Jump start your weekly preparation for teaching, preaching, or worship leadership with our Living the Word: Contexts & Connections background resource! The encounter we have with God through the Bible is at the center of faith formation, whether through preaching, worship, education, or small groups. However, the Bible was written a very long time ago over a long period in contexts very different than our own.
That’s where our Living the Word: Contexts & Connections resource comes in. It provides valuable information about each of the assigned Narrative Lectionary main texts with notes on the linguistic, historical, geographical, cultural/religious, and literary contexts of each passage. Then, it moves to make connections with other texts, music, and media to help you communicate the Scripture in your faith formation setting. Contexts & Connections writers research context information from a variety of sources, providing you with a wealth of cited background notes in a concise, easy-to-read format.
The Living the Word: Contexts & Connections resource is a high-quality, low-cost Bible background resource for faith formation leaders looking to dig deeper into the Scripture passage. You can download the materials from your Customer Account as soon as each quarter is released (See the current Release Dates page for details). You can print whichever pages you would like, or access the PDF files through your mobile devices!
Note: Purchase of this digital resource gives the purchasing congregation license to distribute this resource in print or electronically to up to ten (10) individuals within and for the use in that congregation. If you would like to use these materials in a different manner or for a larger number of individuals, please contact the publisher before purchasing.
Each downloadable background resource includes:
- The Point: A central, focused idea for the text.
- Unit Theme: We have divided the Narrative Lectionary year into multi-week units, each grouped around a theme.
- Key Verse: A short, easy-to-memorize verse that supports The Point.
- Passage Summary: A brief summary of the text.
- Accompanying Text: The full text of the additional reading as assigned in the Narrative Lectionary.
- Contexts: Cited background notes divided into the following topics.
- Authorial Intention/Occasion
- Common Misunderstandings
- More Information
- Connections: Suggestions for how the text connects to other parts of the Bible, our themes, the seasons, music, and media.
- Last Week & Next Week
- Other NL Connections
- Other Bible Connections
- Thematic Connections
- Liturgical/Seasonal Connections
- Media Connections
What is the Narrative Lectionary?
The Narrative Lectionary is a nine-month calendar of Scripture readings which focuses on one story or passage each Sunday or festival day. It starts in September with a story about creation and touches on the major stories, characters, and plot points in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) until mid-December. At that point, the lectionary picks up one of the four Gospels (one Gospel each year for a four-year cycle) and moves through many of the main stories or passages of that Gospel sequentially until just after Easter. From the second Sunday of Easter through Pentecost Sunday, the readings are pulled from Acts and the Letters. Read more about this on our What Is the Narrative Lectionary? webpage.
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For the full list of Narrative Lectionary readings for Year 1 (2018-2019), check out our Living the Word: Narrative Lectionary Readings download.
Living the Word: Contexts & Connections is a perfect complement to all our Living the Word products:
- Living the Word: Kids (PK-2nd)– For lower elementary students.
- Living the Word: Kids (3rd-6th)– For upper elementary students.
- Living the Word: Singing God’s Story (PK-6th)– Original children’s music following the Narrative Lectionary.
- Living the Word: Youth– For confirmation and youth groups.
- Living the Word: Small Group Guides– For young adult or adult small group discussions.
- Living the Word: Sharing God’s Story @ Home– Bulletin insert bringing faith formation home with a weekly devotional tool.
- Living the Word: Cross+Gen Worship– For creating interactive, intergenerational worship experiences.
- Living the Word: Cross+Gen Education– For leading interactive, intergenerational learning experiences in a classroom setting.
Ordering & Download Information
To order, go to the Living the Word: Contexts & Connections product page and select the season you would like to order: the Full Year, or the Fall, Winter, or Spring quarters individually. After you add the product to your cart and complete the rest of your shopping, you can proceed to checkout. There, complete the form and select your payment type.
All resource materials are available as digital downloads (PDF files) for printing or using electronically. The end user licensing agreement (EULA) allows congregations to download, print, and use the resources for up to ten (10) individuals as long as the use remains in the purchasing congregation. If you would like to use these materials in a different manner or for a larger number of individuals, please contact the publisher before purchasing.
After your payment is processed, you can download the materials from your Customer Account as soon as each quarter is released (See the current Release Dates page for details). Each quarter purchased comes in a single compressed (ZIP) file, which your operating system should be able to open and extract the folders and PDF files, at which point you can print or share as you please!
For more detailed information on ordering, downloading, and other topics, please go to our Customer Service FAQ page.