In the World

Four weeks access, four lectionary cycles, $4.95

So I'm the web editor around here, which among other things means I oversee the process of getting each new Century issue posted to the site. Meanwhile, production assistant Diane Tinsley and online editorial intern Jane Messah each spend a chunk of their time working in the opposite direction as well. They're plugging away at getting our archives posted to the site—a rather longterm project, since we've been around since the 1880s.

Recently we hit a landmark of sorts: 12 years of online archives. Twelve is divisible by three, and all you preachers and worship planners know what that means: our archivists recently crossed the same point in the lectionary cycle that we're at right now. So we now have four cycles of Living by the Word columns available online, all of it sortable by lectionary week via our online lectionary tool—which also includes almost two whole cycles of weekly Blogging Toward Sunday posts, along with numerous other articles and posts that deal with lectionary passages in one way or another.

It happens there wasn't a 2000 Living by the Word column for this Sunday's readings—back then our publishing schedule was mostly but not entirely weekly, and the biweekly issues contained a single column rather than one for each week. Still, there's an abundance of riches on the lectionary page. Kate Layzer focuses on the gospel lesson and the state of the church: "Maybe the mainline isn't dead but only sleeping." On the blog, Douglass Key also considers mainline decline but takes his cue from Paul, proposing a "kenotic ecclesiology." Key also goes with the epistle in his magazine column but focuses on financial stewardship, a theme taken up in past years by Daniel Harrell and Bill O'Brien. Donna Schaper uses all three texts to talk about turning off the engines of anxiety.

Then there are the articles that aren't intended as lectionary studies but do draw from one of the texts in question. Carol Howard Merritt uses the story of the bleeding woman as a starting point and asks, "Would Jesus dispense contraceptive pills?" Jason Byassee reconsiders his interpretation of this story after reading The Jewish Annotated New Testament, and Walter Brueggemann brings up the subject of physical touch in this passage as part of his review of Frederick Gaiser's book on the Bible and healing. The epistle reading comes up in treatments of generosity by Martin Marty (twice) and Miroslav Volf, while Garrett Keizer offers a meditation on the day's psalm.

Access to this lectionary tool and the rest of our archives is available at no extra charge to Century subscribers. If you aren't one, you should know that we recently sweetened our online-only offer: $4.95 will now get you four weeks full access to the site, not just two. So go ahead and subscribe.

Steve Thorngate

The Century managing editor is also a church musician and songwriter.

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