Narrative Lectionary:Wisdom

The text for this week is 1 Kings 3:4-9, (10-15), 16-28. Commentary at Working Preacher is here. Our focus this week is the wisdom of Solomon, both how he acquires it, and how he dispenses it. My favorite illustration of this in popular culture (although 20 year old popular culture) is this scene from Seinfeld.… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: #Bathshebatoo (1 Samuel 11:1-5, 26-27, 12:1-9)

The important education of the #metoo and #timesup campaigns now shape our understanding of Bathsheba, as we consider her story again.  Generally, her story is a background to talk about David’s failures.  No surprise, it’s all about him.  Dr. Wil Gafney first prompted me to think about it the other way, to see this as… Read More

Narrative Lectionary:  A Rallying Cry (Joshua 24:1-15 [16-26])

I have participated in lots of rallies, marches, demonstrations, and protests over the years.  This is what this week’s text reminds me of.  Read it here. Like Joshua standing in front of the gathered people, moving stories are told. Lived experiences are shared. Rallying speeches are given.  At every crowd gathering—call to actions are made… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Rules of Engagement

As progressive Christians we spend a lot of our time emphasizing the relationships of scripture. We have a relational God, a God of covenant, a Christ who ate with sinners and declared the unholy clean. When we talk about commandment we talk about the attempt to trick Jesus and loving saying “Love God and Neighbor”… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Move Forward

This week, after leaving Joseph unjustly imprisoned last week at the hands of Mrs. Potiphar, we skip ahead quite a bit in the narrative to Exodus 14:5-7, 10-14, 21-29 and the story of the long walk to freedom for the Israelites, out of bondage in Egypt, through the Red Sea. Working Preacher commentary is here. The… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Soap Opera in Egypt (Genesis 39:1-23)

Some people live their whole lives in the same hometown, marry the person next door, and work in the family business.  Not much changes in their lives from year to year.  Joseph is not one of those people.  He has more ups and downs in a month than most people ever experience.  He moves from… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Called to Decolonize (Genesis 12:1-9)

Later this month will mark the one year anniversary of Hurricane Maria’s devastation of Puerto Rico as its 3.3 million residents still reeled from the impact of the often forgotten Hurricane Irma which hit the island just two weeks before. As I type these words, I whisper the name Raúl Pagán, my father’s cousin—que en… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Why did God choose a flood? (Genesis 6:16-22; 9:8-15)

It’s Rally Day or Welcome Back Sunday or Where the Heck Have you Been All Summer Sunday and everyone is excited to kick off the new church year. A fun hymn is sung, the Sunday school teachers are commissioned, and then with great anticipation the first reading is begun: The Lord saw that wickedness of… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Language Barriers (Acts 2:1-21)

Jerusalem, the setting for the Acts story, is also the site of the new United States embassy to Israel, which opened this week to much fanfare from some and much anguish from others.  Unlike on the day of Pentecost, this week, no one was speaking the same language, or hearing news of grace in their own… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Work Out Your Own Salvation (Philippians 2:1-13)

If you are a woman, don’t ask me for a letter of recommendation. I’m going to make you write your own. Women have the hardest time expressing our strengths, bragging on our accomplishments, and saying that we want something—all the things that a letter of recommendation does. In some way, it’s because we already have… Read More