One of the things we’re going to do on this blog on Mondays is look back and forth at the Daily Office readings (or lessons) so we can better process together what the Scriptures are saying. I’m not always going to touch on all four reading tracks, much less give a play-by-play review of the week past or preview of the week to come, but just look more generally at where we’ve been and where we’re going. The other thing we’re going to do on Mondays starting today is list the recommended Propers for the Communion or Antecommunion service for each day of the week.
Last week: 2 Samuel 6-11, Philippians, Colossians 1:1-20, Joel 2-3, Amos 1-5, John 15:18-19:37
This week: 2 Samuel 12-18, Colossians, Philemon, Ephesians 1:1-14, Amos 6-9, Obadiah, Jonah 1-2, John 19-21:, Matthew 1-3
A nice feature of this late-August point in the daily lectionary is the concurrence of the end of St. John’s Gospel with the epistle to the Colossians. Colossians is a book that leans heavily on the death and resurrection of Jesus, proclaiming his supremacy and sufficiency for all Christian life and spirituality. We’ll look at this book further in another post this week, so suffice it to note here that we get to walk through the death and resurrection of Christ just as this epistle gets going.
You might ask why the epistles aren’t being read in canonical order. After finishing Romans on August 17th we went to Philippians, now Colossians, and soon Philemon and Ephesians. I’m not 100% sure, but I believe the general idea is to read these books chronologically. Colossians and Philemon go together, at any rate (Philemon was from Colossae, and several greetings-names are found in both letters), so to read them in sequence can be beneficial for putting the larger picture together. Having just finished Philippians and moving on to Ephesians after also keeps this group of “prison epistles” together – St. Paul likely wrote all four of these letters at roughly the same time during his imprisonment.
The Minor Prophets of the Old Testament, however, are being read in canonical order, even though that is not quite their chronological order. Their chronology is a little more disputed, and the benefit gained from rearranging them is not as great. We finish Amos this week and start into some of the shorter books, which will take us two-thirds of the way through September. Take care not to skim these books – these are writings that Christian often and easily neglect, only pulling out the choice verse here and there around Christmas. Let these prophets tell their stories, dole out their warnings, cry out for justice, and convict people of faithlessness. There is much in there that points to Jesus, but there is also much in there that calls out sin – in any day and age!
This is the week of Proper 16 (or Trinity 10 in the traditional calendar), so keep in mind that the historic Prayer Book default is that a mid-week Eucharist will repeat the Collect & Lessons (the propers) for yesterday. Otherwise, we recommend…
- Monday 8/26 = Votive (of the Holy Spirit) *
- Tuesday 8/27 = St. Monica (saint) or Votive (of the Holy Angels)
- Wednesday 8/28 = St. Augustine of Hippo (teacher of the faith)
- Thursday 8/29 = Beheading of St. John the Baptist **
- Friday 8/30 = Votive (of the Cross)
- Saturday 8/31 = St. Aidan (missionary bishop)
* A Votive is a “Various Occasion” (page 733 in the BCP 2019) and label in parentheses are simply a traditional suggestion.
** You should use the Propers for a Martyr, but change the Gospel lesson to the actual story of the event, like Mark 6:17-29.