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April 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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Fifth Sunday in Lent
Sunday, April 6, 2014

Susan Marie Smith
The Text.Ezekiel, not only prophet but priest, proclaimed during the disheartening fifty-year period of the Babylonian exile and captivity. His prophecy leans toward apocalyptic in the vibrancy of his visions, his enacted metaphors, and his rich symbology—like this vision of the Valley of Dry Bones.Ezekiel's metaphoric vision occurs in Babylon, where perhaps inspired by a desert plain where...  Read more...

Richard L. Eslinger
The "Valley of the Dry Bones" lesson from Ezekiel is paired with the "Raising of Lazarus" Gospel lesson for the Fifth Sunday in Lent. The pericope is also one of the lessons of the Easter Vigil in both the Revised Common Lectionary and the Roman Catholic Lectionary. Therefore, in parishes where the lections of Year A are the foundation of the Lenten catechumenate and where the candidates are...  Read more...

Dale P. Andrews
Death looms large as we approach Holy Week. All around us, life is filled with destruction and death. If ever we need a reminder of the devastation of sin, we need only to weigh the destructive capacity of humanity or the despair of hopelessness. In Lent we thrash against death. Fasting, prayer, and penitence meet up with thanksgiving, praise, and hope in worship. The gospel message is our...  Read more...

Christine Roy Yoder
God summons wind to breathe life into a valley of dry bones. Jesus cries, Come out! into a tomb that reeks with four days of death. And then it happens. A vast multitude, the whole house of Israel, rises to its feet. Lazarus, once dead but now alive, steps out from his tomb. In their vivid contrast of life and death, the texts for this Sunday prepare us for Holy Week, proclaiming God's power and...  Read more...

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Lectionary Notes by Gail Ramshaw
The Readings in the Bible
Matthew's gospel, which was probably written in the mid-80s CE, is an editing of Mark's earlier work, with material added probably both from a lost document called Q and from sources available only to Matthew. In Matthew the...  Read more...

The Readings on this Day
Since at least the fourth century and universally in the church since the eighth, Christians have kept the Sunday before Easter as a memorial of Jesus' entry into Jerusalem, and a literal procession of palms, started in Jerusalem,...  Read more...

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