“Each of the typical approaches has problems. The best solution would be to change the lectionary.”
I've been enjoying CCblogger Rachel Hackenberg's Lenten sermon series posts. She offers several, separate ideas: on the question "Who do you say that I am?" (following the Narrative Lectionary's readings from John), on prayer practices, on "Lift High the Cross," on the paintings of Anneke Kaai.
But my favorite is Hackenberg's series on the Revised Common Lectionary's Old Testament readings.
I don't usually write about preaching or about specific Revised Common Lectionary texts, since that's well covered elsewhere on the site by people more qualified than I. This is just a quick note motivated by the fact that this Sunday's Gospel reading is the subject of one of the more startling RCL factoids that came up when I was reporting my fall article on alternate lectionaries.
When a friend got a major scar, the doctors asked her what kind of plastic surgery she wanted. She laughed at the question, responding, “Are you serious? Do you really think I’m going to give up these bragging rights? I earned this scar!”
The Century's subscription-only archives now go back 12 years, also known as four lectionary cycles. And we recently sweetened our online-only offer: $4.95 will now get you four weeks full access to the site, not just two.
The Century's sort-by-lectionary-day tool
exists primarily as a way of organizing past Living by the Word columns
and Blogging toward Sunday posts in a useful way. But we also put other
content there--anything from the magazine or blogs that happens to deal
with a given lection in a way that could plausibly be useful to a
preacher or worship planner.
So, while our lectionary columnists
and bloggers mostly focus on Sundays, the lectionary pages have also
collected a good bit of content related to the additional holy days of
the (weekly) lectionary.
When a child is ignoring basic responsibilities, parents rely on a well-known parenting technique to make a point. Mom looks her ten-year-old in the eye while holding a toothpaste tube in one hand and the cap in the other. “This is called toothpaste,” she says, “and this is called a cap. They go together.” The Lord God is not beyond impatience and remedial instruction when people need a reminder about neglected responsibilities. God held a basket of ripened summer fruit beneath Amos’s nose and said, “Amos, what do you see here?” The prophet, sensing that God was serious, didn’t bother joking. “A basket of summer fruit,” he replied. With that brief exchange, strangely similar to a parent remedially instructing a child, the doors opened to a flood of divine wrath.