It's May, err, almost June, and as a Pastor, I always felt that May was far busier than Advent/Christmas or Lent/Easter, and despite my best efforts, I often found myself scrambling to figure out summer worship. I often used the Narrative lectionary, letting the Holy Spirit guide me; of course, I am Baptist. But one of the best things about the Narrative Lectionary is that they offer three series that you could use throughout the year.
The first series is a four-week exploration of the Ten Commandments. You, of course, could take each one and do a 10-week summer series, but this version allows you to look at the broader theological and narrative context for the law in week one. Week two looks at the first tablet and the laws that govern our relationship with God. Week three looks at the second tablet and the laws that govern our relationship with one another. Finally, week four takes a deep dive into the coveting commandment(s).
6/12/2022: Exodus 19:1-6; 20:1-2 (Matthew 22:34-40)
6/19/2022: Exodus 20:3-11 (Matthew 22:34-40)
6/26/2022: Exodus 20:12-16 (Matthew 22:34-40)
7/3/2022: Exodus 20:17 (Matthew 22:34-40)
The second series looks at 1 Peter at the topic of suffering. Given the state of the world today, this could either be a great time to explore this issue more in-depth with your congregation, or it could feel too heavy.
1 Peter (5 weeks)
7/10/2022: 1 Peter 1:3-23 (Matthew 5:11-12)
7/17/2022: 1 Peter 2:1-9, 19-25 (Matthew 16:24-26)
7/24/2022: 1 Peter 3:13-22 (Matthew 5:3-10)
7/31/2022: 1 Peter 4:1-19 (Matthew 5:43-48)
8/7/2022: 1 Peter 5:1-14 (Matthew 20:25-28)
The last series does a deep dive into Ruth. Themes of emptiness and fullness are particularly ripe for this season if you follow the prescribed August dates as the summer crescendos into the fall harvest. A very relevant topic is the war in Ukraine, and its yield cannot be shipped from its port due to Russian blockage, potentially further disrupting the food supply chain. Further complicating matters is the Midwest which had a very wet Spring, so corn and soybean seeds were late getting into the ground. Come August; this area could be ripe, pardon the pun, for exploration.
Ruth (4 weeks):
8/14/2022: Ruth 1:1-22 (Matthew 5:3-9)
8/21/2022: Ruth 2:1-23 (Luke 6:36-38)
8/28/2022: Ruth 3:1-18 (Matthew 7:7-8)
9/3/2022: Ruth 4:1-22 (Luke 1:46-55)
Photo by Kenta Kikuchi on Unsplash