Unsettled Christianity

Gloria Dei homo vivens – St Irenaeus
April 15th, 2015 by Joel Watts

John Wesley and the Lectionary

English: "John Wesley," by the Engli...

Guys… come on…first  the creeds and now the Lectionary? I’m being road harder than my horse.

John Wesley and the Lectionary? Oh yes.

In delivering the Sunday Service to the American Methodists, at the same time he delivered the Articles, John Wesley wrote,

“I believe there is no liturgy in the world, either in ancient or modern language, which breaths more a solid, scriptural, rational piety, than the Common Prayer of the Church of England.”

This article supposes that John Wesley was, at the least, a lectionary preacher. That’s right, John Wesley and the Lectionary.

I like this line: “solid, scriptural, rational piety.”

Personally, and this is just me speaking, but returning to the lectionary is appealing given that it was the proto-Rob Bell Swiss preacher who removed us from it. May Zwingli get his just reward.

Anyway, in reading Wesley I see a struggle between evangelistic fervor and a call to the high church. I think this is where the Big Tent philosophy comes into play. For me, I see a great purpose for the lectionary, but recognize that it may not be helpful to some. To dismiss it, however, is a privileged ploy.

If you are interested in reading more about the lectionary, follow Allan Bevere.

Thoughts?

Joel Watts
Watts holds a MA in Theological Studies from United Theological Seminary. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians, as well as seeking an MA in Clinical Mental Health at Adams State University. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

Comments

5 Responses to “John Wesley and the Lectionary”
  1. Following the Lectionary makes me a “servant of the Word.” It delivers me from the temptation of “I know what I want to say. Now I just have to find some Scripture to go with it.”

  2. Keith Caldwell says

    As a connectional group the Common Lectionary binds us together in God’s Word.
    I serve once a month as liturgist, our Pastor uses the Lectionary and I can know what I will read weeks in advance. I prepare slides for a 20 minute meditation period prior to our service and I know what images to use because of the Lectionary.
    When we use the Old Testament, Psalm, Epistle, and Gospel they are tied together.

  3. Know More Than I Should says

    Had Wesley founded a Catholic monastic order instead of an Anglican subculture, he would have probably expressed similar sentiments concerning the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

    Yet, the Book of Common Prayer was so well conceived so as to be borrowed almost wholesale by other denominations and is still frequently quoted, often without attribution, in every day speech.

  4. Churches perhaps. Societies and bands, totally extemporaneous. And outdoors? Forget about it!

Leave a Reply, Please!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: