Inside Scoop on Constant Source | Part III

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Today we are going to take a look under the hood to see what Constant Source’s content is being built on. If this is your first time checking out “Inside Scoop”, I’d encourage you to take a look at Part I and Part II before jumping into today’s post.

One of the most amazing parts about being a Christian is participating in the global church. When we gather on Sunday mornings, we are gathering in a space in our city that we have set aside as a place for our community to worship God. When we come together our voices ring out and we experience the Holy Spirit encouraging our hearts and guiding our thoughts as we enter into relationship with God. But the truth is that the voices singing out in worship on a Sunday morning at your church are just some of the many. When we worship, we are joining with millions of other voices around the world as one body of believers. Just thinking about the power of the global church sends chills down my spine and creates in me a longing to participate in the fullness of Christ’s body. There are many ways we can lean into the global church, but one of those ways is through participating in the lectionary.

What is the lectionary?

A Christian lectionary is a collection of scripture readings purposefully ordered and scheduled so that a whole community can participate in reading through the Bible together. In other words, it’s a Bible reading plan. Often these plans are made up of a table that states the date and the readings for the day. It looks something like this:

Date Scriptures
2/15/2018 Gospel Text: Mark 1:9-15
Other Readins: Psalm 25:1-10; Daniel 9:15-25a; 2 Timothy 4:1-5

Lectionaries have been used throughout the Christian church, in both the western and eastern hemisphere, since as early as the 4th century.[1] The Revised Common Lectionary is used by churches in North America, and is designed to take the reader through the Bible in three years. Each day there is a Psalm, an Old Testament Scripture, Gospel, and a New Testament Scripture to be read. There is also a Gospel text that is the theme for the week and is read daily. The Revised Common Lectionary features one of the three synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, or Luke) each year and spreads readings from the Gospel of John throughout the entirety of the lectionary. The lectionary also follows the liturgical calendar, as it was designed to be used in worship as an anchor for the service, supplying the scripture reading for the morning and the foundational texts for the message.

What is the Liturgical Calendar?

The liturgical calendar is a fancy name for the way in which the church reflects on the life and work of Jesus Christ over the course of one calendar year. Sometimes this is referred to as the church year or the Christian year, but no matter the title used, people are usually talking about a calendar sorted into six key seasons. In a future blog post, I will unpack the mystery and beauty of the church year in further detail. But, in the meantime, it is important to know that the church year is constructed of six key seasons that align with major Christian events: Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Pentecost. The church year begins with Advent, usually the last weekend of November, and ends with the season of Pentecost and ordinary time, which starts in July and continues through the end of the church year the following November. The first half of the church year focuses on life of Christ, while the second half of the year focuses on the work of the Holy Spirit, and the faithfulness of God’s followers as seen throughout the Bible.

How will Constant Source use these tools?

This question will be the main focus for our final installment of this mini-series. But in short, Constant Source is going to utilize the lectionary reading plan as the basis for its weekly comments, reflections, and questions posed to the whole family. With the lectionary at its core, Constant Source will adhere to a three-year plan with the goal of helping parents understand and recognize the major themes tied together throughout the Bible. As this understanding of the Bible grows, parents will be given the tools to communicate these truths with their kids, and their comfortability in conversation regarding their faith will grow. Constant Source will be able to be used as a standalone devotional and conversation guide for parents. But also, because of its ties to the lectionary, Constant Source can be used by parents who participate in churches that subscribe to the lectionary as supplemental material as they take a deeper look at what is being preached each week.

To keep learning more about Constant Source, read our final post of the Inside Scoop Series.

[1] Introduction of the Revised Common Lectionary