Lectionary Preachers - advice?

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Nick Highland | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, May 18 2017 8:05 AM

I am working on developing a free utility for the development of sermons and sermon series', and I'm looking for input from other Lectionary preachers.

What strategies do you use to develop a series using Lectionaries texts? What kinds of things do you look for to identify common themes among readings and *especially* among weeks? How do you identify themes that span multiple lectionary weeks?

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BillS | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 18 2017 8:50 AM

I don't preach on "themes" as much as I exposit the themes that are already present in the lectionary readings. Usually, the semi-continuous alternative in the lectionary will allow the themes of a particular writer to be drawn out very effectively. And it's amazing to me how often the Holy Spirit uses the words written so long ago to apply to issues we're currently struggling with.

That said, I'm not married to the lectionary. Its boundaries don't have the same authority as does Scripture. So in addition, I always make sure that the boundaries of the text for "this week" are the ones needed for God's message to His people. After all, it's His church. Not mine. I'm just carrying His message. And His message often is drawn out more clearly by adding or deleting a verse or two from either side of the reference called for by the lectionary.

Hope this is helpful.

Grace & Peace,
Bill


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Nick Highland | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 18 2017 9:27 AM

Thanks, Bill.  I don't preach on themes either - my question was intended to read more along the lines of "how do you exposit common themes from among lectionary texts that cover a span of weeks?" (to use your language).  

I'm with you, for what it's worth - I am not married to the lectionary, but I do see its benefits and probably preach lectionary texts 45 weeks out of the year.

My process has been to print out each passage and make a giant list of themes for each passage, then begin to circle common themes among all passages in a 4-6 week span.  I'm curious about how others do this, and what their criteria is for identifying a theme.

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Hamilton Ramos | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 19 2018 12:49 PM

This is interesting Nick.

Take a look at:

http://liturgy.co.nz/there-is-no-theme

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 19 2018 2:59 PM

Hamilton, the link you supplied applies to New Zealand. For the Catholic and RCL Sunday lectionary, the Gospel, first reading, and responsorial psalm are usually related; during Advent and Lent one may expect some thematic principle for the entire set of readings. For the RCL daily, all its readings are chosen with the Sunday readings in mind. For the Catholic daily readings, with some seasonable exceptions, one expects a semi-continuous reading. For the alternative RCL readings - the Lutheran inspired OT narrative choice - one can expect some intentional relationship between the first readings across Sundays  .... etc. etc. 

With the exception of the new Narrative Lectionary, the common lectionaries share a focus on the Gospels and on Jesus Christ. The focus is a semi-continuous presentation of the life of Jesus Christ.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 19 2018 3:02 PM

Nick Highland:
I am working on developing a free utility for the development of sermons and sermon series', and I'm looking for input from other Lectionary preachers.

See https://community.logos.com/forums/t/173921.aspx

and less relevant but ... https://community.logos.com/forums/t/130324.aspx 

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Hamilton Ramos | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 23 2018 6:32 AM

Thanks for the clarification MJ.

I would imagine that lectionary readings are parallel to what protestants would call preaching yearly plan.

Do you know if there is a resource that lists the related readings per topic area in case one wants to do a preaching plan tailored to a particular congregation?

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 24 2018 2:16 AM

Hamilton Ramos:
I would imagine that lectionary readings are parallel to what protestants would call preaching yearly plan.

Not really. Lectionaries are used by a number of protestants. For example, the RCL is a Protestant lectionaries which Wikipedia says is used by:

  • United States
    • American Baptist Churches, USA
    • Community of Christ
    • Disciples of Christ
    • Episcopal Church in the United States of America
    • Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
    • King's Chapel, Boston - an autonomous Unitarian Universalist church in the Anglican tradition
    • Moravian Church in America
    • Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod
    • Presbyterian Church USA
    • Reformed Church in America
    • United Church of Christ
    • United Methodist Church
    • Unitarian Universalist Christian Fellowship
  • Canada
    • Anglican Church of Canada
    • Canadian Baptists of Western Canada
    • Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
    • Mennonite Church Canada
    • Presbyterian Church in Canada
    • United Church of Canada
  • United Kingdom
    • Church of England
    • Church of Scotland
    • Church in Wales
    • Methodist Church of Great Britain
    • Scottish Episcopal Church
    • United Reformed Church
  • Philippines
    • Apostolic Catholic Church
    • Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches
    • Episcopal Church of the Philippines
    • Philippine Independent Church
    • United Church of Christ in the Philippines
    • United Methodist Church in the Philippines
  • Australia
    • Anglican Church of Australia
    • Uniting Church in Australia
  • Italy
    • Waldensian Evangelical Church
    • Italian Methodist Church
    • Baptist Evangelical Christian Union of Italy (UCEBI)
    • Evangelical Reformed Baptist Churches in Italy

They have a history arising directly from Jewish practices and are designed around a variety of principles (a) the primacy of Jesus in the worship service (b) the principles of catechisis, mystagogia and other faith formation (c) principle of presenting the life of Jesus Christ.in its entirety annually. yes, it is usual for the preaching to be on one or more of the lessons of the lectionary but there are alternatives

Hamilton Ramos:
Do you know if there is a resource that lists the related readings per topic area in case one wants to do a preaching plan tailored to a particular congregation?

Preaching from the lectionary IS tailored to the particular congregation if the preacher is competent and is designed to be relevant to the congregation when the preacher is not very competent. Wink Yes, there are lots of topical resources in Logos. They are of no particular interest to me in the work I do so I don't keep up on them. The only one's I have any familiarity with are aimed for retreats or missions.

From another thread:

Damian McGrath:

It may be a homily based primarily on one text... It may be a homily that draws together the OT and Gospel reading and preaches on fulfilment.... We are not bound to give a homily on the scriptural text... we may preach on another text of the Mass (rare, but I gave a weekday homilette in the last couple of weeks on the Collect).... we may preach on the Season or Feast Day (with reference to the scriptural texts).

Assuming it is based on one scriptural text (which is my norm), I would pay heed to the Season (not mentioned above) and often situate in the flow of what we have heard in previous weeks (or even what is coming up).

I always exegete my community..... How is this good news for the people of my parishes?

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Hamilton Ramos | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 24 2018 4:46 AM

Thanks for the clarification MJ.

Catechism's 4 pillars are:  Faith that includes prayer, Faith that includes way we live (morals), Faith that includes celebration (sacraments), Faith that includes Belief (dogmatics).

Never thought of relating this to the lectionary. I will check the topical resources that exist to see if there is a relation, or if there should be a relation.

Thanks MJ.

 

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 24 2018 12:01 PM

Lent, especially the last few weeks, have readings and brief ceremonies that have been the lead up to adult baptism for 1500 years ... directly related to the catechesis of candidates. That is a good place to start in understanding the organization and principles of many lectionaries.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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