Monday, October 21, 2019

Lectionary Ruminations 2.5 for the 31st 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.

HABAKKUK 1:1-4; 2:1-4
1:1 What is an oracle? Why are oracles seen rather than heard? What is the difference between an oracle and a vision?
1:2 It sounds like Habakkuk is growing impatient. Was the LORD not listening or was that just Habakkuk’s impression?
1:3 This sounds very timely in our contemporary context.
1:4 What law is Habakkuk saying is becoming slack?
2:1 Is this a physical or a metaphorical watchpost and rampart?
2:2 Why has the “oracle” of 1:1 become a “vision?”   Can a vision always be translated into words?  Are the tablets an allusion to the Torah?  What kind of writing is required to be read by a runner?
2:3 So this is a vision of an impending, yet to come vision?
2:4 Is it impossible to be both proud and righteous, righteous and proud?

PSALM 119:137-144
119:137 What a smooth segue from Habakkuk 2:4 to this verse! Does a righteous God not presume right judgements?
119:138 What is the relationship between righteousness and faithfulness?
119:139 Have you ever been consumed by zeal?
119:140 What promise? What does “well tried” mean?
119:141 Small in comparison to what or whom?
119:142 Is God’s law true by itself, or true because it is God’s law?
119:143 What commandments is the Psalmist referring to?  Would most Christians today consider God’s commandments a delight?
119:144 What sort of understanding is the Psalmist praying for? How does understanding lead to life?
119:137-144 How many synonyms for “law” can you find in this reading? After the Frist Reading, I can almost hear Habakkuk speaking these words.

2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12
1:1 What do you know about Silvanus?  What do you know about Thessaloniki?
1:2 How do Trinitarians deal with a non-Trinitarian greeting?
1:3 How does Paul know that the Thessalonians’ faith is growing, and their love is increasing?  What were his metrics?
1:4 What persecutions and afflictions was Paul referring to?
1:11 Why I am I thinking of the movie Wayne’s World?
1:12 Is the name of Jesus Christ glorified in you?  Are you glorified in him?

LUKE 19:1-10
19:1 What do you know about Jericho?
19:2 What matters more—the man’s name, occupation, or that he was rich?
19:3 Why do people want to see important and famous people?  Might “short in stature” refer to more than this man’s physical height?
19:4 Is there anything special, significant, or symbolic about sycamore trees?
19:5 How did Jesus know Zacchaeus was there?  How did Jesus know his name?  What is the meaning of “must?” Does Jesus invite himself into anyone else’s home in the Gospels?
19:6 Who would have been unhappy to welcome Jesus?
19:7 Might “All who saw it” be a hyperbole?   How could “all who saw it” know that Zacchaeus was a sinner? What was the nature of his sin?
19:8 What might have motivated what Zacchaeus said? Should we hold up “half” and “four times” as benchmarks?
19:9 What might be the meaning of “Today salvation has come to this house?”  Would salvation have come to his house if he were not a son of Abraham? Was Jesus the salvation?
19:10 Why does Jesus often refer to himself as “the Son of Man?”  Does what Jesus say mean that Zacchaeus was in fact lost but is now saved?
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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