As my last post indicated, each gospel has its own character, and the Revised Common Lectionary makes this fact less clear.
Well, I can’t just leave it like that—complain and not suggest a fix for said complaint.
So, here is my bare bones proposal for how to re-organize the lectionary:
Year 1: Matthew, The Law, Non-Pauline Letters
Matthew goes to certain lengths to connect Jesus with Moses and the Law, what better place to point this out than in the books of the Bible we read. Additionally, giving the non-Pauline letters some space to talk to the church on their own seems healthy.
Year 2: Mark, The Histories, Pauline Letters
Mark is a shorter Gospel, but that just means we can focus on smaller sections of Mark and larger sections of Paul and really get to know the history and story found in Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, Ezra-Nehemiah, and Ester.
Year 3: Luke, The Prophets, The Book of Acts
Reconnecting Luke and Acts, since they are by the same author and two halves of his same story, makes good sense. Luke’s focus on some of the social and economic aspects of Jesus’ ministry and world he lives in echoes in the Prophetic books of Hebrew Scripture.
Year 4: John, Wisdom Literature, The Book of Revelation
Sigh with me for a second, feel the extra space? The gospel of John finally gets to breath! As I indicated in the previous post one of the ways to describe Jesus as Word of God is “Incarnate Divine Proverb.” Well, what better place to look at Wisdom Literature than side by side with a gospel that proclaims Wisdom’s incarnation. As for Revelation, both authors are known as John, and both describe Jesus in ways that differ greatly from the other Gospels. Additionally, wrestling with Revelation for a whole year might force main-line churches to admit that this strain of apocalyptic literature is our property too.