Monday, January 28, 2019

Lectionary Ruminations 2.5 for the 5th 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.

ISAIAH 6:1-8 (9-13)
6:1 Who was King Uzziah and what year did King Uzziah die. Why does it matter? How did Isaiah see what he saw?
6:2 What is a Seraph? Why would seraphs cover their feet?
6:3 How many seraphs were there? What language might the seraphs have been speaking? I wonder the seraphs learned the Sanctus. Or were seraphs the first to give voice to the Sanctus? Is therefore anything significant about threefold praise?
6:4 What are pivots and thresholds? Were the seraphs the ones calling? Might the smoke have been the smoke of burnet offerings or incense? We have the smells but where are the bells?
6:5 Would you feel woe seeing such a sight? Is this a confession of sin?
6:6 What might the live coal signify?
6:7 How can live coal blot out sin?
6:8 Who are the “us?”
6:1-8 This passage reminds me of Rudolph Otto’s “Mysterium Tremendum” in The Idea of the Holy. Was it just a vision? “Handle Holy things with holy care!” If you think you saw a pink polka dot elephant in the back yard but know that it was a vision, dream, or hallucination, you are sane bu might want to talk with a spiritual director. If you think you saw a pink polka dot elephant in the back yard and later go out with a shovel and bucket to clean up its droppings, you are mentally ill and need to see a Psychiatrist.
I think that if you read this passage carefully, you will find it mentions all five senses. When was the last time you attended and participated in fully embodied, sensual worship? When was th e last time you experienced the awesomeness and the grandeur and God? I think what is missing in much contemporary society and even worship is a sense of awe. Are we underwhelmed? I think a fully embodied, sensual worship which seeks to expose the awesomeness and grandeur of God would overwhelm  people wanting a god they can domesticate, control, and manipulate.
(6:9) Is this a prophecy of judgement?
(6:10) Why would the Lord command a prophet to preach such a message?
(6:11) How many times have we wondered the same – how long? This is not a comforting vision.
(6:12) Why will the Lord do this?
(6:13) What is a terebinth? What do you make of “The Holy seed is its stump?”

138:1 Before what gods will the Psalmist sing?
138:2 Why do protestants generally not bow in worship?
138:3 What is strength of soul?
138:4 Have all the kings of the earth really heard the words of God’s mouth?
138:5 Do you and your congregation sing of the ways of the LORD?
138:6 What glory is not great?
138:7 This reminds me of the 23rd Psalm.
138:8 What is the LORD’s purpose for you?

15:1 Why do Christians in Corinth need to be reminded of this?
15:2 Have you felt that you have believed in vain?
15:3 How, when, and where did Paul receive what he is now handing on?
15:4 Note that Christ was raised. He did not rise from is volition.
15:5 Was Cephas not one of the twelve? Was Judas among the twelve?     
15:6 Why mention that most are alive though some have died?
15:7 Who are the other apostles?
15:8 Has Christ not appeared to anyone since Paul?
15:9 Was Paul both the least and the last apostle, as far as he knew/
15:10 What is Paul?
15:11 Is there a difference between sharing one’s faith and imposing one’s faith?

LUKE 5:1-11
1:1 What are other names for the lake of Gennesaret?
1:2 Is there any significance to the number two?
1:3 So Simon was still in the boat?
1:4 Was Simon the one who first told this story?
1:5 Was Simon alone or were others with him? “If you say so” is an interesting expression coming from the mouth of Simon.
1:6 I wonder how many fish they caught.
1:7 This sounds like a lot of fish.
1:8 Why might Simon have felt this way and said what he said?
1:9 When was the last time you were amazed?
1:10 Was Simon’s brother Andrew not part of the business? What does fear have to do with anything. Might we see this story as a prelude to Pentecost?
1:11 What happened to what they left? What does it to follow Jesus?         
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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