Monday, October 8, 2018

Lectionary Ruminations 2.5 for the 30th 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 42:1-6, 10-17
42:1 What question was Job answering?
42:2 What would you answer The LORD? Is this a variation of the classic question “Can God make a rock so heavy that God cannot lift it?”
42:3 Is Job eating humble pie?
42:4 Is Job planning to cross examine God?
42:5 What is the difference between hearing with the ear and seeing with the eye?  Hearing is a classic Semitic posture.  Seeing is a classic Greek posture. Do we need both?
42:6 Despicable me?
42:10 What is the moral of this story?  What lesson has been learned and is being taught?
42:11 The LORD had brought evil upon Job?
42:12-13 Are these numbers symbolically significant?
42:14 What do these names mean? Why are only the daughters named?
42:15 Did daughters usually receive an inheritance?
42:16 is 140 symbolically significant?  Should it be taken literally?
42:17 We have a happy ending, but Job still dies.

PSALM 34:1-8 (19-22)
34:1 Is this a promise, a vow, or an expressed intention and desire?
34:2 How does one’s soul make its boast in the LORD?
34:3 How does one magnify the LORD?  Is this a mini Magnificat?  How does one exalt the LORD’s name when the LORD’s name is unpronounceable?
34:4 Do we seek the LORD or does the LORD seek us? How does the LORD answer us today?
34:5 What does it mean to look to God?
34:6 Could Job have prayed this? Could you?
34:7 Who is the angel of the LORD?
34:8 How does one taste that the LORD is good?
(34:19) If the LORD rescues the righteous, why are the righteous afflicted?
(34:21-22) This Psalm seems to suggest that evil is still a force to be reckoned with and the wicked will succumb to it while God will redeem the righteous from it.
34:1-8 (19-22) It seems obvious why the lectionary pairs this Psalm with the Reading from Job, but does the pairing invite us to read this Psalm with blinders on?

HEBREWS 7:23-28
7:23 What came before the “furthermore?” Who were the former priests?
7:24 Who holds the priesthood permanently?
7:25 Is there a change in emphasis from Christ as sacrifice to Christ as intercessor?
7:26 How is it fitting?
7:27 In light of 7:25, it seems we are back to understanding Christ as sacrifice rather than intercessor?
7:28 What is “the word of the oath?”

MARK 10:46-52
10:46 Who came to Jericho?  Is there anything about Jericho that makes it more than just a setting for this story? “Bartimaeus son of Timaeus” seems redundant. Is there any significance to their being a large crowd? Is there any significance to Bartimaeus being blind?
10:47 What do you know about the The Philokalia, Hesychasm, The Way of the Pilgrim, and “The Jesus Prayer?”
10:48 Who were the many and why did they order Bartimaeus to be quiet?
10:49 Why did Jesus have Bartimaeus brought to him rather than going to Bartimaeus? Why did Jesus not call him directly but had others call him?
10:50 Is there any symbolism to his throwing off his cloak? Was blind Bartimaeus following the sound of Jesus’ voice?
10:51 Did Jesus really need to ask this question?  What is the significance of Bartimaeus calling Jesus “My teacher?” Apparently Bartimaeus had not been blind from birth and therefore knew what it was like to see.
10:52 What faith?  How did it make him well? What does “followed him on the way” mean?
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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