Greetings from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I hope this letter finds you securely wrapped in the grace of God.
As our church continues to grow in membership and attendance it seems right to talk in detail about the transition that we have made away from Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) to Narrative Lectionary. For some in the congregation you can remember using Narrative Lectionary before; for others this may be a new experience for you.
First, it is important to answer an often overlooked question; what is the Lectionary? The lectionary is the set of biblical readings that we will use during Sunday service for the year. While some churches function with their pastor crafting sermon series or independent biblical book studies for multiple worships in a row, we use the lectionary to ensure a well-rounded worship experience through the year. In other words, you will not come to church and hear readings on a single topic, such as tithing, for five months of the year.
The RCL is what most mainline protestant congregations use on Sunday. It is made up of 4 different readings, an Old Testament reading, a Psalm, an Epistle reading, and a Gospel reading. These readings are all focused on a similar topic which changes week to week; such as God’s forgiveness one week and the next week God’s promises. The readings have a three year cycle before repeating themselves, in order to get a large portion of the Bible scriptures read during that time. These readings are placed together to inform the congregation’s theological development in regards to God’s grace. For many of us, the lectionary has been the same way since we were children.
However, recently churches across the nation have noticed a steady decline in the biblical literacy of their communities and congregations. With this in mind, the Narrative Lectionary was created to help people hear and learn the stories of the Bible. Many of the people in our wider communities are unfamiliar with foundational Bible stories like Moses and the Egyptians, or David and Goliath. It is the church’s responsibility to teach people the