Circle of Days: A Church Year Primer — Year C, provides theologically based summaries of the readings for the Sundays and major Holy Days of the Church Year along with reflection questions for groups and individuals who desire a deeper understanding of Scripture and its meaning for their lives.

Year C of the Revised Common Lectionary focuses on the Gospel of Luke and begins on the first Sunday of Advent — November 28, 2021.


Each of the three years of the Revised Common Lectionary cycle features one of the Synoptic Gospels with the Gospel of John interspersed throughout all three years. Year C focuses on Luke, often referred to as Luke-Acts because the same author wrote both books. While the Gospel tells the story of the life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus, the Acts of the Apostles documents the life of the early Christian community, especially the missionary journeys of the Apostle Paul.

As the only Gentile writer in the Scriptures, Luke is attributed to the “beloved physician” who was a companion of Paul (Col.4:14, 2 Tim.4:11, Philem.1:24) and was written for the Gentile community in the last third of the first century. As is the case with all the books of the New Testament, the book is written in Greek, but Lukes elevated literary style sets it apart. Luke writes as an historian to his friend Theophilus, : “. . . after investigating everything carefully from the very beginning to write an orderly account . . so that you may know the truth concerning the things about which you have been instructed” (Lk 1:3-4). Luke is the most universal of the Gospels with the genealogy of Jesus in 3:23-38 extending to Adam – Jesus came for all people. The Church Year is shaped by the chronology of events in Luke-Acts.

The Gospel is characterized by an emphasis on the Holy Spirit, prayer, healing and justice for the oppressed. The extended nativity narrative focuses on Mary and includes her prophetic words in the Magnificat. Lukes account of the birth of Jesus is always read on Christmas Eve.

Luke includes a number of the most familiar parables including the good Samaritan, the prodigal son, the unjust steward, the rich man and Lazarus, and the Pharisee and the tax collector. The sisters Mary and Martha appear along with Zaccheus and Bartimeaus.

The Passion story emphasizes the innocence of Jesus. On the cross he asks forgiveness for his enemies, and in his conversation with the thief crucified with him (unique to Luke), Jesus assures him that “. . . today you will be with me in Paradise” before committing his Spirit to God upon his death. The resurrection appearances of Jesus include the road to Emmaeus and his disciples recognizing him as they shared a meal together. The book ends with Jesus’ Ascension.

Minka Shura Sprague writes in One to Watch, One to Pray: A Devotional Introduction to the Gospels: “For Luke, the power of Gods Holy Spirit and the incarnation of God in Jesus is healing for the world . . . a creation that is healed when God and creation love each other in return.”

We commemorate the author of the Gospel of Luke on October 8.

Almighty God, who inspired your servant Luke the physician to set forth in the Gospel the love and healing power of your Son: Graciously continue in your church this love and power to heal, to the praise and glory of your Name, through Jesus Christ our Lord who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Book of Common Prayer, p. pp. 244-45).

Whether you are a devoted reader of the lectionary, familiar with the nuances and meta-narrative, or a complete novice, Circle of Days is a perfect reader’s accompaniment. This guide to following the church year gives substance and context for the Sundays and Holy days throughout the year, lending structure to the lectionary passages.

Amazon Reviewer

Simply written but profound, the commentaries explain the historical background of each scriptural passage but also interpret its spiritual significance for today’s world. A text that anyone can pray with and learn from.  

Dr. Elizabeth-Anne Stewart, Sunday BibleTalk.