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December 2014
Lectionary Readings

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your essential online preaching companion!

This interactive demo is designed to give you a taste of what you will actually experience online as a subscriber. The demo lets you sample the resources available for two Sundays prior to today. Click on the Lectionary tab above to see the lectionary readings for every Sunday and festival in the church year. Click on Commentary to read expert commentary on the selected texts. Click on Bible to access the full NRSV. Click on Library to review a list of articles on preaching skills and the challenges of preaching today, including essays from New Proclamation on preaching in the seasons of the church year.

Beginning in December 2013, use the new Lectionary Notes tab to go to Gail Ramshaw's insights on the texts in "The Readings in the Bible" and "The Readings on This Day."

Enjoy exploring the demo site — and then sign up at the new annual subscription rate of $39!

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Second Sunday of Advent
Sunday, December 7, 2014

Beth Tanner
Have you ever felt like God was punishing you? We have all pondered this question. For God's community, the exile and the destruction of God's Temple, the loss of a way of life, and, most importantly, the loss of hope were seen as a punishment from God. They had not been faithful and this was the result. It is not my intention to get wrapped up in the theological question of whether God truly...  Read more...

Brian K. Peterson
The call of Isaiah in chapter 6 had come with the harsh promise that his mission would mean rebellion on the part of Israel until all the cities were destroyed (Isa. 6:9-13). That terrible situation has come to pass. Isaiah 40 addresses Israel in exile, people who have had all the stable structures of life ripped away, who have been caught in the turmoil of international power and politics, whose...  Read more...

William F. Brosend II
"Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God" (Isa. 40:1). That's more like it. No more rending the heavens and quaking the mountains; we need a little comfort. As did the exiles to whom Second Isaiah spoke. After the destruction of the Temple, the shattering of illusions, the years of captivity, surely a little comfort is in order. But who is being comforted, and who is doing the comforting? And...  Read more...

Frederick Houk Borsch
In hymnic tones, at once majestic and tender, the prophet tells of God's coming in might and in mercy. The time of exile is soon to end. The people's iniquity was the cause of exile, but now the penalty has been paid—even doubly paid, and the term of service is over. The double imperative "Comfort, Comfort" (stylistic for this section of Isaiah; see 51:9, 17; 52:1; 57:14; 62:10) may suggest a...  Read more...

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Lectionary Notes by Gail Ramshaw
The Readings in the Bible
The Gospel of John was completed probably during the last decade of the first century or the early second century. Perhaps the community within which this gospel arose had included John, one of Jesus' disciples. The gospel proclaims...  Read more...

The Readings on this Day
Each week of Advent, as our society gets more consumed by solstice celebrations, it gets increasingly difficult for Christians to wait for Christ as the light who shines with justice into our world. We come to the table...  Read more...

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