Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, April 24, 2011, the Resurrection of the Lord (Easter Day) (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.

Hallelujah. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!

The Lectionary for this day offers various alternate Readings. The First Reading may be Acts 10:34-43 or Jeremiah 31:1-6. The Second Reading may Colossians 3:1-4 or Acts 10:34:43. If you choose to use the Acts passage for the First Reading, you would of course use the Colossians passage for the Second Reading. If you choose the Jeremiah passage for the First Reading, you then have two passages to choose from for the Second Reading. There are also two options for the Gospel. Pick either John 20:1-18 or Matthew 28:1-10. Even though there are six passages, I will focus only on four.

Acts 10:34-43
v. 34 What is the context of this passage? What would it mean if God did show partiality?

v. 35 What do you think it means to “fear” God?

vs. 36-39 This reads like a brief synopsis of the life and ministry of Jesus.

v. 40 The Easter Proclamation! How do you understand “allowed”?

v. 41 What is the significance of eating and drinking with the resurrected Christ?

v.42 What is the difference, if any, between preaching and testifying?

v. 43 What “prophets” is Peter referring to?

Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
vs. 1-2 A call and response.

v. 14 How shall Christians read “salvation” in the Hebrew Scriptures?

vs. 15-16 Is the Psalmist quoting a glad song of victory?

v. 17 How do we recount the deeds of the LORD? What are the deeds of the LORD?

v. 18 What do you thin was the nature of the Psalmist’s punishment?

v. 19 What are, and where are, the gates of righteousness?

v. 20 I would love to know how you interpret this verse in light of verse 19.

v. 21 A shift from speaking of God in the third person to speaking to God in the second person.

v. 22 Where will Christians hear this again?

v. 23 What is the LORD’sdoing?

v. 24 What is the day the LORD has made? How can we be glad in it?

Colossians 3:1-4
v. 1 An “if/then” statement even though the “then” implicit. What are the things that are above?

v. 2 Does it make any difference that the admonition refers to the mind rather than the heart?

v. 3 What does it that your life is hidden?

v. 4 I thought Christ has already been revealed in the life and ministry of Jesus. Must this, by necessity, refer to the parousia or to the final resurrection?

John 20:1-18
v. 1 What is the first day of the week? What does it mean that it was still dark? How did Mary see that the stone had been removed from the tomb if was still dark?

v. 2 Let’s speculate about the identity of the other disciple, the on whom Jesus loved. From the context, I think we can rule out Peter. Whom might Mary have meant by “they”? Why does Mary say, “we do not know”? Was she not alone?

v. 4 Peter, the slowpoke, quick to speak, slow to run.

v. 5 Why not go in?

v. 6 Peter might be slow, but he is not hesitant.

v. 8 I find it interesting that in reference to Peter, there is no mention of him believing. In this passage, it is this “other disciple” that is the first to “believe”.

v. 9 But based on this verse, what did the “other disciple” believe? That someone (they of verse 2) has taken the Lord out of the tomb?

vs. 10-11 Am anticlimactic verse. Then again, where else could the disciples have gone? Why did they abandon Mary, leaving her all alone? Were they simply typical men?

v. 12 How shall we moderns, or post-moderns, deal with angels when we encounter them in Scripture?

v. 14 How could, and why would, Mary not recognize Jesus?

v. 15 Both Jesus and the Angels (in verse 13) address Mary in the same way and ask the same question. But Jesus asks even more than the angels asked.

v. 16 Jesus address Mary by name rather than by “woman” and she calls him Rabbouni rather than “gardener”.

v. 17 Why would Jesus say this? What do we make of Jesus talk about not yet having ascended? What is the meaning of “brothers”? Why “I am ascending” rather than “I will ascend”?

v. 18 Does this make Mary the first post resurrection witness? Preacher? Perhaps, in recognition of the role played by Mary, the first words of any Easter liturgy ought to be spoken by a woman!


Do not forget the multi-valiant character of John’s Gospel. I think we may be tempted to become so engrossed by John’s description of the scene and dialogue of the first Easter that we may miss any deep structure. John has been highly structured and symbolic throughout. Why change at the resurrection account?

No comments: