Thursday, May 26, 2011

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, May 29, 2011, the Sixth Sunday of Easter (Year A)

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.)  Lectionary Ruminations is also cross posted on my personal blog, Summit to Shore.

v. 22 Last week we learned that Paul stood by while Stephen was stoned.  Now, Paul is preaching in Athens before the Areopagus.  The transition and the symbolism are startling. 

v. 23 If Paul were to walk through  one of our cities, what would he identify as the objects of our worship?

vs. 24-29 What is the content of Paul’s preaching?  What does he not say?  Is Paul’s sermon more Theistic than Christocentric?

v. 24 Can we still talk about God, who made the world and everything in it, without positing a six day creation and getting sidetracked into the creationism/evolution debate?

v. 26 Who is this ancestor?

v. 27 What does it mean to search and grope for God?  Is this still a valid argument in the post-modern world?

v. 28 An appeal to secular/pagan poets.  Have we in the church forgotten how to employ the artistic expressions of contemporary culture?

v. 31 Bote that Paul refers to a “man” God raised from the dead.  Paul seems not to here assert any divinity to this “man”.

v. 8 This sounds like, and could be used as, a Call to Worship.

v. 10 What does it mean to be tested and tried? What testing and trials might the Psalmist be referring to?

v. 11 Last week the net was hidden.  This week, the people have been in the net.

v. 12 What and where is the spacious palce?

v. 13 What does it mean to pay vows?

v. 16 Another Call to Worship? What does iot mean to fear God?

v. 20 Does God ever reject prayer?  Can steadfast love ever be removed?

v. 13 Is this a rhetorical question, or what?    It sometimes seems, in life, that no good deed goes unpunished.

v. 14 Who are “they”?  What do “they” fear?

v. 15 How does one sanctify Christ in their heart?

v. 17 Does the reason for suffering in any way affect the moral value of our suffering?

v. 18 What does this verse say about the nature of the resurrection?

v. 19 “He descended into hell”?  “He descended to the dead”?

v.21 Some interesting words about baptism.  Just as there are many understandings of the Lord’s Supper, are there also many understandings of Baptism?

John 14:15-21
v. 15 A big “if”?  What is the nature of this love?  What are Christ’s commandments?

v. 16 Is Christ’s intercession contingent on our keeping his commandments?  Why, in the NRSV, is “Advocate” capitalized?  Can we read and interpret this verse without being informed by the Doctrine of the Trinity?

v. 17 Notice that in the NRSV “Spirit” is capitalized.

v. 18 “Orphaned” could be an often overlooked but powerful image. Is Jesus talking about the coming of the Spirit, the Second Coming, or something altogether different?

v. 20 What day is “that day”?

v. 21 Is this free grace or does there seem to be an element of works righteousness, an element of conditionality?

In addition to serving as the half time Designated 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 our my WyzAnt  page and follow the appropriate links.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Go Fish!: What Are We Known For?

“And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love,

Yes they’ll know we are Christians by our love.”

-- Peter Scholtes, “They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love”

What am I known by? Do people know I’m a Christian? If they do, what face of Christianity am I projecting to others? The face of Christ? Or something different? Am I known for love? If not, what am I known for?

It’s scary to think about, because when it comes down to it, we may have to take responsibility for actions (or inactions) we aren’t always proud of. Of course we can’t completely control others’ perceptions of us, but we can control our own decisions and actions that can take a role in shaping perceptions.

I am a member of “The Media”, and I grow tired of people blaming “The Media” for a litany of woes. To me it often smacks of “killing” the messenger. Sometimes we (as the public) just don’t like what’s being reported, because it brings uncomfortable situations and truths to light. By blaming those who report those situations, we avoid having to take responsibility for our own actions.

While covering a local city council meeting recently, an official chastised “The Media” for focusing on a particular point he didn’t like. I knew he was referring to something I had written; I was in fact “The Media” he was referring to. But I didn’t make the point up; I was quoting directly from something another public official had said both in a public meeting, and an open letter. He didn’t like the fact I had reported it, because it cast his agency in an unflattering light. Rather than take responsibility for the issue, he was blaming "The Media" for bringing it into the light for the public to see.

Earlier this week I listened to a podcast by a national Christian leader I respect and admire very much, but I winced when he commented that “The Media” had given Christians a bad name. While I’ll admit there are those in “The Media” who have openly criticized and been disparaging of Christians, and portrayals of Christians on television and on film are not always flattering, I think we need to confess that Christians have in fact given media organizations some fodder over the years.

One of the most egregious recent news examples include the man who claims Judgment Day is tomorrow, May 21. To many of my Facebook friends and Tweeps, he comes off as completely nutty. Another tragic example is the church from Kansas that protests at military funerals in an utterly offensive way.

More subtly, the infighting that often goes on within and between denominations also paints an unflattering picture to the public, whether we realize it or not. Instead of projecting love, we project disharmony and disunity. Not attributes people would be attracted to.

We need to ask ourselves honestly: “What are we known for?” Or better yet, we need to ask nonbelievers and listen to what they say.

Some have already asked for us, like Dan Kimball, They Like Jesus, But Not the Church, or David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons, Unchristian. They report a pretty good list of some unflattering things Christians are known for.

I can’t control how our larger denomination, or other denominations act and portray themselves to the public. I can only control my own actions of sharing God’s love with others, or help my church to share God’s love with the community.

This weekend in my area there’s a community organization, spearheaded by a church, which is sharing God’s love in a big way through numerous acts of service. From a blood drive, to fixing up local schools, to electronics recycling, to helping a homeless encampment, this group is helping thousands of local residents over the next few days. They are sharing Jesus’ love, his servant’s heart, with those who are in need of that love.

It would be great if “The Media” would report on all these actions the organization is doing, but even if it doesn’t get widely broadcast, thousands of folks in this area will still be touched, and on Sunday morning (if we’re all still here) hopefully those folks will have a better idea of who the followers of Jesus are.

“We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand

We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand

And together we'll spread the news that God is in our land

And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love

They will know we are Christians by our love”

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, May 22, 2011, the Fifth Sunday of Easter (Year A)

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.) Lectionary Ruminations is also cross posted on my personal blog, Summit to Shore

Acts 7:55-60
v. 55 This verse offers us the opportunity to enter into all sort of speculation about the Holy Spirit. When reading this for worship, you may want to substitute “Stephen” for “he”. Do people in the Bible Study and in the pews need to be reminded what “right hand of God” symbolizes; the absolute superiority of right handedness and right handed persons and the total degenerate nature of left handedness and left handed persons?

v. 56 can you spell r-e-d-u-n-d-a-n-t? What purpose does this verse serve?

v. 57 Is this a literal or a figurative covering of ears?

v. 58 If we knew nothing about the rest of the story, would we even notice that a young man is named? Note that this young man casts no stones.

v.59 Certainly the prayer of a martyr. Is this not also the prayer of anyone near death?Is it not the prayer of all Christians?

v. 60 what does the mention that Stephen “cried out in a loud voice” remind you of? Take a look at Luke 23:46. Compare the conclusion of verse 60 with the conclusion of Luke 23:46.

Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16
By the Lectionary pairing this Psalm with Acts 7:55, are we to read this Psalm as a commentary on what else might have been going through Stephen’s mind but not recounted in the Acts passage?

v. 1 What is “refuge”? The most contemporary example I can think of is a “wildlife refuge”.

v. 2 “Incline your ear”? Is this a petition? How can a rock be a refuge? Is there such thing as a weak fortress?

v. 3 Rock/fortress and lead/guide seem to be poetic constructions.

v. 4 What is the imagery here? How can one be taken out of a net if the net is still hidden?

v. 5 Does this verse sound familiar? Where else are we used to hearing it?

v. 16 What does it mean for God’s face to ‘shine” on a person?

1 Peter 2:2-10
v. 2 What is a “babe in Christ”?

v. 4 How can a stone live? Come to think of it, I do remember one episode in the original Star Trek series where stones were living. How can we be built into a spiritual house? Is there such a thing as an unholy priesthood? What sort of sacrifices are spiritual?

vs. 6-8 Is this proof texting or the imaginative play and interplay of biblical images from several sources?

vs. 9-10 These are two of my favorite verses of Scripture. Where Does Peter get these images?

John 14:1-14
vs. 1-7 I have probably read these verses more at more Services of Witness to the Resurrection than at Services for the Lord’s Day. Maybe it is time we hear them in the context other than one related to death.

v.2 What do make of there being “many dwelling places” in God’s house?

v. 3 If we are reading this in worship on Sunday, May 22, that will mean that Jesus did not return the day before to take us to himself. Of course he did not return at that time. All along, I have known that he will return at five minutes after 5:00 am on the tenth day of October in the year 2020, Jerusalem time.

v. 6 Another one of the “I am” sayings” found in John. So much for universalism!

v. 8 How can Philip say this after what Jesus says in the previous verse? Is Philip dense?

v.9 Apparently Jesus thought the same way about Philip as I do.

v. 11 Do we take Jesus at his word or do we need works?

v.12 This formulaic phrase, “Very truly, I tell you” (Αμήν Αμήν λέγώ ύμίν in Greek) is found 25 times in John’s Gospel and nowhere else in the Bible. What do you make of this fact?

vs. 13-14 Whatever? Really? I want a new car, new house, and to win a major lottery prize, even though I do not play the lottery. What does it mean to ask in Jesus’ name?

My comments pertaining to the right hand of God in Acts 7:55 and the return of Christ in John 14:3 are obviously tongue in cheek and meant to see if they motivate anyone to take me to task with a comment.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Grounded Scriptures: Scandalous Food

Ask any of my housemates, my favorite greek word is σκανδαλιζομαι! With lots of exclamation points at the end. “Scandalizomai” – I am scandalized (by whatever gross or otherwise inappropriate thing has just been said)!!!
The Greek word has the sense of “scandal” in the sense of something offensive. But it also has the very concrete meaning of something which causes others to trip and fall. A “stumbling block,” if you will. My housemates don’t necessarily feel hurt if I say I’m scandalized by them – Jesus was scandalous too (1 Cor 1:23) – and still is a stumbling block to many.

Food is a scandalous subject, laden with cultural assumptions. Any new vegan who has gone home at Christmas knows this. What, Grandma’s roast isn’t good enough for you? Whattayawant, anyway? It goes the other way, too – try asking for a burger in a vegan household. We are scandalized by one another’s choice in food.

In a great passage of 1 Corinthians 8, Paul talks about food choices. The choice, in those days, was whether to eat meat (slaughtered in pagan temples) or to be vegetarian (hence not touching idol-tainted meat). My anti-vegetarian friends love to quote this one because it says “those whose conscience is weak eat only vegetables.” Paul was NOT putting us vegetarians down, though. His point is that those who are fully convinced that there is no such thing as a god other than God will not be upset by eating pagan meat. Paul is in that category. He has no moral qualms about meat. However, he is VERY careful not to scandalize his friends.

Hence, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “no idol in the world really exists,” and that “there is no God but one.”… It is not everyone, however, who has this knowledge. Since some have become so accustomed to idols until now, they still think of the food they eat as food offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. “Food will not bring us close to God.” We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if others see you, who possess knowledge, eating in the temple of an idol, might they not, since their conscience is weak, be encouraged to the point of eating food sacrificed to idols? So by your knowledge those weak believers for whom Christ died are destroyed. But when you thus sin against members of your family, and wound their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food is a cause of their falling, I will never eat meat, so that I may not cause one of them to fall.

To me, another question comes up. What about the members of our family who are workers in meatpacking plants? Meatpacking is one of the most dangerous jobs around, due to the speed of the line and the risk of disease. Or what about the members of our family who pick pesticide-laden crops, day after day? Would they be scandalized if they saw us carelessly eating the cheap burgers and strawberries for which they labor? If they saw us preaching “we are all one in the family of God” on Sunday, and saying “$2/pint is way too much for strawberries” on Monday? If we sin against these brothers and sisters, we sin against Christ.

Next time you complain about the price of food, think about the brother or sister (for whom Christ also died) who grew, harvested, processed, or served you the food. If they food should be cheap - are they worthless too? What does your theology say? What does your budget say?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Grounded Scriptures: Be Ye Idealistic

Idealism gets a bad rap. A bunch of us well-meaning community gardeners and other such rabble were on a Presbyterian Hunger Program webinar recently, talking about the Manna Economy, and the desert experience which taught Israel how to eat. In this economy, and in stark contrast to Egypt, food is gathered locally rather than stored in huge silos, each family has what they need, no more, no less, and there is no way to exploit another by stealing their food. You can only eat what comes down from the sky each day. You get your food from the hand of God.
Beautiful stuff. But it's idealistic, so we shove it aside. No one wants to be called idealistic. A fate worse than rotten tomatoes. Pie in the sky dreamers? No thanks. We want to be realists, grounded in cruel, cold, reality, because it will make us strong and Correct.

Take a look at this zinger of a passage: Deuteronomy 15
At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts. This is how it is to be done: Every creditor shall cancel any loan they have made to a fellow Israelite. They shall not require payment from anyone among their own people, because the LORD’s time for canceling debts has been proclaimed. You may require payment from a foreigner, but you must cancel any debt your fellow Israelite owes you. However, there need be no poor people among you, for in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, if only you fully obey the LORD your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today.

I will contend that God, too, MUST be idealistic - if she's rash enough to say something like "no one should have to be poor."
Hear that? Bible says. No one should have to be poor. If you follow God's ways, even that ridiculous idea of "canceling all debt" every seven years, each of you will be protected from falling into desperation. If you eat what falls out of the sky into your outstretched hands each day, and remember the rhythms of Sabbath, you will not go hungry. If you use the land gently, remembering who your divine Landlord is, you will not face deprivation.

Be ye idealistic. Believe that God has a positive vision for this world, where no one is poor. Take part in building that world. Allow God's gentle grace in, to take the place of that cruel and cold "realism." What is really real is in God, and God is an idealist - hallelujah for that!

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, May 15, 2011, the Fourth Sunday of Easter (Year A)

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.) Lectionary Ruminations is also cross posted on my personal blog, Summit to Shore.

Acts 2:42-47
v. 42 Greek Scholars; is it the apostles’ teaching and the apostles’ fellowship, or the apostles’ teaching and fellowship? In other words, does “Apostles’’” modify both teaching and fellowship or just teaching? Regardless, I consider these the four marks of the church. Against them, how do we measure up?

v. 43 How do you understand “Awe”? Are the wonders and signs the same thing as miracles,or something different?

v. 44 Pure communism?

v. 45 “All” means whom? Does the answer to that question depend on what the meaning of the word “is” is?

v. 47 Note the distinction between what was happening in the Templeand what was happening in homes. How do you understand “day by day”?

Psalm 23:1-6
What can we say about the most popular passage in the Bible that we have not already said, like just six weeks ago on April 3, the Fourth Sunday in Lent? Whu does this Psalm appear twice in the lectionary in such a short span of time?

v. 1 Does it serve any theological and homiletically purpose to point out that “The LORD” is not a reference to Jesus but to the LORD God? How many Christians hear this Psalm as a Psalm about Jesus rather than a Psalm about God?

v. 4 Do you prefer the “darkest valley” of the NRSV or the “valley of the shadow of death” of the KJV and RSV?

v. 5 What does it mean to have one’s head anointed with oil and one’s cup overflowing. Can we really speak of overflowing cups when in the Eucharist we barely fill little plastic cups containing less than a shot glass? Can we speak of being anointed with oil when most congregations rarely, if ever, practice it? I argue for anointing with oil at the time of Baptism as well as the laying on of hands associated with prayers for healing and wholeness. If we practiced more anointing with oil, this popular Psalm might actually mean even more to some people.

v. 6 What does it mean to dwell in the house of the LORD all one’s life? Is “house of the LORD” a reference and/or allusion to the Temple, or something else?

1 Peter 2:19-25
v. 19 I would rather not receive this credit. What about you? What does it mean to be “aware’ of God?

v.20I understand this within its context, but in ou context, can this lead to and feed a martyr complex?

v. 21 I thought we were called to love one another, even to serve, but to suffer?

v. 22 Where is this quote from?

v. 23 So much for an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.

v. 24 The first part of this verse often serves as a call to confession. How is anyone healed by another’s wounds?

v.25 Is this the verse that motivated the creators of the lectionary to make Psalm 23 the Psalm for this day? I like the “guardian of our souls” language.

John 10:1-10
v. 1 A formulaic opening to yet more sheep and shepherd imagery. Whom do you think Jesus/John had in mind?

v. 3 This verse seems to suggest that there are sheep of more than one shepherd in the sheepfold.

v. 4 What shall we make of the “voice”?

v. 5 Is there any correlation between the Stangers of this verse and the thief and bandit of verse 1?

v. 6 And want made John think that we would understand?

v. 7 Again the formulaic phrase. Why the change of metaphor from shepherd to sheepfold?

v.8 This verse seems to refer back to verse 1. Whom is Jesus referring to?

v. 9 I am fascinated by the “come in and go out” language, suggesting movement rather than stasis. If I understand the imagery correctly, we come into the sheepfold at night to find protection, but during the day, we go out into pasture to find nourishment. What was Jesus talking about?

v. 10 Who is the thief?

Friday, May 06, 2011

Science and Religion

There are many things that fuel the so called conflict between science and religion. Based on my experience, one of the biggest problems is Biblical illiteracy and the concomitant lack of Bible interpretation skills. If folks had better interpretive skills and knowledge about the Bible, a significant amount of the science and religion pseudo conflict would vanish.

It seems to me there are three basic concepts that people miss which then can send them off into odd interpretive places.

First is the very common idea that the Bible is some sort of instruction manual, guide book or set of lessons with practical applications. Can we go to Scripture and find wise advise for how to live our lives? Of course. But that is not, in my estimation, the primary reason we have been given the Bible.

The Bible is the story of God's relationship with us. It is story in the most honest and truthful sense of the word story. The Bible tells God's story, the story in which we find our place and is not the answer book given to solve all our personal problems.

The second concept is the idea that the only serious, faithful reading of scripture is a literal reading. I have been surprised at the number of well education Christian people I know who do not realize the church has a long, very long tradition of faithfully reading the Bible using a variety of interpretive methods. Long before Darwin and the Scope's Trial and Creationism and Intelligent Design, people realized that there were other ways of reading Genesis 1 and 2 than as historical fact. Reading Genesis in a way other than as the recitation of historical scientific facts about creation is not a modern accommodation of evolution but a way of engagement of the text with a long tradition in the church.

These are two rather significant shifts in the way one reads the Bible. There is no way around that. This entails some major relearning for some people. For other people, these two concepts open up a way of faithful, serious engagement with the Bible that can be liberating.

This is what I tell people, who ask, about Genesis 1 and 2- These chapters are not about science. These chapters are not given to us to tell us how the world was created. These chapters are given to us to tell us about the Creator of the world. The text isn't interested in proving that God created the universe. The text assumes that God created the universe. And the text wants to tell us about that God. Who that God is, how that God acts, the ways that God relates to all that was created.

To believe that these chapters in Genesis are not a historical accounting of an event is not to believe theses chapters are not true. Which brings us to the third idea that aids Biblical interpretation. The truth is not merely equivalent to the facts. This is a difficult idea for modern people, people who were raised in the age of science. Our assumption is that if we know the "facts", we will know the truth. But somethings are not reducible to facts. For example- Love. Beauty. Justice.

Dick Murray in his book, Teaching the Bible to Adults and Youth, suggests that we ask three questions when we read the Bible.

What does this tell us about God?
What does this tell us about the relationship between God and humans?
What does this tell us about the relationship between humans?

The order is important and the questions are deceptively simple yet incisive. They are questions that help us think about truth rather than facts.

All three of these concepts deserve a more complete discussion than I have given them here. But as a starting point, what do you think? Is this a useful approach to help lessen the idea of a conflict between science and religion?

This is more than an academic exercise, my friend Bill Tammeus writes about the important of science and religion to work together in health care.

There are three books I recommend on the topic of Biblical Interpretation, Eugene Peterson's Eat This Book, Chapter 5 of N. T. Wright's New Testament and the People of God (Actually I hope you read the entire book but chapter 5 is what this post is about), and Micheal W. Goheen and Craig Bartholomew's The True Story of the Whole World: Finding your Place in the Biblical Drama. What would you add to this list?

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, May 8, 2011, the Third Sunday of Easter (Year A)

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.) Lectionary Ruminations is also cross posted on my personal blog, Summit to Shore.

Acts 2:14a, 36-41
v. 36 Why “both” Lord and Messiah?

v. 37 What does it mean and feel like to be “cut to the heart”? When was the last time you were “cut to the heart” and what precipitated it? Is there any significance to the fact that the crowd addresses Peter and the other apostles as “brothers”?

v. 38 How do we reconcile the Trinitarian baptismal formula with Peter’s admonition to be “baptized in the name of Jesus Christ”?

v. 39 In this context, we might know who “you” and “your children” are, but who are those “who are far away”?

v. 40 I would love to hear all those “many other arguments”.

v. 41 Is there any significance to the number three thousand?

Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19
v. 3 What are “pangs”?

v. 4 This is perhaps the shortest prayer in Scripture.

v. 12 A good question to ask when talking and thinking about stewardship.

v. 13 What is “the cup of salvation”?

v. 14 What does it mean to “pay” “vows”?

v. 15 In what sense is death ever “precious”?

v. 16 What bonds have been loosed?

1 Peter 1:17-23
v. 17 This sounds a lot more polished than what we heard from Peter in the First Reading. Is this an argument for works righteousness? What is “reverent fear”? What exile is being referred to?

v. 18 Is there any other way to read this verse other than through the lenses of a ransom theory of the atonement?

v. 19 This verse seems to presume a preexistent Christ.

v. 23 The being “born anew” sounds like John’s being “born from above”, but what is this “not of perishable but of imperishable seed”?

Luke 24:13-35
v. 13 What day is it? Is there any significance to the fact that Emmaus was seven miles from Jerusalem? Who are “them”?

v. 14 What thungs?

v. 16 How can one’s eyes be kept from recognizing Jesus?

v. 17 Was this a rhetorical question?

v. 18 Do we know anything else about Cleopas? What an ironic question.

v. 19 Another rhetorical question. Only “prophet”?

v. 21 Notice the past tense.

v. 22 “Some Women”? Do they not have names? Is there a difference between “seeing angels” and “seeing a vision of angels”?

v. 24 Who are “those who were with us”? Who are “us”?

v. 25 Now the truth comes out. How often have you wanted to preach something similar?

v. 26 A rhetorical question?

v. 27 The Law and the prophets but no writings.

v. 29 What does the time of day have to do with anything?

v. 30 Déjà vu

vs.30-31 The best argument for frequent—even every Sunday—celebration of the Eucharist that I know.

v. 31 Read this in light of verse 16.

v. 32 Is there any relation between the opening of the scriptures and the opening of the eyes?

v. 33 Is “hour” any more than a simple reference to the chronological time of day? So these two are numbered among the eleven.

v. 34 Appeared to Simon? No one else?

v. 35 Does this offer new or additional meaning to the Eucharistic remembering?