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. 17 Promises, promises.
v. 18 Note the verb tenses. “I am creating” and ”I am about to create”.
v. 19 More promises. Is there any difference between “Jerusalem” and “my people” or they one in the same?
v. 20 I can celebrate considering centenarians youthful, but considering cursed anyone who dies before 100? I do not think so.
v. 21 Planning for the future?
v. 22 What are the “days of a tree”? What sort of tree might Isaiah had in mind? Surely, he was not aware of California Redwoods.
v. 23 This verse seems like a restatement of the ideas in verse 21.
v. 24 An interesting verse especially if we relate it to prayer.
v. 25 A vision of the peaceable kingdom, except for serpent. Is the serpent culled out because of the curse in Genesis, or is there another reason? I wish this verse applied to modern Jerusalem. Do you think Isaiah’s vision included a wall/barrier of separation?
v. 1 Does the “in that day” suggest this is apocalyptic language and imagery? The Psalm usually illuminates the First Reading, but this Psalm (can we call it that?) seems to prefigure the First Reading?
v. 4 Another “in that day”. Not that both appearances of “in that day” are paired with the action of giving thanks.
v. 6 I love this verse. How many occurrences are there of “royal Zion” compared to just plain and simple “Zion” ? “The Holy One of Israel” is biblical language that finds its way into the PC(USA) A Brief Statement of Faith in line 5, “we trust in the one triune God, the Holy One of Israel,”
2 Thessalonians 3:6-13
v.6 Does “command” make this an admonition? How is “Idleness” contrary to “the tradition” and what is the “tradition” being referred to?
v. 7-8 Is this an argument for tentmaking?
v.10 Is this a reference to bread in general or the bread of the Lord’s Supper?
v. 11-12 How much of this argument is addressed to people who see no need to work if the Lord will soon be returning?
v. 6 Is this an example of foreshadowing or an example of an historical event finding its way back in a text set in an earlier period? “The Days will come” suggests we might interpret this as an apocalyptic or eschatological text.
v. 7 “Sign” also suggests this is an apocalyptic/eschatological text.
vs. 9-11 When, in the history of humanity, was this text not applicable?
v. 12 Which persecution might this be referring to? Obviously, this reflect the period after heightened tension, if not the actual break, between Judaism and Christianity.
v. 14-15 I doubt the congregation I serve will read this as giving me permission not to prepare a sermon.
v. 16-17 This is sounding pretty ugly!
v. 18 This is not a bald man’s favorite verse.
v. 19 Personally, I do not find this very comforting.