Revised Common Lectionary: Over A Cliff Edition

I am searching the texts for the fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time/ Epiphany for a thread– a single idea or force that binds them together. I can pair them in various ways… The call of the young prophet Jeremiah seems a natural companion for the Gospel lesson detailing early days in Jesus’ ministry, including his… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Rocky Beginnings, Risky Business (Acts 17:1-9, 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10)

It is an oft-heard complaint among pastors that congregants are stuck on some long-ago and impossibly wonderful golden age of church life. When the sanctuary was full! And we had two services! And we almost didn’t have room for all the children! It almost makes you long for a story of a knock-down, drag-out fight,… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: The End Is Near Edition (Mark 13:1-8, 24-37)

The End Is Near. It is hard to read this week’s appointed verses without going to that well-aged, somewhat humorous image of the prophet of doom: the wild-eyed, shaggy-haired, tattered-clothed man yelling into the crowd, “The end is near!”  And, if we can put end-of-the-world associations aside, this time, he’s right. We can see that,… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: First, Last, and Everlasting (Mark 10:17-31)

Our passage for the first Sunday in Lent is set in motion by an urgent question: “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” What is eternal life? What, in particular, did Jews mean when using such a phrase, given the scant evidence in the Hebrew Scriptures for any developed notion of an… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Parables Edition (Mark 4:1-34)

Years ago I had a professor who described his class- a survey of Christology- as being akin to “roller skating through the Louvre”- by which he meant: his job was, essentially, to say, “Look at this! Look at that! Look at this! Look at that!” Our journey through Mark reminded me of that professor and… Read More