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 65:17-25

It appears that the RCL at this point in the Church Year is not reading the First Testament "continuously". Here, as we come to the end of the Church Year we are meeting the promises of what many regard as an unnamed prophet proclaiming hope to those who have returned from the exile to find the early messages of Isaiah do not appear to be being fulfilled.

Malachi 4:1-2a

The Roman Catholic Three Year lectionary appearing to have a different reading for this day: Malachi 3:19-20a is illusory. The reading is identical, the versification is what differs. This prophet lives shortly after Haggai and Zechariah.

2 Thessalonians 3:6-13

Underlying this text is the cultural understanding of the time that a favour obliges a favour back. Similarly the injunction against being a busybody makes sense in a culture in which people do not have the privacy we now take for granted but are often regulated in their actions by the perceptions of the community.

Luke 21:5-19

Most scholars would have Luke write here clearly and have Jesus describe events that, when the text was being written, had already taken place. In a culture that lived very much in the present, there is little surprise in the intertwining of catastrophic events with concepts of the end of all.

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