Let’s face it, pastors have a hard job. They’re on call 24/7, counsel and minister to the needs of their congregation & the community, and often oversee the day-to-day operations of the church. On top of that, pastors are expected to spend hours mining through the truths of God’s Word and preach a weekly sermon. With only 168 hours in a week, that is a difficult task for even the most organized person. Something that can make this task more difficult is when you don’t have a plan for what you’re going to teach every week. This is one of the many reasons why expositional preaching through books of the Bible is so popular. But that’s not the only way to preach with a plan; another method is to preach using a lectionary.
When most people hear the term lectionary their mind often goes to the Roman Catholic church. But, they are not the only church that uses a lectionary. It is also popular among Methodists, Lutherans, Episcopalians, and some Presbyterians. What exactly is a lectionary? A lectionary is nothing more than a collection of Scriptures readings that are appointed for a given day or occasion of worship. One of the more common lectionaries today is the Revised Common Lectionary, released in 1994. Today we want to introduce you to the Feasting on the Word commentary series, a commentary based on this lectionary.
What is Feasting on the Word?
Most commentaries today don’t have much that set them apart from the rest. So when a commentary set like Feasting on the Word comes on the scene it is sure to turn some heads. Feasting on the Word is a 12-volume commentary set that includes four volumes for each of the three years of the Revised Common Lectionary. It covers all the Sundays in the lectionary cycle, along with movable occasions, such as Christmas Day, Epiphany, Holy Week, and All Saint’s Day. This is the first thing that sets the commentary apart. Instead of having a commentary that covers an individual book of the Bible or goes in canonical order, the passages are discussed as they appear in the lectionary calendar.
The second thing that sets Feasting on the Word apart is how the commentary text is organized. For each lectionary text you will find four brief essays, one each that covers the theological, pastoral, exegetical, and homiletical challenges of the text. Since each date in the RCL provides a reading from the Old Testament, a Psalm, a Gospel, and Epistle, this combination gives you sixteen (16) different approaches for the preaching of God’s Word on any given occasion. In the print edition of Feasting on the Word the Bible passage is given and the commentary is placed in four columns, so as to not give preference to any one approach to the text. For ease of use in the digital version the columns have been removed and each essay is followed one after another.
How to Use It
Like many resources in Bible+, there are several ways to make use of them within the app. Let me show you the many ways you can use Feasting on the Word in your studies or sermon prep.
Table of Contents
If you’re already familiar with the lectionary calendar and how to use it, the easiest way to navigate Feasting on the Word is through the table of contents. To access the table of contents tap the verse chooser, then the gear, and select “List Layout” (if not already in that view). Now you can quickly navigate to the current week and drill down to your passage of choice. If you know what week it is in the lectionary calendar, this is the fastest way to navigate. Please note that each lectionary year is its own volume, so you will need to know which year you’re currently in to make sure you’re in the correct volume.
Conversely, if you already know your passage for the week, you can use the verse chooser as normal (grid view) and navigate directly to your passage. For example, since this week is the first Sunday in Lent and we know we want to preach from the Old Testament, we can open the Year C volume (for our current year) & navigate to Deuteronomy 26:1-11. This method is useful for those who would like to use this commentary but are not lectionary preachers or simply want to access the content of this resource on any given passage.
Each volume of Feasting on the Word includes a full scripture index that allows you to see where a passage falls in the lectionary calendar. You can access this index via the table of contents, and then navigate to your passage in the canonically ordered list. Once you find your passage you can then tap on the reference to be taken to its location in the commentary. Again, this method is useful for those using this resource in a nonlectionary manner or if you want to see if a particular passage is discussed in a given volume.
The last way to make use of Feasting on the Word in Bible+ is through the Resource Guide. You can either have your Bible passage open or Feasting on the Word in the main window and the Resource Guide in the split window.
If you have the Bible open, you can navigate to the commentaries section and find the Feasting on the Word volume that contains your passage and quickly navigate to the type of commentary you want to read.
Conversely, if you have Feasting on the Word open in the main window, you can use Resource Guide to quickly access other library resources, such as checking other translations, comparing commentary text, or pulling up maps & images from other resources.
A Commentary for Everyone
With all the different ways you can utilize Feasting on the Word in Bible+, it can be a truly versatile tool in your Bible study library. This commentary is not just for those who preach through a lectionary calendar. It is a solid commentary that helps you look at the text in four different ways. Whether you’re a lectionary preacher, someone who struggles to find a passage each week, or simply a student of the Bible, this commentary has something for you. Add Feasting on the Word to your library today & start gleaning from its insights on Scripture.