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. http://summittoshore.blogspot.com/
v. 1 Who is the king and what is he king of? What is the relationship between Haman and Esther?
v. 2 On the second day of what?
v. 3 Who are Esther’s people and why does she ask for her life and the life of her people?
v. 5 How could the king not know about this?
v. 9 Does it matter that Harbona was a eunuch? How could Harbona know what was going on when the King did not know?
v. 10 The height of irony.
v. 20 Why did Mordecai record these things? Why did he send letters? I think it would be a find of great historical significance if one of these letters were ever discovered.
v. 21-22 The feast on these days commemorating all these events is called what?
v. 1 Must the LORD be on any one’s side?
v. 1-2 This sounds like a responsive call and response.
v. 3-5 Thus, the victory belongs to the LORD.
v. 8 This is not the confession of a national security state.
v. 13 is this an admonition or a restriction? Shall the suffering only pray? How many congregations on Sunday morning really sound cheerful?
v. 14 How many PC(USA) Teaching and Rulings Elders do you know who will anoint with oil?
v. 15 Is this a reference to faith healing? What is the relation, if any, between faith and healing?
v. 16 How is the prayer of the righteous powerful and effective? What about the prayer of the unrighteous?
v. 17 How do we wander from the truth?
v. 38 What do you think of the situation John describes? What is your take on “demons”?
v. 39 What do you think of Jesus’ advice?
v. 40 Is the enemy of my enemy my friend?
v. 41 What reward?
v. 42 What is a stumbling block? Of the sixteen occurrences of “stumbling block” in the NRSV, consider especially 1 Cor. 1:23. Who are “these little ones”?
vs. 43-47 How do children and others who understand Scripture literally understand these verses?
v. 48 Why do many of our contemporary images of hell include flames but not worms?
v. 49 What does it mean to be salted with fire?
v. 50 How does this verse follow from the verse that precedes it.