Thursday, November 04, 2010

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, November 7, 2010, the Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

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 are linked to the NRSV via the oremus Bible Browser.)

Haggai 1:15b-2:9
vs. 15b-1 Is there anything significant about this setting in time? I think “the word of the LORD came by the prophet Haggai” is an interesting construction, a little different than the usual construction “the word of the LORD came to . . . “

v. 2 Who are these people and what are is their significance? Who would be their equivalents today?

v. 3 Is this a rhetorical question? What is the “this house” being referred to?

v. 4 What is the opposite of courage?

v. 5 This verse reminds me of the Magnificat well as line 66 of the PC(USA) Brief Statement of Faith

vs. 6-7 The shaking of the foundations? Is this a reference to something more than an earthquake?

v.8 Red this verse just before collecting the day’s offering.

v. 9 Is this prophecy or a creative anachronism?

Psalm 145:1-5, 17-21
v. 3 This verse could be incorporated into a call to worship.

v. 4 Generation to generation, the essence of religious nurture

v. 5 How many people in the pews, the classroom and in Bible Studies are familiar with, and comfortable with, “meditation” in the Judeo-Christian tradition?

v. 19 How shall we interpret “fear”? Is there any relation between this verse and Haggai 2:4?

v. 20 Really? When and how?

v. 21 Another verse appropriate for use as a call to worship.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17
v. 1 An eschatological passage perhaps with thematic ties to the day’s Gospel Reading.

v. 2 So someone writing and sending troubling pseudonymous letters?

v. 3 Why would anyone be deceptive about such things? Was this deception intentional?

v. 4 Who is being subject of this verse?

v. 5 A rhetorical question? I would love to have been there to hear what was told them prior to this letter.

v. 13 What does it mean to be chosen as “the first fruits”?

v. 14 When was the last time someone called through YOUR proclamation?

v. 15 What “traditions” does the author have in mind? Note that these traditions were taught in two ways, word of mouth (preaching? teaching?), and letter (correspondence). As Reformed Christians who tend to emphasize “sola scriptura”, how do we reconcile this verse with other theological affirmations such as the Wesleyan Quadlitatteral?

vs. 16-17 A nice blessing/benediction. How does it follow from what precedes it?

Luke 20:27-38
v. 27 When I was a young child I was taught to remember the difference between Sadducees and Pharisees by recalling that Pharisees at least entertained the possibility of a resurrection, while Sadducees did not. That was why the latter were sad, you see.

v. 28 Were these Sadducees interested in theological conversation, or in trapping Jesus? Is their question not something like “Have you quit beating your spouse?” or “Can God create a rock so heavy that God can not lift it?”

vs. 34-35 Does the reference to “to this age” place this passage in the genre of apocalypticism and/or eschatology? How was this verse interpreted and applied by communal religious societies in early America, such as the Shakers and the Oneida Community?

v. 37 How do we deal with “the dead ARE raised” rather than ”WILL be raised”?

v. 38 Can the dead be alive to God while still dead to us? How has and does this reading inform and influence our doctrine of the resurrection?

A week and a half prior to this Sunday, I asked three people at a Bible Study to write down a question they have about the resurrection. Here are their questions”

Are there any other religions that have a resurrection theme?

Why did Jesus bother with being born, his life, ministry, resurrection, etc. since he was God anyway?

After the resurrection – or when someone dies – does the spirit go straight to heaven?

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