Monday, February 09, 2009

Lectionary Ruminations: Scripture for Worship on February 15, 2009

I seem to have done it again! Somehow I posted the reflections for a different Sunday than intended. Thankfully, this time I still have a chance to do something about it.

Here are the passages for February 15, 2009, the Sixth 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

2 Kings 5:1-14
  • I have to confess, even after completing seminary and studying Bible passages and contexts for many years, most of what I know about Samaria comes from commentaries on the parable of the Good Samaritan and on Jesus' conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well. From these, I know that Samaritans and "good" Jews tended not to get along very well. I wouldn't assume that these distinctions mattered to Naaman, who was a foreigner, but I find myself wondering about the fact that this is where Elisha was to be found. Was the animosity so often talked about in regard to Jesus' day not yet present? Or was Elisha put there to make a point?
  • Why does the King of Israel take the letter from the King of Aram as "trying to pick a quarrel"?
Psalm 30:1-12

1 Corinthians 9:24-27
  • I have to wonder a bit at Paul's choice of illustration here. I do not assume that he intends for us to take the analogy so far as to suggest that only the single most faithful believer will be saved. Why, then, does he choose such a competitive example, even pointing out that there is only one winner?
Mark 1:40-45
  • There's a translation issue here, whereby Jesus is either "indignant" or "filled with compassion." How did such very different ideas come to be possibilities here?
  • In the 2 Kings passage, Naaman was asked to perform an act, after which he would be cleansed. The man in this passage is cleansed without regard to any action performed, but is then asked to go to the priest and offer sacrifices. Why such different methods?
  • Does the man's act of disobedience (telling people about Jesus when explicitly asked not to, and indeed we're not told whether or not the man actually went to the priest or offered sacrifices) have any repercussions for him?

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