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 did early Christians know the day of Pentecost had arrived when they had not yet been filled with the Holy Spirit? Who are “they” and what does it mean (existentially and theologically) that “they were all together in one place”?
v. 2 Why were they sitting in a house?
v. 3 What is a divided tongue?
v. 4 Do you think some of them spoke in other languages better than others?
v. 5 What is the difference between a devout Jew and a Jew?
v. 6 When was the last time you were bewildered?
v. 7 When was the last time worship where you usually attend left you or anyone else amazed and astonished?
v. 10 What is the difference between a Jew and a proselyte?
v. 11 What are God’s deeds of power?
v. 12When was the last time your sermon or Bible study amazed and perplexed anyone? I would settle for people simply asking “What does this mean?”.
v. 13 What is the difference between new wine and old wine? Can not both intoxicate?
v. 14 Why Peter?
vs. 17-21 Do you think Peter really said this, or are some words being putin to his mouth at a later time?
v. 17 If God poured out the Spirit on all flesh, sons as well as daughters, (both male and female slaves inverse 18), then why does Peter address only “men” in verse 14?
v. 24 What works?
v. 26 All the ships are in NYC this week for Fleet Week and OpSail 2012. Is this Hobbes’ Leviathan?
v. 29 What does it mean for God to hide the divine face?
v. 30 Does this verse alone justify pairing this Psalm with the Acts passage and to read on Pentecost Sunday?
v. 32 Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions! Is it bad science, and bad theology, to associate natural geologic phenomena with God?
v. 22 Who is “we”? Read this verse in light of Psalm 104:32. Does this verse legitimize Christians speaking of “mother earth”?
v. 23 What does it mean to groan inwardly?
v. 24-25 Is Paul making the distinction between hope and truth? Faith and fact?
v. 26 Why do we not know how to pray as we ought? Can prayer be taught? Is there any comparison between “sighs too deep for words” and glossolalia?
v. 27 Does this verse suggest that the Spirit resides in individuals in the heart (rather than the mind)?
v. 26 Is the Fourth Gospel the only New Testament writing to refer to the Spirit as the Advocate. How do you reconcile this verse with the filioque clause of the Nicene Creed?
v. 7 Why can the Advocate not come to believers until after Jesus leaves them?
v. 11 Who is “the ruler of this world”?
v. 12 What else do you think Jesus wanted to say that he did not say?
v. 13 Where does the Spirit of Truth hear what he (or she?) speaks?
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.