Thursday, June 16, 2011

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, June 19, 2011, Trinity Sunday (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.

Genesis 1:1-2:4a
For once, the lectionary prescribes that the First Reading of the Day begins where the Bible begins, “In the beginning” at Genesis 1:1. This is also, perhaps, one of the longest Readings in the lectionary outside of Lent and the Passion narrative. Am I stating the obvious when I note that this is the “first” creation account? I take the Bible too seriously to take it literally. Thus, I read Genesis 1:1-2:4a as a mythopoeic reflection on human origins rather than a scientific explanation of them. Can we read and interpret this passage without reference to Genesis 2:4bandfollowing? How does reading this on Trinity Sunday influence our understanding and interpretation of the passage and how does this passage inform our understanding of the Trinity?

v. 1 What is the better translation, “when God created” or “when God began to create”?

v. 2 What is a “wind from God”? How else might we translate the Hebrew word sometimes translated “wind”?

v. 3 Creation ex nihilo! Can we read this without also thinking of the prologue of John?

v. 4 What would have happened if God saw that the light was NOT good?

v. 5 Are you familiar with this three tiered cosmology?

v. 15 The roots of both astrology and astronomy.

v. 16 So where did the light come from in day one if God did not create the Sun until day four?

v. 22 Who, or what, are told to be fruitful and multiply?

v. 24 Note that sea creatures and birds are told to be fruitful and multiply in verse 22, but here, animals of the earth are NOT told that.

v. 25 Us? There is that “dominion” word that has caused us so many environmental problems and which we will encounter again in Psalm 8:6.

v. 28 Note that we are not told that God blessed any other creatures or parts of creation. In light of how we have historically interpreted and applied the admonition to “be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion,” I think this has been more of a curse than a blessing as far as we “exploit neighbor and nature, and threaten death to the planet entrusted to our care.”

vs. 29-30 It sounds like we have been given plants to eat, but not animals.

v. 3 Another blessing. So what did God do on the eighth day?

Psalm 8:1-9
v. 1 “O LORD” = Tetragrammaton. Are Christians bound by the Hebrew tradition of not pronouncing the majestic name of God?

v. 2 What do babes and infants speak other than gibberish?

v.3 Is there a difference between “creating” and “establishing?

vs. 3-4 I will never forget my sense of awe and wonder the first time I looked through a telescope and saw for myself the rings of Saturn. I think I have heard it said that the Hubble telescope enables us to look back through time to the first moments after creation.

v. 6 Need I say anything about “dominion” other than that an ecological awareness forces us to abandon outdated understandings?

2 Corinthians 13:11-13
This short Second Reading and the short Gospel Reading compensates for the long First Reading.

v. 11 Final words.

v. 12 What is a “holy kiss”?

v. 13 Is this verse, a Trinitarian blessing, the only reason this Reading appears on this day, Trinity Sunday?

Matthew 28:16-20
v.16 Which mountain would that be?

v. 17 Some of the eleven doubted? Doubted what? Doubted whom?

v. 19 Is this Trinitarian baptismal formula the only verse that commends this reading as appropriate for Trinity Sunday?

v. 20 What and when is the end of the age? What is an age? When did the age begin?

How much does this being Trinity Sunday influence our interpretation and application of these Readings? In other words, would we read these passages any differently if we were reading them on any other Sunday than Trinity Sunday?

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.

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