Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Lectionary Ruminations 2.5 for Trinity Sunday (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.
PROVERBS 8:1-4, 22-31
8:1 Why might some want to substitute “Sophia” for the NRSV “wisdom?” Are wisdom and understanding the same thing? Note that understanding is personified in the feminine!
8:2 Note that wisdom, like understanding in the preceding verse, is personified in the feminine. What does it mean for wisdom to take a stand?
8:3 Why am I thinking of the classic Greek philosophers in the Agora?
8:4 How does wisdom call and cry out? Philosophy literally means the love of wisdom. Do we live in a post-philosophical age? What is the contemporary relationship between the philosophy and spirituality, the academy and the church? Has wisdom generally been declining in America?
8:22 What does it say about wisdom that she is the first act of creation? What were the other acts of God? Wisdom, unlike Christ, is a creation. Christ is preexistent.
8:23 What does it mean that wisdom was set up?
8:24 Which creation account might this refer to?
8:25 Might some of this apparent parallel repetition be due to Hebraic poetic structure?
8:26 The Creator is talked about with masculine pronouns while wisdom was talked about with feminine pronouns.
8:27 What does it mean to draw a circle on the face of the deep?
8:28 How are the skies above and the fountains of the deep related?
8:29 What are the foundations of the earth? Can we even continue to use such language in a post-Copernican world view?
8:30 How is wisdom like a master worker? It is beginning to sound as if wisdom was in some sort of a relationship with the Creator.
8:31 How might wisdom rejoice?
8:1-4, 22-31 How does this passage add to our understanding of the Doctrine of the Trinity and our observance of Trinity Sunday? Does the fact that we are reading this passage on Trinity Sunday affect how we might interpret it?
8:1 How do Christians in a Western Democracy hear and understand references to “Sovereign?” What is the LORD’s name? Note that his praise is repeated in 8:9
8:2 What babes and infants? What is a bulwark? Who is the enemy and the avenger?
8:3 This is one of my favorite verses. I will never forget the feeling of overwhelming awe and wonder when I looked through a three-inch refractor telescope and saw for the first time with my own eyes the rings of Saturn. How might images from the Hubble Space Telescope help us with this verse?
8:4 Why am I thinking of Shakespeare's Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, Act II, Scene 2, “What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god -- the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals!?”
8:5 Perhaps this verse should have been read last week on the day of Pentecost. Maybe you can still hear echoes from last Sunday’s Genesis Reading if you used it rather than the Acts Reading.
8:6 How shall we read and interpret “dominion” in an age when humans “threaten death to the planet entrusted to their care,” including certain global climate change?
8:7 What are beasts of the field?
8:8 Has all animal life on earth now been mentioned?
8:9 Echoes of 8:1! This might be used as a refrain or response in a Call to Worship.
8:1-9 Why might this passage have been chosen for Trinity Sunday? How does this Psalm express the childlike wonder at the root of philosophical speculation?
5:1 What came before the “Therefore?” What does it mean to be justified by faith? Was there no peace with God before justification by faith and/or before Jesus Christ?
5:2 Why does Paul say we boast? What is the difference between boasting and bragging?
5:3 Do you ever boast in your sufferings?
5:4 Do you agree with Paul’s assertion? Is this a “no pain, no gain” theology?
5:5 Why only hearts and not hearts and minds? Is the Holy Spirit the vessel from which or through which God’s love is poured, or is the Holy Spirit the manifestation of God’s love?
5:1-5 Why might this passage have been chosen for Trinity Sunday? Can we read or understand it without a Trinitarian hermeneutic? One of my D. Min. Professors once said that the Doctrine of the Trinity is not Biblical, but it is essential. What do you think the Professor meant?
16:12 Why did Jesus not find the time or take the opportunity to say these things before his death? Why can the disciples not hear them “now?” When will they hear them? What might Jesus want to tell us that either have not already heard or are not yet ready to hear?
16:13 Are we to assume that the Spirit of truth is the same thing as the Holy Spirit? Where does the Spirit hear the truth the Spirit speaks? Does the Spirit speak for Christ? Is there a difference between the Spirit of truth and the spirit of Christ? Iy sounds like the Spirit of truth is primarily a spokesspirit.
16:14 What does it mean that the Spirit of truth glorifies Jesus? Does the Spirit worship Jesus?
16:15 How does this verse flow from what came before it?
16:12-15 And one last time, why might this passage have been chosen for Trinity Sunday?
ADDENDUMI 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