Saturday, February 21, 2009

Lectionary Ruminations: Scripture for Worship on March 1, 2009

Here are the passages for March 1st, 2009, the First Sunday in Lent (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

Lent is a time of fasting and prayer. A time of reflection and repentance. All in preparation for the remembrance of Jesus' death on the cross. Why are these particular passages chosen for worship on this Sunday?

Genesis 9:8-17
  • This passage comes toward the end of a well-known story. We haven't been following this story in the previous weeks. Why only use this part now?
  • Why does God make this covenant?
Psalm 25:1-10

1 Peter 3:18-22
  • We perhaps see a glimpse of why the Noah story was used for the Old Testament reading today (if the question of "why that particular part of the story" remains unanswered). How does Peter envision Jesus "making proclamation" to the people of Noah's time? Why does Peter use the word "saints" of them, even while calling them "disobedient"?
  • How does Peter view baptism? What does the water of baptism accomplish?
Mark 1:9-15
  • Speaking of baptism, we read here about Jesus' baptism by John. We read part of this passage several weeks ago, on the Sunday designated to celebrate the Baptism of the Lord. Rather than repeat the reflections on the baptism itself here, I'll simply refer you to that link.
  • Here, we see what happens immediately after Jesus' baptism. Why does Jesus go to be tempted in the wilderness at this time?
  • And immediately after that, we read that John has been imprisoned, and Jesus begins his Galilean ministry. I'm sure that Mark could have, had he chosen to do so, say more about the events leading up to this imprisonment, or about how Jesus' temptation went (other gospels certainly do the latter). Why does Mark gloss over such details? What do we learn from the "bare bones" version Mark gives us?

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