Jephthah's Daughter: An Invitation to Non-lectionary Preaching

Walter Sundberg

Article Type: Texts in Context

Publication Date: 1/1/1993

Issue: Leadership in the Church (Vol. 13, No 1, Winter, 1993)

Lectionaries are not carved in stone by the hand of god. They are hammered out by the mundane work of ecclesiastical committees. Over the centuries, lectionaries have been constantly revised and frequently criticized. Parish pastors should not feel guilty if they read the Bible independently of liturgical demands, looking for fresh passages on which to preach. Turning away from the lectionary, at least on occasion, may revive pastors intellectually and spiritually. Alternative preaching texts may be old familiar stories that otherwise never get read on Sunday morning. They may be austere texts that test the mind and the imagination by confronting believers with the majesty of God and the harshness of the human predicament. An example of the latter is the story of Jephthah’s daughter (Judg 11:30-40)

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