Thursday, May 31, 2012

Lectionary Ruminations for Sunday, June 3, 2012, Trinity Sunday (Year B)

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.

v. 1 In what year did King Uzziah die and why does it matter?

v. 2 What are seraphs? 

v. 3 Does the threefold “Holy” justify this passage being used on Trinity Sunday? What are “hosts”?

v. 4 What are pivots and thresholds?  What sort of smoke filled the house and why?

v. 5 Why does Isaiah express woe?

v. 6 How can a figurative/symbolic  live coal blot out sin?

v. 8 “us”?

v. 1 Who and what are the heavenly beings?  Are there more types of heavenly beings than angels and/or seraphs?

v. 2 What is holy splendor?

v. 6 What, or where, is Sirion?

v. 8 Where is Kadesh? Is there anything special or significant about its wilderness?

vs. 3-10  So much for “still small voice” imagery.  How does an establishment church of the middle class status quo come to terms with a storm God?

v. 11 God’s people will certainly need strength to survive a storm.  When was the last time a storm brought  peace?  Or is this peace the peace of a calm after a storm?

v. 12 If we are not debtors to the flesh, what then are we debtors to?  I doubt Paul had MasterCard or Visa in mind.

v. 14 How are we led by the Spirit of God?

v. 15 Theologically speaking, why does Paul contrast a spirit of slavery with a spirit of adoption?  When do you last cry “Abba! Father!”?

v. 16  How many spirits are being mentioned in this passage?

v. 1 Were not all Pharisees leaders?

v. 2 Consider John 4:6-7 as juxtaposition.  We?  For whom, or of whom, is Nic speaking?  What signs?

vs. 3 & 5 Is being born from above the same as being born of water and Spirit?

v. 8 I think Jesus was not referring to direction.  So we do not know where people born of the Spirit come from or are going to?

v. 10 I think professional Church types are all a little like Nic at time.  We really do not fully understand of what we speak, teach and preach.

v. 11 We?  Our? For whom, or of whom, is Jesus speaking?

v. 12 Of what earthly things did Jesus talk about that Nic did not believe?

v. 13 Ascension day has passed, but in the context of this passage, it has not yet happened. Is this an anachronism – a post Ascension theology being read back into a pre Ascension event – the Evangelist putting words into the mouth of Jesus? Or is this an example of Jesus being prescient?

v. 14 I suggest you read and ponder Numbers 21:4-9.  Perhaps that would have been a better First Reading to pair with this Gospel than the passage from Isaiah.

vs. 16-17 Maybe too much has already been read and said about this passage. Then again, maybe not enough has been preached about this passage in its literary context.

Some may choose to teach or preach about the doctrine and mystery of the Trinity, which we probably ought to do every once in a while. But is preaching and/or teaching about the mystery and doctrine of the Trinity every year too often?  If you ARE preaching or teaching about the trinity and are not familiar with the Eastern Orthodox concept of perichoresis, please do some research.  I was out of seminary and ordained several years before being exposed to this mystical Eastern Orthodox understanding of the Trinity.

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

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