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.

Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15

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 successors Jehoiakim and Zedekiah did not continue this. In this seventh century before Christ Jeremiah proclaims this text as Nebuchadrezzar's troops besiege Jerusalem.

Amos 6:1a, 4-7

Amos is a contemporary of the eighth century BC prophets Isaiah, Micah, and Hosea. Our passage is chosen to link to the Gospel reading, but, interestingly, picks up a couple of chapters earlier from last week's related reading. The connection between the prophet Amos and this section of Luke's gospel is thereby highlighted.

1 Timothy 6:6-19

Several chapters are skipped since last week's reading. One is encouraged to read them individually as we come now to the nearly final verses of this letter. 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 16:19-31

Five verses of Luke are skipped between last week's reading and this week's (Luke 16:14-18). Jesus attacks the Pharisees as lovers of money. And then declares "Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and whoever marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery." (Luke 16:18). At a time when many denominations are struggling with the relatively few texts relating to same-sex relationships, it behoves us to be reminded of the very many texts in the scriptures related to money - this being the threshold for today's Gospel reading. Those who literalistically interpret those few mentioned texts, also appear to generally interpret the apparently unequivocal divorce text (16:18) in a more relaxed manner. Neither this, nor any of its Synoptic parallels, are ever read in the Sunday RCL.

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