Preaching on the Narrative Lectionary, First Sunday

I’ve been preaching the Revised Common Lectionary since my first church job in 2001. And while I love it, I also find myself reverting to the same themes, the same comfortable texts, and the same stories time and time again. It has become such a rhythm that I find myself thinking the right theme before I even check the text.

But no more! As of September 9, 2012, I began preaching the Narrative Lectionary. With a nod to not only the church calendar, but also the seasons and school calendars, the Narrative Lectionary follows the Hebrew Bible through Advent, a gospel through Easter, a little Acts, and then some of the letters. Most of the texts are narratives.

The first lection was Genesis 2:4b-7, 15-17, 3:1-8. Approaching this text, I reminded my congregation of their own desire for their children. When their children were “bad” did they get angry and just expel them from the family? Did they push them away? Or did they look to themselves and ask, “What can I do differently to bless these children?”

If we approach the text as God’s way of showing love for Adam and Eve, how does that change the story? It’s deep love, deep commitment, deep hesed that God shows. He gives Adam and Eve the knowledge of good and evil. And as we know, without evil, we cannot know good. Without sorrow, we cannot know joy. Without work, we cannot know rest. Without dark, we cannot know light.

What do you think?

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