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

Narrative Lectionary: the tweenager Jesus (Luke 2:41-52)

The celebration of New Year’s Eve (Hogmany) is a big event in Scotland. However, this year it will be very much curtailed, as were our Christmas and Easter celebrations, along with the festivals of other faiths in 2020. It’s within this very different New Year that we read of Jesus’ family going up to Jerusalem… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Not just a children’s story (Daniel 6:6-27)

Look in any children’s bible and you will find the story of Daniel and the lions’ den. It’s a good, simple, straightforward story which is (mostly) suitable for children and the young at heart. However, this very simplicity makes it a difficult passage to preach on. What is the message it contains? How can we… Read More