Monday, July 16, 2018
Lectionary Ruminations 2.5 for 17th 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.
11:1 Why was the spring the time when kings went out to battle? I thought spring was the time for romance. David had been a great military leader. Why does he now stay behind?
11:2 Was David a voyeur? Was he looking for a beautiful woman? Did this beautiful woman know that the king could see her from the king’s roof?
11:3 Does it make any difference that this was the daughter of Eliam, or that her husband was a Hittite? What is a Hittite?
11:4 One has to love biblical euphemisms! What was the sin here—David and Bathsheba committing adultery, or the two of them having sex when she was possibly not yet fully ritually pure?
11:5 And this was before home pregnancy tests!
11:6 Why did David send for Uriah?
11:7 Did David send for Uriah simply so he could ask these questions?
11:8 Once again, another biblical euphemism! I wonder about the nature of the present?
11:9 Why did Uriah not go sleep with his wife in his own home?
11:10 Was this a rhetorical question or was it asked for the reader’s benefit?
11:11 There is your answer to the question I asked related to verse 9, but would David not have known this without asking?
11:12 Why would David want Uriah to remain in Jerusalem another day?
11:13 Why did David get Uriah drunk?
11:14-15 How ironic is this? Why does David want Uriah to die?
11:6-15 David stands out on the royal balcony and proclaims to the crowd “I am not a crook!” Can you spell “c-o-v-e-r-u-p”? What was worse, David’s sin of adultery, David arranging for the death of Uriah, or the terrible web of cover up and deceit?
14:1 Apparently atheists but not agnostics are, according to the psalmist, fools? I can agree with the first line, but not the second and third.
14:2 OK, I know, it is trite, but I am reminded of the Advent/Christmas saying “The Wise (Magi) Still Seek Him.”
14:3 Who have all gone astray? This reads like an indictment of all humanity.
14:4 How does one eat people like bread. Who is “they?”
14:5 Where is “there?”
14:6 This sounds like another Scripture passage for the 99%.
14:7 And when will that deliverance and restoration come? When will it take place?
3:14 For what reason?
3:15 What does this mean?
3:16 What is the inner being?
3:17 What does the heart represent?
3:18 Four dimensions! I regularly pray that those who worship where I preach and lead worship will have the power to comprehend. Is lack of comprehension on the part of some the only problem preachers and teachers face?
3:19 What does it mean for something to surpass knowledge? What is beyond knowing?
3:20 What power is at work within us?
3:21 How long would all generations be?
6:1 After what? Why did this sea have at least two names?
6:2 What is a “large” crowd? In the context of this gospel, what are “signs”?
6:3 What mountain? Note that Jesus was with his disciples, but apparently not the crowd.
6:4 How near? So what?
6:5 If Jesus was on a mountain, why did he look up to see people coming toward him? It seems like he should look down. Why ask Philip and not another one of the disciples? Was it the responsibility of Jesus and the disciples to feed the crowd?
6:6 What was Jesus going to do? How does Jesus test us?
6:7 By today’s standards, six month’s wages at minimum wage would be over $7,500. How much bread could you buy with that and how many people could you feed?
6:8 Why Andrew? I wonder if Andrew ever grew tired of being identified as Simon Peter’s brother. I wonder if Simon Peter was ever identified as Andrew’s bother.
6:9 Jesus asked about bread, not fish and bread. Is there anything significant about five loaves and two fish? Is there any significance to the bread being barely loaves? What do you know about Tabgha? I wonder how Andrew found out about this boy.
6:10 Why the comment about there being a lot of grass? $7,500/5000 = $ 1.50 / person.
6:11 What about people who might be still be standing even though they were told to sit? Is this why we generally sit in the pews (not grass) to receive the Eucharist? Does this sound like Eucharistic language to you?
6:12 Why should no bread or fish be lost?
6:13 Is there any significance to there being twelve baskets? Was there no fish left over?
6:14 Do all “signs” lead to this public pronouncement of faith?
6:15 When did Jesus withdraw from the mountain? The people wanted to make Jesus King and he had not yet even given them a circus, just a free meal!
6:17 Is there a subtext to the phrase “It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them?”
6:18 Is the “strong wind” a metaphor for the Holy Spirit or might it symbolize something else, or was it just a comment about the weather?
6:19 Why were they terrified?
6:2o What might “It is I” allude to?
6:21 Did they take Jesus into the boat or not? Was the boat immediately reaching land another sign?
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.