Thursday, April 01, 2010

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, April 4, 2010, the Resurrection of the Lord (Easter Day) (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.)

Christ is risen!
He is risen, indeed!
(No fooling!)

The Revised Common Lectionary for this Sunday suggests six different readings that can used in various configurations. In previous years I have opted to use the Acts passage as the First Reading but this year I will opt for the Isaiah passage. For the Second Reading I will use the pericope form 1 Corinthians. Since John is my favorite Gospel (thus the photo at top right) I will stick with it rather than abandon it for the reading from Luke.

Acts 10:34-43
One of Peter’s Sermons

vs. 38-43 The Gospel in a nut shell? What more need one say?

Isaiah 65:17-25
By placing this reading on Easter, is the New Revised Lectionary suggesting that with the Resurrection of Christ, the “new heavens and new earth” envisioned by Isaiah have come to pass?

I have used this reading and verses from this Reading at more than one Service of Witness to the Resurrection. Isaiah 65:17-25 is one of the Readings suggested for use at a Funeral by the Book of Common Worship (pp. 953-954). I hope that when mourners hear it read at a Funeral that they might remember also hearing it read on Easter.

v. 25 I think I hear echoes of Advent, or at least Isaiah 11:6.

Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
vs. 1-2 and many other verses from this reading could be adapted for use as a responsive Call to Worship.

vs. 17-18 Easter’s defiant proclamation in the face of death.

vs. 22 “The Stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone” because another stone had been rolled way (Luke 24:2) or removed (John 20:1) from the tomb.

1 Corinthians 15:19-26
v. 19 While we might be pitied if for this life only we have hoped in Christ, will we be pitied if for this life and the life to come we have hoped in Christ? Pie in the sky in the sweet bye and bye no longer cuts it in this postmodern world. Where is the realized eschatology?

v. 22 This passage is one of many where Paul portrays Christ as the new Adam.

v. 26 Death might be the last enemy to be destroyed but it will still be destroyed. Who or what are the other enemies that will be destroyed before death is destroyed?

Please correct me if I am wrong, but I did not hear in this reading or in the reading from Acts any theory of, or even mention of, the atonement.

John 20:1-18
v. 1 Unlike the synoptic gospels, John has only Mary Magdalene discovering the empty tomb.

v. 8 What did the “other disciple” believe? V. 9 simply does not seem to logically follow from v. 8.

v. 10 Is this anti-climatic, or what? How often do we witness or even participate in some great event and then return to our home as if nothing happened?

v. 11 Peter and the other disciple go home but Mary sticks around.

v. 14 How is it that Mary sees the resurrected Jesus but yet does not recognize him, mistaking him for the gardner? What makes us think our powers of recognition are any better?

v. 16 The power of a name, but not the name “Jesus”; rather, the name “Mary”!

v. 18 Is “I have seen the Lord” a statement of faith?

Luke 24:1-12
v. 1 Who is the “they”? If you use this reading, I suggest you identify the “they” even if they are the same women identified in v. 10.

v. 7 Why is it that the moniker “Son of Man” does not appear in any of our Creeds or Confessions, or on bumper stickers? How about "Honk if you believe the Son of Man was raised on the third day."

v. 11 “Idle tales” are in fact the Gospel. Let it be note that in Luke, these women are in fact the first evangelists, the first bearers of the Good News of Christ’s resurrection.

v. 12 Did Peter not believe the women and have to go see for himself? Peter might have been “amazed” but he still “went home.”

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