Tag Archives: lectionary

Sundays of Easter

The UMC General Board of Discipleship has some great ideas for preaching the Sundays in Easter.

Interestingly, the article says:

Many congregations are not accustomed to sustained celebration. Many pastors who plan worship and preaching make use of the lectionary during the Advent/Christmas cycle and the Lent/Holy Week/Easter cycle, but are ready to follow a different approach when Easter Sunday has come and gone.

We say this as an acknowledgement of the many ways that pastors approach worship and preaching. In no way do we seek to discourage pastors and churches from staying with full use of the lectionary readings each week during Easter. We will continue to post lectionary-based music, preaching, and worship planning helps throughout the Easter season.”

The GBOD offers some suggestions for creating an “extended celebration” of Easter:

  1. Forget about Easter and work with themes or sermon series, perhaps preaching through a book of the Bible or some portion of it.
  2. Keep Easter in view but use your own ingenuity in choosing texts around which to plan worship and preaching.
  3. Plan for worship and preaching a series making use of some of the “natural” connections and progressions in the Revised Common Lectionary. (Click here for the full list of RCL Easter readings, Year C.)

Using the lectionary, you could

  1. track the Acts readings for a snapshot of the early church (though how you handle Pentacost later will need to come up)
  2. follow the Revelation readings to “peer into the future.”
  3. follow the John readings for an “empty tomb postscript”
  4. or a few other ways including “our history” from the old testament readings

How is your church celebrating the time after Easter?

i felt my church strangely warmed…

It’s cold in the south today. We turned on the heat. But that’s not quite it…

I am trying to figure out the church. I’ve been a part of it for the better part of 10 years and I’ve served in it for 8 of those years. What is this organic being that I am a part of? What is it like? What is wonderful about it? What is challenging about it?

I’ve got the text book definitions down and I can show you Biblical examples and descriptions. It’s only a slice of it. In a sweet, unexpected moment today (and it’s Monday), church is redefined in my heart. This organic thing won’t be pinned down.  It seems that I can’t “know” it as much as I can “be in relationship” with it.  What a humbling way to serve!

Read these prayers from todays readings:

Gracious Father, we pray for your holy Catholic* Church. Fill it with all truth, in all truth with all peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in any thing it is amiss, reform it. Where it is right, strengthen it; where it is in want, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it; for the sake of Jesus Christ your Son our Savior. Amen.

O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples of the earth, and sent your blessed Son to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near: Grant that people everywhere may seek after you and find you; bring the nations into your fold; pour out your Spirit upon all flesh, and hasten the coming of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

This is all spoken in a warm way–with a warmed heart.

What about church for you and your community? What is beautiful about it? What about it is the evident body of Christ?

*= universal. as a good methodist, i felt the need to include this…

Texts for Holy Saturday

From the daily office lectionary, here is a sample of the texts for today, Holy Saturday:

“The Lord is my light and my salvation–whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life–of whom shall I be afraid?  When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.  Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.”  Psalm 27:1-3

And where, O Lord, does this confidence come from?  Where is your stronghold?  With my enemies rallied against me, how shall I prevail?

Die to self, to live in grace, to resonate Christ.   Do not fight in a battle that is already won.  Clothe yourself in humilty and enter the stronghold of the Lord

“I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.  And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes–I, and not another.”  Job 19:25-27a

When God gets under your skin, you must die to yourself in order to see God.  When God challenges your pride, shed your mortal self and gaze upon the redeemer.  Therein lies the beauty–to see Christ within your own self, with your own eyes, rather than rely solely on the testimony of another.

“Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.”  Hebrews 4:1

While the battle rages on, enter his rest–the stronghold of Christ.  To fall short of this promise is to die in battle.  However, to die to yourself and enter the rest is to rise again.