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.

Habakkuk 1:1-4, 2:1-4

Habakkuk lived and prophesied during the closing years of the seventh century BC and the early sixth century. Nineveh had been destroyed by Nabopolassar. Nebuchadnezzar, his son, was now plundering the Holy Land. Habakkuk is the first in the scriptures to challenge God and not keep silent about his doubts about disaster being a sign of God's judgement.

Isaiah 1:10-18

Isaiah lived during the time when the Assyrians conquered the Northern Kingdom. Middle Eastern nations attempted to resist this growing empire with the help of another great power - Egypt. This eighth century prophet begins his book with a series of rebukes and promises.

2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12

Paul had visited Thessalonica, a major city and the capital of the province of Macedonia, on his second missionary journey about 49 AD. He was rejected there by the Jews and so turned to preaching to the Gentiles forming a community. After about three months a riot forced him to leave. Paul sent Timothy to visit them and the news he brings back to Paul is the cause of his first letter which some regard as the oldest New Testament document. Paul wrote this second letter a short time later from Corinth.

Luke 19:1-10

Most of the material between last week's gospel reading and this week's is read in the parallel version in the Year of Mark (Year B). Jesus has been journeying down the Jordan valley, and he is now heading via Jericho to follow the road through the desert up to Jerusalem.

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