Monday, June 25, 2018

Lectionary Ruminations 2.5 for 14th 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 5:1-5, 9-10
5:1 All the tribes, or representatives of all the tribes?  Why Hebron?
5:2 Could someone be putting words into the tribes’ mouths?
5:3 Is this the only instance of a covenant not involving God, or does making a covenant between people before God count as involving God?
5:4 According to the US Constitution, David would have been five years too young to be President of the United States.
5:5 Why did David first rule from Hebron and later move to Jerusalem?
5:9 what was the condition and status of Jerusalem before David took up residence there? What and where is the Millo?
5:10 Did David become more powerful because God was with him or did people think God was with him because David was becoming more powerful?

48:1 Where is the city of our God? What is God’s holy mountain?
48:2 What and where is Zion? Who is the great king?
48:3 Is there a difference between a citadel and a fortress? Does God need a defense?
48:4 What kings and what alliance is being referred to?
48:5 Could this verse be alluding to the siege of Tiglath-Pileser?
48:6 I would appreciate some women commenting on the simile.
48:7 Were ships of Tarshish ever shattered? What and where is Tarshish?
48:8 The United States has never really had a religious center or religious capital. What about other countries?
48:9 Do you ever ponder? Do you ever meditate in the sanctuary?
48:10 Another slight toward left-handedness?
48:11 Compared to Jerusalem, are all other habitations mere towns?
48:12 How many towers were around Zion?
48:13 What is the difference between a rampart and a citadel?
48:14 I would expect “defender” rather than “guide.”

12:2 This must be one of the stranger and more bizarre verses in the New Testament.  Have you ever had an out of the body experience?  How many heavens are there? Could this be autobiographical?
12:3 Are you losing track of what Paul knows and does not know?
12:4 How does Paul know this? Is Paradise the same as heaven?
12:5 Why would Paul boast about the people he has just described? Why would Paul boast about his weaknesses?
12:6 Has Paul just tooted his own horn?
12:7 What revelations is he referring to? What do you make of this thorn?  Why did Paul think this thorn was a messenger of Satan?
12:8 Only three times? Did Paul not have faith that it would be taken away?
12:9 Paul will not boast about his greatness but rather about his weakness. I think he is still boasting.
12:10 Poor Paul. Is he asking for a pity party?

Mark 6:1-13
6:1 Jesus left where? Where was his hometown? What are the possible meanings of “followed?”
6:2 When was the last time anyone was astounded by your teaching?  How would YOU answer the questions asked in this verse?
6:3 You mean Jesus was not an only child?  That his brothers but not his sisters are named is an example of the patriarchy of the times. Why did his family take offense at him?
6:4 What prophets might Jesus have been referring to? Did Jesus consider himself a prophet?
6:5 As if laying your hands on a few people and healing them is something minor.
6:6 Whose lack of faith, his family’s or that of other hometown folk?
6:7 Why two by two?
6:8-9 Why these instructions?  How could they be expected to accomplish their mission without any provisions or a building and/or sanctuary? Was Jesus sending them out to be beggars? How might these instructions be related to the detachment of the contemplative tradition?
6:11 Enacting this verse can be quite cathartic. Believe me, I know!
6:12 Was this preaching any different than the preaching of John the Baptizer?
6:13 Why do Presbyterians not do more anointing with oil? Why do Presbyterians generally not drive out demons?

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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