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P.O. Box 35,
36055 213th Street
Hillman, MN 56338
Pastor Stephen Olson
EMAIL : email@example.com
How To Find Us:
Immanuel Lutheran Church of Hillman is located at the intersection of County Hwy 27 and County Hwy 47. It is one mile west of County 8.
Pastors often assume that the members of their churches are familiar with the lectionary. This may not always be the case. Most mainline churches [Roman Catholic and the Churches born from the Reformation] use a series of readings from the Bible that follow the three major celebrations of the church year – Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost. The years are identified alphabetically: A, B, and C. In Year A, most of the Gospels are chosen from Matthew, in Year B from Mark, and in Year C from Luke. Gospel readings from John’s Gospel are sprinkled into all three of the lectionary’s years as appropriate. For those who watch such things, we are currently in Year A where most reading are taken from Matthew’s Gospel.
In each set of lessons, the Psalm of the Day, and the First Lesson [most often taken from the Older Testament] are thematically linked to the Gospel. The Second Lesson, if used, is taken from the letters of Paul and other writers in the Newer Testament. The Second Lesson often accents a theme that is different than that of the First Lesson and the Gospel. The lectionary repeats in three-year cycles. It was the intention of the interfaith committee that chose texts for the lectionary to follow the life of Jesus as celebrated in the major festivals of the Church Year and highlight his teachings. One can find a listing of the entire lectionary in the front of the ELW, our worship hymnal.
I follow the lectionary and usually base my sermons on the Gospel for the day. I am often able to amplify the thrust of the Gospel with reference and guidance from First Lesson. Clergy are not obligated to follow the lectionary by the ELCA or the NE MN Synod. We are free to pick any lesson, from the lectionary or not, to construct our sermonic proclamation of the Word. As clergy, we preach to the needs of the people in our congregations. Following the lectionary is a way for me to preach the entire story of Jesus and touch on the broader nuances our Lord’s life and ministry. It also is a way for me to not ‘ride familiar hobby horses’ with themes that are my favorite. In short, following the lectionary as a preacher keeps me honest and faithful to the Gospel. Next month, I will explain the Church Year and its peculiarities in detail.
A personal note: I hope you are all getting my weekly meditations and personal reflections you receive electronically or in the mail. They are much pastoral in nature than this series of newsletter articles. I am thankful for our office workers who faithfully post my weekly devotions on Facebook and on our web pages. They also send distribution of these meditations via email or ‘snail mail’ to those for whom we have the proper information. If you are not getting them or know of someone who is not, please contact your respective church office.
May God continue to be with you in this time of crisis.
In Christ ☩,