For the next nine months we will read a single lesson during liturgy, following the “Narrative Lectionary.” This lectionary seeks to tell the overarching biblical story of God’s accompaniment in ways that build biblical fluency. We are not alone in this. We join Professors Rolf Jacobson,Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker of Luther Seminary and many congregations across North America in trying this method of communicating the overarching story we find in Scripture.This lectionary is different in several ways from the Revised Common Lectionary we have been using. First, the narrative lectionary uses nine months to rapidly tell the biblical story in canonical order. Each week we focus on a single lesson as a way to facilitate an understanding of and appreciation for the broader biblical story of God’s accompaniment. In the fall we read from the Hebrew Scriptures, in the winter from one of the Gospels (Luke), and in the spring stories about the early church from the book of Acts and other New Testament writings.
The church calendar clearly aligns with the rhythm of the Narrative Lectionary with emphasis on the three festivals of the year: the birth of Christ Jesus as the culmination of the OT story, the resurrection of Christ as the culmination of the Gospel stories, and the festival of Pentecost as the outflowing of God’s mission to all the nations.
We are experimenting because we believe deeply that fluency in the language of the biblical story is crucial to relevant and creative Christian faith. Like our partners, we can no longer assume that most people who worship with us already know even the basics of this biblical narrative.
We hope that this will equip in knowing more deeply the story of God’s accompaniment, in finding ourselves in this story, and in rediscovering the love of God in Christ Jesus, the Word made flesh among us. Let us know how you think it is going!
(Thanks to Professor Rolf Jacobson from whose article this announcement has been liberally adapted.)