Ruth and I just returned from Moravian University Christmas Vespers. It was a lovely and inspiring service.
Thursday at dinner it dawned on us that neither one had gone anywhere that day. I can’t remember a day when that happened. It’s probably been decades. It meant that we were able to plow through some work that required sustained focus, but I was getting cabin fever. So I had lunch with Jim Femister on Friday.
Office work takes up so much time! I miss Kristy, who was such a big help in our office. The big time-consumer last week was the Reformed Lectionary. The good news is that I’m almost finished, but the bad news is that when a project is sufficiently large, even being close to the end means a lot more hours of work. If you are interested in this project, proceed to the next paragraph…
The church has used a lectionary from the beginning. The synagogues had prescribed weekly readings, and the church adopted this practice. It is healthy to read a passage from the Old Testament, from the Epistles, and from the Gospels each week. The concept of a lectionary is to tie these together in a common theme, suggested by the church calendar. Great idea, but hard to implement. Over the years as saints days proliferated, the calendar became cluttered and the reformers thought the calendar was too full to be helpful. If every day is “special,” none is. Some reformers wanted to scrap the church calendar altogether and read scripture sequentially, but others wanted to simplify it. The concept arose of “Evangelical Feast Days” — the five pivotal events of our salvation (Jesus’ birth, death, resurrection, ascension, and giving the Holy Spirit). Current practice among most evangelicals is to read only one scripture: the text the preacher bases his sermon on.
Here’s what I did. I went through every book of the Bible and broke it into passages suitable for reading in one service (about 15 verses). Then I selected passages suitable for the Five Evangelical Feast Days, plus Epiphany and Palm Sunday. Then I arranged the scriptures to be read sequentially the rest of the year. I am intent on this being sensible and easy to use. It is those last two points which make this so time-consuming!
This week will feature more work at home.