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.)
v. 5 Is this just a rhetorical question, or is God moaning, groaning, and complaining?
v. 7 This sounds like a good verse for a sermon/lesson on environmental stewardship.
v. 8 This is quite an indictment of the religious and civil authorities. How do we rate, by comparison?
v. 9 Is this is one more accusation, when and where were the other accusations? Or is “once more” used in an emphatic sense rather than a temporal sense?
v. 11 Has any other nation/people, other than Israel, acted this way?
v. 12 Note “two evils”. It is one thing not to trust in God. It is another thing to place one’s trust somewhere else. How have we, in our time and culture, dug out cisterns that are cracked and that cannot hold water? How many of today’s urban readers even know what a cistern is and what it is used for?
Psalm 81:1, 10-16
v. 10 rehearsing the same salvation history as Isaiah 2:6.
v. 11 This sounds like the same complaint as Isaiah 2:8
v. 16 A nice Eucharistic image.
Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16
v. 1 Not an admonition to do something different but to continue what is being practiced.
v.2 And to what does this refer?
v. 3 A verse for Amnesty International.
v. 4 And how shall we read this in light of our culture wars over the meaning and “sanctity” of marriage?
v. 5 Why have we been focusing more on the previous verse than this one?
v. 6 What is being quoted?
v. 7 I think this refers to religious, not civil leaders.
v. 8 Notice “Jesus Christ” rather than “God”. Is the subtext an argument that Jesus is God?
vs.15-16 I think three sacrifices are mentioned: praise, good works, generosity. Verse 16 can be used/adapted to introduce the offering.
Luke 14:1, 7-14
v. 1 “On one occasion” sounds like people remembered this happening but no one really remembered where or when. Who are the “they” that were watching closely? Do you think Jesus was invited for the purpose of his being watched?
v. 7. It sounds as if Jesus was the one doing the watching?
v. 8-11 Where are the places of honor today? Head table? First in line? VIP Suite? Owner’s box?
vs 12-13 But what fun is there if you do not invite your friends and the people you usually associate with? Is this anything but Eucharistic imagery?