Monday, April 23, 2018

Lectionary Ruminations 2.5 for The 6th 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 10:44-48
10:44 How does the Holy Spirit fall?  Does “hearing” refer to a physical or a spiritual phenomenon, or both?
10:45 Where there uncircumcised believers? Think carefully about your answer. When was the last time someone in your worshiping community was astounded?  What is the gift of the Holy Spirit and how is it poured out?
10:46 What was more astounding, the people speaking in tongues, or the people extolling God?I wonder if speaking in tongues is a spiritual practice in any faith other than Christianity.
10:47 Is this a rhetorical question? Here is an example of people receiving the Holy Spirit before they were baptized, but there are other instances in Acts where people are baptized and then receive the Holy Spirit. Is this passage the proof text for those Christians who insist on tongue speaking as proof of spiritual preparation for baptism?
10:48 How do we reconcile baptism “in the name of Jesus Christ” with Trinitarian baptismal formula?

PSALM 98
98:1 What makes song new?  Are old songs not good enough?  How can we talk about God’s right hand and holy arm without over anthropomorphizing God?  Is this a right hand conspiracy?
98:2 How has the LORD revealed vindication? What victory might the psalmist be referring to?
98:3 Is it possible for the LORD to not to remember?
98:4 What sort of noise is joyful?  Does “all the earth” refer only to human beings or to all living creatures? Could “all the earth” also refer to waterfalls, wind, the sound of waves breaking on a sandy beach, and other natural sounds?
98:5-6 What?  No organ?  No piano? No guitar? No drums?
98:7 I think the question I raised in relation to 98:4 has been answered.
98:8 I have heard floods literally clap, but I have never heard hills literally, only metaphorically, sing. Was this verse the inspiration for the movie title The Sound of Music?
98:9 Will God judge all the earth, or only human beings? Is the psalmist making any distinction between the earth and the world? 

1 JOHN 5:1-6
5:1 Is it also true that everyone born of God believes that Jesus is the Christ?  Is being “born of God” the same as being born anew, or born from above?
5:1-2 Note the transition from the singular “child” to the plural “children.”  To what commandments is the author referring?
5:3 Would Paul agree that the commandments are not burdensome?
5:4 What is the meaning of “conquer?”  What is the meaning of “faith?” Is it faith that conquers?
5:5 Is there a difference between believing and saying that “Jesus is the Son of God?” Is  this verse asking a rhetorical question?
5:6 To what is the author referring when writing about “water and the blood?”  How does the “Spirit” testify?  What does the author mean “the Spirit is the truth?”

John 15:9-17
15:9 Who is speaking?  How does one abide in anyone’s love? What does it mean to abide?
15:10 Whose commandments?  What are these commandments?  If we keep the Son’s commandments, can we then ignore the Father’s commandments? What is the difference between the Son’s commandments and the Father’s commandments?
15:11 Is your joy complete?
15:12 Is this the answer to my question raised in relation to 15:10? But 15:10 spoke of commandments in the plural. In this verse, commandment is singular.
15:13 What does it mean to lay down one’s life?
15:14 So this friendship is conditional?
15:15 Did Jesus ever call people servants? Jesus may have told his disciples everything but they rarely understood what they were hearing.
15:16 This is sounding very Reformed and Presbyterian!  The Father will give us whatever we ask only if we bear everlasting fruit? What does it mean to ask “in my name?”
15:17 I heard only one command in 15:12, so why the switch back to the plural “commands?”

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.

1 comment:

Chris Glaser said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog! I like your blog--extremely thoughtful and thought provoking. Thanks for letting me know about it. Keep up the good work! http://chrisglaser.blogspot.com