Skip to main content


No Obstacles to Salvation Here - Lectionary Reflection for Pentecost 4B (2 Corinthians 6)

  Paul - Rembrandt 2 Corinthians 6:1-13 New Revised Standard Version 6  As we work together with him, we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain.  2  For he says, “At an acceptable time I have listened to you,     and on a day of salvation I have helped you.” See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation!  3  We are putting no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry,  4  but as servants of God we have commended ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities,  5  beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger;  6  by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love,  7  truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left;  8  in honor and dishonor, in ill repute and good repute. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true;  9  as unknown, and yet are well known; as dying, and

Feasting on the Word Worship Companion, Year B, Vol. 1 (Kimberly Bracken Long) -- Book Note

FEASTING ON THE WORD WORSHIP COMPANION: Liturgies for Year B, Volume 1. Edited by Kimberly Bracken Long.  Louisville:  Westminster John Knox Press, 2014.  Xiii + 226 pages.

Year B of the liturgical year is here, and so those tasked with planning worship will want to trade their Year A resources for new materials.  With that in mind one might want to check out the next volume in the Feasting on the Word Worship Companions.   This is another addition to the expanding collection of materials that is linked to Westminster John Knox's now completed Feasting on the Word lectionary commentary series.   The worship companions are edited by Kimberly Bracken Long.   

          In addition to editing the worship companions for the Feasting on the Word series, Kimberly Bracken Long is Associate Professor of Worship at Columbia Theological Seminary.  She is also the author of The Worshiping Body: The Art of Leading Worship and The Eucharistic Theology of the American Holy Fairs,  both of which are published by WJK Press. Her editorial team includes six writers who  represent Presbyterian, United Methodist, Lutheran, Episcopal, and the United Church of Christ. This is a distinctly ecumenical/Mainline Protestant venture, though the various pieces will reflect the faith expressions of each of the writers.        

           Volume one for Year B provides worship materials for Sundays beginning with the first Sunday of Advent and running through Pentecost Sunday. As Long notes in her introduction, each Protestant tradition has its own distinct forms of prayer, but keeping with the ecumenical nature of this resource the focus will be on those elements that are held in common. Though there is some effort to give expression to some of the diversity of expression. Thus, there are prayers of confession and illumination invoking the Holy Spirit for Presbyterians, while Lutherans and Episcopalians require a prayer of the  and prayers for the departed in their intercessions.  Lutherans want language that lifts up law and grace.  Although there are eucharistic prayers for the seasons and festivals, as a Disciple I would have valued a set of post-communion prayers for each week. 

          The contributors prepare a nice variety of materials for each Sunday and holy days.  Included for each week is a call to worship/opening words, a call to confession, prayer of confession, declaration of forgiveness, prayer of the day, prayer for illumination, prayers of intercession, invitation to the offering, prayer of thanksgiving/dedication, charge, and blessing.  Beyond these liturgical materials that can be used as is or modified as needed, the book provides questions for reflection and household prayers for morning and evening.  Permission is given for recopying, as long as credit is given (of course).   There are worship materials provided for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Epiphany, Ash Wednesday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the day of Ascension.
There is also a scripture index that could be useful for those looking for materials matching texts in use, even if one is not following the lectionary  I should not forget the helpful cloth ribbon provided to mark one's place.  In addition a CD is provided to aid in copying and pasting the materials in bulletins, with acknowledgment provided.

          In using the materials, one can simply read from the book or copy into bulletins or into power points.  Long notes that the "texts are arranged in 'sense lines' -- that is, they look more like poems than paragraphs" (p. x).  They have printed the texts in this manner so that "they can pick up phrases quickly, enabling worshipers to pray them with greater understanding."   She requests, therefore, that if reproducing the texts, one keeps the sense lines in place.  

         As with the earlier volumes, the latest volume provides worship planners with theologically rich materials that are expressive of an ecumenical Protestant understanding of the Christian faith.  For those who have denominationally provided worship books, this volume can provide supplementary materials or simply serve as the foundation for building worship services.  From experience with previous volumes, I can share that these materials are well written and spiritually provocative.  I for one am looking forward to using them in Year B.  


Popular Posts