Monday, December 17, 2018

Lectionary Ruminations 2.5 for the 1st Sunday After Christmas (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.

1 SAMUEL 2:18-20, 26
2:18 What sort of “ministering” was Samuel engaged in? What is an ephod and what does it mean that Samuel was wearing one?
2:19 Who was Samuel’s mother? Did Samuel grow out of his robe every year or was it wearing out after a year’s use?
2:20 Why is Elkanah mentioned by name but Samuel’s mother is not? Who was Eli?
2:26 What is meant by “stature” and what is meant by “favor?”
2:18-20, 26 Why would this passage appear in the Lectionary today, the first Sunday after Christmas?

148:1 Note that this is one of the “Hallel” Psalms, perhaps especially appropriate this First Sunday after Christmas and the last Sunday before the New Year. Where are the heights?
148:2 What is the difference between angels and all the host?
148:3 How do sun, moon and stars praise?
148:4 Where are the highest heavens? What water is above the heavens? How can post-modern, round earth, heliocentric Christians continue to find meaning in pre-modern, flat earth, geocentric biblical imagery?
148:5 To which creation account does this verse refer?
148:6 What bounds cannot be passed?
148:7 What sea monsters might the psalmist have had in mind? What might the “deeps” represent?
148:8 Does the weather praise the Lord? Have 21st Century Christians lost touch with storm imagery related to God?
148:9 What is the difference between a mountain and a hill? How might you hear and read this if you have lived in Iowa all your life?
148:10 Do creeping things that give us the creeps really praise the Lord?
148:11 Do Presidents, Premiers, and Prime Ministers fall under “all rulers of the earth?”
148:12 There is no ageism or sexism here?
148:13 How is the name of the Lord praised when the name of the Lord is not to be pronounced?
148:14 What is a horn?

3:12 Who are God’s chosen ones? Is this list of virtues meant to be definitive?
3:13 What does it mean to bear with one another? I am hearing echoes of The Lord’s Prayer here.
3:14 How does love bind? I like the imagery of perfect harmony, but for there to be harmony there must be more than one voice. Perhaps singing in a choir has helped me better understand and appreciate this imagery.
3:15 What is the peace of Christ and how does it rule? In the Hebrew tradition, what is the meaning of “hearts?”
3:16 What is the word of Christ and how is it different from the peace of Christ? What is the difference among psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs?
3:17 Doing is one thing. What about being, or thinking, or feeling? How do we do anything, let alone everything, in the name of the Lord Jesus?

Luke 2:41-52
2:41 Why am I hearing an echo of 1 Samuel 2:19? Whose parents?
2:42 Is there anything special about being a twelve-year-old Jewish boy?
2:43 Was Jesus misbehaving by staying behind? How could his parents not know he was not with them when they left for home?
2:44 How far is a day’s journey?
2:45 I wonder if they returned that night or waited until the next day.
2:46 Is the “after three days” a premonition or forth telling allusion to the resurrection? Why would Jesus have been listening and asking questions rather than teaching?
2:47 What and whose questions was Jesus answering?
2:48 Why were Jesus’ parents astonished? Is there any significance to Jesus’ mother calling him “child” rather than “son?” This passage suggests that Jospej was still alive at the time.
2:49 Was Jesus being a smart ass?
2:50 What did they not understand? Would anybody ever understand Jesus during his ministry on earth?
2:51 So Jesus’s staying behind was indeed seen as an act of disobedience? What things did Jesus’ mother ponder in her heart?
2:52 Why am I hearing an echo of 1 Samuel 2:26? Do you think the author of Luke was alluding to the story of Samuel in the Temple when writing this story?
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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