Narrative Lectionary: Surprise! (Matthew 1:18-25)

If you swab your cheek, and send your DNA off to one of the sites that will analyze it for you, there may be a surprise in store.  People who want to know where in Africa or Europe the family came from have, instead, been finding step-siblings and secrets about their parentage.  Long-held family secrets… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Messy Feelings

The first time I ran across Isaiah 42 verse 1 was when I was preparing my mother’s homegoing service in November of 2002.  The words, “Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights,” brought me some comfort and a bit of peace at the time. This morning, the more… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Such A Time

What a time we are living in… What a time to be alive. Esther was not born into royalty; in fact, it is a very complicated and difficult story. By the time Esther is introduced, or Hadassah, as she is know by her Jewish name. She is an orphan, raised by her Uncle or cousin,… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Waiting in Hope

Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:2-4; 3:[3b-6] 17-19 We enter the season of Advent in the Narrative Lectionary with a perhaps unfamiliar holiday companion, Habakkuk. It is a bleak passage, describing a difficult passage in the history of Israel. We can imagine some difficult passages when we read the news today too. Children facing tear gas when seeking… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Minimum Protection (Jeremiah 1:4-10, 7:1-11)

Watching the work that people in my congregation do, it’s clear that they’re called by God to use their gifts as teachers or social workers, as parents or attorneys.  Sometimes they say they just drifted into the work they do, not seeing the steps as part of God’s leading.  Other times they have a certainty… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Requirements

This week’s lectionary is often a favorite of ours. “Ours” being progressive people of faith. Micah 5:2-5a, 6:6-8, mostly Micah 6:8 is one we turn to for guidance and comfort. He has told you, O mortal, what is good;     and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness,     and to… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: The Surprising Faces of God (2 Kings 5:1-15)

The Working Preacher post for this week’s Narrative Lectionary passage can be found here. I’m struck, again, with God choosing those on the margins to demonstrate the generosity and grace of God. In this case, the young girl, who served Naaman’s wife, having been transported from the land of Israel during a raid but remaining… Read More

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