A Four-Year Lectionary (Will Humes)

Above:  My Desk, February 10, 2018

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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A good lectionary is a wonderful resource.  For my blogging purposes, it is mainly a guide to Bible study that, via the Internet, is never just for myself.  Years of blogging based on various lectionaries has deepened my knowledge of scripture and made me a better Sunday School teacher (of the Revised Common Lectionary, actually) than I would be otherwise.  I hope to learn much more, for there is much more to know.

I am following the rough draft of A Four-Year Lectionary, by the Reverend Will Humes, available at his weblog, A Far Country.  Humes, as of February 10, 2018, pastor of Coventryville United Methodist Church, Coventryville, Pennsylvania, makes his objectives for his lectionary plain:

  1. To give the Gospel of John “its rightful place in the readings.”  This is a laudable goal, for the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) does not do this.  Matthew is primary during Year A, Mark during Year B, and Luke during Year C, with John filling in here and there, mainly during Lent and Easter.  In Humes’s lectionary John is primary during Year D.
  2. As much as possible, to read the four canonical Gospels continuously, including every major teaching and story of Jesus while omitting counterparts to another Synoptic account.  Certain teachings and stories exist in more than one Gospel, with variations.  The Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) overlap substantially, due to what New Testament scholars call the Markan Spine of Matthew and Luke.  Not all Christian scripture is equal; the Gospels take precedence of the rest of the Bible.  They are, as the late Donald S. Armentrout (1939-2013) said so well, the “Gospel glasses.”
  3. To give the Passion readings their due by placing them throughout Lent.  This is one way to accomplish that fine purpose.  Timothy Matthew Slemmons, author of Year D (2012), offers a Passion sub-season in the Season after Pentecost.  However one accomplishes the goal of giving the Passion readings their due is fine with me.
  4. To read more scripture aloud.  That is undoubtedly a fine objective.  The Revised Common Lectionary, which schedules about one-fourth of the (Protestant) Bible over three years, does better than its predecessors.  One can do better than that, though.  Slemmons writes that a seven-year cycle would be necessary to approach 100%.  Certainly, allowing for duplicated material, one can do better than slightly less than one-quarter.  Humes, by including usually omitted passages (not counting duplicated material), works toward the goal of reading more than one-fourth.
  5. To increase the number of readings from the Acts of the Apostles, the Epistles, and the Hebrew Bible–especially in the fields of the Minor Prophets, wisdom literature, Joshua, Judges, and the Psalms.  I recognize only good in this.
  6. To include controversial passages frequently omitted from lectionaries.  Those are often the passages most worth reading.
  7. To include more passages that feature women.  Women are important players in the Bible, after all; they deserve their due.

I anticipate spending parts of four years waiting based on this lectionary.  Hopefully you, O reader, will find something of that project spiritually beneficial.

Pax vobiscum!

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 10, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT SCHOLASTICA, ABBESS OF PLOMBARIOLA; AND HER TWIN BROTHER, SAINT BENEDICT OF NURSIA, ABBOT OF MONTE CASSINO, AND FATHER OF WESTERN MONASTICISM

THE FEAST OF SAINT BENEDICT OF ANIANE, RESTORER OF WESTERN MONASTICISM; AND SAINT ARDO, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF HENRY WILLIAMS BAKER, ANGLICAN PRIEST

THE FEAST OF PHILIP ARMES, ANGLICAN CHURCH ORGANIST

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Posted February 10, 2018 by neatnik2009

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