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.

Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20

These dozen statements are differently divided to form "ten commandments" :


Isaiah 5:1-7

This poem dates from the early years of Isaiah's ministry. A vineyard is a regular metaphor for a beloved in Hebrew poetry. It is also a regular metaphor for God's people. The poem concludes with a play on words: mishpat (justice) mishpach (bloodshed), tesdaqah (righteousness) tse'aqah (cry).

Philippians 3:4b-14

A Hebrew born of Hebrews is possibly a claim to know the language. Rubbish is literally garbage or even human excrement.

Matthew 21:33-46

The Coptic version of this parable without its allegorical interpretation is found in the Gospel of Thomas 65. Galilean peasants regularly had their land owned by someone in a different country. If you owned the land, less than a fifth of what you produced would have ended up for your family. Far less in this context. Hence the desperation and the misjudgement when the son arrives that the owner is dead. Killing the son, they assume, will mean the vineyard is theirs.

Today's readings online
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