Monday, July 2, 2018

Lectionary Ruminations 2.5 for 15th 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 6:1-5, 12b-19
6:1 Was one of those 30,000 named Indiana Jones?  Is there any significance to the number 30,000? I wonder what it meant to be a chosen man.
6:2 Where is Baale-judah and what does the name mean?  What are cherubim, where were they, and how was God enthroned upon them?
6:3 Why a new cart and not an old cart? Who was Abinadab and why had the ark of God been in his house?
6:4 If Ahio went out in front, did Uzzah follow behind?
6:5 What might this dance have looked and sounded like? Can you imagine Sunday morning worship being anything like what is here described?
6:12b I though the ark had been in the house of Abinadab.  Who was Obed-edom and why was the ark of God in his house?  What took place in the verses, 6-12a (that are not part of the lectionary) that could explain this?
6:13 Why make a sacrifice after six paces?  Why not four paces, or seven or eight? Why make a sacrifice at all?
6:14 Déjà vu.  What is an ephod?
6:15 I wonder what this shouting sounded like.
6:16 Why might Michal have despised David?
6:17 What is an offering of well-being?
6:18 Was David acting as if he were a priest?
6:19 What do you make of the distribution of food? Is the food at all symbolic?

24:1 Is there any difference between “the earth” and “the world” or is this just an example of Hebraic poetic structure? Might we be reading this verse differently in light of Laudato Si’?
24:2 Are “seas” and “rivers” another example of Hebraic poetic structure? How does this reflect the Hebrew cosmology of that day?
24:3 Are “hill of the LORD” and “holy place” yet one more example of Hebraic poetry? Is this a reference to Jerusalem and Zion?
24:4 More poetic doublets.
25:5 And yet more poetic doublets.
25:6 And again. How does one seek the face of God? How do you handle “Selah?
24:7-10 I think these verses were mis-numbered.  Where four verses exist, we ought to have six.  It is too late to change versification now, however.  How does the First Reading influence your reading and interpretation of this Psalm?
24:7 Who is the King of glory? Does God really need open doors in order to enter in?
24:8 Is this a rhetorical question or a form of call and response? What battle might this psalm be referring to?
24:9-10 Redundancy or refrain?

1:3 This sounds to me like a liturgical formula.
1:4 This sounds to me like predestination, or am I just reading it as a Presbyterian?
1:5 What is the difference between destined and predestined?
1:6 Who is the “Beloved?”  Is this an allusion to the Song of Songs?
1:7 How does blood redeem? Does this verse suggest any particular theory of the Atonement?
1:8 What do you make of “lavished?” What is the difference between wisdom and insight?
1:9 What is the mystery of God’s will? If we now know it, how is it a mystery?
1:10 Does “all things” suggest a universalism? What and when is the fullness of time?
1:11 Same question as for verse 5. What have we inherited?
1:12 Who are “we” and in what why were “we” first?
1:13 How is the Holy Spirit a seal that marks?
1:14 What is “the pledge of our inheritance?”

Mark 6:14-29
6:14 Herod heard of what?  What does it mean for a name to become known?  I have a hunch it is more than Andy Warhol’s fifteen minutes of fame.  Could anyone have been saying that “John the baptizer has been raised from the dead” if there had not been a fertile soil for belief in the resurrection?
6:15 Of all the Prophets, why Elijah?  Who were “the prophets of old?”
6:16 What might have been going on in Herod’s mind?
6:17-19 Is this discourse really necessary for telling the Gospel story?
6:20 Did anyone ever refer to Jesus as a “righteous and holy man?”
6:21-29 More backstory? Does this backstory further the Gospel?
6:29 Whose disciples?  This is not an example of déjà vu but prefiguring and sounds like language used to refer to Jesus after his death. I have a hunch there was more to the interrelationship between John and Jesus and their ministries than the Gospels tell us about.
6:14-29 You be the judge: Is this passage more about John the Baptizer than it is about Jesus? Why would the author of Mark feel compelled to include all these details about John in a Gospel about Jesus?

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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