big word - simple meaning
They used to read the Bible in French during the services, but I didn’t understand anything, because I never went to school. But now I hear God’s Word very clearly in my Dowayo language. Praise the Lord!
What is a Lectionary?
You’ve heard the pastor say, “The Gospel reading for today is…” A lectionary is simply a book containing specific Bible passages to be read at church services on specific days. It not only lists the passages, but it has the reading right there for easy use.
A church should be a place where the Word of God is proclaimed and taught. It should be a place of learning, joy, and fulfillment. But that isn’t always the case.
All too often local pastors, even seminary trained pastors, rely on the tools given to them when they were trained. And that means English or French weekly readings from the Bible. It’s what they learned. It is the tool that is available. French and English are often the language of the dominant culture, foreign to all but the elite.
Church is not meant to be a place that continually reminds you that you are on the bottom of the pecking order, that you are only worthy of crumbs and scraps.
Simple is good. A lectionary is a simple tool. It is just a book. But it is a book that allows a foreign trained pastor to minister directly to local people. It eliminates several steps in service preparation. It encourages a “God – style”* communication of love.
By contributing to the lectionary project, you bring dignity to people. You build the local church. You bring joy to women like Elizabeth.
*footnote: In Isaiah 28:11 God, upset with Israel for their disobedient ways, says that he will resort to speaking harshly to them through the language of their foreign oppressors instead of lovingly through their own language.