Decision Maker Response
The Consultation on Common Texts’s response
Jan 18, 2013 — In response to The Rev. Andrew Shelton:
Thanks for writing.
The OT readings for the RCL during Eastertide have always been included as part of the complete RCL. We have listed them for those who wish to use them for the first lesson instead of the traditional readings from Acts. We included them in the appendix in 1992 and still now in recognition that most of the denominations may be unlikely to do so, but we wanted to provide the option all the same.
I would note the historic use of Acts has roots in the ancient Christian use of Eastertide as a season of mystagogy for the newly baptized (at Easter). It does not appear they were trying to keep a 50 day vigil of teaching only pre-Pentecost material as if the newly baptized had not already received the fulness of the gift of the Holy Spirit. Instead, they were being taught and thw whole assembly reminded more explicitly what the realities and possibilities of this new life were now that they had been born again by water and Spirit and raised with Christ to walk in newness of life. The readings from Acts have suited that mystagogical purpose very well.
The Consultation commends its work for use by the various churches as they see fit. We neither have nor seek the authority to establish the RCL as THE lectionary that MUST be used as is. Denominations are free to adapt it (and several have) and likewise free to commend, ignore, or in a very few cases, require its readings, as their polities determine.
Peace in Christ,
Secretary, The Consultation on Common Texts
Director of Worship Resources
GBOD | The United Methodist Church
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