Thursday, November 18, 2010

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, November 21, 2010, Christ the King (Reign of Christ) Sunday (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 23:1-6
v. 1 I wish this had been the text the Sunday prior to election day.

v.2 A pretty severe warning: attend to my people or I will attend to you!

v. 3 Since the shepherds have not been gathering the people, God will take on the task and role of the Shepherd.

v. 4 If the LORD is going to raise up new shepherds, should one assume that God had raised up or not raised up the former shepherds?

v. 5 “The days are surely coming” sounds like apocalyptic language. Why is “Branch” capitalized in the NRSV?

6. Note the dual identification: “Judah” and “Israel”. What is the Hebrew translated as “The LORD is our righteousness”?

Even though this is Christ the King Sunday, I cannot but help read and hear this as applying to pastors as shepherds. How does this being Christ the King Sunday influence how we hear and interpret this Reading?

Luke 1:68-79
This psalm, or canticle, is known as the “Benedictus” or “canticle of Zechariah . Why do you think it, rather than a psalm from the Psalter, was chosen to pair with the Jeremiah Readinig?

v. 69 Shall we read this verse as a fulfillment of Jeremiah 23:69?

v. 70 Which “prophets” (note that it is plural) do you think the Arthur had in mind?

v. 72 If it is pointed out that God has remembered the holy covenant, can it be assumed that previously God forgot or neglected this covenant?

v.76 Who is being addressed? Who is the “child”?

v.78-79 I love the imagery of this verse. What might it allude to?

Colossians 1:11-20
vs. 11-12 This sounds like a formal blessing or benediction. Who are the “saints in the light”?

v. 13 This sounds as though the “power of darkness” is being compared to the “kingdom of his beloved Son.” At least “kingdom” resonates with the “Christ the King” theme.

v. 15 How shall we read “image” and to what might it allude? From a theological perspective, how shall we deal with the statement that he is “the firstborn of all creation.”

v. 15-16 How do we reconcile “the firstborn of creation” with the statement that he is “in him all things in heaven and on earth were created.”?

v. 16 When you think of “things invisible”, what comes to mind? To what do “thrones or dominions or rulers or powers” refer? Why might the author offer us a four descriptive identifiers rather than just one? What does it mean, “things have been created through him”?

v. 17 As many times as I have read this, “in him all things hold together” sounds like I am reading it for the first time.

v. 19 From a Christological perspective, does “in the him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell” mean the same thing as when we say that he is “of one substance with the Father”?

Luke 23:33-43
v. 35 Does this being Christ the King Sunday compel us to focus on the “anointing of kings” aspect of what it means to be called “the Messiah of God, his chosen one.”

vs. 37-38 Now we get overt references to Jesus being “King of the Jews”. But was he not King of much more?

v. 39 Can we read this as meaning that one of the criminals questioned Jesus kingship?

v. 42 Why am I hearing the fifth track of the Sing to God CD from the TaizĂ© Community? See Hymn #599 in The Presbyterian Hymnal. After to references to king, we are now presented with a mention of “kingdom”.

v. 43 Shall we equate “Paradise” with Jesus’ Kingdom mentioned in the previous verse? For the record, a couple weeks ago while visiting the Universal Theme Park in Orlando; I enjoyed a “cheeseburger in paradise.” It was delicious.


Sarahlynn said...

Our guest preacher got pretty political with this one, too, even including a reference to some members probably having a "taste for tea." Good (and non-partisan) sermon!

John Edward Harris said...

I made reference to The Theological Declaration Of Barmen and challenged pew sitters to be Christians first and Americans, or whatever, second.

Sarahlynn said...

Good one! (And timely for me - we just worked on The Theological Declaration of Barmen last week in officer training prep.)