Lectionary Reading Introduction

This site provides something different: many sites and books provide a brief summary of the reading - so that people read out or have in their pew sheet an outline of what they are about to hear. They are told beforehand what to expect. Does this not limit what they hear the Spirit address them? This site provides something different - often one cannot appreciate what is being read because there is no context provided. This site provides the context, the frame of the reading about to be heard. It could be used as an introduction, printed on a pew sheet (acknowledged, of course), or adapted in other ways. This is an experimental venture and I will see how useful it appears.

Isaiah 11:1-10

The context for this announcement to expect a messiah is a growth beyond the land and a king that had been the hope previously. The tree of Jesse, the father of King David, had been felled. That is not the end of the stump.

Romans 15:4-15

The Mediterranean context is evident in Paul's functioning as a mediating figure exhorting the community to forgo the natural curltural tendency for arguments to escalate to conflict and even violence.

Matthew 3:1-12

The context of this Sunday's Gospel reading is highly political. John loudly calls the Pharisees and Sadducees illegitimate children of snakes (translate that into the vernacular oneself!) He will not countenance a response that our parentage and family background justifies us.
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