Thursday, February 17, 2011

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, February 20, 2011, the Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

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.) Lectionary Ruminations is also cross posted on my personal blog, Summit to Shore.

Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18
v. 2 Why should the people of Israel (and us by extension) be holy?

vs. 9-10 What do you know about gleaning? In addition to this being a form of social welfare, it probably also is good ecology.

vs. 11-12 So, contrary to last week’s Gospel Reading, it is ok to swear by the name of God as long as one swears truthfully?

v. 13 Let’s put these word on display on Wall Street and in the lobby of America’s mortgage lenders.

v. 14 Praise God for the ADA. I sometimes wonder what was going through the minds of people who designed and built church buildings before ADA. I fear we are now paying the price for their lackof awareness and foresight.

v. 15 As the economic disparity in America approaches levels that have not been seen since just before the Great Depression, this verse becomes ever more poignant.

v. 16 Good for kin and neighbor, but what about the stranger?

v. 18 The first part of his verse points toward the Gospel reading. The second part of this verse informs Jesus’ answer to the questions “Which is the greatest commandment?”

vs. 8, 10, 12, 14, 15, 17 Is the repetition of “I am the LORD” merely a literary device or does it suggest that these verse may have been used liturgically in a responsive fashion? Might the repetition of “I am the LORD” also serve a theological function?

Psalm 119:33-40
Do not forget that this is the second week in a row the Psalm has been an excerpt from Psalm 119, an acrostic.

v. 33 How does the LORD teach? Note that “way” is singular.

v. 34 Does understanding precede the keep of God’s law?

v. 35 Note that “path”, as “”way” in verse 33, is singular.

vs. 36-37 What is God’s responsibility and what is our responsibility for turning the heart?

v. 38 What is the “promise”? What does it mean to “fear”God?

v. 39 What disgrace does the Psalmist dread?

v. 40 Hey, God. Look at me. Look at me? I might not have kept all your decrees, but I wanted to. Give me life just for trying.

1 Corinthians 3:10-11, 16-23
v. 10 If Paul laid the foundation, who is now building on that foundation? How many ways are there to build on an already established foundation?

v. 16 What is the foundation of “God’s Temple”?

v. 17 Is Paul talking about self-destruction, or destroying the temple of another?

v. 18 Paul again writes about being “wise” and becoming “fools”. But become fools in order to become wise? What is Paul doing with these word games and twists of logic?

v. 19 And where is this so written? Perhaps Job 5:13? If so, I find it ironic that Job is traditionally classified as “Wisdom Literature”.

v. 20 Again, perhaps Psalm 94:11?

v. 21 All things are yours? What is Paul talking about?

v. 22 So, in the end, all things are God’s?

Matthew 5:38-48
v. 38 And how many times have we not only heard this said, but cited out of context?

v. 39 It sounds as though Jesus is asserting his own authority over the law. What do you know about “turning cheeks”?

v. 40 Did Jesus live in a litigious society?

v. 41 Why would someone force you to go a mile?

v. 42 Give? How much? Loan? With our without interest?

v. 43 I have not heard this one very often, if at all.

v. 44 I actually find it easier to pray for those who persecute me than to love my enemies.

v. 45 True.

v. 46 Does Jesus mean to suggest that the only reason to love is to be rewarded?

v. 48 Is human perfection really a reachable goal?

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