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Journey Through the Lectionary

lectionary series 2022 01Starting August 7, 2022, I’ll begin a different sort of sermon series that will take us through at least Advent and Christmas using the Revised Common Lectionary. The lectionary is a three-year cycle of biblical texts that follow the Christian year and provide opportunities to dive into some parts of Scripture that we might otherwise skip over. It’s a method for organizing preaching and worship that is used by a variety of denominations, meaning that on any given Sunday you might find the same texts being preached in different churches around the world.

I decided to go back to the lectionary for at least the next few months for a number of reasons:

  • It keeps things fresh for the preacher. Rather than organize a series around a topic or a particular biblical book, the lectionary presents the preacher with a Psalm, Old Testament, New Testament, and Gospel reading each week that require dealing with the text before dealing with a topic. We call this “exegetical” preaching in the pastor world, and after doing several topical series over the past year, I’m excited to dive deep into some smaller chunks of biblical text and invite you to read them more deeply as well.
  • It provides a daily as well as weekly rhythm of reading Scripture. The lectionary texts lend themselves to reading daily in preparation for Sunday as well as reflecting on the previous Sunday’s message. You can use the daily lectionary as a guide for your devotions each day, and even have them set in your electronic calendar. The daily discipline of reading Scripture is an important means of grace, and the lectionary offers a rich way of connecting each day to the proclamation of the Word each week.
  • It’s connection with the larger Church. Since many different churches are using the lectionary, preaching through these texts puts us in conversation with churches around the world. You can hear the same text proclaimed in different voices and with different angles. Whether you are traveling, listening to a lectionary-based sermon podcast, or in-person or live-streaming at TLUMC, you can feel connected to other Christians and their worship communities through the lectionary.
  • It’s an ancient way of using the Scriptures in preaching and in worship. Lectionaries have been around for a long time, dating back to as early as the third century. John Wesley used the Book of Common Prayer and the lectionary of the Church of England in his own worship, prayer, and study. Though the Revised Common Lectionary is fairly recent, reading through a lectionary can connect us with the practice of the Church over time.

Each Sunday we’ll provide you with an updated Sermon Guide with the daily readings and a preview of the following Sunday’s texts. You can also read ahead using the Revised Common Lectionary page as well as download the daily lectionary for your own devotional use. The lectionary also helps us mark the seasons of the Church year, which enables us to follow the life of Christ as well as the story of the Old Testament and the prayers of Israel and the Church.

 

Join us as we begin this journey through the lectionary on August 7!



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