Tulips in iowa photo

Photo by baslow

We are nearing the end of our year with the Narrative Lectionary. During the month of May—and the last four Sundays of the Easter Season—we will finish up the stories of the early church with readings from Romans.

True confessions time: I do not enjoy reading the letters (also known as the epistles). While there are some passages I really love (Romans 8 and Philippians 4, for example), they are heavy on theology and short on narrative, which make them more difficult to preach. However, I almost always find something of value when I wrestle with the more difficult texts.

A bit of background:
Romans is a letter written by the apostle Paul sometime between 56 and 58 CE to the early Christian be-lievers (both Jews and Gentiles) in Rome. One of Paul’s main themes and favorite words is God’s “righteousness.” It can mean holiness, faithfulness, integrity, life-saving power, justice but one thing is for certain—for Paul, humans were created to share in God’s righteousness, and through it we are given new life so that we might practice God’s righteousness in our daily lives.

May 3 – Intro to Romans
Fifth Sunday of the Easter Season
Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper
Romans 1:1-17 Including the customary greeting and thanksgiving portions of letters of this day, Paul writes that, “God’s righteousness is being revealed in the gospel, from faithfulness for faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous person will live by faith. (v 17)’”

May 10 – God’s Love Poured Out
Sixth Sunday of the Easter Season
May Birthday Blessing
Ordination/Installation of Teaching Elders
Romans 5:1-11 …the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us (v 5)

May 17 – New Life in Christ
Seventh Sunday of the Easter Season
Roman 6:1-14 We were buried with Christ by baptism into death so that we might walk in newness of life. And therein we find hope.

May 24 – Nothing Can Separate Us
Pentecost Sunday – Wear RED!
Acts 2:1-4 The story of the first Pentecost & Romans 8:18-39 The groaning of creation, the Spirit helps us in our weakness, nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.

May 31 – TBA