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.
2:10 Having taught a Psychology/Philosophy course on Death and Dying, I hate euphemisms for dying and death, even Biblical ones. As Christians, we are called, and equipped, to look death in the face and call it by name.
2:12 To whom can Solomon give credit for the firmly established kingdom he inherited?
3:3 What does it mean to Love the LORD? What were the statutes of David? Note the plurality “high places”. Where, and what were, these high places?
3:4 What was so special about Gibeon?
3:5 If you want to know more about biblical dreams and dreaming, read Morton Kelsey and John Sanford.
3:7 how old was Solomon when he experienced this dream?
3:9 Wasn’t the sin of Adam and Eve that they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? What separates Solomon’s request from their action?
3:12 I am reminded of the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion in the Wizard of Oz. The Great Oz did not give then what they did not already have. Solomon, in making his request, had already demonstrated that he possessed a wise and discerning mind. I think Socrates would have approved.
3:13 God gives Solomon riches and honor.
3:14 Solomon must earn long life.
v. 1 Alleluia. But could dis even fulfill good, holy, instructional, jovial, kaleidoscopic, language?
v. 2 Can you list, in alphabetical order, or course, the works of the LORD?
v. 9 Is the name of the LORD so awesome and Holy that we cannot even attempt to pronounce it?
v. 10 What does it mean to fear the LORD? If the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, what is wisdom’s end? Those who practice “fear of the LORD” or those who practice “wisdom” have a good understanding?
v. 15 Apparently, wisdom is the theme of the day. How do the wise and the unwise live differently?
v. 16 Are our days, our age and time, evil?
v. 17 Is foolishness the opposite of, or the absence of, wisdom? Is understanding the will of the Lord the same as wisdom?
v. 18 Is it ok to get drunk with something other than wine? I good serving of vintage Spirit would taste pretty good right about now!
v. 19 What are the differences among psalms, hymns and spiritual songs? Is this just a literary device?
v. 51 How many of Jesus’ “I am” sayings have we read in the Fourth Gospel before now? What is the difference between living bread and au bon pain or le pain quotidian? What other bread came down from heaven?
v. 52 The $1,000,000 question!
v. 53 How did Jesus segue from bread to bread and blood?
v. 54 Not “will” have eternal life but “have” eternal life. Nevertheless, they will not be raised up until the last day.
v. 55 Thank God they are not false food and false drink.
v. 57 Why “living Father” and not just Father?
v. 58 What bread did our ancestors eat and die? What does it mean to live forever?
vs. 51-58 Is it even possible to read these verses without reading them through the lenses of a sacramental and Eucharistic hermeneutic? How might we understand differently if we approached them with a tabula rasa heuristics? I am inclined to read them as mystical, almost Gnostic verses filled with multivalent meaning. This is the author of the Fourth Gospel at his or her best.