The Uniting Church acknowledges that the Church has received the Books of the Old and New Testaments as unique prophetic and apostolic testimony, in which it hears the word of God and by which its faith and obedience are nourished and regulated... Basis of Union, paragraph 5
When the Church's New Year began on Advent Sunday, we moved into Year A of the three year Revised Common Lectionary, the Year of Matthew.
This international and ecumenical cycle of Bible readings for Sunday worship is followed by Catholic, Anglican and the major Protestant Churches in many parts of the world. While the Uniting Church in Australia does not say 'You must!' (unlike some other parts of the universal church), it strongly recommends that at least on most Sundays this pattern of readings is followed. This saves worship leaders and preachers from the temptation to use and reuse their favourite passages or to omit parts of scripture that they find difficult.
Almost all of the Gospels and Epistles and a substantial part of the Hebrew Scriptures are covered in the three years. This year. Year A, we will work through the Gospel of Matthew. Next year, Year B, it will be Mark and parts of John while the year we have just finished, Year C, was the Year of Luke.
In the first weeks of this year we will read from Isaiah in the Hebrew Scriptures and later will hear particularly from Genesis and Exodus. In the New Testament, the Epistle readings in Year A come from a variety of books, but the letters to the Corinthians and Romans predominate.
While different denominations and different countries and regions have made small changes, in most places Anglican, Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian and United/Uniting congregations will hear the same Gospel reading and probably the same other readings on any given Sunday. This opens up interesting possibilities for after-church conversations with our neighbours!
The daily Bible Reading guide “With Love to the World” includes brief commentaries on the readings for the following Sunday and will help you to explore our lectionary. Ask Scots Church Office (8223 1505) about a subscription.
Rev Norah Norris
© Scots Church Adelaide Ph. 08 8223 1505