Unpacking the Themes and Readings in Track 2 of the Revised Common Lectionary

The Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) is a widely-used liturgical resource that provides a schedule of biblical readings for worship services throughout the year. It is divided into three tracks, each offering different selections of texts for Sundays and other special occasions. In this article, we will explore Track 2 of the Revised Common Lectionary, focusing on its themes and readings.

The Structure and Purpose of Track 2

Track 2 is designed to provide an alternative set of readings when a congregation wants to explore different themes or topics during specific seasons. It offers an opportunity for pastors and worship planners to delve into lesser-known passages or focus on specific theological concepts. While some churches follow Track 1 or Track 3 consistently, others may choose to incorporate Track 2 during certain seasons such as Advent or Lent.

Advent: Preparing for the Coming of Christ

During the season of Advent, which marks the beginning of the liturgical year, Track 2 introduces us to various themes related to Christ’s coming. The readings in this track invite believers to reflect upon their anticipation and preparation for Christ’s birth. They also emphasize the hope, peace, joy, and love that Jesus brings into our lives.

The Old Testament readings in Advent often focus on prophecies related to the coming Messiah. One example is Isaiah’s prophecy in Isaiah 11:1-10 which speaks about a shoot growing from Jesse’s stump—a symbolic representation of Jesus’ lineage from King David’s family tree.

In addition to Old Testament prophecies, New Testament passages like Romans 15:4-13 remind us that Jesus came not only for Jews but also for Gentiles. These diverse readings highlight the inclusive nature of Christ’s salvation.

Lent: Reflecting on Jesus’ Journey to the Cross

Lent is a season of reflection and repentance leading up to Easter. In Track 2, the readings during this time guide us through Jesus’ journey to the cross, inviting us to meditate on His sacrifice and the significance of His death.

The Old Testament readings during Lent often focus on themes of suffering and redemption. For instance, Isaiah 50:4-9a speaks prophetically about the suffering servant who willingly endures persecution for our sake. These passages remind us of Jesus’ willingness to suffer on our behalf.

New Testament readings in Track 2 during Lent include passages like Philippians 2:5-11, which emphasizes Christ’s humility and obedience even unto death. These texts encourage believers to reflect on their own need for repentance and surrender in light of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice.

Ordinary Time: Growing in Faith and Discipleship

Ordinary Time is the longest season in the liturgical calendar, outside of Advent and Lent. It is a time for growth, discipleship, and exploring various aspects of Christian faith. Track 2 readings during Ordinary Time cover a wide range of topics related to Christian life and discipleship.

The Old Testament readings may focus on wisdom literature such as Proverbs or Ecclesiastes, providing practical guidance for daily living. New Testament passages often include teachings from the apostles or stories from Jesus’ ministry that illustrate important principles for Christian discipleship.

Throughout Ordinary Time, Track 2 offers an opportunity for pastors to explore specific theological themes or address contemporary issues relevant to their congregation’s needs. This flexibility allows churches to engage with Scripture in a way that meets their unique context.


Track 2 of the Revised Common Lectionary provides churches with a valuable resource for worship planning and biblical exploration. Its alternative set of readings allows congregations to delve into specific themes during Advent, Lent, and Ordinary Time seasons. By incorporating these diverse passages into worship services, pastors can help their congregations deepen their understanding of God’s Word and apply it to their daily lives.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.