Reading the Scriptures in Worship and at Home
In worship on Sunday I mentioned that we are at the beginning of a long, slow, continuous read of the Gospel of Matthew during what some churches call “Ordinary Time.” With the seasons of Lent and Easter and the festival of Pentecost behind us, we now enter into a steady state of reading about the ministry, teachings, and miracles of Jesus. We will also be reading from Paul’s letter to the Romans throughout the summer, followed by Philippians and then 1 Thessalonians. Each week a Psalm will complement our readings.
The Revised Common Lectionary – the reading cycle widely used by Lutherans, Methodists, Episcopalians, Disciples of Christ, Presbyterians, and more – includes Sunday readings from the Old Testament, a Psalm, an Epistle/Letter, and a Gospel. Currently we are omitting the Old Testament reading in Sunday worship, but maintaining the other three readings.
I encourage you, as part of your daily devotions, to read Scripture from the daily lectionary – especially if you don’t yet have a regular devotional or routine of Bible reading. Between Sundays the daily lectionary provides Scripture passages that connect readers to the major themes of Sunday’s scripture texts. The readings assigned for Monday through Wednesday flow from Sunday’s themes. The readings assigned to Thursday through Saturday look ahead to the coming Sunday. In this way your daily individual devotion is connected to our Sunday communal worship, and the midweek readings support and expand our understanding of the Sunday texts.
Reading the Word Each Day
Each morning at 7:30am our Facebook page includes a link to one of the daily readings.
Each Friday our News to Know email includes a listing of the week’s daily readings. Want to receive this? Sign up
The Daily Lectio app includes two options for the Old Testament readings: Semicontinuous, or Complementary. This refers to the way that Old Testament readings are selected for this extended “ordinary time” season in the church year. Typically the Old Testament texts are selected thematically to complement the Gospel text. For example, if Jesus is feeding the five thousand in the Gospel text, the Old Testament story might be one of the Lord providing manna in the wilderness to the Israelites. Week to week the Old Testament readings would come from different books of the Bible to compliment the themes of the Gospel text. An alternate way of reading the Old Testament during “ordinary time” is to read through parts of Old Testament books sequentially, or continuously. This summer that would include reading portions of Genesis and Exodus.
May God bless you as you stay connected to the life-giving word of God this summer.