LectionaryMod: Open-Source Preaching
Modifying the Lectionary Together
Using the Lectionary as a flexible framework of texts for worship, while claiming our freedom to thoughtfully, prayerfully, and communally modify it to more effectively communicate the story of the Bible and form disciples sent into the world for God’s mission. Accepting the Revised Common Lectionary, the Narrative Lectionary, and others lectionaries as ecumenical gifts for worship planning without being rigidly attached to them for every lesson every Sunday.
LectionaryMod is also a growing book series that explores preaching through the three-year cycle of the Revised Common Lectionary, followed by the Narrative Lectionary and other Lectionary Mods. This is a resource for preachers and laypeople alike. For the author, this is also a theological soul project, exploring the trajectory of his preaching and charting new trajectories for sharing good news in the spoken and written word.
The Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) is best understood and used as a flexible framework of Biblical readings for worship through the three year Church Year cycle, within which the preacher and worshiping community are free to alter or choose different texts to educate and empower the congregation to more effectively fulfill the mission of the church. The RCL is a helpful framework of texts for worship, a common starting point for worship planning which regularly takes the congregation through the Gospels and other key Scripture passages. If we did not have the lectionary, someone would have to invent something like it. We can accept the framework of the RCL as an ecumenical gift and build upon it, however, without being tied to each and every reading. The lectionary needs to be incarnated in the congregation in the light of local contexts and needs. This book is the fruit of my 2011 Doctor of Ministry in Biblical Preaching project, developing and sharing open source resources to help preachers adapt the lectionary to their congregation’s context and more fully communicate the story of the Bible and preach the congregation into God’s story and mission. My goal is to show why and how to depart from the RCL faithfully and creatively for the sake of the mission of the church. Let us claim our freedom to improvise and innovate with open source Lectionary Mods! “For the preacher looking for ways toward sermons ‘outside the box’ this book is a must. In the midst of a fair and balanced critique of the Revised Common Lectionary, Lemonholm’s proposal affords creative lectionary options that can supplement and enhance lectionary preaching. Lemonholm is careful to situate his project not as a rival lectionary but as possible directions for preaching that address and give voice to the multiple liturgical, theological, functional, and pastoral concerns for congregations centered in biblical preaching.” – Karoline M. Lewis, Assistant Professor of Preaching at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota
This is a collection of eleven sermons moving flexibly through the Advent and Christmas seasons of Year A of the Revised Common Lectionary, the Year of Matthew. For Christians, Advent and Christmas are the beginning of the Church Year, preparing for the Advent, the coming, of Christ in our lives and in our world, and celebrating the coming of the Christ Child at Christmas.
While most of these sermons follow the Lectionary, some of them depart from it: for example, one sermon focuses on the women in Jesus’ genealogy in Matthew chapter 1.