Your first question may be, “Wait, what exactly IS a lectionary?” Though the word sounds rather complicated, it’s actually quite simple. Lectionaries (there are several types) are pre-selected weekly scripture readings, usually spanning three to four years, that share the Biblical narrative from God’s creation of the world through the beginnings of the early church.
So, in other words, a lectionary is a structured way to tell the story of God and His people. The Bible tells a story, a true story, of hope, disappointment, suffering, and redemption– our redemption from sin through Christ.
So why use a Lectionary to study?
Here are 5 reasons why you should consider using a Lectionary to study the Bible.
1. To start reading. That’s right. Perhaps the most important reason to use a lectionary to study the Bible is that it is an automatic “Bible Plan.” No more searching the internet to find one! Using a lectionary gets you into God’s word immediately. In the Narrative Lectionary which we use here at HAB, weekly readings include Old Testament and Gospel readings (Fall), Epistles and Gospel readings (Spring), or Gospels and Psalms.
2. To gain clarity. As mentioned above, a lectionary study of scripture helps clarify the message of the Bible and gives clarity to the story of God, his people, and his son, Jesus Christ, as the savior of the world. The lectionary ensures that you will read about major Biblical themes, and help you understand how they matter to you today.
3. To gain wisdom. As you gain clarity about the story of God, the HIStory of how he loves his people, you can begin to understand more about who he is and what his will is for his people, for you.
4. To connect with sermons. Our pastor at HAB, and many others use some form of lectionary to determine their preaching text, again, in order to give time to the Bible in its entirety. Following along with your church’s lectionary readings helps you stay connected to the sermon and explore more deeply the concepts being taught.
5. To connect with others. Though you can certainly download a lectionary calendar from the internet, gathering with a group of people to study each week’s reading can be an effective way to connect with the Bible, the sermons, and to others. As each person encounters the weekly readings, they bring along with them varying perspectives that can help you more fully grasp the themes and the message of the week.
CONNECTING WITH THE LECTIONARY
There are a few ways to connect with the narrative lectionary scriptures each week at HAB. Our weekly email lists the readings, we post them regularly on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts, or you can sign up for our NEW STUDY on Sundays at 10:00 a.m., “Lessons from the Lectionary.” To find out more about the study and our other new Sunday classes, click here.