Narrative Lectionary: Comfort, Comfort (Isaiah 40:1-11)

When I think about this peculiar preaching profession, I always consider my time in the pulpit as pastoral care. I know there are other models, other types of preaching, but pastoral care is my go-to. There’s hardly a better passage to think about pastoral care than this week’s Narrative Lectionary text, Isaiah 40:1-11. Check out… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: Getting Thanksgiving Right

Thanksgiving. The compound word strikes fear in my mortal heart. But this year, it’s not just the decision between cornbread or bread dressing. It’s not just dread over Uncle John’s belligerence at the table. And it’s not just the divide between the blue family and the red family. This year, we have to do better… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: The Law and the Shema (Deut 5:1-21 and 6:4-9)

This Sunday’s text is the second telling of the Ten Commandments, the telling of the commandments just before the Israelites enter the land of milk and honey. So this is not the generation that left Egypt, most of them are dead, but the next generation, the ones who will inherit the land. You can find… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: New Beginnings (Genesis 2:4b-25)

This Sunday we begin Year 2 of the Narrative Lectionary. It’s the start of 15 weeks of Hebrew Bible texts, 15 passages to struggle with, mope about, and squeeze meaning from before we start with the Gospel text in Advent. If you haven’t checked it out yet, may I suggest the Overview of Year 2… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Pentecost Freedom (Romans 8:15-39)

Howard Thurman used to read the Bible to his grandmother. She was particular about the texts—he’d read the Psalms, some of Isaiah, and the Gospels “again and again.” But never the Pauline epistles except occasionally “the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians.” As a young college student, Thurman asked her why she would not let him… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Religious Plurality (Acts 13:1-3; 14:8-18)

Sometimes I need a reminder that as much as I love Jesus, as much as I follow Jesus, I am not Jesus. And sometimes, when the folks around me so desperately need saving, I have to remind myself that I cannot save them. When I look at the difficulties in my church, I remind myself,… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: Trans Visibility and Equality

Yesterday was International Transgender Visibility Day—a day to celebrate transgender people and raise awareness of discrimination faced by trans people around the world. Like International Women’s Day, Worlds AIDS Day, and International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, one day isn’t enough. Sex Workers, AIDS, Women, and Transgender folks—we all deserve more than 1/365th… Read More

Pastoral is Political: Election Issue

It’s the day before the midterm elections here in the Not-Yet-United States of America. You can feel the buzz on the interwebs. I spent months trying to figure out what GoTV was, thinking I was missing a new Netflix or Hulu, only to finally figure out it means “Get Out the Vote.” I’m receiving nudges… Read More