Pastor, how do you choose the readings for each Sunday service?
The simple answer is, “I don’t.” The readings we use each Sunday are generally the same readings used by a significant proportion of Christians around the world. By using these readings, we are united with a great many of our brothers and sisters in the Christian faith hearing the same Word of God read each week.
The practice of an ordered schedule of scripture readings was adopted by the early Christians from the Jewish synagogue but the use of prescribed readings dates back to long before the time of Christ. Jewish tradition indicates the practice goes all the way back to the time of Moses when specific readings were assigned to coincide with the festivals that God commanded the Israelites to celebrate.
The list of readings used for our services is a modified form of the “Revised Common Lectionary” which was developed in cooperation with over 17 major denominations throughout the world including a majority of Lutherans world wide.