Tuesday, April 29, 2014

We should mount a Wesleyan protest...

Christ is Risen! It is Easter (the Great 50 Days, not just Day 1), and I'm feeling the joy of celebrating the season. I'm also glad to be back on lectionary after a Lent working on Rocks and Stones (deriving from a congregation-wide devotion). I'm focusing on 1 Peter for the next few weeks, and I'm looking forward to it. Studying the book in preparation, though, I realized that the Revised Common Lectionary leaves out something vital from the semi-continuous reading.

To stop the suspense: This week's pericope starts a couple verses late! I mean, how are we to understand 1 Peter 1:22 "Now that you have purified your souls by your obedience to the truth so that you have genuine mutual love, love one another deeply from the heart (NRSV)," without 1 Peter 1:13-16:
Therefore prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed. Like obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires that you formerly had in ignorance.Instead, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; for it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
As far as I can tell, John Wesley never published a sermon based (primarily) on this passage, but it does seem to be referenced in Standard #18 "The Marks of the New Birth" (specifically at Section IV.1). That paragraph concludes:
So that ye are constrained to love all men as yourselves; with a love not only ever burning in your hearts, but flaming out in all your actions and conversations, and making your whole life one "labour of love," one continued obedience to those commands, "Be ye merciful, as God is merciful;" "Be ye holy, as I the Lord am holy:" "Be ye perfect, as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."
What's the big idea that all of the major 3 year lectionaries drop this section of 1 Peter, along with it's particularly challenging quotation from Leviticus (11:45, 19:2, 20:7 etc...) to BE HOLY.

If we are called to preach full salvation, skipping this part of 1 Peter isn't really a help! Apparently, we can refer to our pure souls without first hearing the call to holiness of heart and life.

So, should I add this in? Skip a week? Send a strongly worded letter to The Consultation on Common Texts?

What do you think? Should we mount a Wesleyan protest?

1 comment:

Cheryln said...

Use the omitted text continuously as a call to worship for this next liturgical cycle until it feels MOST like a proclamation. Then J Would Also Send Your Post To GO I for their comments. Thanks pastor David.