about?
3:7 What is the difference between being a child and a little child?  Does this verse, especially in light of verse 4, lead to a theology of works righteousness?

LUKE 24:36b-48
24:36b Where was Jesus standing and among whom was he standing?  What is the meaning of “peace be with you” and does it mean anything more than usual when spoken by the resurrected Jesus?
24:37 What is the difference between being “startled” and being “terrified”? Have you ever thought you saw a ghost?
24:38 What doubts was Jesus referring to? Does fear necessarily give rise to doubt?
24:39 The resurrected Jesus may have had flesh and bones, but resurrected flesh and bones, and therefore something inherently different than our pre-resurrected flesh and bones.
24:41 How does joy exist in the midst of disbelief and wonder? Do ghosts hunger?
24:42 Why do we not have the tradition of serving broiled fish on Easter morning or some other time on Easter?
24:43 Do ghosts eat?
24:44 The fish are Jesus’ words? The actions are his words? What was he talking about? Note the threefold TANAKH – Law, Prophets, and Writings.
24:45 How does Jesus open OUR minds to understand the scriptures? Why do our minds need opened?
24:46-47 Where is this written?
24:48 Witnesses of what things?
24:36b-48 Why does Luke tell us about broiled fish rather than bread. Is the author substituting fish for bones bread and wine, or are there no Eucharistic overtones here?

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.

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