Lectionary Stories for Preaching and Teaching, Cycle A

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This lectionary also seems to help recount the grand scope of salvation history. On the Sundays from September through May each year the texts follow the sweep of the biblical story, from Creation through the early Christian church:. The texts include the major episodes in Scripture. They are arranged in a narrative sequence to help people see Scripture as a story that has coherence and a dynamic movement. The texts also show the breadth and variety of voices within Scripture.

They invite people to hear the stories of Abraham and Sarah, Moses and the prophets, Jesus, and Paul. Listening to the many different voices within Scripture enriches preaching and the life of faith. Texts were selected that lead well to the proclamation of what God is doing. The stories tell of hope and disappointment, suffering and redemption. In all these varied contexts, we find God dealing with the complexities of human life. The Church Year helped to shape the flow of the narrative lectionary.

HighPine Baptist Church :: Teaching :: Lectionary

To use this lectionary in worship, it is designed to read only one lesson each Sunday — Old Testament texts in the fall and New Testament texts from Christmas through Pentecost. Others want a reading from the gospels during the fall, even though the Old Testament is the main preaching text. In the winter and spring, accompanying texts are taken from the Psalms. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Like most common resources, there are now actually several versions of the ILCW lectionary in print.

Lectionary Podcast - Epiphany 6 - Series C - Gospel

The Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary uses essentially the same version of the one found in Lutheran Worship. For the most part the variations in the different versions are minor, often focusing on the length of the reading e. Should we read all of St.

John 9, or just selected verses? Upon publication of the lectionary in , the ILCW itself pointed out what is often cited as its greatest advantage: a larger selection of texts, thus exposing a congregation to a wider range of Scripture. Many pastors welcomed the opportunity to preach on a new variety of texts. The general practice of lectio continua used in the series can give a congregation a chance to get the flavor of a book, which can especially be helpful in the gospels. And with the popular acceptance of the series there are now a number of sermon helps and worship materials based on it.

The greatest disadvantages to the ILCW are its origin and length. The series was created by an inter-Lutheran group that is theologically liberal, and its theology often shows up in their selections for readings. The most glaring omission is the lack of any texts which deal with the judgment of sinners. Traditionally, these readings were used on the Second-Last Sunday of the Church Year, but now they are either omitted or listed as optional. The one exception is the parable of the sheep and the goats, but this was likely retained because it retains the possibility for moralizing.

In fairness, I also examined the ILCW lectionary found in the Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary , where most of the optional, "offensive" material has been restored as part of the readings, and where the judgment day readings are listed for the Second-Last Sunday. If you are getting bulletins and worship materials from Concordia or Northwestern, you are using a version of the ILCW similar to this one. And just as the brevity of the Historic Lectionary is both good and bad, so is the length of the ILCW three-year series. Parables and accounts that would have been heard every year are now heard once every three years, and if one follows the preaching cycle are preached on only once every nine years.

Also, except for most of the Sundays during the festival part of the church year, the thematic approach to Sundays has been lost. It should also be noted that the argument of "the more Bible, the better" is not without its fallacies. On the surface, this seems a good, even pious idea. But the motivation behind this was a Higher-Critical notion of Scripture: that within the Bible is contained the word of God, and the function of a lectionary is to insure that the classic texts are transmitted to the next generation.

As popular as the ILCW three year series is, it may become one of the most short-lived lectionary series. Composed of biblical, linguistic and liturgical scholars from various Christian denominations, their purpose is to prepare worship texts and materials for use in North America, including lectionaries. In they sponsored a meeting in Washington DC whose purpose was to form a committee which would reconcile the differences between the various denominational uses of the three year series. In they published the Common Lectionary. The biggest change they brought about to the three year series was the revision of Old Testament Lessons.

Previous lectionaries had taken a typological approach to readings from the Old Testament, selecting texts with reference to their New Testament fulfillment. The CCT "raised serious questions about the Roman lectionary's 'typological' use of the books of the Hebrew Scriptures,"29 and thus for the Common Lectionary proposed a pattern of semicontinuous readings, essentially independent from the Gospel Lesson. According to the CCT, "The lessons are still typologically controlled by the gospel, but in a broader way than Sunday by Sunday, in order to make possible semincontinuous reading of some significant Old Testament narratives.

The CCT also included the reading of a Psalm in the lections, and adopted the practice of the Episcopal Church of replacing the "Sundays after Pentecost" with "Propers" keyed to the civil calendar e. The Common Lectionary was first used on a trial basis by a number of Lutheran and Episcopal congregations, and was officially adopted by the Anglican Church of Canada in Yet it also received a number of criticisms, directed especially from Lutheran, Episcopal and Roman Catholic sources.

They noted:. The criticisms of Old Testament selections were addressed by the production of three versions of the RCL. There are then two Protestant versions, one in which the Old Testament lesson is matched to the Gospel lesson, and one with the semicontinuous Old Testament readings. Added to this were more stories of women of faith. The CCT also took the chance to further evaluate and eliminate texts which, "when taken out of their cultural and religious context of the Ancient Near East, may be misunderstood by late twentieth century congregations.

The advantages of the RCL are the same as those mentioned for the ILCW, with the addition mentioned by the editors of having a truly ecumenical lectionary. The disadvantages are also similar, however with the RCL they are more pronounced. Its preparation was heavily influenced by higher criticism and liberal theology. No sections that may seem anti-Semitic are used, such as St. The sections that speak against homosexuality are conspicuously omitted, as well as verses that warn of false prophets.

And while at this writing neither Concordia nor Northwestern Publishing House has plans to officially switch to it, its use is gaining momentum. If they don't match, it may be that the publishing house has for convenience sake and, very likely, commercial reasons switched over to the RCL.

You are as likely to find the perfect lectionary as you are to find the perfect Bible translation. Like translations, it may be said of lectionaries that some are better than others, that inevitably you end up dealing with factors of taste and individual preference, and that even the worst of them is probably better than nothing at all.

The Lectionary

Yet we should be aware of one other point of comparison: that just as there is no such thing as a theologically neutral translation, so there is no such thing as a theologically neutral lectionary. This is especially true of the three year lectionaries published in the past thirty years. Created by committees with definite theological leanings, these lectionaries often display an agenda which at times finds itself at cross purposes with confessional Lutheranism.

Considering this, it may be worthwhile to re-examine the use of the Historic Lectionary.

Its use was a tradition that united generations of Christians, and one which was perhaps too quickly cast aside. This is not to say that using a three year lectionary will not allow you to preach Christ crucified and thus consign your flock to hell. It is to say that these lectionaries have weaknesses of which we should be aware, and for which those who use them will need to compensate.

Which lectionary we use or whether we use a lectionary, for that matter is certainly an adiaphoran, but this does not make it an unimportant matter. Thus in choosing a lectionary for use in the divine service, we should remember we are choosing a catechetical tool. A lectionary is to be more than a means to dole out parcels of Scripture, it is to be a path of understanding, a guide for both pastor and congregation through the whole counsel of God.

Guided by the use of a good lectionary our faith is well-nourished and we grow in our faith and in our understanding of our Lord. God be praised for His glad tidings! It is too bad that the organization and themes in the Historic Lectionary are often missed, since knowledge of them can aid in the work of the pastor and can aid the parishioners in their worship.

The pastor who knows how the Sundays work together in a season can use that information effectively in planning the services and his sermons. The parishioner who is told the theme of a particular Sunday can begin to make sense of what the hymns, introit, collect gradual and readings are talking about This is especially helpful for children.

The strong, thematic organization of the Historic Lectionary is perhaps its greatest asset, especially when it is often lacking in other lectionary systems. Completely addressing the organization of the Historic Lectionary is out of the scope of this paper, but one example is not. In the Historic Lectionary, the Christmas and Epiphany seasons are connected and compliment each other: Christmas focuses on God becoming man, Epiphany on the revelation that this man is God.

On Christmas we hear that God has become man, the following Sunday we hear how this is in fulfillment of God's promise. Not only that, we hear Simeon allude to Jesus' death, and the gospel lesson ends with a verse telling us that Jesus "grew and became strong". Christmas 2 then recounts the flight into Egypt.

God is born, He is subject to death, and indeed in His weakness must flee Herod lest He be killed, all vivid testaments to Christ being "true man". Then comes Epiphany, whose focus is really not so much that Jesus has come to save Gentiles, but that the glory of God is manifested in Christ.

Magi follow a start to worship Him, the boy Jesus testifies to "being about His Father's business," then the first miracle, then the healing of disease, then the calming of the storm. Each account shows the divinity of Jesus, and each more than the one before until the full divinity of Jesus shines forth at His Transfiguration. Some years you also have an Epiphany 5, whose reading is the parable of the tares among the wheat, ending with Jesus saying He is the Judge of all the earth, who will cast the tares into the fire and gather the wheat into His barn.

Now compare this to the organization of the ILCW. The theme seems to be retained for Christmas, but Epiphany has been separated from Christmas, beginning with the Baptism of Our Lord followed by a selection of accounts from the early ministry of Jesus. In other words, it becomes little more than a shorter version of the Pentecost season. For further study of the organization of the Historic Lectionary, I would suggest trying to find these books "try to find," because most are out of print :.

Backer, Bruce R. Lutheran Worship course syllabus. New Ulm, MN: Dr. Martin Luther College, Gehrke, Ralph. This may still be available. Lindemann, Fred. The Sermon and the Propers. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, This is an especially good set, and well worth finding. His sermon outlines are often pietistic, but he does a great job showing how all the propers work together to enhance the theme of both the season and the Sunday. He also includes sermons by the Lutheran Fathers on the minor festivals. Reuning, Daniel G. Church Year Workbook. This may still be available, call the Concordia-Ft.

Wayne bookstore. The omissions and edits are listed by year. Below the chart are those which occur only in the RCL. If a reading is listed as omitted, it was included in a previous version of the lectionary and later removed, or was simply omitted from the reading, following the guidelines of the editorial board.

The guideline given in parenthesis following the selection. Even odder is the omission of Note that RCL includes v. ILCW also provides Deut. First Sunday in Lent, omit Rom. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come.

But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!

Lectionary Stories for Preaching and Teaching

Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I make much of my ministry in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? Omit Rom. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.

Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. Omit Mt. Look, your house is left to you desolate.

For I tell you, you will not see Me again until you say, 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord'. Easter 2 Acts , Omits v "By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus' name and the faith that comes through Him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see. Go figure. They include the Mark section condemning divorce. These were His instructions: "Take nothing for the journey except a staff-no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra tunic.

Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them. They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.

Epiphany 7 1 Cor. There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor. Lent 3 Ex a, The only reason I can think that they omitted vs 8b is because of the hard names. But why omit vs 9? Difficult passage? Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight.

You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel. Vs 25 is a natural starting point, but it also makes it easier for a moralistic interpretation of this parable. Stir us, by your Spirit, to be neighbor to those in need, serving them with willing hearts; per ".