Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Lectionary Ruminations: Scripture for Worship on July 19, 2009

Here are the passages for July 19th, 2009, the Sixteenth 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 Samuel 7:1-14a
  • 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 14a here. The letter "a" indicates that only a part of the verse is to be read as part of the lectionary. In this case, the reading stops at the end of the first part of the verse, closing with "...and he will be my son."
  • I find it intriguing how much the ark of God is identified with the presence of God, as if God were specifically located where the ark is. This is rather different from our common understanding of God as present everywhere at all times.
  • Why does God spend so much time telling David that God doesn't need a house, yet then tell him that David's son (if admittedly not David himself) will build such a house?
Psalm 89:20-37
  • I often have trouble thinking of new comments to make about Psalm readings, yet when there seems to be an effort to connect the Psalm to some other reading in the lectionary (and I notice the connection), I like to share that perceived connection. The oddity with this reading, however, is that the connection that stood out to me like a beacon: verses 30-32, don't connect with something that was actually included in the reading from 2 Samuel, but rather with the part of 2 Samuel 7:14 that was explicitly left out! Why do you think the framers of the lectionary made such a decision?
Ephesians 2:11-22
  • Focusing especially on verses 12 and 13, on what basis are people separated from Christ, and on what basis is that separation removed?
  • How might the language of "temple" in this passage compare and/or contrast with the 2 Samuel passage?
Mark 6:30-34, 53-56
  • The heading provided by the TNIV makes clear that this passage introduces the feeding of the five thousand. Why is the actual feeding of the crowds skipped over here? What else is the lectionary trying to get us to focus on? (FYI, the reading also skips over the story where Jesus walks on water, which is similarly well-known)
  • I get the impression from this passage that Jesus wanted to get some time alone (also for his disciples), but was constantly inundated by people, who he nonetheless helped. As a strong introvert myself, this stands out to me. What might this say about our own need for solitude? What might Jesus tell us if our own efforts to find some "alone time" are continually thwarted by the legitimate needs and requests of others?

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