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.

Jer 8:18-9:1

The ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Israel have been dispersed by the Assyrians. King Josiah has started a reform movement in the southern kingdom of Judah, his successor Jehoiakim did not continue this. In this seventh century before Christ Jeremiah stands at the gate of the temple and proclaims this as part of a great sermon.

Amos 8:4-7

Amos is a contemporary of the eighth century BC prophets Isaiah, Micah, and Hosea. Our passage picks up after four stricking visions: a plague of locusts, a devouring fire, a plumb line, a basket of summer fruit.

1 Tim 2:1-7

Three verses are skipped in the lectionary between last week's reading and this week's lectionary choice (1 Tim 1:18-20). Either prior to the service, or afterwards, individually read these verses as it gives the frame for the "then" that starts this reading. Since the nineteenth century the authorship of this letter has been disputed. Writing in another’s name was an acceptable part of that culture in a way it is not generally today.

Luke 16:1-13

The parable of the lost son (traditionally called the "Prodigal Son" but more about a prodigal father) follows the lost sheep and lost coin parables from last week. Instead the Lost Son was read Lent 4 this year. Jesus continues telling a parable - this time to his disciples and not, like last week, to the Pharisees and the scribes.

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