Monday, October 28, 2019

Lectionary Ruminations 2.5 for the 33rd 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 65:17-25
65:17 What is the quality of this “new?” I suggest it is not just a statement related to time. What is the difference between Chronos time and Kairos time? Why would former things not be remembered or come to mind? This verse reminds me of the conclusion of C.S. Lewis’ The Lasrtl Battle.
65:18 Note that God is “creating.”  How might Process Theology help us here? How is Jerusalem today a joy and its people a delight?
65:19 Is this a promise still unfulfilled?
65:20 While infant mortality has been addressed by modern medicine, modern medicine still has not raised the expected life span to one hundred years. Are we all accursed? Could this be hyperbole?
65:21 But where shall those houses be built? Shall they be built on Palestinian Arab land? Who today plants but does not eat the fruit of their planting?
65:22 Do these verses have anything to say regarding contemporary economics?  What might Henry Ford have to say about these verses? What might Karl Marx have said?
65:23 How might the current American economics and politics shed light on this verse?
65:24 Does this have any implication for our understanding of prayer?
65:25  Are you familiar with the paintings of Edward Hicks?

12:1 Who will say this?  What day? Does the LORD experience the full range of emotions, or just anger?
12:2 Is this salvation any different than salvation in the New Testament? How is salvation from the LORD related to the LORD’s strength and might?
12:3 I love the “water from the wells of salvation” imagery. Note that “wells” is plural.  I wonder how many wells there are. I also wonder how this verse might inform Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well.
12:4 How can we call on the LORD’s name and proclaim that the LORD’s name is  exalted when the Lord’s name is not pronounced?
12:5 Is there a difference between “in all the earth” verses “over” or “on” all the earth?
12:6 What makes Zion royal? What does it mean for the Holy One of Israel to be in our midst?

3:6 Who are “we?” What is idleness? What is the tradition the Thessalonians received?
3:7 What ought the Thessalonians be imitating?
3:8 Night and day? Is Paul prone to hyperbole?  In other letters, 1 Timothy 5:17-18 and 1 Corinthians 9:9.14 for example, Paul argues that church leaders deserve to be compensated.
3:9 Paul seems to be playing both sides here.
3:10 What does this have to do with the social safety net? I wonder how this was interpreted regarding the Lord’s Supper.
3:11 How, why, and from whom would Paul be hearing this? 
3:12 What is the real underlying problem here that Paul is addressing?
3:13 Who is to decide what is right?

LUKE 21:5-19
21:5 What do we know about those who were speaking about the temple? Do people ever speak this way about their church buildings?
21:6 Might this be an example of literary foreshadowing, an after the fact reading back into the past allusions to something that has already occurred in the present, such as the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD?
21:7 Is there any significance to the fact that Jesus is called “Teacher?” What is a “sign”?
21:8 What do we know about messianic pretenders during this time?  What might this verse be saying to us in our day?
21:9 I long for a time when I DO NOT hear of wars and insurrections.  I long to live in the age described by Isaiah in 65:25.
21:10When has this not been the case?
21:11 What is a portent? Are portents the same as signs? I think sometimes Christian Theology has a natural disaster problem.
21:12 I think this might be yet another example of literary foreshadowing, the Gospel writer interjecting back into the past knowledge of events that would come later than the time being written about, but which have already taken place by the time the Gospel was being written. Does this verse refer to persecution of Christians by both Jews and Romans?
21:13 When do we have an opportunity to testify?
21:14 Why not prepare a defense beforehand?
21:15 Does this and the preceding verse have any implications for homiletics?
21:16 There go family values.
21:17 This verse gives me no comfort.
21:18 What sort of “perish” are we talking about?  Christians would be killed because of their faith. Juxtapose this verse with 21:16.
21:19 Salvation by martyrdom?
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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