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.)
vs. 1-4 Last Sunday we heard about Hosea’s Children. This week we hear about God’s children. How many parents have you heard wax and wane like God about their errant, wayward children?
v. 4 Is there any special meaning or symbolism associated with “cords” and “bands”? Are they technical religious terms?
vs. 5-7 Is this an example of God exercising some “tough love”?
vs. 8-9 Is this an example of God having second thoughts? Is it an example of God repenting?
v. 9 “the Holy One in your midst” is one of my favorite monikers for God.
v. 10 Images of C.S. Lewis’s Aslan.
Psalm 107:1-9, 43
v. 1 Apparently this Psalm is intended to reflect Hosea 11:8-11 rather than Hosea 11:1-7.
v. 2 This sounds like a liturgical instruction.
v. 3 Note the four cardinal directions and similar language in the Invitation to the Lord’s Table (BOCW “A” p. 68)
v. 8 An invitation to return to v. 1?
v. 9 Like v. 3, language that could be used in a Eucharistic setting.
v. 1 A hypothetical “if”?
vs. 1-2 How do we, in a post Copernican world, handle “above” language when it points to the spiritual dwelling place of the “ascended” Christ and of God (and of the Holy Spirit), when our “above” is “down” on the other side of the globe?
v. 4 What does it mean to “be revealed” both for Christ and for you?
v. 5 Is it safe to assume that this list is not exhaustive?
vs. 7-10 In answer to my question about v. 5, apparently not, because this verse seems to expand the list of vices.
v. 11 A nice theological move, but were we prepared for it? Is Paul suggesting that divisions based on such criteria are also expressions of disobedience?
v. 13 Was the person in the crowd being sincere, cynical, or simply showing respect by addressing Jesus as “Teacher”. Shall we hear this as a prefiguring of Luke 15:11-32?
v. 14 Why does Jesus refer to his interlocutor as “friend”? Does the question Jesus asks assume the answer “no one”?
v. 15 A nice one liner, especially within the context of American consumerism in the midst of a recession.
v. 16-20 Is there a risk that we might read too much into this parable?
v. 21 Is it ok to store up treasurers on earth if one is also rich toward God? Where does one draw the line between prudent investing for retirement and an obsessive/compulsive saving/hoarding of wealth?