Monday Prayer, December 20, 2021

“Joyful and triumphant?” God, we lit the fourth Advent candle yesterday, we sang Christmas carols, we watched as the children acted out the story of the nativity, but, if I’m honest, although the tree is decorated now, Christmas cheer has not reached me yet. God, we cancelled Christmas services this week because we want to… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: “Tell us the truth!” (Jeremiah 29:1,4-14)

“For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) The verse above is one which is often quoted. It can be found on bookmarks, as a framed picture, on the front of journals… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Floods of justice (Amos 1:1-2; 5:14-15, 21-24)

Toward the end of October of this year, the South of Scotland endured some severe rain and flooding. Scots are used to rain but this was toward the extreme end of our tolerance, with fields and town centres filled with water, roads made dangerous, railway bridges closed (just in case) and two foot bridges washed… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Not Me, God! The Call of Moses (Exodus 2:23-3:15; 4:10-17)

Do you hear it? The cry of the oppressed? It would be easy to miss in our rush to get to the story of the call of Moses, but we must ensure that, first of all, we hear the cry of the suffering Hebrew people kept as slaves by the Egyptian Pharaoh (Exodus 2:23). The… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Six Weeks of Summer in the Psalms

The Narrative Lectionary runs each year from September to Pentecost which means that the summer break can be spent preaching on other things. One option this year is to spend 6 weeks in the Book of Psalms. We don’t often preach the psalms, usually preferring to sing them instead. In my tradition, we sing many… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: O joy! A meeting! (Acts 15:1-18)

I must say that my first reaction to the inclusion of this reading in the Narrative Lectionary was one of doubt and trepidation. Would Sunday’s sermon turn out to be little more than an intellectual exercise lacking any application to the life and faith of my congregation? However, thanks be to God, some thoughts are… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: What, no palm branches? (Luke 19:28-44)

In times gone by, my usual practice would have been to allow the liturgy and hymns, the marching with palm leaves and the singing of “Hosanna”, to speak most loudly on Palm Sunday. However, in their absence (due to Covid restrictions this year), there is both a need and an opportunity to take a closer… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Living in the sight of death (Luke 13:1-9, 31-35)

Oh my! What a collection of passages we get to preach on this week! To put them into context, they make up part of a long series of Jesus’ teachings which began as soon as he left Martha’s house at the end of chapter 10. According to Luke’s narrative, at some point on the journey… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Are we the Pharisees? (Luke 6:1-16)

This week, in the Narrative Lectionary, we encounter the conflict between Jesus and the Pharisees for the first time. This conflict has been brewing for a while (see chapter 5), but it escalates here with the discussion over what can, and cannot, be done on the Sabbath day. As a preacher it may be tempting… Read More