edited by David L. Bartlett, Barbara Brown Taylor and Kimberly Bracken Long
Westminster John Knox Press,
Louisville, Ky. 300 pages
The editors describe this as a thematic resource for preaching and worship. It is all of that. Borrowing from the popular “Feasting on the Word” series, they have assembled an array of resources for worship leaders not following the Revised Common Lectionary. This includes Sunday Gospel readings that focus on an encounter in Jesus’ public ministry, Hebrew Bible readings that compliment the Gospel, and liturgies that brings the texts to life. With sample sermons for adults and children, ready-made liturgies for every Sunday and for daily services during Holy Week, this book is an off-the-shelf fully assembled resource.
On the one hand, that makes it a wonderfully useful and easy-to-use guide that has theological and biblical integrity. Every pastor and worship leader needs a resource like this one. On the other hand, the ease of its use, with ready-made materials, may not be as satisfying to the pastor who wants the guidance, but doesn’t want it fully assembled. Nor will it be as helpful for those who follow the lectionary. However, it may be quite valuable for those small congregations led by commissioned lay preachers or ruling elders who need such a resource that will provide thoughtful worship liturgies. One can also imagine creative worship leaders dipping into this during Lent for special services, particularly to enrich and enliven the congregation’s worship during Holy Week.