Monday, October 8, 2018

Lectionary Ruminations 2.5 for the 29th 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 38:1-7 (34-41)
38:1 What is a whirlwind and what was the was the LORD doing in one?
38:2 This almost sounds like a riddle Bilbo would ask Gollum. What examples are there today of words without knowledge?  What is the difference between a word with and without knowledge?
38:3 Whose masculinity was in question?  Is this going to be a trial or an interrogation?
38:4 And the answer is? What are the foundations of the earth?
38:5-7 How would you classify these questions? How would you answer them?
(38:34-41) Who asks these kind of questions anymore? I see a lot of “storm god” imagery in these verses.

PSALM 104:1-9, 24, 35c
104:1-4 Can you find all four classical elements—earth, air, water, and fire—in this reading?
104:1-9 How can urbanized, industrialized, postmodern Christianity, far from understanding the world in terms of the three tiered depths/earth/heaven, still find any meaning in this psalm?
104:24 There are fewer species on the earth today than there once were.
104: 35c I think the lectionary includes only “Praise the LORD!” and not what comes before it. What is the difference between “Bless the LORD” in 104:1 and “Praise the LORD!” in 104: 35c?
104:1-9, 35c: Does this Reading call us to be more environmentally aware, or does environmental awareness influence how we might interpret this Reading?

HEBREWS 5:1-10
5:1 Who are our high priests today? In what ways are you like a high priest? Does this language and imagery even make any sense in a postmodern world?
5:2 Who are the ignorant and wayward of our day?
5:3 The sins of some high priests or religious leaders seem more pronounced than others, yet all are sinners. How do we deal with the ancient concept of sacrifice?
5:4 I think anyone who desires to be a high priest or religious leader of any faith tradition, without a little fear and trepidation about serving as one, is headed for trouble. Was Aaron a priest according to the order of Melchizedeck?
5:5 Who said this to Christ, and when and where?
5:6 Where might this other place be?  Who was Melchizedek?  This has got to be one of the most bizarre, mysterious verses of Scripture and it is one of my favorites.
5:7 what is the difference between a prayer and a supplication?
5:8 Note that “Son” is capitalized.
5:9 How was Jesus made perfect?  Was he not perfect before being made perfect?  What is the meaning of perfection?
5:10 In addition to Melchizedek and Jesus, who else might have been or is a high priest according to the order of Melchizedeck?

MARK 10:35-45
10:35 Could anyone else other than these two have asked this question?
10:36 Did the Teacher not know their hearts and minds?
10:37 Had their Teacher granted their request, would the brothers have been content with where Jesus sat them? Were the brothers perhaps asking Jesus to settle a sibling rivalry? How would the other disciples have felt about this?
10:38 What cup?  John’s baptism?
10:39 Were James and John being arrogant or were they being realistic? Does Jesus’ statement make sense considering his previous question?
10:40 For whom do you think it has been prepared?
10:41 Is there more than math going on here?
10:42 To whom was Jesus referring?
10:43-44 The classic reversal. Of whom might Jesus be thinking?
10:45 Assuming Jesus is talking about himself, why did he always refer to himself as the Son of Man?  Does this verse rule out any but a ransom theory of the Atonement?
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 PRESBYTERIAN BLOGGERS and The Trek.

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