Monday, September 24, 2018
Lectionary Ruminations 2.5 for the 27th 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.
JOB 1:1, 2:1-10
1:1 This is a very long verse and sounds like “once upon a time?” What do you know about the land of Uz? What does it mean that Job “feared God?”
2:1 How many heavenly beings are there? What is the meaning of the name “Satan?” Why was Satan among the heavenly beings? What are heavenly beings?
2:2 Would not an omniscient God not have to ask this question? Do I hear an echo of Genesis 3:9? Did Satan prefer the earth to heaven?
2:3 Why did the LORD bring up the topic of Job? Since Satan had just been on the earth, is this a put down of Satan, God saying to Satan “Job is better than you?”
2:4 What is the meaning of “skin for skin?”
2:5 What does it mean to touch bone and flesh?
2:6 Is this going to be a test of Job’s integrity or Satan’s power? Is God testing, even tempting, Satan?
2:7 Is there a double meaning to the phrase “Satan went out from the presence of the LORD?”
2:8 Some days, anyone of us may feel like Job. Why was Job sitting among the ashes?
2:9 Was Job’s wife also tempting him?
2:10 Job is, above all, a man of clear logic. Job may not have sinned with his lips, but what about with his heart or mind? Could Job curse God and live?
26:1 This indeed sounds like something Job might have said. What does it mean to be vindicated by the LORD?
26:2 What about “lead me not into temptation?” Did the Psalmist have a martyr complex?
26:3 Is claiming to walk in faithfulness an example of religious/spiritual arrogance?
26:4 Could Jesus have said this?
26:5 Would Jesus have so boasted?
26:6 This Psalmist is beginning to sound not only arrogant but self-righteous. I think this might be my least favorite Psalm!
26:7 What are God’s wondrous deeds?
26:8 Can we truly say this when God is omnipresent? This seems to reflect worship of a domesticated God confined to the Temple rather than a wild and primitive wandering God sometimes abiding in a tent, sometimes a cloud, and sometimes a column of fire.
26:9 How might “the day of the Lord” inform our understanding of this verse?
26:10 What are evil devices?
26:11 Is the Psalmist pleading his case before God’s bench?
26:12 What does “level ground” suggest or represent? What is “the great congregation?”
HEBREWS 1:1-4; 2:5-12
1:1 “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...." So sorry, wrong story. What ways did God speak by the prophets? Where and how does God speak today? Where do we see and hear God?
1:2 What does the author mean by “last days?” Why the plural “worlds?”
1:3 What is the difference between a reflection and an imprint? What is his powerful word? Does “purification for sins” presume any particular understanding of the Atonement?
1:4 What name did he inherit and from whom did he inherit it?
2:5 What is the coming world? Read this in light 1:2.
2:6-8 What is the source of this saying?
2:7 How are humans crowned with glory and honor?
2:8 Are all things really subjected to humans? Will all things someday be subjected to humans?
2:9 Where do we see Jesus today? Is death always a form of suffering, or in his death did Jesus suffer in a way that no human has suffered?
2:10 Who are God’s many children? What is perfection? Note the plural “sufferings.” Why was it fitting?
2:11 We are all one family.
2:12 Where in the Gospels does Jesus say this? What congregation?
10:2 How many Pharisees, two, twenty, two hundred? Were the Pharisees seeking to “test” Jesus as God tested Job and the Psalmist? What could Jesus know about a man having a wife?
10:3 What did Moses, or what did God command you?
10:4 So much for family values.
10:5 Is this the only commandment due to our hardness of heart?
10:6 Which creation account does this presuppose?
10:7 Does a woman not also leave her parents?
10:8 What if the couple do not enjoy or engage in sexual intercourse?
10:9 What about conjoined twins?
10:10 In whose house? Where the disciples also seeking to test Jesus?
10:11 What about a wife who divorces her husband?
10:12 The question is answered. Did Moses say anything about a wife divorcing her husband?
10:11-13 Have Biblical literalists arguing against same sex marriage ignored the fact that Jesus said nothing about same sex marriage but rather said this about heterosexual marriage and divorce?
10:13 Ouch. This sounds ugly considering reported sexual abuse of young boys by clergy and football coaches. I would prefer “laying on of hands” rather than “touch.” What is appropriate touch and what is not? Personally, I do not want to live in a touchless world.
10:14 How can the kingdom of God belong to little children? Can we grow too big or too old for God’s kingdom? What does this say about removing or excusing children from worship for “children’s church?”
10:15 I think a whole sermon could be preached based on this single verse.
10:16 Who do we bless and how do we bless them?
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. Some of my other blog posts have appeared on and .