The newest resource for lectionary preachers is a wonderful new multi-volume series called Connections, and now volume 3, covering the season after Pentecost is now available, and it’s wonderful volume (with a contribution by yours truly, but that’s not what I say this!):
Buy one volume each season in the church calendar and in three years you will have a complete commentary on the whole lectionary. You will also have a multitude of suggestions on how to connect the texts to our world.
The editors of Year C, Volume 3 are Joel Green, Tom Long, Luke Powery, and Cynthia Rigby.
The genius of these volumes is that “connections” are two-fold: two commentaries from two different connections made — on each reading in the lectionary for that day.
A pair of complementary commentaries on each of the Old Testament, Epistle, and Gospel readings. Both commentaries will exegete the lection by identifying distinct, yet related, sets of connections with the text. Commentary 1: Connecting the Reading with Scripture will explore the biblical connections of the reading by attending to whatever range of issues (e.g., textual, theological, historical, pastoral, ethical, homiletical) emerge as the passage is interpreted in the context of the biblical witness as a whole.Commentary 2: Connecting the Reading with the World will examine connections with the world of the hearer by attending to the range of issues (e.g., political, economic, geographical, social, ecclesial, cultural) that emerge as the passage is
interpreted in the context of the world of the Bible and our world today. It’s important to note that, while these commentaries will be written separately, they share a common purpose: to connect the world of Scripture to the life and experience of the children of God. We envision a natural and organic relationship between the two. While exploring the different connections between the reading and the larger biblical witness, Commentary 1 will always be thinking forward to the conversation with the contemporary world. Likewise, Commentary 2 will always look for ways the
contemporary connections of the particular reading are related to the Scriptures more broadly.
Yes, I was privileged to write a few of the commentaries in an upcoming volume. It was both a new challenge and delightful exercise to think of pastors and preachers preparing sermons as I was writing my pieces.