Thursday, April 12, 2012

Narrative Lectionary.. an alternative lectionary experiment

I was just alerted to a new lectionary that was begun by some professors up at Luther Seminary. Rolf Jacobsen and Craig Koester started this four-year alternative lectionary, the so-called Narrative Lectionary, that lead to a proclamation of what God is doing. This lectionary also seems to help recount the grand scope of salvation history. 

I am intrigued. Intrigued enough to consider moving to this lectionary next fall. Of course, I have never done anything really apart from the Revised Common Lectionary. I do wonder, if reading only one lesson, two at most, each week is worth it. I suppose if you attend a congregation that only reads one lesson each week, then a lectionary that tried to cover the scope of salvation history might be worthwhile. If you attend a congregation that reads all four texts appointed for the day, I wonder if it is worth it to give up four years of a broader sampling of biblical readings. If the preacher in those churches would routinely only preach on the gospel lesson anyway, then maybe it doesn't matter.  

The absent books raise an interesting question. No Psalms? No New Testament texts outside of the gospel and some of Paul's letters? Nothing from Revelation. Nothing from Hebrews, the Johannine epistles or the Petrine epistles. The details of the four-year lectionary, that is the appointed texts for each Sunday, can be seen here

While I am still considering this lectionary, particularly for a campus ministry setting where there is a possibility that students are not well acquainted with the biblical narrative, I do wonder if preachers cannot proclaim an active God through the stories appointed in the Revised Common Lectionary, will changing minor details really change the proclamation? 

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