Narrative Lectionary: The Living and the Dead (Matthew 28:1-10)

Matthew’s gospel begins and ends with angels, bringing the same message: “Do not be afraid…oh, and also, you have a job to do.”  The first angel in Matthew instructs Joseph to make Mary his wife, before Jesus is born.  The Easter morning angel tells the women at the tomb not to be afraid, and also… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Embodying the Text

As I read the text this morning I saw Jesus bringing the scripture he had been taught to life. Like an actor taking a script and not only committing their lines to memory – but making the story their own, embodying the text and helping those watching feel the intent and intensity of what was… 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: Invitations (Matthew 22:1-14)

Decisions, decisions, decisions…the other day I RSVP’d for a wedding, and I was invited to choose my meal from these options: gluten-free, nut-free, vegetarian and “I’ll eat anything.”  The hosts are working hard to show hospitality to all of their guests.  And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  They have to make decisions about… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Business Practices

I’ve heard this parable (here) preached and taught as an economic justice story. And, it is. I’ve also heard it shared in relation to God’s grace, abundance, and generosity. And, it is. But, when I read it this time something new happened for me. Images of an owner whose business practice is to center persons… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Banquets and Blessings (Matthew 14:13-33)

Yawn…another feeding story…another miracle story.  Because versions of this story show up in the readings so often, the power of the story gets lost in our familiarity with it.  Even the delightful details are familiar – Jesus inviting (commanding?) the disciples to share the work with him, the grass that evokes a new Eden, the… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: On Earth as it is in Heaven

After reading the kin-dom stories found in this week’s text around 7 times this morning I can’t help but wonder if Jesus is expounding on the “on earth as it is in heaven” portion of the prayer he teaches his disciples in Chapter 6…? The story about the “good” and the “bad” dwelling together sounds… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Do Unto Others

Narrative Lectionary this week is the last in Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount. With so much packed into these last three weeks I have chosen to concentrate on one verse. Some say it sums up the Sermon on the Mount, others the whole of Christianity, and some more than that, what it means to be… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Treasuring Prayer (Matthew 6:7-21)

Whenever I write prayers, the voice of one of my supervisors echoes through my efforts: “No flowery words”. This gracious teacher instilled in me the urge to get to the point and to keep it simple when we pray. Even when introducing prayer I am more likely to invite others to join by saying: “Let… Read More