Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, May 15, 2011, the Fourth Sunday of Easter (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.

Acts 2:42-47
v. 42 Greek Scholars; is it the apostles’ teaching and the apostles’ fellowship, or the apostles’ teaching and fellowship? In other words, does “Apostles’’” modify both teaching and fellowship or just teaching? Regardless, I consider these the four marks of the church. Against them, how do we measure up?

v. 43 How do you understand “Awe”? Are the wonders and signs the same thing as miracles,or something different?

v. 44 Pure communism?

v. 45 “All” means whom? Does the answer to that question depend on what the meaning of the word “is” is?

v. 47 Note the distinction between what was happening in the Templeand what was happening in homes. How do you understand “day by day”?

Psalm 23:1-6
What can we say about the most popular passage in the Bible that we have not already said, like just six weeks ago on April 3, the Fourth Sunday in Lent? Whu does this Psalm appear twice in the lectionary in such a short span of time?

v. 1 Does it serve any theological and homiletically purpose to point out that “The LORD” is not a reference to Jesus but to the LORD God? How many Christians hear this Psalm as a Psalm about Jesus rather than a Psalm about God?

v. 4 Do you prefer the “darkest valley” of the NRSV or the “valley of the shadow of death” of the KJV and RSV?

v. 5 What does it mean to have one’s head anointed with oil and one’s cup overflowing. Can we really speak of overflowing cups when in the Eucharist we barely fill little plastic cups containing less than a shot glass? Can we speak of being anointed with oil when most congregations rarely, if ever, practice it? I argue for anointing with oil at the time of Baptism as well as the laying on of hands associated with prayers for healing and wholeness. If we practiced more anointing with oil, this popular Psalm might actually mean even more to some people.

v. 6 What does it mean to dwell in the house of the LORD all one’s life? Is “house of the LORD” a reference and/or allusion to the Temple, or something else?

1 Peter 2:19-25
v. 19 I would rather not receive this credit. What about you? What does it mean to be “aware’ of God?

v.20I understand this within its context, but in ou context, can this lead to and feed a martyr complex?

v. 21 I thought we were called to love one another, even to serve, but to suffer?

v. 22 Where is this quote from?

v. 23 So much for an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.

v. 24 The first part of this verse often serves as a call to confession. How is anyone healed by another’s wounds?

v.25 Is this the verse that motivated the creators of the lectionary to make Psalm 23 the Psalm for this day? I like the “guardian of our souls” language.

John 10:1-10
v. 1 A formulaic opening to yet more sheep and shepherd imagery. Whom do you think Jesus/John had in mind?

v. 3 This verse seems to suggest that there are sheep of more than one shepherd in the sheepfold.

v. 4 What shall we make of the “voice”?

v. 5 Is there any correlation between the Stangers of this verse and the thief and bandit of verse 1?

v. 6 And want made John think that we would understand?

v. 7 Again the formulaic phrase. Why the change of metaphor from shepherd to sheepfold?

v.8 This verse seems to refer back to verse 1. Whom is Jesus referring to?

v. 9 I am fascinated by the “come in and go out” language, suggesting movement rather than stasis. If I understand the imagery correctly, we come into the sheepfold at night to find protection, but during the day, we go out into pasture to find nourishment. What was Jesus talking about?

v. 10 Who is the thief?

No comments: