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.
v. 1 How many juxtapositions can you find in this verse and the reading in addition to a great man suffering from leprosy?
v. 2 Is this the only Biblical instance of a captured Israelite bringing some sort of salvation to their captors?
v. 3 Who is the “my lord” being referred to?
v. 4 Who is the “his lord” being referred to?
v. 6Why was Naaman sent to the king of Israel rather than the prophet in Samaria?
v. 7 Does the king of Israel ask a rhetorical question? Why does the king of Israel think the king of Samaria is trying to pick a fight?
v. 8 How might have Elisha heard about what had happened? Note that in verse 3 the young girl referred to a prophet who is in Samaria, yet in this verse, Elisha refers to a prophet in Israel.
v. 9 Why seven times?
v. 11 What was the source of Naaman’s anger?
v. 12 Is there any difference between the water in the Jordan and the water in the Abana or Pharpar? Why are some rivers, such as the Jordan and the Ganges, considered sacred and holy, while others are not?
v. 1 What does it mean to “extol” the LORD? Do you extol anyone or anything?
v. 2 This verse pairs well with the First Reading, but can you imagine these words, or this Psalm, being spoken by Naaman?
v. 3 Is this verse about resurrection, or something else?
v. 5 I like the contrast between God’s anger and God’s favor. Why does it seem that some people get this backwards?
v. 6 I hear echoes of other passages here. How do we read this and the following verse in the midst or, or near the end of, The Great Recession?
v. 9 What logic is the psalmist employing?
vs. 11-12 Is it the promise of God’s grace, or the experience of God’s grace, that leads to mourning turning into dancing?
v. 24 Yes, we know this. Although, for some, just finishing a race is reward enough, even if they do not finish first.
v. 25 How might you compare Christian spiritual disciplines to the regimen of athletic training? What can winning athletes teach us about the Christian life?
v. 27 Is this a call to Christian asceticism, or self flagulation?
v. 40 Recalling the First Reading, I hereby proclaim this Sunday to be “Leper Sunday.” Oh wait, this Sunday has already been proclaimed “Evolution Sunday”. What does it mean to be made clean?
v. 41 Do you think Jesus was really moved with, or motivated by, pity?
v. 42 One of Mark’s favorite words: “Immediately”!
vs. 43-44 Why would Jesus sternly warn the man he healed not to anything about itbut to show himself to the priest? What did Moses command to be offered?
v. 45 Why could Jesus no longer go into towns openly?
For those who are observing it, February 12, 2012 is Evolution Sunday. How might these texts illuminate the relation of science and faith and one’s understanding of creation and evolution?