Loving the lectionary

There are times when sad geeks like me look at the lectionary with awe and wonder. It takes a very special person to put together the right balance of readings and without repetition, hesitation or deviation. It’s a bit like being a slightly interesting combination of train spotter and signals engineer.

Last Sunday, the compilers of the Revised Common Lectionary (used by us Anglicans, but also by the Methodists and the Roman Catholics) put together the lectionary readings which fulfil a liturgist’s dreams. Isaiah 58:9-14 speaks of the importance of keeping the Sabbath day for worship; Hebrews 12:18-29 suggests that worship should be offered in reverence and awe; and Luke 13:10-17 shows how Jesus honoured the Sabbath by offering an act of worship which included a healing. Not everyone was impressed – the healing certainly disturbed the awesomeness of worship, but it did inspire the worshippers to turn to God.

Worship needs to balance awe with relevance. There is no point in creating beautiful worship if God is not allowed to meet the needs of the worshippers. There is no point in relevant worship that fails to honour God. How exciting to envision worship that encompassed both Sunday by Sunday.

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