The lectionary

The Lectionary.

Last Sunday was Bible Sunday, so I thought that today I would talk about how our readings are chosen each week.

We use a guide called the lectionary, literally meaning a collection of what to read. Over the years of church history, there have been several different systems for working out the readings for any given time, and there are two main sorts. One is the related lectionary, where the same theme occurs in the Old Testament reading, the Gospel, and the Epistle. These are really good if you’re preaching, because it is usually quite clear how they relate to, and illuminate each other. The other main system is the continuous lectionary, whereby each week you get a new instalment of an ongoing story – recently we have been learning about Abraham, and his son Isaac, and this week, Isaac’s children. The Gospels also work through one particular gospel each year, Matthew in Year A, Mark in Year B and Luke in Year C. John’s gospel is used in festival times such as Lent and Easter, Advent and Christmas, each year. The Roman Catholic church, after the Vatican 2 council in the 1960s, set out the lectionary that is in use in many churches today, including the Anglican church. Continue reading

Sermon: Generous Hospitality

Generous hospitality.

Have you ever been faced with a crowd of people turning up and expecting to be fed?Just imagine the scene on the grassy slopes by lake Galilee. A huge crowd of people were gathering, they had seen Jesus work miracles and heal the sick, and they knew that this was the best gig in town.The first thing Jesus asks his disciple Philip is, where will we get enough food to fill all these people?This was an interesting question for several reasons. First, Jesus was thinking about the practical, about the physical needs of the crowd, and he was also taking on himself the obligation as host to provide hospitality.He didn’t need to do this did he? After all, he hadn’t sent out invitations to a banquet, asking them to come and be fed. No, they had all come by themselves, knowing that they would indeed be fed, but probably thinking about spiritual feeding, or at least seeing some amazing miracles and healings that they could tell others about. Continue reading