Saturday, January 31, 2009

Lectionary Ruminations: Scripture for Worship on February 8, 2009

Here are the passages for February 8, 2009, the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B). All links are to the TNIV via, but if you prefer another translation, feel free to use that instead (either with your own Bible, or via the drop-down menu at

Isaiah 40:21-31

Psalm 147:1-11, 20c
  • One of the down-sides to is that the site doesn't really know how to handle partial verses, such as that called for with verse 20c here. The letter "c" indicates that only a part of the verse is to be read as part of the lectionary. In this case, the reading includes only the third part of the verse, in other words, "Praise the Lord."
1 Corinthians 9:16-23
  • Presbyterians commonly speak of preaching as a "vocation," a "calling" by God to a specific line of work (we use this term of secular work, as well, but it's especially common to use this language of Ministers of Word and Sacrament). Paul's argument in the first few verses here would seem to argue that, because he has been "called" to preach, he should not expect payment. Should this reasoning apply to preachers today? How should Paul's statement be reconciled with Jesus' instructions to his followers in Luke 10:7, when he tells them that "workers deserve their wages"?
  • What do you think Paul would say about modern concepts of "compromise" in light this "all things to all people" passage?
Mark 1:29-39
  • In this passage, we are told, almost offhandedly, about Simon (Peter)'s mother-in-law, implying that he was married. Of Jesus' twelve disciples, we never really learn about any of their wives. Why are we not told about the disciples' spouses more specifically?
  • Jesus forbid demons to speak "because they knew who he was." Why is it so important that Jesus keep his identity a secret? Or is it that he didn't want people to learn about his identity through demons, lest such "evil" testimony taint his ministry?
  • Why does Jesus need to go off to be alone to pray?

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