Revised Common Lectionary: Purple (but not Lent)

My childhood church had a tradition of the youth performing a musical each year on Mother’s Day. One year, our choir director chose a musical named Paul & Co. by John Horman and Mary Nelson Keithahn. To this day, a song from this musical goes through my head whenever I hear the Lydia story: A seller… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: I have seen the Lord!

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! But not quite yet. For church professionals, we first have to endure the hard and holy week leading up to Easter. We live out the mental, emotional, and spiritual drama in real time. On Maundy Thursday, we may wash feet or share Communion, or both (hopefully with some… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Beyond Understanding

Mother Teresa is frequently credited with the quote, “I know God won’t give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish he didn’t trust me so much.” A version of that saying shows up in this week’s epistle reading. “No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Love Your Enemies Edition

Sometimes, it feels like all the world is against you. Everyone is cursing, hating, or abusing you. Nothing is working out the way you want, and all the powers are conspiring against you. Sometimes, this is really the case. When that happens, Jesus has difficult but important advice for us. Love those people anyway. The… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Wine & Spiritual Gifts Edition

This week’s reading from 1 Corinthians is one of my favorites. A number of spiritual gifts are listed, in such a way that the reader could imagine countless more – this does not seem to be an all-inclusive list. What other gifts of the Spirit are manifest in your life, or in your community? Most… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Yes, Mary Knew

It’s Magnificat Sunday! This week, we hear Elizabeth’s praise of Mary and her child, and Mary’s song of praise to God. How wonderful to have two female prophets in one worship service! As you speak about God’s call for them and their response, be sure to remember that your congregation includes worshippers who have struggled… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Role Reversal

In a previous life, I helped lead retreats for schoolchildren from Christian schools. A class of kids, usually age 8-10, would come for a week at a time during the school year with their teachers, and we would be responsible for activities, worship, and meals every day. At that age, kids tend to be somewhat… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Carb Overload

This week’s Revised Common Lectionary Gospel lesson is the fifth, and blessedly final, installment of the Bread of Life series. Next week we return to Mark, where there are still conversations about food, but in a totally different context. No matter how much you love John, or bread, if you’ve preached on the Bread of… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: One Humanity

This week’s Revised Common Lectionary readings are timely. In Ephesians 2, Paul teaches that Jesus has erased divisions between people, and created a single, united humanity. Groups that were previously at odds have been reconciled. Peace reigns. Together, all people build a community that becomes the household of God, a place where the divine can interact… Read More