Thursday, October 30, 2008

Calvin Year

Here in Presbyland, we are gearing up for the 500th anniversary of the birth of John Calvin in 2009. Our Worship Comm has discussed several thing we might do to observe this liturgically. One idea was to take Calvin's emphasis on scripture and his perfered method of preaching "lectio continua" and attempt to preach through the bible during the course of the year.

One article I read on this notes that since Calvin preached daily and usually for an hour or more at a time, it was easier for him to make steady progress through books of scripture than it would be for us "twenty minutes once a week" contemporary preachers.

Have any of you done something like this? How did it work? How did your congregation respond? Would you recommend it?

Our other thought was a Calvin Lazer Tag Birthday Party.


Stushie said...

I've preached through different books of the Bible. The Gospel of Mark took two years, as did the Gospel of Luke. Revelation took a year, as did the Book of Acts. John's Gospel took 2.5 years. If I decide to do Matthew, it will probably take 3-4years.

How about preaching the first fifty psalms for the year and using Calvin's commentaries?

Rev Kim said...

I'm practicing lectio continua for the first time. I think we read the same article!

I chose Acts because it's a book I've wanted to know more about. It's too soon to get a sense of how the congregation is responding, and when we're done sometime next year I'll ask for feedback. I don't know if this is cheating or not, but I'll be going off for Advent & Christmas, Lent & Easter.

I'm really enjoying it. In some ways, it's like the discipline of staying on lectionary even when we the texts are difficult. Something definitely comes of the wrestling with the text. For instance, a couple of Sundays ago was Ananias & Sapphira. What a difficult text, but I stuck with it and the people loved the sermon.

Love Stushie's idea! I think I'll rely more heavily on Calvin's commentaries next year.