The Gospel of John is at once memorable, with catchy scripture verses, and dense, as the Gospeler plays with layers of meaning. Reading the Gospel chapter by chapter, and focusing on single verses, can help us become more comfortable in our exploration.
Reading The Gospel of John with The Good Book Club
Each year, the Good Book Club invites Christians to read one book of the Bible from start to finish. For those of us accustomed to hearing short passages of scripture from different sections of the Bible each Sunday in the lectionary, it can be a powerful experience to consider a book of the Bible in its entirety.
In Epiphany 2020, the Good Book Club invites us to dive into the Gospel of John. Whether you are planning formation programing related to the Gospel of John, preaching on John, or reading at home, we want to help you get the most out of the experience!
A Gospel of John Planning Document
- The readings for each week based on the Good Book Club reading schedule
- The main topics addressed within the full scope of the weekly readings
- Suggested memory verse in English (NRSV)
- Suggested memory verses in Spanish (Reina Valera Actualizada)
- The context for the memory verse
- A few discussion questions to spark conversation
- A prayer related to the memory verse
One Resource, Many Applications
- Adult Forum or Bible Study Preparation – you can download and edit this spreadsheet, which makes it a great tool for programing preparation. You might add a row for commentary notes, website links, or follow up notes.
- Social Media Posts – use this spreadsheet to plan out Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram posts. You could post daily or post weekly using the suggested memory verses, prayers, and discussion questions.
- Family Memory Verses – equip families to have conversations about scripture and theology by providing recommended verses to commit to memory by reading the passage daily for a week. Memory verses do not need to be about speed in locating the precise scripture passage or precise wording. Rather, emphasize the practice of memory verses in a way that opens up conversation and “writes the words on our hearts.”
- Preaching Series – The three years of the lectionary cycle focus on the synoptic Gospels (Matthew in year A, Mark ing year B, and Luke in year C). Readings from the Gospel of John are scattered over all three years. If you want to spend some time intentionally preaching on John, we recommend Year A or Year B which contain 23 and 24 readings from John respectively. Year C contains 16 passages from John. Each year also contains 6 readings from John during the week days of Holy Week.
Please feel free to utilize, take a step further to create cue cards, or edit. We would love to know how you put this resource into practice in your family or parish, so please comment below!
The Rev. Katherine A. Malloy is the Associate for Lifelong Learning, Director of Christian Formation Resources at Virginia Theological Seminary.