Thursday, September 16, 2010

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, September 19, 2010, the Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (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.)

Jeremiah 8:18-9:1
v. 18 Who is speaking?

v. 19b Who is speaking and who is being quoted?

v. 21 Para-sympathetic feelings? How is this image magnified by the crucifixion?

v. 22 Who is asking these questions? Are they rhetorical questions?

v.1 Is this a Holy lamentation?

How much might Jeremiah be inserting his own thought s and feelings into his prophecy. Who is hurting more, Jeremiah, God, or the people?

Psalm 79:1-9
v.1 Does this verse reflect a time after 58-586 CE?

v. 4 Is this the viewpoint of the Diaspora?

v. 5 A communal prayer that could fall upon the lips of an individual.

v. 6 “Why punish your children when others have totally neglected and ignored you?”

v. 8 “Give us a break! Don’t hold us accountable for the sins of our parents.”

v. 9 “If you forgive us, it will make you look better.”

1 Timothy 2:1-7
v. 1 What is the meaning and significance of “First of all”? Does this refer to time or importance? What do you make of the list “supplications,prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings”? Is there anyone excluded from the “all”? What does the “all” say to the generally individualistic and narcissistic prayers of American Christians?

v. 4 Is there a hint of universalism here? What is “the knowledge of the truth”. To quote Pilat, what is ‘truth?’. Or should we asking “who is the truth?”

v. 6 This verse is often used to defend a particular understanding of the atonement, but does it force us to embrace only one understanding?

v. 7 Why does Paul even have to write “(I am telling the truth, I am not Lying)”?

Luke 16:1-13
v. 1 It is anachronistic to do so, but read back into this recent Wall Street and Investment Banking scandals.

vs. 5-7 An example of one bad deed spawning another? Certainly Jesus was not intending to teach dishonesty, or was he?

v. 8 In my humble opinion, this is NOT one of Jesus’ best parables.

v. 9 What?

v. 10-13 These verses seem to redeem what preceded.

v. 13 a poignant verse during tough economic times and two months before an election that might have as one of its debates who pays how much in taxes and what entitlements will be cut.

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