Revised Common Lectionary: The Days Are Surely Coming…

As a church professional, I get to hear some pretty terrible theology sometimes, from people who assume that I believe as they do. Can you relate? One of those things that I often hear is that the “Old Testament God” is vengeful while the “New Testament God” is forgiving. Passages like this week’s from Jeremiah… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Dishonest Ethics?

Does anyone claim this week’s parable as their favorite? I would be surprised. It is difficult to discern why Jesus would praise the devious actions of a person who cheated his employer. Though, on the other hand, the character in the parable is a slave, and he is cheating the slave owner. Maybe it’s helpful… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Angels and Demons Edition

The Revised Common Lectionary offers a number of great options for this Sunday! Will you be preaching on Jesus and the Geresene (or Gadarene) man who had been living with demons? If so, will you address the inconsistencies in the text – for example, the fact that Gerasa was over 30 miles from the Sea of… Read More

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