Saturday, December 27, 2008

Lectionary Ruminations: Scripture for Worship on December 28, 2008

Like most of the rest of you, I have been enjoying the Christmas holiday with family and friends. I confess that this means that I haven't had as much time myself to reflect upon these readings as I would usually spend before writing out comments for public consumption, and therefore beg your indulgence. As always, I invite constructive comments and your own reflections.

Here are the passages for December 28, 2008, the 1st Sunday after Christmas (Year B). All links are to the TNIV via BibleGateway.com, but if you prefer another translation, feel free to use that instead (either with your own Bible, or via the drop-down menu at BibleGateway.com).

Isaiah 61:10-62:3

Psalm 148:1-14

Galatians 4:4-7
  • Trying to think through the nature of the Trinity is difficult even in the best of times. What does the reference to the "Spirit of [God's] Son" do to clarify (or muddy) the waters of our understanding?
  • If we are adopted as heirs into God's family, what benefits and/or responsibilities do we receive on that basis?
Luke 2:22-40
  • What do you think Simeon might have done to be granted the honor of knowing he was to see the Messiah before his death? Or, assuming it wasn't that Simeon did anything particularly special, why do you think God bestowed upon him that honor?
  • Why is Anna included in this story? Is she an afterthought to the story of Simeon? What does her inclusion tell us about God, or about Jesus?
  • The last verse tells us that "the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him." Why is this line included? Is there anything here that we didn't or couldn't have assumed, had the line not been present?

4 comments:

Viola Larson said...

On Luke 2:22-40

Ben Witherington in one of his books on women points out that Luke consistently uses a woman and a man, like poetic couplets, to tell the story of Christ. Anna is certainly not an after-thought.

Simeon is the prophetic voice looking back and seeing Jesus fulfilling the promises of the Hebrew Bible. He gives an absolutely clear picture of Jesus Christ, "A Light of revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel."

Anna is the evangelist telling everyone of the coming of Christ.
"[She] continued to speak of him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem."

On the last part, He continued to grow, etc. Luke and the other Gospel writers are always careful to allow the reader to know that Yes, Jesus is truly man as well as God's eternal Son. If that were not true our salvation does not exist.

I am sure there is much more than this in the reading. Thanks for the questions.

Missioner said...

B-W, good post, thanks for sharing. In order to make sure that there was some time each day for reflection - even at the height of the holiday hustle! - I devoted time each evening to transcribing a daily Advent devotional and Bible passage, prepared by Austin Presbyterian Seminary.

On a related note, those of you who make use of biblegateway.com are encouraged to go there and participate in their online survey.

B-W said...

Where is this online survey you mention? I do not see it on the BibleGateway front page....

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