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.
Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67
Even after skipping some verses in this chapter, this is still the longest of the day’s Readings.
v. 24 Who is speaking?
vs. 35-40 Is sounds like things have turned out pretty well for Abraham and Sarah. Almost sacrificed, Isaac is now of marrying age. What to do? He cannot marry one of the locals, can he?
v. 42 What is it about springs?
v. 42-44 Do these verses remind you of any verses in the NT? What about John 4:1-42?
v. 45 What does it mean to speak in one’s heart?
v. 47 Who are these people and why are they being named? What is the significance of the ring and bracelets?
v. 58 Can we consider this “The call of Rebekah”? Why does Rebekah have a nurse?
v. 60 Can we read this as the blessing of Rebekah?
v. 65 Why was Rebekah not veiled until she was about to meet Isaac?
v. 67 His mother’s tent?
Is it ironic or symbolic, or just an example of synchronicity, that this reading, and its alternate, would appear in the Lectionary just a little over a week after the New York Senate passed, and the Governor signed, same sex marriage legislation?
vs. 10-15 While these words were not originally addressed to Rebekah, they do seem to fit. This reads like a liturgy from a royal wedding.
vs. 16-17 The psalm seemed to have been speaking to and of the Bride. Now it seems to speaking to the Bridegroom/King.
Song of Solomon 2:8-13
This alternate reading is suggested by the love mentioned in Genesis 24:67.
vs. 8-13 Can you hear these words coming from, perhaps, Rebekah’s mouth? These are some of the most sensual passages in Scripture. I think we do them disservice to spiritualize them and see them as anything less than biblical erotica.
v. 15 Finally ,some Pauline verses I can identify with!
v. 18 Yep!
v.20 I doubt if the “sin” defense would stand up in a court of law.
vs. 22-23 What is the contrast being made between “inmost self” and “members”?
v. 24 Could we ever use this liturgically as part of a Confession of Sin?
v. 25 A catch all phrase. How does it add to, or end, Paul’s argument?
Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30
v. 16 Why might I read this differently in my 50’s than I would have in my 30’s?
v. 17 Is this a quote? From what or where?
vs. 18-19 Damned if you don’t and damned if you do? Son of Man? “Her” deeds?
v. 25 What “things” have been hidden from some and revealed to others? Who are the “wise and intelligent” and who are the “infants”? Does the mention that the Lord of heaven and earth has “hidden” these things place this in the genre of apocalyptic literature?
vs. 28-30 These verses seem to stand on their own. Are they out of context? Do they naturally and logically follow from what precedes them? How might they add to our understanding of the previous verses? I think a whole sermon could be preached, a whole lesson developed, around these three verses.
Does the fact that Churches in the United States will be encountering these readings the day before Independence Day influence at all how we might interpret and apply them?
In addition to serving as the half time Designated Pastor of North Church Queens and writing Lectionary Ruminations, I also tutor part time. If you or someone you know needs a tutor, or if you would like to be a tutor, check our my WyzAnt page and follow the appropriate links.