Narrative Lectionary: Code-Switching (Mark 4:1-34)

The parables found in Mark 4:1-34 are familiar, but I must admit that I got a bit annoyed when I read the text this time. Why the word games? Why do some get to understand and others don’t? Given the oh, so many political and religious pundits, media outlets that have been co-opted by corporate… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Healing for Liberation and Confrontation (Mark 2:1-22)

Every time I consider Jesus’ miracle stories I think someone in the congregation is thinking, “Yeah. That’s Jesus. I can’t do that.” Because we can’t, can we? Jesus performs miracle after miracle, and I have to tell you, I’ve never performed one single miracle! But reading Ched Myers (Binding the Strong Man and “Say to… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Miracle of Miracles (Mark 1:21-45)

We’ve finally made it! The Gospel Readings are here! Okay, technically they were here last week but if you’re like me, your church did something special or you had a guest preacher or something. Our scriptures this week are challenging enough, but if you did do something special last week you may want to read… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Beginning of the Good News

Merry Christmas Eve, and I apologize for showing up here and reminding us that as soon as we get done with Silent Night, we get to do it again on Sunday. Merry Christmas, preachers! The Narrative Lectionary moves to the Gospel of Mark with the beginning of the Good News, which begins with John the… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Never Assume [Luke 1:5-13, [14-25] 57-80]

The story of the birth of John the Baptist is the story of the ordinary turned upside down, and made extraordinary.  Every common assumption is reversed, through the power of God. Everyone in the story is wrong about what they expect to happen.  God is in the reversal business all through Advent and Christmas, changing… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: New Beginnings, Joy–and Tears (Ezra 1:1-4; 3:1-4, 10-13)

Welcome to the 3rd Sunday of Advent! Hopefully that is a cause for great JOY to all of you! {and hopefully very little panic that 14 days from today will be Christmas Eve.} This week the Narrative Lectionary leads us to Ezra and a new beginning (Ezra 1:1-4; 3:1-4, 10-13). Last week the people in… Read More

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

Narrative Lectionary: God’s Hope (Jeremiah 33:14-18)

The text for this week is so short I figured I would just put it here: Jeremiah 33:14-18 14 The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 15 In those days and at that time I will… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Change of Plans [2 Kings 22:1-10, [14-20]; 23:1-3]

God’s reward system is curious.  The reward for faithfulness is never a shiny new Mercedes, or even a Prius, just the gift of deeper work to do.  The gift exchange for following God turns out to be…more of God.  Answering Josiah’s remorse over Israel’s faithlessness, God promises him a peaceful death, and to be spared… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Many Verses to God’s Love Song

This week’s Narrative Lectionary passage gives us two passages from Isaiah. The first is the love song of the vineyard yielding bad fruit in chapter five. The second is from chapter eleven, a passage we often hear during Advent, where a shoot grows from the stump of Jesse. Commentary at Working Preacher is here. A… Read More