Thursday, April 08, 2010

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, April 11, 2010, the Second 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 5:27-32
During the Easter Season the Revised Common Lectionary opts for First Readings from the Book of Acts rather than the Hebrew Scriptures.

v. 28 The disciples have been engaging in an unauthorized work. The religious authorities had even told them to cease and desist. What does it mean to “teach in his name”?

v. 29 Peter and the apostles challenge denominational authorities and the status quo.

v. 30 An appeal to tradition and religious pedigree (the God of our ancestors) in order to subvert the dominant paradigm.

Psalm 118:14-29
How can we read and interpret a song of victory in non-militaristic way? While we might easily interpret this psalm in light of Christ’s victory over death, its original setting referred to a military victory.

v. 17 How and when do we recount the deeds of the LORD?

v. 18 What sort of punishment was the Psalmist thinking of?

v. 22 Quoted in Mt. 21:42, Mk. 12:10, Lk. 20:17, Acts 4:11, and 1 Pt. 2:7.
vs. 26-27 Refrains of Palm Sunday this Second Sunday of Easter. See Mt. 21:9, Mt. 23:39, Mk 11:9, Lk. 13:35, Jn. 12:13

v. 29 Another familiar refrain. See 1 Ch. 16:34, Ps.106:1, Ps 107:1, Ps. 118:1 as well as this verse, Ps. 136:1. Thus, this is the only place in the Psalter where this refrain appears in a Psalm other than the first verse.

Revelation 1:4-8
Six out of the ten occurrences of lectionary readings from Revelation occur during the Easter season of Year C. Thus this and the following several weeks offers an opportunity to preach a series of sermons focusing on Revelation while sticking with the Lectionary.
Does it matter whether or not if the author of Revelation is the author of the fourth Gospel?

v. 7 I cannot read and interpret this literally but only as highly stylized and symbolic mythopoeic description of a vision, in spite of the best selling “Left Behind” series.

John 20:19-31
v. 19 It is still the day of resurrection. Less than 24 hours have passed.

Vs. 19-22 Apparently not even locked doors can prevent the risen Jesus from appearing among his disciples.

v. 26 What is the significance that Jesus appeared a week later, not six days or eight days? What does this say about gathering on the Lord’s Day?

vs. 27-28 Does Thomas ever feel/touch, even though invited, or is “seeing” enough to prompt his confession?

v. 29 See v. 31.

v. 31 Must we “see” the resurrected Jesus as Thomas did in order to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, or are we able to believe by reading in this book (John) about the signs Jesus did the presence of his disciples?

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