Thursday, November 15, 2012

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, November 18, 2012, the Fourth Sunday of Advent (Year B)

Posted each Thursday, Lectionary Ruminations focuses on the Scripture Readings, taken from the New Revised Standard Version, for the following Sunday per the Revised Common Lectionary. Comments and questions are intended to encourage reflection for readers preparing to teach, preach, or hear the Word. Reader comments are invited and encouraged. All lectionary links are to the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible via the PC(USA) Devotions and Readings website, but if you prefer another translation, feel free to use that instead. (Other references may be linked to the NRSV via the oremus Bible Browser.) 

1:4 Were Peninnah’s sons and daughters not also Elkanah’s sons and daughters?

 1:5 Was Hannah related to Elkanah?

 1:6 Who was Hannah’s rival?

 1:8 How many wives did Elkanah have?  So much for family values!  If they were honest, how would most wives answer the Question Elkanah asked Hannah?

 1:9 Who is “they” and why are “they” at Shiloh?

 1:11 What is Hannah’s misery?

1:13 When you pray silently, do your lips move?

1:14 Read this in light of the First Christian Pentecost.

1:15 What does it mean to pour out one’s soul before the LORD?

1:17 How could Ely say this when he did not know Hannah’s petition?  Who or what gave Ely the right—the power—to answer prayer?

1:19 What do you know about Ramah?  Ya gotta love these Biblical euphemisms.

1:20 Who do we no longer give children names with personal, existential meaning?

1:1 Did Hannah pray, or did Hannah sing?  Who said , paraphrasing, “the person who sings their prayer prays twice”?

1:2 What, or who, do you think of when you hear the phrase “holy one”?

1:3-5 Is this the 99% speaking of the 1%, or maybe the 47% speaking of the 53%?

1:6-7 So what?

1:8 What does the second half of this verse have to do with the first half?

1:9 This verse seems to echo 1:4-5.

1:10 How does this verse relate to the verses preceding it?

10:11 How are you like a priest?

 10:12 What single sacrifice did Christ offer?

10:12-13 What source, if any, is being quoted?

 10:15-18 Where did the Holy Spirit say this?

 10:19 What sanctuary?  Does the blood of Jesus give us confidence or is it a ticket of entry?

 10:20 What curtain might this be alluding to?  How was Christ’s flesh like a curtain?  Think about that one long and hard!

 10:22 How can hearts be sprinkled clean from an evil conscience?  Note that while hearts are sprinkled clean, our bodies are washed.

 10:23 What is the confession of our hope?  What is our hope?  How do we confess it?

 10:25  to what does this “meeting toghether” refer?

13:1 Who came out of the temple and what had he been doing in there?  This sounds like something a tourist to New York says on their first visit.  Those of us who have lived in the Bifg Apple hardly notice.  Was this a particular disciple’s first visit to Jerusalem and the temple?

 13:2 Is this prescient or a post AD 70 author reading back into a supposedly earlier event?

 13:3 It was usually Peter, James and John who were privy to special moments with Jesus.  What is Andrew doing here?  Why two sets of brothers?

 13:4 Think again about the question I raised in relation to 13:2.

 13:6 To whom was Jesus, or the writer of the Gospel, referring?

 13:8 Whew!  At least there is no mention of hurricanes or nor’easters.  After both within eight day, I was beginning to expect a plague of locusts.  What do birth pangs signify?  Is this describing the end of things as they are, or the birth of something new?

In addition to serving as the half time Pastor of North Church Queens and writing Lectionary Ruminations, I also tutor part time.  If you or someone you know needs a tutor, or if you would like to be a tutor, check out my WyzAnt page and follow the appropriate links.

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