Pastor's note Print
Tuesday, 03 September 2013 16:14


pastors note

I love to hear a good story and I love getting the chance to tell a good story, too. One of the things we do when we gather to worship is to hear part of God’s story. As people who work to follow the path of Jesus, we hope to learn more about his life, his teachings and the path to God that he embodies.

One way that I look at what we try to do, in worship and in our own walk as disciples, is to tie our story into God’s story. Admittedly, sometimes this challenge is easier than at other times.

   Beginning this month, on September 8, Congregational United Church of Christ will use the Narrative Lectionary to help follow the arc of God’s story as it is revealed in the Bible. We had been following the Revised Common Lectionary pretty closely.

The Revised Common Lectionary has a 3 year cycle, with readings appointed for each Sunday that follow a liturgical year, meaning that it moved from (church) season to season. One year would be the Gospel of Mark, another Matthew, and another Luke, with bits of John divided among the year. It would start in Advent and end with the Reign of Christ (aka Christ the King).  

While the stories were presented from one Gospel, the sequence often ended up jumping around to follow the season, rather than the order of the story (the narrative arc) that the Gospel writer thought important. You may have noticed this pattern. Sometimes in November, as we are thinking about Christmas coming soon, we hear stories from right before Jesus was executed. Or, after Easter, we would hear stories from before Jesus’ death. The order of the story just doesn’t seem to match up so well.

The Narrative Lectionary was put together in part to address that issue and a few other criticisms of the Revised Common Lectionary. The goal is to help people see the Hebrew and Christian scriptures as a story that is both holds together and moves over time. The hope is that Christians will become more familiar with the stories from the Hebrew Scriptures as well as let people follow Jesus’ story each year, completely from the perspective of one of the gospel writers.

Starting on September 8 and throughout the fall, we will hear stories in the Old Testament such as Creation, the Binding of Isaac, Jacob’s Dream, and the Call of Samuel. Then at Christmas, as we celebrate the birth of Jesus, we will move to stories of Jesus from the Gospel of John. After Easter we will explore stories in Acts and end with a look at Philippians.

Our hope is that following the Narrative Lectionary will increase our Biblical literacy and make it easier to tie our story to God’s story. God’s story. Our story. Let the adventure begin!


Lynn Bohlmann