First Reading offers exegetical resources for the Old Testament Lectionary reading each week. Hosts Rachel Wrenn and Tim McNinch are PhD students at Emory University. Each month, they invite a leading Hebrew Bible scholar for a longer conversation about the nitty-gritty of the week's text.
The Medium is the Messenger
Lectionary Date: December 5, 2021 [2nd Sunday of Advent, Year C]
Rachel highlights the power of the covenant this Advent.
To You, I Lift My... Throat?
Lectionary Date: November 28, 2021 [1st Sunday of Advent, Year C]
Rachel introduces Advent with an extended reflection on (surprise, surprise) the "nefesh."
2 Samuel 23:1–7
Am I Great, or What?!
Lectionary Date: November 21, 2021 [Reign of Christ Sunday, Year B]
On "Christ the King" Sunday, how about a sermon from the Hebrew Bible on what makes for Godly leadership?
1 Samuel 1:4–20
Preaching Hannah's Story
Lectionary Date: November 14, 2021 [25th Sunday after Pentecost, Year B]
Hannah, the woman from the margins, shows up at the center of Israelite society with a request for God.
Ruth 3:1–5; 4:13–17, with Ashley Wilcox
First Reading Takes On the Bechdel Test
Lectionary Date: November 7, 2021 [24th Sunday after Pentecost, Year B]
It's a big week for First Reading! As we dive into the resolution to the Book of Ruth, we have invited a guest to help us unpack the context of this story—special for its unusual focus on female protagonists.
Ashley M. Wilcox is a Quaker minister and the author of The Women’s Lectionary: Preaching the Women of the Bible throughout the Year, a handbook for feminist preachers. You (yes, you!) can hire Ashley as a preaching coach through her online resource, Preaching with Confidence. Ashley has been traveling around the country to speak, preach, and lead workshops on women and spirituality for more than a decade. For the past four years, she has been teaching preaching to students at the Candler School of Theology. You can connect with Ashley and learn more about her work at her website.
This week also marks the debut of our newest cohost, Rosy Kandathil! Rosy is a PhD candidate in Hebrew Bible at Emory University, and a former guest expert on First Reading. As she joins our team, we suppose that makes her an "expert in residence" with us. From here forward, each week the podcast will feature two of our hosts in various combinations, and we'll all three get together now and then for a "party episode." We'll also continue our pattern of bringing in a guest colleague for a deeper dive every month or so. Welcome, Rosy!
Lectionary Date: October 31, 2021 [23rd Sunday after Pentecost, Year B]
And when better to preach from Ruth, the story of two saints perched on the precipice of death?!
Great resource for preaching
I’ve found this podcast very helpful for preaching. My worship committee requested a summer preaching series on the prophets and these episodes have helped me prepare faithfully. Thank you!
This podcast is full of great scholarship and helpful angles with which to approach the text for sermon writing. It had quickly become a go to resource for me. Thank you so much Rachel and Tim!