Monday, July 10, 2006

Learning to Appreciate the "L" word

In years past - many, many years past - I was introduced to the concept of a lectionary. Actually, more accurately, I was introduced to the idea of preaching from a lectionary. Coming from a church and a background which (at least more recently) preached with far differing rhythms, I found the idea of a lectionary, well useless. It seemed to eliminate the reliance on the Holy Spirit, it seemed to downplay the use of the mind of the preacher to dicipher what was appropriate at a given time or season in the church or community and most of all it smelled of top-down, beuracratric popery!

Now, I have to take a moment here to step aside and point out that these many years ago when first I was introduced to the idea of preaching from a lectionary, I was quite young, arrogant and foolhardy. You might ask if there is any difference between then and now - and I can honestly say that I am much older now - the rest hasn't changed that much, no. I have also broadened my perspective and vision in regard to the Bible, Church History and the work of the Holy Spirit since then. Oh, and I don't hate the pope... but the Colonel - ah, I hate the Colonel, with his wee beady eyes! He puts an addictive chemical in his chicken that makes you crave for it nightly! "Ohhh, you're gonna buy my chicken..."

Got side-tracked a little there. What I was saying was simply that in the course of the past few years, I've gained a greater appreciation for the lectionary - the concept itself, and it's greater advantages. While I don't anticipate ever becoming a preacher who preaches from the lectionary exclusively, I still contend that there are a greater number of factors that should dictate what one preaches on than that book contains, I feel it is of much greater value. Particularly during the rest of the week. I had originally understood the lectionary to be simply a listing of chapters and verses for preaching from Sunday to Sunday. But that is far from the truth. I have since become aquainted with the fact that the lectionary actually has daily readings - for each day of the week.

My good friend Jeff recently reminded me that the PC(USA) has a link to this on their website and so I've slowly began incorporating it into my daily routine. VERY slowly. But I've realized that it's a great way to get a breadth of Scripture read and that if follows sequentially so that you're reading through both Old Testament and New Testament passages from day to day and not simply jumping around. I think there's definitely some value in it, simply to keep you reading. There are both Morning and Evening Psalm readings as well as OT, NT and Gospel readings. Currently the readings are from Numbers, Romans & Matthew - and it's neat to draw comparisons across the books.

Anyway, this is what I'm trying learning to appreciate right now. If I could only get up consistently early enough to read and pray for it to become a good habit and replace one of those lazy, bad habits I've picked up over my 28 years...

1 comment:

Lars Rood said...

Just be stoked you are in a denomination now that can't figure out what language to use for the trinity. Or you could ask the question what the heck is their deal? I do think lectionarys are cool though.