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Lectionary Radio for January 8, 2012

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The Readings for January 8, 2012 - Baptism of the Lord (Year B)

The Gospel - Mark 1:4-11:

1:4 John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

1:5 And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

The Baptism1:6 Now John was clothed with camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.

1:7 He proclaimed, "The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals.

1:8 I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."

1:9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.

1:10 And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him.

1:11 And a voice came from heaven, "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased."

Summary of Discussion

  • (1:52) As a reminder, the Vanderbilt Revised Common Lectionary Site contains links to art for each week's slate of readings.
  • (2:12) Would I go down to see what John's baptism was all about if it were happening today?
  • (3:23) There is a debate among Christians in Nigeria regarding [how best to respond to increasing religious violence][].

Lectionary Radio for December 11, 2011

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The Readings for December 11, 2011 - Advent 3 (Year B)

The second reading - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24:

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Give thanks no matter what happens. God wants you to thank him because you believe in Christ Jesus.

Don't put out the Holy Spirit's fire. Don't treat prophecies as if they amount to nothing. Put everything to the test. Hold on to what is good. Stay away from every kind of evil.

God is the God who gives peace. May he make you holy through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept free from blame. May you be without blame from now until our Lord Jesus Christ comes. The One who has chosen you is faithful. He will do all these things.

Summary of Discussion

  • (1:30) Today's reading was from the New International Reader's Version.
  • (1:35) It is a version intended for early readers. [I offer a brief insight on this version][].
  • (2:10) A Roman Catholic archbishop in Ireland has urged lapsed Catholics to get serious or leave the church.

Lectionary Radio for December 4, 2011

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The Readings for December 4, 2011 - Advent 2 (Year B)

The First Reading: Isaiah 40:1-11:

40:1 Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God.

40:2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the Lord's hand double for all her sins.

40:3 A voice cries out: "In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

40:4 Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.

40:5 Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken."

40:6 A voice says, "Cry out!" And I said, "What shall I cry?" All people are grass, their constancy is like the flower of the field.

40:7 The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the LORD blows upon it; surely the people are grass.

40:8 The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand forever.

40:9 Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, do not fear; say to the cities of Judah, "Here is your God!"

40:10 See, the Lord GOD comes with might, and his arm rules for him; his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.

40:11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep.

Summary of Discussion

  • (2:02) A completely flat landscape with straight roads is a common visualization in the Hebrew latter prophets.
  • (2:37) The SBL annual meeting just completed. The pronunciation of biblical Greek was discussed.
  • (2:55) Reconstructing pronunciation of "dead" languages and dialects is difficult but there are some techniques which can shed some light.
  • (3:24) Daniell R. Streett provides a basic overview of [the panel on biblical Greek pronunciation][].
  • (3:46) Most students of biblical Greek do not have a functional fluency in the language, which is unusual for college-level language study.
  • (4:15) Randall Buth is pursuing [immersion education for biblical Greek][].

Lectionary Radio redivivus

Lectionary Radio logoAs you may have noticed, I have started publishing Lectionary Radio again. There are a few changes from the last incarnation:

  • Instead of reading and commenting on all of the weekly readings, I'll be selecting just one.
  • I'll spend some time discussing current events surrounding Christianity, liturgy, and scripture.
  • The podcast will be hosted on the Library Basement instead of on my other website (which makes it easier for me).
  • I'll only be distributing the audio in MP3 format (sorry Ogg Vorbis fans).

The podcast feed stays the same, so anyone who may still be subscribed should start seeing new episodes in their podcatchers.

Lectionary Radio for November 27, 2011

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The Readings for November 27, 2011 - Advent 1 (Year B)

The First Reading: Isaiah 64:1-9

64:1 O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence--

64:2 as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil-- to make your name known to your adversaries, so that the nations might tremble at your presence!

64:3 When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.

64:4 From ages past no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who works for those who wait for him.

64:5 You meet those who gladly do right, those who remember you in your ways. But you were angry, and we sinned; because you hid yourself we transgressed.

64:6 We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

64:7 There is no one who calls on your name, or attempts to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity.

64:8 Yet, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.

64:9 Do not be exceedingly angry, O LORD, and do not remember iniquity forever. Now consider, we are all your people.

Summary of Discussion

  • (2:18) The Old Testament lesson contains some seasonal imagery, but I am not sure if it was intentional.
  • (2:48) This is the first Sunday in Advent, the beginning of a new liturgical year.
  • - This is the longest-possible Advent, due to Christmas being on a Sunday. - Ironically the first Sunday of Advent focuses on the end-times.
  • (3:27) Today English-speaking Roman Catholics have [a new translation of the Mass][]. Here are [some examples of changes][a new translation of the Mass].

Quitting Lectionary Radio

Lately I have been failing to publish new episodes of Lectionary Radio in a timely fashion. The bottom line for me is that it takes more time and effort than I am motivated to expend for the project. So I'll be suspending publishing of the podcast.

Lectionary Radio

During my "Easter fast" I came up with the idea to start a podcast. The idea? I just read the coming Sunday's assigned lessons and provide a short comment. It does not sound hard, but it did take a good amount of work to put together, particularly in figuring out RSS feeds, and offering MP3 as well as Ogg Vorbis. But I digress . . .

Lectionary Radio IconI am pleased to present Lectionary Radio, a weekly podcast featuring the coming Sunday's scripture readings from the Revised Common Lectionary and discussion of those passages. The show will be published some time in the middle of each week so folks can have some time to listen to it before church on the weekend. I hope to interview guests in the future, but for now it is just me. The show is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-alike license.

The audio quality is a bit questionably due to the first episode being recorded on my Sansa Clip. I'll see about better options for recording. In the course of editing I found that I say "ummm" a lot and have a rather stilted, Shatner-esque pacing to my impromptu speaking. Consequently I may just prepare a script for future episodes.

Please comment or email with feedback. Thanks!

(Yes, I know it is not Pentecost yet, so I have sorta broken my Easter blogging fast. But at least the first episode of Lectionary Radio has readings for Pentecost!)