Pastor’s Blog: Stardate 1160901.7
As has been the case for the last three years, I will be preaching from the Narrative Lectionary. For those who are unfamiliar with this, I will explain. You may be familiar with the concept of a Lectionary, which is nothing more than a list of suggested readings for each Sunday. Many mainline (Presbyterian, Lutheran, Methodist, Episcopal, etc) churches will use the Revised Common Lectionary which is an Old Testament, Psalm, Gospel, and Epistle reading for each Sunday for a three-year period. One of the benefits of a lectionary is that a preacher is encouraged to pick a wide range of readings, and not just pick the scriptures that they like. It is kind of a discipline, listening to what God is saying through the texts for this week, rather than searching for the text that will support what you want to say. It is also significantly easier to pick from four texts then the entire length and breadth of Scripture (which for me, who freezes at the choice between more than five places to eat, is a Godsend).
The Narrative Lectionary, like the RCL, provides a list of scriptures for each Sunday. The differences are that this lectionary goes from September to Pentecost, provides one text instead of four, and is a four-year cycle. The readings for each Sunday are arranged chronologically through the Bible, starting with the Old Testament. Each week is a new story, moving along through the overall narrative of the Bible, following the story of God’s people. During the season of Advent, we switch to one particular gospel (this year, we are focusing on Luke), through Easter Sunday. During the season of Easter, we look at the Acts of the Apostles, and one of the Epistles (letters).
The Narrative Lectionary was a creation of Lutheran Seminary and WorkingPreacher.org. One of the chief reasons for this Lectionary is the overall lack of Biblical literacy in America (and the West) today. We tend to not be as familiar with the overall story of the Bible, and pulling various stories from the Revised Common Lectionary was not a big help to that. The folks at Lutheran Seminary thought that if we told the overall story of the Bible every year, we all could become more familiar with how it all works together. As we start to see the overall scope of God’s redemption story of the Bible, as we journey with God’s people from creation, to fall, to redemption, we might see the same story and God at work in us.
I continue to enjoy the Narrative Lectionary, and invite you to join me on this journey through God’s Word.
I also invite you to dive into God’s Word using the daily/weekly reading plan.
The Narrative Lectionary will begin on Sunday, September 11th (the reading list starts on the 5th)