Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Lectionary Ruminations: Scripture for Worship on June 7, 2009

Here are the passages for June 7th, 2009, Trinity Sunday (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 6:1-8
  • Who was King Uzziah? Why does Isaiah make a point of mentioning his death as the time that this vision took place?
  • Why is Isaiah's immediate reaction to seeing these things one of despair?
  • Why should a live coal (an obviously physical object) be appropriately used to obtain penance for "unclean lips" (which have little to do with physical lips being unclean)?
Psalm 29

Romans 8:12-17
  • What kinds of "misdeeds of the body" does the Spirit enable us to "put to death"? If Paul describes this as an "obligation," does that imply choice on our part? What role, then, does the Spirit play?
  • Much has been made of the term "Abba" as resembling baby talk, although this apparently has little historical evidence. Rather, it seems to be a term used by adult children of a father.
  • If we are heirs, what are we inheriting?
John 3:1-17
  • Why do you think Nicodemus sought Jesus out? Why at night?
  • Why does Jesus use the example of Moses and the snake? How is that story at all similar to what Jesus says must happen with the "Son of Man"?
  • Pretty much everyone knows John 3:16, and so providing new insight might be difficult. On the other hand, sometimes a reminder of simple truths already known can be extremely valuable.
  • If you'll note the footnote for verse 15, you'll see that there's disagreement about whether the words after verse 15 are Jesus' words to Nicodemus or not (In fact, the TNIV suggests that verse 16 and what follows isn't Jesus speaking). Why might there be disagreement here? Does it change one's understanding of this passage if the famous John 3:16 is spoken by Jesus to Nicodemus, or if it is John's later interpretive statement about this story?

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