Revd Liz writes about how the themes and readings of our Sunday worship is chosen, and the focus on mission we will see in some of our services over the coming year.
Have you ever wondered who chooses the Bible readings Sunday by Sunday? The answer is that readings for every day of the year (not Sundays only) can be found in the Church of England lectionary. These readings are on a 3 year cycle, and most of the time they’re the readings we have on Sunday mornings.
But there are also Sundays when churches focus on a special theme. On those Sundays, readings would be chosen because they have something to say about the theme. For many years our churches have kept Christian Aid week, for example. We’ve had Sundays that focus on Stewardship, and more recently we’ve celebrated Black history month.
Over the next year, we’re going to have several Sundays that focus on environmental and justice issues. On those Sundays the readings, prayers, music and the way we explore the themes will help us to broaden our understanding of what God might be doing and saying in the world in which we live.
What does our faith have to say about mental health challenges?
What would Jesus say about modern day slavery?
Sexuality and Christianity – what are we to think?
The climate emergency – where have we gone wrong?
The truth is that we all have blind spots. We can all struggle to hear God’s voice above the noise of our culture. I’m hoping these special Justice Sundays may be able to help us see things through God’s eyes instead. And might strengthen our church’s resolve to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God.
Marking these special Justice Sundays is part of our Mission Action Plan and come under the Witness Priority. We are concerned about the issues because we are people who pray – Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven.