As we quickly enter autumn, let us embark on an enriching journey in our exploration of the Bible. Instead of following a specific series theme or subject preaching, we are going to go from week to week without a leitmotif. We are once again going to dwell within the lectionary. This shift is not a departure from theme preach, but a side quest, an adventure!
The Lectionary: What It Means for Us
The Christian lectionary is a carefully structured schedule of biblical readings for specific days or seasons of the liturgical year. It is not a random assortment of verses; instead, it is a plan that covers the major themes and stories of the Bible over a set period. This practice has been followed by various Christian denominations for centuries, including our own denomination.
Our Spiritual Adventure
As we embrace the lectionary for the next couple of weeks, we have the opportunity to experience the following benefits:
1. Comprehensive Biblical Exploration
The lectionary invites us to explore the scripture within a specific frame of time. It takes us on a journey through different biblical genres, characters, and teachings from week to week; even when you are reading within the same text. This is another comprehensive approach (Theme Preaching is equally valuable, but it is just another approach) that will help us gain a well-rounded understanding of Scripture.
2. Seasonal Relevance
The selected scriptures align with the liturgical calendar, making them particularly relevant to the season and themes of the Church year. This can deepen our appreciation for the significance of various Christian celebrations and observances. This is one perk of lectionary preaching.
3. Unity in Worship
Following the lectionary creates a sense of unity among Christians worldwide. Regardless of our denomination or location, we will be reading and reflecting on the same passages as countless others, fostering a sense of connectedness within the global Christian community. This is the most significant difference between theme preaching and lectionary preaching.
4. Wide Theology
The lectionary aims to provide a wide theological overview. It includes passages that explore themes of love, justice, mercy, grace, and more on any given week, ensuring that our spiritual journey is well-rounded. Where Theme Preaching aims to go deeper in a subject. e.g. the Armor of God… Theme preaching allowed us to go deeper into the Armor of God, rather than talking about it for one week and then moving on.
The Journey Ahead for First Presbyterian Church of Eustis
Now, let's take a look at the scriptures that will guide our spiritual adventure from now until the season of thanksgiving in 2023:
Sunday, October 8, 2023: Matthew 21:42-46
Sunday, October 15, 2023: Philippians 4:6-9
Sunday, October 22, 2023: Matthew 22:15-22
Sunday, October 29, 2023: 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8
Sunday, November 5, 2023: 1 Thessalonians 2:9-13
Sunday, November 12, 2023: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Sunday, November 19, 2023: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
While you may notice a recurring use of 1st Thessalonians, remember that this is not a predefined theme but rather a "Godincidence" that adds an element of surprise to our spiritual journey and faith exploration.
As we embark on this adventure, let us embrace the opportunity to discover God's Word in new and profound ways. Let us open our hearts to unexpected insights and allow the lectionary to guide us toward a deeper understanding of our faith. Together, we will journey through these scriptures, enriching our hearts and minds, and as we approach the season of thanksgiving, we will do so with hearts full of praise and gratitude.