Monday, October 7, 2019

Lectionary Ruminations 2.5 for the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)


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.

JOEL 2:23-34
2:23 What is the “early rain” and the “later rain” and what is the difference?  What is the meaning of this metaphor?
2:24 I like this image of agricultural abundance, an image which suggests life and freedom from hunger. Might Christians also find in it a prefiguration of the Eucharist?
2:25 Can we thank the LORD for agricultural abundance if we no longer equate agricultural disasters with the LORD’s wrath?
2:26 Why is agricultural scarcity equated with shame?
2:27 What does it mean for God to be “in the midst of Israel”? How do we read this passage in light of the Babylonian captivity and The Shoa?
2:28 Is the pouring out of the spirit anything like the giving of the early and the late rains of verse 2:23?  Are prophecy, dreams and visions anything like the agricultural abundance of 2:24?
2:29 Why would it be unusual for slaves to be so gifted by God?
2:30 Are blood and fire and columns of smoke, the darkening sun and blood moon the only portents?
2:31 During solar eclipses, it appears that the sun is indeed turned into darkness.  During lunar eclipses the moon can take on a reddish color.  Eclipses have been considered portents in almost all religions. I usually consider “great” a positive attribute.  Does “great and terrible” suggest a sort of yin-yang quality to the day of the LORD?
2:32 What does it mean to call on the name of the LORD?  How does one call on the name of the LORD when the Lord’s name is not to be pronounced? What is the relationship between calling on the name of the Lord and the Lord calling?

PSALM 119:97-104
65:1 What is the relationship between praise and vows?  What vows might the Psalmist have in mind?
65:2 I believe God does indeed answer prayer but not always with the answer we want or expect. To whom or what does “all flesh” refer?
65:3 What does it mean that deeds of iniquity overwhelm us?  Are we ever overwhelmed by our own sin?
65:4 Reading this as a Calvinist, I detect some predestination, or at least election, within this verse. Did anyone literally live within the temple courts?
65:5 What awesome deeds might the Psalmist have in mind?  What is the farthest sea from which you live?
65:6 What about plate tectonics? Maybe this is metaphor and not science?
65:7 Why are roaring seas and waves coupled with tumultuous people?  How shall we read this verse during hurricane season?
65:8 Are those at the earth’s center not equally awed?  Why or why not?  What are the gateways of the morning and the evening?  How do they shout for joy?
65:9-13 These verses seem to express the same or similar theology as some of the verses in tJoel 2:23-32.
65:9 What river is the river of God?
65:10 How can Christians in urban and industrialized contexts relate to such agricultural imagery?
65:11 God has a wagon that leaves wagon tracks? What is this imagery about?
65:12-13 Note that these verses describe wild, not cultivated, abundance.
65:12 What is a wilderness pasture?
65:13 I wonder if the meadows are wearing wool clothes. How do meadows and valleys shoiut and sing?

2 TIMOTHY 4:6-8, 16-18
4:6 What is a libation and how is Paul being poured out like one?  What departure is he referring to?
4:7 I love this verse and have used it many times in Services of Witness to the Resurrection. Paul fought, but had he won? Paul ran, but did he place first? Nevertheless, he kept.
4:8 Can this crown be worn only after physical death?  Is there any possible connection with this crown of righteousness and auras/halos?
4:16 What first defense is Paul referring to?  Is Paul expressing any anger, disappointment, or resentment?
4:17 Is “lion’s mouth” a metaphor or had Paul literally faced being thrown to the lions?
4:18 Is Paul thinking of physical rescue and salvation or spiritual, or both?

LUKE 18:9-14
18:9 How shall we read “also?”  Do you know of anyone who thinks they are righteous and regard others with contempt?
18:10 How does the juxtaposition of a Pharisee and a tax collector intensify the parable?
18:11 Have you ever heard anyone pray like this?
18:12 Do such acts of devotion and spiritual disciplines automatically make a person righteous?
18:13 I wonder why I am once again, as I have once or twice in the past few weeks, thinking about the Philokelia and The Jesus Prayer.
18:14 What does it mean to be justified?  Was it the words the tax collector spoke that justified him or the sincerity behind and underneath the words?  The final juxtaposition suggests the topsy-turvy nature of the New Testament vision of the Kingdom of God: the rich shall be poor, the first last, etc.
                                                                  
ADDENDUM
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.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

National Tutoring Week Tutoring Reflections


The National Tutoring Association has proclaimed October 7-11, 2019 “National Tutoring Week.” As a Tutor with nine years of experience and a member of the National Tutoring Association, National Tutoring Week prompted me to reflect on how I came to be a tutor and my tutoring experiences.

I was living in the New York City borough of Queens in 2010 and needed a little extra income to help make ends meet. When I saw a Champion Learning Center advertisement for in home tutors for English Language Arts for seventh through twelfth graders, I applied.

Even though I had not studied English Language Arts and Math since I was in college,  I was an excellent student when I studied those subjects many years ago. I had I won both a Math award and an English award in high school and my college freshman Math Professor had recruited me in my sophomore year to help students with their freshman Math. I still felt competent and confident in both English Language Arts and Math and thought  that I could help young students in those subjects.

Although I had not studied English Language Arts or Math in decades, I had earned a B.S.,  M.Div. and a D.Min. and had taught Theology, Religion, and Philosophy as an adjunct at two different small liberal arts colleges. I felt comfortable teaching in an academic environment and reasoned that my English Language Arts and Math skills, combined with my teaching experience, would easily transfer to tutoring.

I was hired for the Champion Learning Center position I applied for and started tutoring students assigned me in English Language Arts and Math. While neither subject challenged me at the seventh through twelfth grade level, I enjoyed tutoring Math more than English Language Arts. When the tutoring position I was hired for failed to generate enough students to provide the extra income I was looking for, I explored other tutoring options.

I eventually started tutoring through WyzAnt, “a digital marketplace to connect students  to independent tutors.” WyzAnt connected me with students in my Queens neighborhood. I started tutoring high school students struggling and wanting to do better in high school math and to to pass the New York State Board of Regents Exams in Integrated Algebra, Geometry, and Algebra 2/Trigonometry. I experienced great success in helping my tutees bring up their grades and pass the Regents Exams. More importantly, I enjoyed working with these students and quickly discovered that most of the Math I had learned in high school and college readily came back with just a little review.

I eventually branched out and tutored undergraduates in Math, Theology, and Philosophy and graduate students in Theology and Philosophy. Although the work was not steady, part time tutoring through WyzAnt provided me the extra income I was hoping for. More importantly, the tutoring helped me stay intellectually active and gave me a great sense of satisfaction as I witnessed my students improving in their subject areas.

When I moved from New York City back to my home state of West Virginia I advertised my tutoring services through WyzAnt. I picked up a few students but did not find the demand I had found in New York City and was looking for more steady part-time income.

I responded to an advertisement from my local community college, West Virginia Northern CommunityCollege, whose Academic Support Center  at the Wheeling campus was looking for tutors. I applied to be a Math Tutor based on my high school and college Math background and experience tutoring high school and college students in Math. My B.S., M.Div., and D.Min, as well as twelve semesters undergraduate  adjunct teaching experience was icing on the cake. I was hired and for more than a year now have been tutoring undergraduates in Math two days a week.

That is me posing in front of
some of our resources in the ASC
of WVNCC Wheeling Campus.
Since starting as a Math Tutor in the Academic Support Center of West Virginia Northern Community College’s Wheeling Campus, I  have tutored undergraduates in Intermediate Algebra, College Algebra, Mathematics of Business and Finance, Pre-Calculus Mathematics, Technical Mathematics, Mathematics for Health Sciences, Mathematics for Elementary Teachers I, and Introduction to Statistics. I have tutored some students for only a session or  two and others once a week throughout the semester. I have even occasionally branched out to help students with specific questions related to Introduction to Astronomy and Applied Physics.

Because engaging in on-job tutor training is part of the responsibility of serving as a Tutor at West Virginia Northern Community college, I completed The Master Tutor: A Guidebook for More Effective Tutoring curriculum and am currently working through the nine video workshops of TutorLingo. West Virginia Northern Community College pays me for the time I spend training to be a better tutor.

While tutoring part time in the Academic Resource Center of the Wheeling Campus of West Virginia Northern Community College, I continue to tutor privately through WyzAnt. I am currently in my third year of tutoring a bright young student in Math. I began tutoring her once a week when she was struggling in Eighth Grade Algebra, tutored her through ninth grade, and am now tutoring her about once every three weeks as she is excelling in Tenth Grade Geometry.

Tutoring will never provide me with enough steady income to tutor full-time, but tutoring has helped me out financially and given me great personal satisfaction as I see tutees  gain confidence and self-esteem, increase their grade averages, and eventually pass  courses they were once struggling with. Tutoring still helps me stay intellectually focused and engaged, sometimes challenging me to research and master skills and theories I have forgotten or never learned.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Lectionary Ruminations 2.5 for the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)


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.

JEREMIAH 31:27-34
31:27 Are these days still to come or have they been fulfilled? What does it mean to sow with the seed of humans and the seed of animals?
31:28 So the LORD watches over everything?
31:29 Why would the teeth of children be set on edge if their parents ate sour grapes? Where might this saying have originated?
31:30 This sounds only fair. Does this verse portray an angry, vengeful, wrathful, punishing God?
31:31 I again ask if these days are still to come or have already been fulfilled? If the new covenant replaces or supersedes what came before, what covenant(s) will be replaced or superseded?
31:32 In what ways was the covenant broken? What about the covenant with Noah?
31:33 But what if the people have hearts of stone?
31:34 What does it mean to “know the LORD?” It sounds as though the people will still sin but that the LORD will forgive and forget their sin.

PSALM 119:97-104
119:97 What law is being referred to?  How does the law become one’s meditation?  Does this have anything to do with anything like mindfulness meditation or contemplative prayer?
119:98 Why the singular “commandment” and not the plural “commandments?”  Is “commandment” a mere synonym for law?
119:99 How often have you thought/felt you had more understanding than your teachers?  Are “decrees” nothing more than a synonym for law?
119:100 This sounds like a youthful statement.  Are “precepts” just a synonym for law?
119:101 Are there only two ways, evil and good?  Is “word” a synonym for law?
119:102 How many synonyms for law, in addition to “ordinances” have we encountered so far?
119:103 I love honey. How might this verse inform our understanding of “ruminating” on Scripture?
119:104 How do precepts and the law provide understanding?

2 TIMOTHY 3:14-4:5
3:14 What has Timothy learned and firmly believed?  From whom had he learned it?
3:15 What sacred writings are being referred to? Was Timothy raised in the Christian tradition?
3:16 What does it mean for all scripture to be “inspired” or “God breathed?” I do not see science, geology, or history in this list of what Scripture is useful for.
3:17 What does it mean to be proficient and equipped?  To borrow an idea from hiking/backpacking, what are “the ten essentials” of the Christian Faith all believers ought to be equipped with? Similarly, it does not help to have the ten essentials if one does not know how to make use of them.
4:1 In spite of this verse, why do so many Christians seem so quick to judge others? Is this an oath?
4:2 What is the message Paul urges Timothy to proclaim. Is our time favorable or unfavorable for proclaiming this message? What is the relationship between proclaiming and teaching?
4:3 Who is to decide if doctrine is sound or not? How might this verse apply to health and wealth television evangelists?
4:4 What is the difference between truth and myth and who is to decide what is myth and what is truth?  How does this apply to Rudolf Bultmann and his 1941 essay on The New Testament and Mythology, in which he called for the "demythologizing" of the New Testament?  How does this apply to the myth work of people like Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell, not to mention John Shelby Spong? How can myths be true?
4:5 Does being sober mean only abstaining from alcohol or mind-altering drugs?  What is the work of an evangelist?

LUKE 18:1-8
18:1 How does one pray always? Does the “prayer of the heart” help one not lose heart?
18:2 What does it mean to fear God?
18:3 Must we always pray prayers of supplication?  What about prayers of adoration, confession, intercession, and thanksgiving, not to mention contemplative prayer?
18:4 Why would the judge refuse to administer justice?
18:5 How long would it have taken for the widow to wear out the judge, or had she already done so?
18:6 Why are we listening to a judge who neither fears god nor respects people?
18:7 Is this a rhetorical question? How is God like the unjust judge and not like the unjust judge?
18:8 How quick is quickly? Who is the Son of Man? When and why is the Son of Man coming? How does the second half of this verse follow from what precedes it?   Has the Son of Man already come or not?  If Jesus was referring to himself as the Son of Man, why did he do so?
18:4-8 Is this parable saying that we should keep pestering and complaining to God until we wear God down?
                                                                  
ADDENDUM
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.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Lectionary Ruminations 2.5 for the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)


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.

JEREMIAH 29;1, 4-7
29:1 What an archaeological discovery it would be to find this actual letter!  What is the meaning of “remaining elders?” Had some elders taken into exile escaped, died, or been killed? Is there anyone in exile Jeremiah did not address?
29:4 Note that Nebuchadnezzar had not taken them into exile. God had sent them into exile.
29:5 Why are the exiles told to build houses and plant gardens?
29:6 Babylon is beginning to sound like the exile in Egypt?  How might this and the preceding verse apply to Christians – resident aliens – in a secular culture and post-Christian world?
29:7 Do you pray for your city, town, or village every Lord’s Day?

PSALM 66:1-12
66:1 What is a joyful noise?  Does “all the earth” refer to only people or to only to living beings, or to the fullness of creation? Whales can sing, but can rocks?
66:2 How does one sing to the glory of God’s name when God’s name is considered unpronounceable?
66:3 What are God’s deeds?  How do you understand the meaning of “awesome?”  Are you familiar with Rudolph Otto’s concept of the “numinous” in The Idea of the Holy or Aldous Huxley’s concept of “mysterium tremendum” in The Doors of Perception?
66:4 How do we read this in the light of global climate change? What do we do with “Selah?”  Do we pronounce it?  Do we ignore it?  Do we take it as a cue to break into a guitar riff?
66:5 Can we see all of God’s deeds or are some invisible? Does God have no deeds among non-mortals?
66:6 Is this the deed, or this is just part of a larger and more significant deed?
66:7 Note that God keeps watch on the nations and not just Israel. Who are the rebelliuous?
66:8 This sounds like a call to worship. God might keep watch on the nations, but God is the God of Israel.
66:9 Is slipping feet a metaphor referring to death, or even extinction of a race and culture?
66:10 How and why is silver tried? What happens to silver after it is tried? What is refining dross?
66:11 Is this a reference to exile and enslavement in Egypt?
66:12 I think I know what “water” might refer to, but I am not so sure I know what “fire” refers to.  How might our understanding of this verse be influenced by The Shoah?  What and where is the “spacious place?”

2 TIMOTHY 2:8-15
2:8 Does “remember” mean only do not forget?  This is a pretty bare bones gospel. Note that Jesus was raised from the dead. He did not rise from the dead. What is the difference?
2:9 Where and why was Paul chained like a criminal?
2:10 This may be a verse particularly dear to the theological offspring of Calvin.
2:11 How do we die with Christ?
2:12 If we endure what?
2:12-13 How can Jesus Christ both deny us if we deny him but remain faithful if we are faithless?
2:14 Who are the “them?”  What do you think Paul meant by “wrangling over words?”  I wonder what Paul would think and say about my Lectionary Ruminations or exegesis in general. I’m sorry; Paul, but words have meaning. Words matter!
2:15 “Do your best” does not mean “be perfect!” Why would any worker have a need to be ashamed?  What does it mean to “rightly explain the word of truth?” Why does the word of truth need to be explained?

LUKE 17:11-19
17:11 Geographically speaking, where, in relation to Jerusalem, is the region between Samaria and Galilee.  Why does it matter?
17:12 I wonder why the village is not named. Maybe, years later, the disciples remembered this happening but could not remember where it happened. Is there any significance to the fact that there were ten lepers? You may want  to research leprosy in the Bible.
17:13 Why am I thinking of the Philokalia and The Jesus Prayer?
17:14 Jesus apparently did not lay hands on them, pray for them, or do anything else other than tell them to go and show themselves to the priests – and they were made clean!  What does it mean to be made clean?
17:15 All ten were made clean, but were all ten healed? Is being made clean synonymous with being healed?  Why would only one turn back, praising God with a loud voice? What about the other nine?
17:16 Have you ever prostrated yourself at another person’s feet?  Has anyone ever prostrated themselves at your feet? Were the other nine not Samaritan?  What does it matter that the one who turned back, praised God with a loud voice, prostrated himself before Jesus, and thanked Jesus, was a Samaritan? Why am I thinking of a parable about someone helping a stranger alongside the road and the story of Jesus and a woman at a well? Thanking God should not be confined to one day, or one hour a week.
17:17 Jesus must have read my mind! Perhaps someone knew the answer to the first question, but the second?
17:18 Is this a rhetorical question? If the other nine were not foreigners, what were they?
17:19 With this after the fact statement, it seems Jesus is simply interpreting what has already happened.  Did the other nine, who did not return, also have faith? Are we among the 9/10th or the 1/10th? Our faith should make us well. It should not make us ill. Toxic faith is no faith!
                                                                  
ADDENDUM
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.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Lectionary Ruminations 2.5 for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)


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.

PREFACE:

This Sunday is generally recognized as World Communion Sunday, and in the PC(USA) the designated day to receive the Peace & Global Witness Offering.  How do any or all the day’s readings allow themselves to be a springboard for a sermon leading to or pointing to The Lord’s Table and highlighting the ministry of Peace, Peacemaking, and Global Witness?


LAMENTATIONS 1:1-6, 3:19-26
The Lectionary does not consider this a continuous reading. Lamentations 1:1-6 is the First Reading and Lamentations 3:19-26 may be used as the response rather than Psalm 137. I prefer, however, to combine them into the First Reading and then use the Psalm as a Response.
1:1 I think this verse addresses the reality of cities like Detroit and others in the industrial heartland of America. What other once great cities, other than Jerusalem, might this verse speak to?
1:2 Who were her lovers?
1:3 Might this speak to other exiled peoples?
1:4 Might this also describe back roads and side roads in America after the advent of the Interstate system.
1:5 Who is to blame, the LORD or the former inhabitants of the city?
1:6 Zion is the daughter of whom?
3:19 What is wormwood?  What is gall?
3:20 Might the Book of Job be of any help here?
3:21 Is this example of something from the past serving as a springboard into the future?
3:22 If this is true, then why 1:1-6?
3:23 Ergo every morning brings new hope.
3:24 What is a portion?
3:25 How log shall we wait upon the LORD?  How does the soul seek the LORD? How are waiting and seeking related?
3:26 I cannot but help hear this verse and consider contemplative prayer.

LAMENTATIONS 3:19-26
See LAMENTATIONS 1:1-6, 3:19-26 above.

PSALM 137
137:1 What are the rivers of Babylon? Is anyone else thinking of a song from the Broadway Musical Godspell?
137:2 What might willows symbolize?  Why were the harps hung up? What might harps symbolize?
137:3 Can mirth be feigned? What are the songs of Zion?
137:4 Why could one not sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?
137:5 Does “forget” refer to memory only? Consider this verse juxtaposed with today’s First Reading.
137:6 What does the tongue clinging to the roof of the mouth symbolize or signify?
137:7 Who were the Edomites?
137:8 Why is Babylon referred to as a daughter?
137:9 Yes, this is one of the more problematic passages of Scripture, but note that is the exiles speaking, not God.  It expresses their profound anger born of grief and exile.

2 TIMOTHY 1:1-14
1:1 Why does Paul need to state his credentials in a personal letter to Timothy?
1:2 Why does Paul refer to Timothy as his “beloved child?”  Is there any significance to the tripartite “Grace, mercy, and peace” greeting? Note that there is no “Trinitarian” greeting/blessing here.
1:3 Why would Paul, or anyone, worship God without a clear conscience? What is Paul talking about?
1:4 What would account for Timothy’s tears?
1:5 Do we know anything else about Lois and Eunice? Was Timothy nurtured in the Christian faith by his mother and grandmother or was he old enough at the time to convert as an Adult with them?
1:6 How can the laying on of hands rekindle the gift of God within a person?  What is this “gift of God” Paul refers to? How do we rekindle our faith?
1:7 Is Paul speaking of the Holy Spirit?
1:8 Do you think Timothy was ashamed?  Have you ever been ashamed of testimony about our Lord?  Personally, I am sometimes ashamed of those who in my mind pervert the Gospel and inflict pain and persecution in the name of Christ.  For instance, I am ashamed of Medieval Crusades and the contemporary exploits of the Westboro Baptist Church, and some TV Evangelists.
1:9 Preexistent grace?
1:10 Preexistent grace only now revealed?
1:11 Is there any differences between herald, apostle, and teacher?  Do the titles refer to different functions and roles?
1:12 What shame is Paul referring to? What did Paul entrust?
1:13 What gives Paul, or any individual, the right to establish a standard of sound teaching? In the Reformed Tradition, only councils can establish such standards, and councils can sometimes ere.
1:14 What is the good treasurer to which Paul refers? Paul finally mentions the Holy Spirit!

LUKE 17:5-10
17:5 All the apostles or just some of the apostles?  How does one measure faith?  Are Fowler’s stages of faith in any way a measurement?
17:6 I think Jesus, or the Gospel writers, were sometimes prone to hyperbole. Why would anyone want a mulberry tree to be uprooted and planted in the sea?
17:7 Is this a serious or a rhetorical question? Why am I, a white American living 150+ years after the end of slavery in America, cringing when I read this verse?
17:8 An interesting verse considering America’s growing economic inequality.
17:9 And some bosses and managers treat hired workers just this way.
17:10 I do not like this verse. It sounds to puritan to my ears. Where the apostles not worthy of being thanked?
17:7-10 How do these verses relate to, inform, or follow from Luke 17:5-6?
                                                                  
ADDENDUM
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.