Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

Many of the people who raided the United States capitol building last Wednesday were wearing “Jesus” t-shirts and waving Christian flags. And it is pretty obvious those people have listened to a lot of unfaithful preaching and read very little of the actual Bible. We’re in the season of Epiphany now which is when the church most directly addresses our call to lay aside whatever privilege we think we deserve and recognize—rejoice in—the reality that the Good News of Jesus Christ is for everyone.

Even though the Narrative Lectionary does not follow the church year in quite the same way as the Revised Common Lectionary, we do encounter many passages this time of year that speak directly to God’s uncomfortably inclusive love. Simeon proclaimed that the child Jesus would be a “revelation to the Gentiles,” and John told those thinking they had privilege that God could raise up children of Abraham from the stones.

In this week’s reading, Jesus’ sermon is going really well until Jesus reminds the congregation that Elijah was sent to a widow in Zarephath, not Israel, and he healed a Syrian rather than an Israelite. Turns out most people are in favor of good news to the poor and release to the captives and recovery of sight for the blind—as long as it is for their poor and their captives and their blind.

I pray your preaching this week might continue in the prophetic (and dangerous) tradition of John and Jesus, proclaiming God’s all-inclusive love and God’s unyielding justice.


Working Preacher commentary

Working Preacher Narrative Lectionary podcast

Bible Worm podcast

Faith Formation resources from Spirit and Truth publishing

Rev. Joanna Harader serves as pastor of Peace Mennonite Church in Lawrence, KS and blogs at Spacious Faith.

RevGalBlogPals encourages you to share our blog posts via email or social media. We do not grant permission to cut-and-paste prayers and articles without a link back to the specific post. For permission to use written material in paper publications, please email revgalblogpals at gmail dot com.

2 thoughts on “Narrative Lectionary: When the Bible Gets You in Trouble (Luke 4:14-30)

  1. Yes, I went on a rant Sunday in my sermon about the Jesus flags. “Down, blood pressure, down!” And the images and words of people who give Christianity a bad name.


We hope you'll join the conversation!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.