Lectionary query - visiting preacher has chosen next week's Gospel text

12 January is the feast of the Baptism of Jesus. However, the visiting preacher has chosen this lectionary text on the baptism for 5 January (which SHOULD be "2nd Sunday after Christmas"). The question is: on 12 January, does one proceed as if the theme of the baptism for today (the 12th) had not been preached the previous week? Do I give the congregation a second attempt at addressing the same verse? Has anyone experience of this or similar? It is a small but educated congregation. They will notice. I am thinking up some solutions!


  • Just transfer Epiphany to the 12th. :D

    I have been in this situation before, usually for the same reason. I think I've just pressed on with the lectionary readings and approached them from a different perspective.
  • I'd be surprised if two preachers will give the same perspective from the same text. I'd certainly make sure the preacher on the 12th knows that the baptism of Jesus had been preached on today (which I guess means you missed out on the visit of the Magi this year), with an outline of what had been preached.

    Personally, my sermon next week will be primarily from Isaiah ... so, it wouldn't bother me too much if the Gospel was the same two weeks in a row.
  • I’d do the same lectionary readings and just focus on aspects not covered by the visiting preacher.
  • I'd let the guest know and ask what they want to do. I've had this happen before and the guest began the sermon by reading the text that they were going to preach on. There were a few nods to the actual text for the day but primarily it was not centred on it. No one seemed concerned.
  • When inviting someone to preach you should tell them what the readings are so that they can, if they wish, base their sermon on one of those. If they choose to go off-piste there is nothing you can do, but the congregation can draw their own conclusions.

    We used to have in this area a retired priest with PTO who always, but always preached on the theme of how the hierarchy of the CofE failed to minister to its clergy, thus failing to be informed by the parable of the Good Samaritan. Churches that had him for a service just used to grin and bear it.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    My first thought would be to preach on one of the other set readings for the day, and perhaps build on or bounce off the previous week’ sermon.
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