Over the past four years, our congregation has been walking through the Narrative Lectionary. Okay, wait, what is a “lectionary” and why do I care? A lectionary is a collection of readings appointed for particular days and seasons of worship. It’s a way for the church to read through important passages in the Bible, to get a balance from the Old and New Testaments, to connect churches across space and language who may have the same readings on the same Sunday. But, I think most importantly of all, the lectionary is a tangible way in which the word of God translates our lives, rather than us choosing only the parts of scripture that fit our lives, worldview, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good series where we choose the readings, and sometimes it is important to pull out a particular reading for a particular day. But I also like the idea of having readings assigned. What does this say to us today? What is going on in the world that might be translated through this assigned reading.
So, like I said, we have been using the Narrative Lectionary over the last four years. Not as many churches use it, and it is kind of hard to get Sunday School lessons that follow it exactly. But it has offered us a chance to dig deeper into the Old Testament in the fall, and to follow the thread of a biblical theme through the Old and into the New Testament. As the last four years – and four gospel years – come to a close, we will be moving back to the Revised Common Lectionary. What does this mean? It means that we will have the same readings as most of the rest of the churches across the country and around the world. We will have a smoother curriculum for our Sunday School And we will have more balance in Old and New Testament readings each week. Other than that, not much will change. God’s word will still encounter us, surprise us, and challenge us, as WE are interpreted by IT.