Pentecost Preacher Party

Pentecost is this weekend. It’s one of my congregation’s favorite church days, and they like to decorate boldly. We make Pentecost a “season” because we never want to take down the decorations. Will you celebrate the church’s ‘birthday’? Some congregations have birthday parties, where people bring gifts of paper towels, copy paper, coffee, or other… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Romans 6:1-14

How are you doing, halfway through Romans? I find it really challenging to preach this book, but nevertheless, we persist. Commentary at Working Preacher is here. Our passage this week drops into the middle of one of Paul’s arguments. It may be worth looking back to chapter 5, where it begins.  In 5:20, Paul writes,… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Great Commission

Matthew 28:16-20 I’ve barely recovered from Easter, but apparently Sunday’s a comin’ again. This week, the Narrative (finally!?) ends it’s season of Matthew with the closing verses of the book. Working Preacher commentary is here. I saw this quote on Facebook this morning, and it may inform my sermon quite a bit.   This passage… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Sheep and Goats (Matt 25:31-46)

This week, the Narrative takes us through the vision of the sheep and the goats, a riff on Ezekiel’s vision of sheep. Matthew continues to lay out glimpses of what the kindom of heaven will be like, and what the return of the Son of Man will reveal. Working Preacher Commentary is here. This is… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Oil Crisis

Matthew 25:1-13 Working Preacher commentary is here. Let me start out by saying I’m opposed to the very premise in this parable, that women should be sitting around in the dark, just waiting for some guy to arrive. I know, I know. That’s not the point of the story. But some days it is for… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Days of Blessedness Have Begun

At the end of last week’s passage, the Narrative Lectionary takes us from Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness to the beginning of his ministry, saying “repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven has come near”. In this week’s passage, we start to get a sense of what the Kingdom of Heaven (or commonwealth of heaven, as… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Begin at the Beginning

I don’t know how it is at your house, but we haven’t even cleaned up from Christmas and the music of Silent Night is still in my head, yet somehow it is time to prepare for Sunday. The ‘relentless return of Sunday’ seems even more relentless this week. I often take the Sunday after Christmas… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Waiting in Hope

Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:2-4; 3:[3b-6] 17-19 We enter the season of Advent in the Narrative Lectionary with a perhaps unfamiliar holiday companion, Habakkuk. It is a bleak passage, describing a difficult passage in the history of Israel. We can imagine some difficult passages when we read the news today too. Children facing tear gas when seeking… Read More