Hear the Gospel

“…and they took offense at him…” This Gospel passage from Mark 6:1-13 is included in the revised common lectionary provided by the Vanderbilt Divinity Library. The text is from the NRSV. You can hear a recording of this passage here. Reading the Gospel aloud invites the audience to experience human encounters with the divine as…

I admit it. I succumbed to clickbait. I was reading a news article online this week and, as I neared the last paragraph, my eye was drawn to a box of  “trending” headlines further down the page. The headline that caught my eye was, of course, surrounded by content served up by an advertising company…

Reading the Gospel of Mark 5:21-43 “…he took her by the hand and said to her, ‘Talitha cum’…” This passage from Mark 5:21-43 is included in the revised common lectionary provided by the Vanderbilt Divinity Library. The text is from the NRSV. You can hear a recording of this passage here. Reading the Gospel aloud…

As a lay reader, ultimate humility comes in realizing that the reading is not about you. You’re there to serve as the catalyst between members of the congregation and their own encounters with scripture. The reading is not about your skills or issues. It’s about experiences pertaining to the human condition as a whole, illuminated…

Reading and hearing the Gospel of Mark 4:35-41 Reading the Gospel aloud invites the audience to experience human encounters with the divine as revealed in the Bible.  We can leave interpretation and meaning to members of the clergy and other scholars. What we are most interested in as lay readers is the human experience found…

In Book Six of his Confessions, St. Augustine recounts coming upon St. Ambrose sitting quietly by himself, reading a book and “not even moving his lips!” As if this was some sort of dramatic innovation in reading for the 4th-5th century AD. Apparently, it was common practice at the time, even when reading alone, to…

This passage from Mark is taken from the revised common lectionary provided by the Vanderbilt Divinity Library. The text is from the NRSV. You can hear a recording of this passage here. Reading the Gospel aloud invites the audience to experience human encounters with the divine as recounted in the Bible.  We can leave interpretation…

Emily M.D. Scott is a Lutheran pastor who published a thoughtful article in the NYTs: The Bible’s #MeToo Problem, June 16, 2018. The article recounts her own encounter with the story of Dinah, daughter of Jacob from the book of Genesis, as well as other “almost unreadable” acts of aggression and violence against women described…

This passage from the Gospel of Mark is found in the revised common lectionary provided by the Vanderbilt Divinity Library. The text is from the NRSV. You can hear a recording of the reading here. “And he called them to him, and spoke to them in parables…”   When reading the Gospels aloud, we invite…

Let’s assume you’ve been asked to be the Lay Reader (or a Worship Assistant who also reads from scripture) in church next Sunday. You’re going to be reading scripture aloud. That’s great. You may have done it before. But do you really know what you’re doing?     We all have a superficial understanding of…

Theodore May
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Theodore May

Ted May speaks with no authority other than the fact that he has served as a lay reader for more than 50 years in multiple churches, spanning multiple denominations, and feels the call to share what he has learned from that experience with others. After a successful corporate career, he’s now an executive presentation coach who works with business professionals and students in the greater Washington, D.C. area. He and his wife live in Northern Virginia, where they raised three children.

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