Welcome to Wading in the Waters of the Word™ with A Women’s Lectionary

Gentle Readers, Followers, Preachers, Pray-ers, Thinkers and Visitors, Welcome!

Welcome to this space where you can share your worship – liturgy and preaching – preparations – using  A Women’s Lectionary for the Whole Church. We begin in Advent 2021 with Year W, a single, standalone Lectionary volume that includes readings from all four Gospels. (We will continue with Year A in Advent 2022 to align with the broader Church.) In advance of each week, I will start the conversation and set the space for you all. I will come through time to time, but this is your space. Welcome!

Media Resources

A Women’s Lectionary For The Whole Church

Session 1, October 16, 2021
Rev. Wil Gafney, PhD at Myers Park Baptist Church

Plenary 1 | Translating Women Back Into Scripture for A #WomensLectionary
This session introduces participants to frequently unexamined aspects of biblical translation in commonly available bibles and the intentional choices made in “A Women’s Lectionary for the Whole Church.”

A Women’s Lectionary For The Whole Church

Session 2, October 16, 2021
Rev. Wil Gafney, PhD at Myers Park Baptist Church

Plenary 2 | Reading Women in Scripture for Preaching, Study, and Devotion
This session provides an overview of “A Women’s Lectionary for the Whole Church,” its genesis, production, and content. There is also an in-depth exploration of specific passages appointed for specific days including time for public and private reading and discussion.

Lectionary Lectio

Click the Comment links to add to the conversation

Feast of Epiphany

The Feast of the Epiphany (and the season that follows) is a festival of light. As with Advent, the season that need not be cast in binary terms of light in opposition to dark. In my preaching (and social media posting), I have observed that the light does not hate the holy luminous darkness that gives it birth (with a nod to Howard Thurman for the expression “luminous darkness”). Both are the abode of God. The light of Epiphany is the light of God’s love shining in and through in the world and the word throughout the scriptures. In this season we will see the light of God shining in and through Christ, God’s love made manifest.

It is a season of revelation. God and God’s love are being continually revealed in the world of the text and in the world that reads it. Sometimes it will be hard to see the light, to keep it kindled and the hope it represents with it. Shadows and sorrows encroach. No matter how bleak the gloom that overshadows, even the deepest dark of night is a resting place for the rising of the dawn.

In the festal readings, the first lesson addresses the people as God’s daughter (made clear by the style of translation in Year W). It is the familiar lesson with camels and gifts of gold and frankincense conjuring the gospel story of the magi and the later Christian tradition of the three kings. As always, it is important to read the text in its own ancient context, a prophecy giving voice to the hope of Zion’s restoration. The psalm makes clear that the light of God’s love is not limited to one people or nation. The epistle is set in a time when social and political realities encroach upon the light of the gospel in Christ Jesus and faith itself is an act of resistance with women’s faith held up at the textual exemplar. This is not the case for the majority of Christians in the world. Western Christians are more likely to endanger others with the political power Christianity has accrued then be endangered. In the epiphany gospel, “sages” without gender or number come seeking the Christ child a year or two or more after his birth. It is among other things a story about interpreting scripture. 

Sunday 2 After Christmas

The world looks new after the dawning of Christmas Day. These lessons imagine and celebrate a new day when the world will be different. In the first lesson, there will be a great diverse and inclusive gathering. God will devote special attention to bringing back home those who have been driven away. And there will be room for a diversity of belief and practice, including our neighbors who worship different gods. The psalm is a celebration of the God who does right, rightly and righteously by all the peoples of the world with special attention to those who have been oppressed. The epistle celebrates our claiming as children of God made possible by the woman-born Messiah, Jesus. The gospel looks back to the beginning of all things and finds the Word that would become flesh there, at and before the dawn of creation.