Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Lectionary Ruminations 2.5 for the 28th 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 23:1-9, 16-17
23:1 Whom is Job answering?
23:2 What is Job’s complaint? What is a “bitter” complaint? Whose hand is heavy?
23:3 Whom does Job not know where to find?
23:4 Job is sounding like a trial attorney.
23:5 Is Job seeking understanding?
23:6 Why does Job think he would not be contended with?
23:7 Could any person who is not upright contend with such greatness and power?
23:8-9 Has Job really gone in all directions? Like the Khan character in The Wrath of Khan, Job seems to be a two-dimensional thinker. In a Copernican universe, three dimensions might be enough, but in a post-Einstein universe, we must posit at least four dimensions. Where do we look for God in a four or more-dimensional universe?
23:16 Is Job’s terror anything like Rudolph Otto’s Mysterium Tremendum?
23:17 Does Job’s “if only” indicate the futility of trying to hide from God?
22:1 Where have we heard this before? It seems like we hear this at least every three years if not more often. I think it was John Shelby Spong that taught me to read the Passion narratives as Midrash on Psalm 22.
22:2 How many times have you felt this way?
22:3 I think this “yet” is a one-word statement of faith.
22:4 Is this only an appeal to salvation history?
22:5 Is the psalmist perhaps trying to play on God’s emotions?
22:6 But I am not like my ancestors?
22:7 I have a hunch the psalmist is talking about more than just popularity.
22:8 Who or what is being quoted? Does the Psalmist assume, or do the people assume that God delights in the Psalmist?
22:9 God takes us from the womb?
22:10 This reads as if life, if not faith, begins at birth, not conception.
22:11 How far is too far?
22:12 What is a bull of Bashan?
22:13 Why talk about bulls as if they were lions?
22:14 Are these mixed metaphors/images? What does it mean to be poured out like water? What does it mean for a heart to be melted?
22:15 Give this Psalmist a drink of cool, refreshing water of life, please!
4:12 How can a word, any word, be living and active? What does it mean to separate soul from spirit? Is this word a written word, a spoken word, or both? Or more than both?
4:13 Were Adam and Eve still naked even after they attempted to cover themselves?
4:14 What is a high priest? What is a great high priest? Why the plural “heavens?” How many heavens are there? What confession?
4:15 Are there high priests who are unable to sympathize with our weaknesses? Is there a difference between being tested and being tempted? Must a high priest, or any priest for that matter, be without sin?
4:16 In the context of this verse, how do you define “boldness?” Who sits on the throne of grace and where is it?
10:17 Who was setting out, where was he setting out from, and where was he heading to? What sort of journey? Is there any significance to the man using the word “inherit?” What words, other than “inherit” do we usually hear associated with “eternal life?”
10:18 What has the Church and Christian community not learned from this verse?
10:19 Why does Jesus refer only to the second tablet of the law rather than both tablets?
10:20 This man is a saint!
10:21 The conundrum: give away your riches and you will have what you lack.
10:22 Was he grieving because he gave up eternal life for riches, or because he gave up riches for eternal life?
10:23 Do you hear this, 1%? Is the kingdom of God the same as eternal life?
10:24 Why were the disciples perplexed? The kingdom of heaven must be like flying with all one’s possessions in a carry on. Are we, as well, perplexed by this verse?
10:25 A few years ago I learned that is easier to drive a car through the Queens Blvd. overpass on the Jackie Robinson Pkwy in Queens than it is for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.
10:26 Is the answer not obvious? The poor can be saved.
10:27 So even God can enable a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God?
10:28 Peter, also known as the “open mouth, insert foot” disciple, offers his two cents worth.
10:29 What relative is not mentioned?
10:30 When is “this age?” I can do without the persecution part. What and when is the age to come?
10:31 The classical Christian inversion.
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 .