Thursday, November 10, 2011

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, November 13, 2011, the Thirty-Third 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 may be linked to the NRSV via the oremus Bible Browser.) Lectionary Ruminations is also cross-posted on my personal blog, Summit to Shore.

Judges 4:1-7
v. 1 Here we go again. This is beginning to remind me of déjà vu all over again. How many times did the Israelites do what was evil in the sight of the LORD? How many times do we?

v. 3 This is beginning to sound like a broken record. How many times do we cry out to the LORD, asking the LORD to get us out of trouble we have gotten ourselves into?

v. 4 What blasphemy, a female prophet! With regard to male prophets, how often are we told who their wife was?

v. 5 Do you think the Palm of Deborah was known by that name in Deborah’s day?

v. 6 How dare Deborah speak for God!

Psalm 123:1-4
v. 1 I though God was enthroned on the cherubim. Are the cherubim in heaven or in the Temple?

v. 2 So God is a master and maid while we are servants and mistresses. While the Israelites in the Judges passage cry to the LORD, the psalmist simply looks to the LORD. Maybe those eyes were sad, droopy puppy dog eyes that the LORD simply could not resist.

vs.3-4 Are the main complaints contempt and scorn?

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
v. 1 What times and seasons? If nothing needs to be written to the Thessalonians about times and seasons, then why does Paul bring it up?

v. 2 Is this an example of chiastic structure: “day lord / thief night”?

v. 3 Since I am of the male persuasion, I chose not to comment on this verse. If there is anyone of the female persuasion out there who would like to comment, please do so.

vs. 4-5 There is a lot of “light” and “darkness” to keep track of. Beware of racial stereotypes.

v. 6 Since the overriding metaphor is staying awake, why does Paul add “sober”?

v. 8 Does the breastplate of faith and love, and the helmet of salvation, change the metaphor? Note that a breastplate and a helmet are entirely defensive rather than offensive.

v. 10 Is Paul using “sleep” to mean more than one thing?

Matthew 25:14-30
v. 14 “It is as if” make this what? What is “it”?

v. 15 What is a talent? Ability to do what?

v. 18 What were the abilities of the first and second slaves? What was the ability of the third slave?

v. 21 What does it mean to enter into the joy of the master?

v. 24 Maybe the third slave said too much in addition to not doubling the talent.

v. 27 If we take this too literally, it begins to break down seems illogical.

vs. 28-29 I think I will not read these verses aloud anytime soon in Zuccotti Park.

v. 30 Have we heard anything like this before? Where?

In addition to serving as the half time 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 out my WyzAnt page and follow the appropriate links.

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