The necessity of lectionary preaching in Korean Presbyterian context : a practical theological research

Lee, Keonsoo (2010-03)

Tesis (MTh (Practical Theology and Missiology))--University of Stellenbosch, 2010.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This research has started because of a concern that the Korean Presbyterian Church is not utilizing the lectionary. Very few Korean Presbyterian churches follow the lectionary and this situation fosters many problems in their preaching and worship. However, the lectionary can remedy them. Firstly, many Korean Presbyterian preachers do not have a long-term plan for preaching and choose a sermon text week by week. Consequently, they are pressed for the time to preach and this easily leads them to do topical preaching. One of the weaknesses of topical preaching is that a preacher might approach a text with a preconceived topic or theme and use the text as a pretext. This is contrary to the principle of biblical preaching. However, the lectionary assures the biblical mentality because it prevents preachers from imposing their preoccupied ideas onto a text. The lectionary makes them consider and listen to the text first. Secondly, the texts for preaching are confined by the preacher’s preference. The arbitrary choice of the texts narrows the scope of the sermon texts. However, the lectionary expands the range of the texts for preaching because it covers most books of the Bible. Thirdly, worship in the Korean Presbyterian churches lacks coherency among its parts. Due to lack of a long-term plan of preaching, various parts of worship do not harmonize with one another. However, the lectionary offers a long-term plan for preaching, and it enables the parts of worship to be prepared to have the same voice. Fourthly, the Korean Presbyterian ministers have to preach a lot. Therefore, practical helps such as lectionary commentaries or worship guides can be of assistance to them. Fifthly, worship in the Korean Presbyterian churches is highly sermon-biased, that is, preaching has precedence over worship. However, the lectionary preconceives the context of worship and puts preaching within this context. Furthermore, the lectionary restores the balance between the Word and the Eucharist. It is designed for experiencing the paschal mystery that is the core of Sunday worship. Sixthly, the Korean Presbyterian churches are failing to appreciate the church year’s theological and educational value. The church year they observe is fragmentary. However, the lectionary is founded on the traditional church year, which has a Christological focus. It enables us to celebrate the life and works of Jesus through the year, and instills faith and hope in people’s mind. Lastly, the individualism of the Korean churches is another problem. These churches are plagued by an internal division and competition. It appears as if they are not concerned about the unity of the church as the body of Christ. However, the ecumenical feature of the Revised Common Lectionary inspires them to have a community mind. It reminds them of the unity of the church. Of course, the lectionary is not a perfect plan. It has some limitations as well as the strengths. Nevertheless, the lectionary is surely a useful instrument that would improve the worship and preaching in the Korean Presbyterian Church.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie navorsing het voortgespruit uit ʼn besorgdheid oor die Koreaanse Presbiteriaanse Kerk se aanwending van die Leesrooster. Die feit dat bitter min Koreaanse Presbiteraanse Kerke die Leesrooster volg, gee aanleiding tot verskeie probleme in hulle prediking en aanbidding. Nietemin kan die Leesrooster hierdie probleem regstel. Eerstens beskik baie Koreaanse Presbiteraanse predikers nie oor ʼn langtermyn plan vir prediking nie en word ʼn preek op ʼn weeklikse basis gekies. Gevolglik is hulle tyd om te preek beperk en lei dit maklik tot aktuele prediking. Een van die swakpunte van aktuele prediking is die feit dat ʼn prediker ʼn teks met ʼn vooropgesette onderwerp of tema mag benader en die teks as dekmantel mag gebruik. Dit is strydig met die beginsel met bybelse prediking. Die Leesrooster verseker egter die bybelse mentaliteit omdat dit verhoed dat predikers hulle vooropgesette idees op die teks afdwing. Die Leesrooster noop hulle om die teks in ag te neem en daarna te luister. Tweedens beperk die prediker se voorkeur die tekste wat vir prediking gebruik kan word. Die omvang van tekste word begrens deur die willekeurige keuse daarvan. Die Leesrooster kan egter die bestek van tekste vir prediking uitbrei omdat dit die meeste Bybelboeke insluit. Derdens word aanbidding in die Koreaanse Presbiteraanse Kerk gekenmerk deur ʼn gebrek aan samehang tussen die verskillende elemente daarvan. As gevolg van die afwesigheid van ʼn langtermyn plan vir prediking, ontbreek die harmonie tussen die verskillende dele van aanbidding. Die Leesrooster bied egter ʼn langtermyn plan vir prediking en help dat die elemente van aanbidding so voorberei kan word dat hulle dieselfde gewig dra. Vierdens moet Koreaanse Presbiteraanse predikante baie preek. Dus kan hulle baat vind by praktiese hulpmiddels soos kommentare op die Leesrooster of aanbiddingsriglyne. Ten vyfde is aanbidding in Koreaanse Presbiteriaanse Kerke hoogs predikasie gebasseerd, d.w.s. prediking geniet voorkeur bo aanbidding. Die Leesrooster bepaal egter die konteks van aanbidding vooraf en plaas prediking binne hierdie konteks. Voorts herstel die Leesrooster die balans tussen die Woord en die Nagmaal. Dit is ontwerp vir die ervaring van die paas geheimenis as die kern van die erediens op ʼn Sondag. Ten sesde waardeer die Koreaanse Presbiteriaanse Kerk nie die teologiese en opvoedkundige waarde van die kerkjaar nie. Die kerkjaar wat deur hulle gehandhaaf word is fragmentaries. Die Leesrooster is egter gefundeer op die tradisionele kerkjaar met ʼn christologiese fokus. Dit stel ons instaat om die lewe en handelinge van Jesus die hele jaar deur te vier, en vul mense se gemoed met geloof en hoop. Ten laaste is die individualisme van die Koreaanse Kerke nog ʼn probleem. Hierdie kerke gaan gebuk onder interne verdeeldheid en kompetisie. Dit wil voorkom asof hulle nie besorgd is oor die eenheid van die Kerk as die liggaam van Christus nie. Nietemin inspireer die ekumeniese karakter van die Revised Common Lectionary hulle om ʼn samehorigheidsgevoel te hê. Dit herinner hulle aan die eenheid van die Kerk. Natuurlik is die Leesrooster nie ʼn perfekte plan nie. Dit het sekere beperkinge sowel as sterktepunte. Nogtans is die Leesrooster ongetwyfeld ʼn bruikbare instrument wat aanbidding en prediking in die Koreaanse Presbiteriaanse Kerk kan verbeter.

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