Typically St. Luke’s follows the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL), a three year schedule of Biblical texts used by many mainline protestant churches in worship in the United States and Canada. The RCL reflects the liturgical calendar and the season of the church year, like Lent or Advent or Easter. The readings go along with the theme or focus of each season. This year we are in Year A of the RCL cycle, which focuses on the Gospel of Matthew. Year B focuses on the Gospel of Mark and Year C, which we just finished up right before Advent, focuses on the Gospel of Luke. The Gospel of John is sprinkled throughout each of the other three cycles, particularly around festivals and holy days like Easter.
There is so much to love about the RCL. It puts us in step with the many other churches who use it when we are all reading and reflecting on the same stories and pieces of scripture in unity. But the RCL doesn’t cover the entire Bible. In fact, if the only time you hear the Bible is at church, you are missing out on large chunks of it.
This August we are doing a sermon series focusing on Stories You Don’t Hear in Church… a little ironic because this month you WILL be hearing these stories! Each week in this five week series will feature a different story that does not appear in the RCL, is less likely to pop up in your children’s Sunday School classes, and is generally not as well-known.
August 2 | Acts 12:12-17 | Mary and Rhoda
August 9 | Lamentations 3:1-38 | Grief and lament
August 16 | James 5:1-10 | Woe to you rich people
August 23 | Judges 5 | Jael, Warrior Woman
August 30 | Obadiah | Oracle, Judgement, Gospel
The library we call the Bible is vast; full of various books of different genres, written by many different people in several languages, taking place in different geographic areas over a large span of time. There are many more “stories you don’t hear in church” even outside of this list. A lot of them are strange, silly, perplexing, or challenging. If you are interested in hearing of more “stories you don’t hear in church,” Pastor Erin and Pastoral Intern Elle would love to give you a few more to read. We hope that spending some time with a small selection of these often forgotten texts might provoke some curiosity in us about what else is hiding between those pages.