Narrative Lectionary: Prison Blues Edition (Acts 16:16-34)

This Sunday’s text is Acts 16:16-34, and the Working Preacher commentary can be found here. We’re meeting Paul and Silas in prison. I recently traveled to Lumpkin, Georgia, to the ICE civil prison called the Stewart Detention Center. Most of my undocumented neighbors picked up by Immigration, Control and Enforcement end up in this “civil”… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Would You Believe? Edition (John 20:19-31)

You leave for just a little while and miss the best thing to happen ever! How is that fair?!? As we continue deeper into the Easter Season we hear more stories of how the first disciples experienced the Risen Christ. This week we have two appearances, one on the evening of Easter Day and one… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Sunday’s Coming!

Tony Campolo famously preaches a sermon called “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s Coming!” and I’ve been hearing his voice in my head as it occurs to the preacher in me, SUNDAY’S COMING and SOON. The Narrative Lectionary is almost to the end of our journey through John’s gospel. Our passage for Sunday is John 20:1-18. Working Preacher… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Palm / Passion Sunday (John 12:12-27; 19:16b-22)

“Sir, we would see Jesus,” the plaque on the pulpit proclaimed, visible only to the preacher.  In a former congregation, like many places, the words of people seeking Jesus greeted every preacher who stepped into the pulpit.  Mysteriously, thankfully, in that particular church, the plaque was lost in a sanctuary renovation. The people who come… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Behold the Man!

The Narrative Lectionary reading for the fifth Sunday in Lent is John 19:1-16a. Working Preacher commentary is here. Jesus’ trial before Pilate continues, and progresses from heated conversation to violence. Pilate has Jesus flogged. Pilate has Jesus dressed with a crown of thorns and purple robe, to be mocked as “King of the Jews”. Even… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Denial (John 18:12-27)

This week’s Narrative text begins a 4 week dwelling in the end of Jesus’ life in John’s gospel (chapters 18 and 19). Working Preacher commentary is here. Text this Week resources are here. There’s a lot of different places one can focus in this passage. Where are you leaning? A few weeks ago, we had… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Soft Targets (John 13:1-17)

“Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!”  The departing parishioner accosted my pastor friend at the church door, at the end of worship.  “Is that all you have to talk about?” “Pretty much,” he answered.  The Narrative Lectionary asks us the same question, and, thankfully, the answer is still yes. Read the scripture here. Read Meda Stamper’s commentary for Working… Read More

Ash Wednesday: Lectionaries

With all your heart, cries God through the prophet Joel. With a clean heart, prays the psalmist. With a heart set on heaven, teaches Jesus. (And for those preachers whose hearts are set on using the Narrative Lectionary texts for Ash Wednesday, check out this reflection on Psalm 23 and John 10:1-18.) Ash Wednesday’s Revised… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Who is Blind? Who Can See? Edition (John 9:1-41)

Why didn’t someone tell me decades ago that spit and dirt make such a great healing tool?  I could have been a millionaire before starting kindergarten!!!! In the passage this week (John 9:1-41, you can read it here) we have a healing story, though to be honest it really appears that the healing is not… Read More