Reading from the Revised Common Lectionary –

Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany


Reading from the Old Testament, Micah 6:1-8
Reading from the Gospels, Matthew 5:1-12
Reading from the Psalms, Psalm 15
Reading from the Epistles, 1 Corinthians 1:18-31

A Track 2 OT Reading from the Revised Common Lectionary

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Reading from the Old Testament, Micah 6:1-8 (1/24/11)

This is the final week of our brief study of how the lectionary works.  The lectionary readings from the Old Testament have moved on from the prophet Isaiah to the prophet Micah.  This passage from Micah is poetry; we know that because vss. 1 and 2 are parallel, vss. 3 and 4 are parallel to vs. 5, and vss. 6 and 7 are parallel.  One of Micah’s most famous sayings is next:  What does the LORD require of you, but to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God?
 

Reading from the Gospels, Matthew 5:1-12 (1/25/11)

Our lectionary reading from the Gospels continues with Matthew, bringing us to one of the very best known passages from Matthew, the Beatitudes.  “Beatitude” means perfect or supreme blessedness or happiness, and Jesus tells us how to gain that condition.


Reading from the Psalms, Psalm 15 (UMH 747) (1/26/11)

We’ve been reading from the
English Standard Version.  Because today’s psalm is short, I suggest that you also read it in the King James Version and the Good News Translation.  Compare them to see how the same message is presented in different ways by different translators.  The KJV is majestic but may be hard to understand; the Good News Translation is simple but may not be lyrical enough for poetry.  Maybe the ESV is just right for psalms.

I’m beginning to see a pretty clear theme for this week’s lectionary readings:  the characteristics of a person who is right with God.  Micah said that God requires that we do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.  Jesus gives us the Beatitudes.  David says that those who want to be close to God need to guard their tongues and control their greed.  Good guidelines.
 

Reading from the Epistles, 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 (1/27/11)

We’re in ordinary time, that is, no particular church season like Christmas.  Therefore we are reading through one of the epistles, which happens to be Corinthians.  Even though the first three lectionary readings for this week appear to be on a single topic – how God wants us to live – our epistle reading doesn’t seem to be.  Oh, well.


A Track 2 OT Reading from the RCL
Exodus 19:2-8a; Matthew 9:35 – 10:8
(1/28/11)

We’ve learned that the Track 2 Old Testament readings from the lectionary are customarily selected to be closely related to the Gospel reading.  Today we learn that the relationship can be a bit tricky to determine, especially if you hear each reading once, at two different times in the worship service.  For this particular pair, I don't see the connection. No connection is indicated in the cross references in the study edition of The Jerusalem Bible or in the notes of John Wesley.

Even if the four scriptures of the lectionary readings for a given Sunday were never related, however, it would be okay. Each passage has something important to tell us on its own, and it does us good to hear what our fellow-believers said so long ago.


More on Reading from the Lectionary
will be coming soon.
Epiphany and the Baptism of Jesus
Readings for the Second Sunday after Epiphany
Readings for the Third Sunday after Epiphany
Readings for the Fourth Sunday after Epiphany

Copyright 2011, 2013 by Regina L. Hunter. All rights reserved.

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