Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Lectionary Ruminations 2.5 for 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time (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.

2 SAMUEL 1:1, 17-27
1:1 Why Ziklag and why two days?
1:17 What does “intoned” mean?
1:18 I envision an Indiana Jones sequel entitled “Searching for the Book of Jashar.”
1:19 Note that in the NRSV verses 19-27 are formatted as poetry, not prose. What does “high places” refer to?
1:20 Why not in Gath and Ashkelon?
1:21 Where is Gilboa?
1:22 Why did Jonathan have a bow when Saul had a sword?
1:23 Where else do we find eagle and lion imagery?
1:24 Who are the daughters of Zion?
1:25 Note the refrain of 1:19. Is David lamenting and praising Jonathan more than Saul?
1:26 What does David me when he says “passing the love of women?”
1:27 How many times have we now heard the refrain “How the mighty have fallen”?  Why is it repeated?

130:1 Where are the depths and how deep are they?
130:2 How do we deal with Psalms that anthropomorphize God? Does God have physical ears?
130:3 Does God mark, or not mark, iniquities?
130:4 Keep in mind that this “forgiveness” proceeds the ministry of Jesus.
130:5-6 What does it mean to “wait for the LORD”?  I am inclined to think of contemplative prayer.
130:7 This psalm already introduced forgiveness in 130:4.  Now it introduces love and redemption.  This sounds like New Testament Christian theology to me.
130:8 What were Israel’s iniquities?

8:7 What generous undertaking would that be?
8:8 In other words, I do not have the power to command you, but I can embarrass you. This sounds a little like a televangelist.
8:9 Let’s pour on the guilt.  Is this Paul’s idea of a Stewardship sermon? How was Jesus rich?
8:10-11 Is Paul reminding the Corinthians of a previous but unfulfilled financial pledge?
8:13-14 This is beginning to sound like a sermon to the 1% about helping the 99%.
8:15 Some inequality is ok, but not extreme wealth in the midst of extreme poverty? Where is this written? How much to too much?

Mark 5:21-43
5:21 When had Jesus crossed before? The other side of what?
5:22 Why would Jairus fall at the feet of Jesus? I wonder which synagogue Jairus was a ruler of?
5:23 What is so special about the laying on of hands?  Why do Presbyterians not usually associate prayer for healing with the laying on of hands when it is so biblical?
5:24 When does a crowd become large? Note that it was great crowd in 5:21 but now it is a large crowd.
5:25-34 Why does this account interrupt the story?
5:25 Is there anything special about “twelve years”?
5:26 It seems medical care for the poor has not progressed much. When portrayed as a healer, is Jesus also portrayed as a physician?
5:27 What had she heard?  Why did she touch his cloak? IS there anything special about cloaks?
5:28 What would lead the women to think and believe this?
5:29 What do you make of “immediately?”
5:30 What might power going forth from oneself feel like?
5:31 There is touching and there is “touching.”
5:32 Why did Jesus want to know who touched him?
5:33 Why fear and trembling?
5:34 Is this not an after the fact proclamation? Who or what was the agent of healing? Was it Jesus? Whas it Jesus’ clothes? Was it the woman’s faith?
5:35 As I was saying … back to the main story.
5:36 Are the words “Do not fear, only believe” meant for Jairus or for someone else? Had the woman of 5:25-34 conquered fear and embraced belief?
5:37 An example of the inner three being given an inside track. Why are we told who John’s brother was?
5:38 The people are in mourning. Why do westerners, especially we Presbyterians, not mourn like this?
5:39 What is the difference between death and sleep?  I hate the euphemism putting pets “to sleep” and prefer the verb “euthanize.”
5:40 Weeping and wailing turn to laughter but for all the wrong reasons. Why does Jesus send away all but a few?
5:41 Why take her by the hand?  Why might the gospel preserve the original Aramaic?
5:42 When was the last time you, or anyone you know, were overcome with amazement?
5:43 Why would Jesus order that “no one should know this?”  Know what?

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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