Short Introductions to the Bible Readings for the Revised Common Lectionary, Years A, B & C: A Resource for the Readers at the Lectern
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Description of this Electronic Book
Would you like a simple, quick way to engage with the Revised Common Lectionary Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel readings for each Sunday and other important days in the church calendar?
Bill Bennett's short introductions to each Bible reading will get you started.
There are several ways you can use this book:
As a preface to the Bible reading in a service:
Before delivering each Bible reading from the lectern, read aloud the relevant short introduction given in this book.
The intention is to help congregation members to start to think their way into the meaning and significance of each Bible reading, as it is being read to them. The preacher will then usually expand on one or more of the Bible readings, given from the lectern, in their sermon or reflection.
As a courtesy, it is suggested that the person delivering the Bible readings check with the preacher that he or she is happy for the particular short introduction/s to be read. There may be times when the preacher wishes to emphasise a different interpretation of a reading and would prefer that the introduction not be given.
As a sermon spark:
It is hoped that preachers will find the short introductions give them an initial idea, or spark, to set them on the way to writing a sermon.
For personal devotional reading:
In the days leading up to the next service, you can read the short introductions and the relevant Bible passages as a personal devotion that will help you engage with the readings and sermon during worship.
If you can't be at the service, treat the short introductions and Bible readings as your own time of worship.
In your church's weekly news bulletin:
Churches are welcome to include the short introductions in their weekly, parish news bulletins. Please credit them as shown on the copyright page.
Using the Scripture Index:
The Scripture Index shows all the occasions on which a Bible reading occurs in this book. For ease of reference, the index is sorted alphabetically by the name of the book of the Bible, rather than the order in which the books appear in the Bible.
Notes on the contents of this book
This book does not include readings from the Psalms.
Some congregations include in their liturgy the Psalms set in the lectionary. Others use different Psalms that they think better fit with the theme/s of worship for the day. Also, congregations, if they sing or chant them, often repeat the same Psalm for 2-3 weeks so that people become acquainted with them. Some churches don't use Psalms at all!
New Zealand Anglican Lectionary - Te Maramataka
The readings in this book mainly follow the pattern of the Anglican Lectionary - Te Maramataka used in New Zealand.
Readers may find that are some regional, international or denominational variations in the readings set for the Revised Common Lectionary used by their local church.
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Bill Bennett comes from a Southern Hawke's Bay farming background.
He has served much of his ministry as an Anglican priest in rural parishes in the Diocese of Waiapu as well as in the Norwich and Lichfield Dioceses in England. He worked as Ministry Enabler and twice as Regional Dean in Hawke's Bay between 1994 and 2015.
His interest in rural communities is reflected in his publications: God of the Whenua (an overview of rural ministry in New Zealand), Seasons of the Land and The Shepherd's Call (both being prayers and liturgies for rural communities) and When the Tui Calls, an extended essay on rural ministry's origins and futures.
He continues to write hymns and songs (words and music).
He is on the Editorial Board of the international periodical, Rural Theology. Till its demise recently he was tutor in Rural Ministry Studies for the Ecumenical Institute for Distance Theological Studies (EIDTS).
He and his wife Wendy live in retirement in Napier, New Zealand.