Thursday, April 29, 2010

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, May 2, 2010, the Fifth Sunday of Easter (Year C)

Posted each Thursday, Lectionary Ruminations focuses on the Scripture Readings, taken from the New Revised Standard Version, for the following Sunday per the Revised Common Lectionary. Comments and questions are intended to encourage reflection for readers preparing to teach, preach, or hear the Word. Reader comments are invited and encouraged. All lectionary links are to the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible via the PC(USA) Devotions and Readings website, but if you prefer another translation, feel free to use that instead. (Other references are linked to the NRSV via the oremus Bible Browser.)

Acts 11:1-18
An early instance of Church conflict. What do we do with people who respond to the Gospel but are not like us?

v. 5 Note “trance” and “vision”. When was the last time you entered a trance and/or received a vision while praying?

v. 6 What is the significance of the animals that are mentioned.

v. 10 Is there any significance to the fact that “this happened three times”?

v. 12 How does the Spirit tell us things today? How do we hear it?

v. 17 How do we hinder God today?

Psalm 148:1-14
One of the Hallel Psalms that conclude the Psalter. Is this the psalm that inspired St Francis’ Canticle of Creation? Do urban dwellers hear and interpret this psalm differently than those who live in rural areas?

v. 3 One of my favorite verses, especially on a clear night with a moon visible in the sky.

v. 4 A reference to the three tiered universe of that day. How do we translate or interpret this for the Copernican universe?

Revelation 21:1-6
I am calling a sermon on this passage “God’s Urban Renewal”.

v. 1 This reminds me of the closing scene in C.S. Lewis’ Prince Caspian in the Chronicles of Narnia.

v. 2 Someone once pointed out to me that while the story of salvation begins with and in a garden, it ends in and with a city.

vs 2-3 The Holy City, the home of God, comes down from heaven. People do not go up to heaven.

v. 4 How many times have you heard or read this at a funeral?

v. 5 How I sometimes wish all things could be made new NOW, TODAY!

John 13:31-35
v. 31 Who is the “he” that has “gone out”? Every passage ought to be read in its larger context, but especially this one. Do not assume that Jesus is the one who “had gone out”.

v. 33 Who is Jesus addressing as “little children”? What is the meaning of this address? Does Jesus make a distinction between them and the Jews?

v. 35 Does this verse not suggests that bumper stickers reading “Honk if you love Jesus” should be replaced with bumper stickers reading “Honk if you love one another”?


Stushie said...

actually the bumper sticker should read Honk if you love one another, as I have loved you...this is conditional love, not unconditional.

John Edward Harris said...

Stushie, I agree with the idea, but will it still fit on a bumper sticker? Bumper stickers force us to condense ideas even more than Twitter.