Leaving the Lectionary

As of Pentecost (June 4, 2017), I will no longer write lectionary-inspired musings.

Since I typically post reflections on the Tuesday twelve days before the upcoming Sunday (which sounds a lot like how to find the date for Easter), my final essay will appear on May 23.

While I’m leaving the lectionary, I will continue writing on and about faith. More on that in a moment.

Back in 2007, when I wandered away from serving churches full-time, I kept my weekly habit of reading the lectionary to discern how it “spoke” to me. With a brew of pride, discipline, and humility, I hoped that whatever I digitally tossed onto the web might be useful for others on their Christian journeys.

Why a break-up with the weekly Biblical readings?

2017 is the fortieth year of my ordination in the United Methodist Church. 2017 is also when I turn 65. Indeed, the day after my final lectionary posting will be my birthday.

I want to try something, well, (slightly) different.

I’d be the first to admit that many of my reflections only tangentially interpreted a Sunday’s scheduled “lesson.” When starting this website a decade ago, I privately vowed not to spend much time studying scholarly commentaries on any scripture. Though doing abundant research when regularly preaching, I trusted—rightly or wrongly—that my insights were sufficient for my web “stuff.” I also haven’t devoted much time to reading other online sermons or essays . . . didn’t want to inadvertently purloin another author’s brilliant ideas.

Now I’ll just write based on what I see, sense, feel, doubt, and believe during the week. Where will I glimpse and discover encounters between the Holy Creator and the human creation? Maybe I’ll quickly run out of ideas. Maybe abandoning the lectionary (and therefore not reading daily snippets of scripture) will prove dull and meaningless. Who knows?

The things of God I (barely) understand and the things of God that remain a (huge) mystery continue to bedazzle me. Following Jesus, though hard for this aging, cynical, church-avoiding, tradition-questioning Christian, remains the way that’s best for me. However, I believe every world religion that embraces the tenets of loving neighbors, serving others, seeking wisdom, and advocating humility are worth respecting and learning from.

The phrase and yet will still appear in every reflection. It continues to serve as a vibrant reminder of how the Holy calls, challenges, and comforts me.

This website has a small band of subscribers. Each week I’ve sent them an emailed reminder about a new essay. I’ll still do that. Nonetheless, I’ll understand if some un-subscribe. The original deal was me putting my foolish and faithful take on the week’s lectionary in front of you. Now that will change. Maybe you will too?

Wish me well.

And, as always . . . thanks for reading!

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12 Comments

  1. Larry, I understand totally where you are going with this…. I just recently joined your web site and have enjoyed reading your musings, but the Lectionary limits you. When I was caring for my husband for 4 1/2 years, I journaled – he had over 100 prayer warriors and I found my outlet in journaling my thoughts and sending them to his prayer warriors. The Lord speaks to us in so many ways – not just through an assigned Scripture passage, but in many ways. Often I got my inspiration for the day in the Moravian Daily Text Scripture verse or hymn, but other times it was from a friend’s comment or act of kindness or whatever. I found it so exciting to wake up thinking, Lord, what are you going to say to me today that I can share with others? God speaks to us in so many ways. We need to be open to hearing Him and to share this experience with others. I look forward to your future musings…..

    1. I once read the Moravian text on a regular basis! And I recall visiting my mother and father-in-law (lifetime Moravians) reading it every morning! Thanks for the comments, Joy!!!

  2. Wow, way to go, man. Already looking forward to the next chapter, literally and metaphorically speaking.
    I came to a full stop 3 years ago … and I still miss the discipline of lectionary blogging week by week.
    So I eagerly await the transition. Respect.

  3. Bless you, Larry, for sharing in the way you have … and for sharing in the way you will! I have been blessed by your reflections … and I trust I will be blessed in your future reflections!
    May 2017 be a year of renewal and reflection and celebration … for the anniversary of your birth 65 years ago, and for the gift of your (continued) calling and service!
    Peace be upon your heart and in your living….

    1. Thanks, Jay. Renewal and celebration? Hey, it’s just good to slump out of bed in the morning and get the old bones moving in the right direction!!!

      Peace be upon your heart, also, my friend! Take care!!

  4. Oh Larry, I certainly will miss your lectionary musings as they were a source of “fresh bread,” and were full of insights, opening windows and breath of Spirit, so need to reach out with a profound “Thank you!” as well as “Birthday Blessings!” and looking forward to wait is next…

  5. “There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail:
    There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners,
    Souls that have toil’d, and wrought, and thought with me—
    That ever with a frolic welcome took
    The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
    Free hearts, free foreheads—you and I are old;
    Old age hath yet his honour and his toil;
    Death closes all: but something ere the end,
    Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
    Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
    The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
    The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
    Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
    ‘T is not too late to seek a newer world.
    Push off, and sitting well in order smite
    The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
    To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
    Of all the western stars, until I die.
    It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
    It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
    And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
    Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
    We are not now that strength which in old days
    Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
    One equal temper of heroic hearts,
    Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
    To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

    And now I am threescore and six and I think I will join you.This tentmaker has sewn the seams set down even knowing that often the only virtue there lay in not disturbing the still water between chancel and narthex. Though in truth I’ve no desire to disturb anything. My best is no doubt inferior to the mediocrity I have so often emulated. may 23rd. It is not VE nor is it VJ, but it is V something. I am looking forward to every word.

    1. Inspiring me with the good olde (but forever new) Lord Tennyson, eh?! Thanks for his words of encouragement . . . and yours!

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