Monday, November 12, 2018

Lectionary Ruminations 2.5 for Christ the King/Reign of Christ (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.

Christ the King/Reign of Christ 2018 marks the end of “Year B” in the three year lectionary cycle.  Next Sunday, The First Sunday of Advent 2018, will be the First Sunday of the “Year C” in the lectionary cycle.

Are you familiar with “INRI” and what it means?

I cannot find the source of the quote to verify it, but I think when John Adams was corresponding with King James, King James asked “Have you chosen a King yet? How can you have a country without a King?”

Here are some other Kings: Nat King Cole, Martin Luther King Jr., Don King, Larry King, The Lion King, Michael Jackson – the King of Pop, Elvis Presley – the King of Rock and Roll. And remember “A man’s home is his castle and a man is king of his castle.”

2 SAMUEL 23:1-7
23:1 Why on Christ the King/Reign of Christ Sunday does the Lectionary present us with the last words of King David? What is an oracle?  What is the significance of the fourfold designation, three of which relate to God? Read through this verse and the rest of the passage and see how many designations of God you can identify.
23:2 Prior to any Christian doctrine of the Trinity, how did David understand and mean to use “spirit”?  Is David describing a continual or the situation of this oracle only? How do you hear politicians and elected leaders today who claim to know God’s will, speak for God, or even represent God?
23:2-3 The spirit speaks “through” David, but God speaks “to” David. Who does the spirit speak through and who does God speak to today?
23:4 Is David touting his own horn, or laying the foundation for how future monarchs will be judged?
23:5 From a later perspective, how did David’s “house” measure up?
23:6 Ouch, those godless thorns!
23:7 This sounds like last judgement language.

PSALM 132:1-12 (13-18)
132:1 What hardships did David endure?
132:2 What did David swear? What did he vow?
132:3-5 Does this answer the previous two questions? Did David keep his word?
132:6 Is there anything particularly significant about Ephrathah or the fields of Jaar?
132:7 Whose dwelling place and whose footstool.
132:8 This makes it sound like the LORD is a localized, place-significant LORD. Does the LORD need to rest? What is the “ark of your might?”
132:9 What were priests usually robed in?
132:10 Who is the LORD’s anointed one? The psalms usually ask the LORD not to turn away the divine face.
132:11 How many sons did David have?
132:12 This sounds conditional with the “If.”
(132:13) What is the meaning of the word “Zion” and where did the word originate? What does it designate?
(132:14) Read this considering verse 8.
(132:15) What are its “provisions?” Might Christians read this as a reference to Christ and the Eucharist?
(132:16) Will only the priest be saved? Consider again verse 9.
(132:17) What is a “horn?”  Is the horn the lamp? What might the lamp signify?
(132:18) This is quite a contrast between the anointed and his enemies.
132:1-18 In light of the history of the Nation of Israel and God’s people, including the Babylonian exile and the Shoah, how shall we read this passage?

1:4b A Classic Christianized Greco-Roman Salutation. Who, or what, are the seven spirits?
1:5 How is Jesus a witness? Is Jesus the ruler of the kings of the earth now or only in the age to come?
1:6 How are Christians a kingdom and priests?  What is the difference between glory and dominion? Maybe this kingdom is not so much about the King as it is the people, more of a “kindom” than a “kingdom.”
1:7 Is there any significance to the admonition being “look” rather than “listen?”  Why will all the tribes of the earth wail? Does this verse mean the Christ will return only on a cloudy day?
1:8 Is there any difference between Alpha and Omega in contrast to first and last?

JOHN 18:33-37
18:33 What headquarters? Headquarters of what? Why was Pilot asking this question? It seems odd, a week before Advent, to be reading a passage usually associated with The Passion and Holy Week, but it makes absolute sense.
18:34 What sort of question is this?
18:35 Is Pilate’s first question a rhetorical one?  What has Jesus done? Does this verse bolster antisemitism?
18:36 This must have sounded rather cryptic and enigmatic. Where is Jesus’ kingdom from? Was Jesus being handed over to the Jews or to the Romans? Was Jesus not a Jew?
18:37 Was Pilate’s deduction correct?  Did Pilate really say that Jesus is a king?  More than any time in the recent past, we are all asking “What is truth?”
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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