he 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.)
Isaiah 1:1, 10-20
This is the first of several readings from Isaiah, so if you think you might be preaching a series of sermons or leading a series of Bible Studies on the First Reading, this is a good week to lay the foundation.
v. 1 Does it make any difference that this book begins by referring to “The Vision of Isaiah” rather than “The vision of the Lord”?
v. 10 Why does Isaiah bring up Sodom and Gomorrah? Will most worshipers be able to hear this reference without thinking about “the sin of Sodom” and “sodomy” as wrong as that might be?
v. 17 How will Glen Beck deal with this verse?
vs.10-17 This appears not to be a contrast between Religious/Spiritual but rather a statement about true religion being known by its social ethic.
v. 18 A verse often used as a Call to Confession of Sin. I like the NRSV “let us argue it out”. What does it mean?
Psalm 50:1-8, 22-23
A Psalm suggesting that God is not just the Mighty One of Israel but rather the Mighty One of the Earth. Does this Psalm suggest universalism?
Vs. 6-7 There seems to be a transition from the third to the first person.
v. 23 If you interpret this Psalm in light of the Isaiah Passage rather than interpreting Isiaah in light of the Psalm, how does today’s reading from Isaiah influence our interpretation of “the right way”?
Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16
v. 1 A classic Biblical definition of faith.
v. 8 What did Abraham obey?
vs. 8, 9, 11 Three times we hear “by faith”.
I think we usually read this as a passage about faith, but reading it again, it seems more like a passage about how we live in this world. I am thinking of the Resident Aliens: Life in the Christian Colony by Stanley Hauerwas
v. 32 What is this “little flock” language?
v. 34 Here is some Liturgical language to introduce the Offering. I hear of echoes of last week’s Gospel Reading.
v. 35 Is this an example of Apocalyptic and eschatological language? How many of our members, how many of us, are “dressed for action” and have our lamps lit?
vs, 39-40 How do we make the transition from the master returning from a wedding banquet to a thief?
v. 40 Haw many people in the pew, or in the classroom or discussion group, are familiar with “Son of Man” terminology and symbolism?