Monday, October 22, 2018

Lectionary Ruminations 2.5 for the 31st 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.

RUTH 1:1-18
1:1 In what days did judges rule? What do you know about Moab? I find it interesting that the man, and his family, were from Bethlehem!
1:2 Why so much information? What is an Ephrathite?
1:2-3 Why is all this background important? What would have happened to Naomi when her husband Elimelech died if they had remained in Bethlehem?
1:4 Why does it matter that Mahlon and Chilion took Moabite wives?
1:5 Three woman alone, without husbands! Now what!
1:6 Why would Naomi return to Bethlehem rather than remaining in Moab?
1:7 Naomi was going back or returning, but Orpah and Ruth were headed there for the first time.
1:8 Why would Naomi send her two daughters-in-law to their mother’s house rather than their father’s house?
1:9 Where to go to their mother’s house, as in the previous verse, or to their dead husband’s house?
1:10 Why might they have wanted to go with Naomi?
1:11 What does Naomi mean?
1:12 What is Naomi referring to and/or thinking about?
1:13 Has the hand of the LORD really turned against Naomi?
1:14 To what do you attribute the difference between Orpah and Ruth?
1:15 Note that ‘gods” now enter the story! What was Naomi talking about?
1:16 How many times have you heard this verse quoted? Is it that easy to adopt another’s God?

146:1-2 This appears to me to be a statement of faith!
146:2-3 This is important to hear two days before our national election!
146:5 I am often surprised by references to the “God of Jacob” rather than to the “God of Abraham.”
146:6 According to the ancient schema of the three-tiered universe, heaven/earth/sea is all there is. A more contemporary expression might be “who made the universe” or “who made the cosmos.”
146:7-9 These are not 1% verses but rather 99% verses! These verses should also inform any “Christian” immigration policy and the maintenance of the social safety net.
146:10 Political arties and candidate rise and fall, but the LORD will reign forever.

HEBREWS 9:11-14
9:11 What are the good things? What is the greater and perfect tent? I currently own three tents and have previously owned at least three or four others before they wore out. I could use a greater and perfect tent for backpacking and cycle-touring.
9:12 What and where is “the Holy Place” and when did Christ enter it?
9:13 Can post-modern people identify with this?
9:14 What is the difference between atonement and sanctification?

MARK 12:28-34
12:28 Who were disputing and what were they disputing about? Is this a question about placement or degree? For a similar type question: “Which right in the Bill of Rights is first of all?”
12:29 The Shema! Note that this refers to the Lord our God, not the Lord your God!
12:30 What is there beyond heart, soul, mind, and strength?
12:31 The scribe asked for the greatest commandment.  Why does Jesus answer with two commandments?
12:29-31 What about The Ten Commandments?
12:32 What is the significance of the scribe addressing Jesus as “Teacher?”
12:33 Read this verse in juxtaposition to Hebrews 9”11-14!
12:34 How much farther does this scribe need to go to enter the kingdom of God? How far is close and how far is too far?
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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