I’ve been part of the development of a new website for lectionary preachers (and others who care about the text). The site is the brainchild of one of my favorite preachers (and authors), the Reverend Russell Rathbun of House of Mercy. Two of each week’s lectionary texts will be investigated by Russell, who curates the site, and guest contributors.
In recent years, Russell has been attracted to the midrash way of approaching, exegeting, and proclaiming the text. Specifically, he’s been studying the work of Aviviah Gottlieb Zornberg and been applying that to his own preaching.
“Questioning the text is important, because the Bible is the witness to the Living Word of God. We are called into relationship with God through Jesus the Christ, The Word. Relationships, at there their best, are dynamic, growing, deepening, revelatory, generative and transforming. A primary way we pursue relationship with the Living Word through the study of scripture, so it must be taken seriously, approached with a robust confidence and a passionate vulnerability.
We ask the Text the hardest questions because we can. It does not break, it is not offended and does not judge our desire for understanding. The ancient rabbis say that when we study the Bible we release God’s mercy into the world. It is important to question the text, because the world needs as much of God’s mercy as possible.”
Last week’s posts were by Bruce Reyes-Chow, and this week’s are by Fuller Seminary preaching prof Mark Labberton. Upcoming posts will come from Nadia Bolz-Weber and Phyllis Tickle, and regular contributions will come from Russell. Plus, every Thursday at 10:30am CDT, Russell hosts a live videocast on UStream.
So, if you’re a preacher who uses the lectionary texts, bookmark THQ as a great, new resource. And as you’re sitting in your study on Thursday morning fighting writer’s block, tune in to the videocast for a little inspiration.
Here’s a little video welcome from Russell: