Bryan’s post on lectionaries earlier on in the week was a good one.
Those of you who don’t know what a lectionary is, let Wikipedia inform you.
There are good points and bad points to lectionary use.
A good point is that one knows that each day there are Scripture verses to be read. No more “eenie-meenie-miney-moe”-ing in the Scriptures to find what one wants to read or preach from. One simply reads or preaches from what is assigned rather than having the potential for choosing from “favorite” texts. The lectionary allows Scripture to be read in a systematic setting over a year or a number of years (in the case of the Revised Common Lectionary, over 3 years).
A bad point is that most common lectionaries exclude some verses and parts of Scripture. Sometimes the lectionary readings don’t match up with each other leaving one in a state of confusion. In a worship setting, exposition of other passages of Scripture read from the lectionary doesn’t happen (or if it does, it doesn’t flow well).
Personally speaking, I like the use of the lectionary. It keeps me disciplined in my Scripture reading. I usually end up using the main Anglican Church of Australia’s lectionary (that is for every day of the year) as well as a supplement, the abridged form of the lectionary in Liturgical Press’ “Benedictine Daily Prayer”. Every now and again, I’ll also use the Roman Catholic lectionary (as found in the back of my Catholic Study Bible, 2nd edn. published by Oxford University Press). Using all of these means that even when I have some downtime here at home, instead of watching TV (usually, it’s not as if TV has stuff I must watch), I can feed myself on God’s word instead.
It’s ultimately a matter of personal choice, but lectionaries still remain an important part of liturgical worship of any Christian tradition. But we have to be selective at times in their use on Sundays so that we have a balance of both “assigned” Scripture in the year and “chosen” Scripture by whoever it is that is preaching. For devotional use, I highly recommend them as a starting point.