Narrative Lectionary: Ash Wednesday (Mark 9:30-37) and Lent One–All You Have (Mark 10:17-31)

This week is a twofer! Ash Wednesday is tomorrow and we begin Lent with this passage from Mark 9:30-37. Working Preacher commentary here.  While Jesus tries to teach the disciples about the suffering, betrayal, and death that he’s heading toward, the disciples are arguing about which of them is the greatest. Not their finest moment,… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Who's Corban? Whose Corban? (Mark 7:1-23)

Once my children went to preschool and then on to kindergarten, they were very alert to hand washing. Now, of course, I taught them to wash their hands after the potty and before eating, etc., but school and teachers brought that lesson into full force. I do utterly and completely believe in hand washing, but… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Super Bowl Half Time Show (Mark 6:1-29)

I don’t watch SportsBall. So I missed the Super Bowl 2020 halftime show, even though I have loved Shakira since the 1990s. After reading some reviews, I decided to watch it myself. And as a “woman of a certain age,” I was impressed with the 43-year-old Shakira and the 50-year-old JLo. If I’m to be… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: An Intent to Heal (Mark 5:21-43)

Mark 5:21-43 This week, we continue through Mark’s story of Jesus, where he’s healing people society isn’t all that sure they want healed, and he’s calming storms. He’s teaching in parables. Today’s story has the story of the woman who touches Jesus in the crowd, bookended by the story of Jairus’ daughter. Working Preacher commentary… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Pigs and Prejudice (Mark 5:1-20)

Having a favorite Bible passage is as ill-advised as having a favorite child, but if I did have a favorite, this intriguing story would be a strong contender.  It has everything: conflict, healing, payback, revelation, and even traveling pigs.   Read the scripture here. Read the Working Preacher commentary. The story unfolds like a movie, with… Read More

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