resources for lectionary Year C
Happy new (church) year! My family and friends have been chuckling at me over the last few weeks as I hummed happily around the house in eager anticipation of lectionary year C. Luke is my favorite gospel, and I'm very much looking forward to blogging it.
Just in case you're looking for the perfect gift for the preacher in your life (including if the preacher in your life is you!) -- and also because SarahLaughed.net benefits whenever someone gets to Amazon.com via a link from here and purchases anything there, whether it's the specific product I recommended or not -- I thought I'd run through a few of my favorite resources on the Gospel According to Luke.
I'll start by once again recommending a volume that's one of my favorites: Bruce Malina's and Richard Rohrbaugh's Social-Science Commentary on the Synoptic Gospels. It's a single paperback volume with concise (always a boon to the preacher!) notes on how insights from the social sciences (especially cultural anthropology) can shed light on the text of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, supplemented by brief (generally one page or less) essays on topics that arise repeatedly in those gospels. This is the single volume (other than the bible, of course) I most often pull from my shelf when I'm getting ready to preach.
My favorite commentary on Luke is by Luke Timothy Johnson's from the Sacra Pagina series. It's also a single volume providing reasonably concise commentary as well as a fresh translation of the text. It's solid scholarship, but presented without an overwhelming level of technical detail.
Finally, for a general orientation to the major issues in Luke, Mark Allan Powell's What Are They Saying about Luke? is excellent, and as a paperback of just 160 pages, it's a quick read and an affordable stocking stuffer.
Of course, I'll also be here, blogging away as usual, and hoping that it proves useful to y'all. Enjoy, and again, happy Year C!
Is it too early to think about aids for preaching in Christmas 2005?
Richard Horsley's The Liberation of Christmas, which was, as luck would have it, out of print around the time I suggested it for help preaching through the season, is back in print, and can once more be purchased cheaply from Amazon.com. I do recommend it highly to provoke fresh looks at the infancy narratives we preach on every year. It might be worth ordering it now, while it's sure to be available!
I asked my partner to pick up a book for me today from the library. It's one that I've got SOMEWHERE in my own library -- unless it's one of those books I've lent to someone and didn't get back -- but I couldn't find it yesterday, and I knew I wanted to look through it yet another time to get ready to preach (and blog, of course) on the readings for January 2nd. And as I was explaining why I so wanted this particular book because "it should be required reading for anyone who has to preach at all during the Christmas season," my partner wisely pointed out that such a thing might be worth mentioning in blogland. So here it is:
Richard Horsley's The Liberation of Christmas. It might be too late to order it, have it delivered, and thumb through it for this Christmas season (although if you can pick it up from a local theological library, do it! You'll be glad you have it on January 2nd). You'll be glad to have it next year, though.
January 1, 2005 edit: The book is out of print. Drats! Try to get a used copy, or read a library copy. It's good!
February 11, 2005 edit: The book has been reprinted, and is available once more from Amazon.com at a reasonable price.
Also, I know that many of you are preaching for both Christmas Eve/Day services and on December 26th, so I thought it might be worth mentioning an angle on the reading from John 1 that's on the lectionary for December 26th. Were I preaching on both days, on December 26th I would probably go for this angle: what are the implications of "the Word became flesh and lived among us" as we seek to interpret scripture? What does it mean that when seek God's Word, we are seeking a person rather than a book, let alone an idea about a book? And if we are Christ's Body in the world, how are we called to enflesh the Word for the world, as Jesus the Christ did for us?