You Are Included! (Heretic’s Guide Bible Bonus)

Apologies for my silence over the past week, but a dear friend, and the wife of my Homebrewed CultureCast podcast cohost, died this past week. Special thanks go out to my friend and colleague, David Ackerman, for stepping up and offering a study for us to engage this week. Thanks David! And be sure to check out the links below to his book on often-overlooked Bible passages, “Beyond the Lectionary.”

“You Are Included!”

A Heretic’s Guide to the Bible Bonus

Readings from Beyond the Lectionary by David Ackerman for Epiphany

Bible Cliff’s Notes

First Reading – Proverbs 3:5-8 – These proverbs make good resolutions for the new calendar year.  Among these is verse 5:  “Trust in God with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding” (v 5).  It’s easier said than done, but these are true words of wisdom.

Psalm – Isaiah 56:3-5 – Okay, so it’s not really a psalm, but on rare occasions the Revised Common Lectionary also makes use of poetic readings from other books here.  And this is a good day to hear these prophetic verses which describe the radically inclusive character of God.

Second Reading – Acts 15:1-21 – This is one of the most important passages in the whole New Testament, yet this story about the first Christian Council is rarely discussed.  The Council throws open the doors of the church and declares that Gentiles are fully included in God’s plan of salvation.

Gospel – John 7:25-31 – A crowd of people is wondering whether Jesus is the Messiah.  When they think of all the signs he’s done, they wonder what else he could be.  On a day when Christians look for signs revealing who Jesus is to us (“the manifestation of Christ among the nations”), this passage offers us a clear sign about Jesus’ identity.

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