Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Clue is in the Scripture Lesson

Each day of the year the Church has prescribed certain readings from the Holy Scriptures to be read. This is called the Lectionary and hasn’t changed much in many centuries. As it currently is, if an Orthodox Christian is careful to read the assigned readings for each day, he will read the entire New Testament (excluding Revelation) as well as the Old Testament Books of Isaiah, Genesis, Psalms and Proverbs. In addition to those, an Orthodox Christian who faithfully attends the holy services of the Church through the year, but most especially on the eve and day of Great Feasts and Holy Week, she will also be inspired by readings from various prophets and the Wisdom Books of the Old Testament. If you are paying attention to any of these readings you will quickly realize the Church hasn’t assigned readings without consideration, AND that in most cases the readings are continuous from one day to another. Oftentimes, but especially for Feasts and Fasts of the Church, the readings also direct attention toward a truth that is integral to the Feast or season of the Church.

For example, today’s readings pick up where yesterday left off. During Great Lent the Church is readings from Isaiah, Genesis, Psalms and Proverbs during the weekdays. Since this is the first week of the Great Fast the Church has just begun these books, so today we are reminded of the Story of Creation, specifically days four and five. Tomorrow we will hear about day 6 and the creation of humanity.

This is important because we are reminded, if we are paying attention, that Great Lent is a journey to restore our humanity to its original purpose of being in Communion with God. What better to make this point than to remind the faithful of Creation? By the end of this week, the first week of Great Lent we will hear the entire story of Creation AND the fall of humanity to temptation.

Take a few extra minutes today when you are reading your Holy Scriptures for the day and reflect upon what the Church might be emphasizing. The clue is in the Scripture Lesson.

You can find the readings of the day at the Online Chapel. You can also download a FREE smart phone app and have the readings at your finger tips. There are many venues to hear and read the Scriptures WITHIN the Holy Tradition of the Orthodox Church. But you can only be guided by the Church if you read along with the Church.

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