Narrative Lectionary: The Other Side of History (2 Samuel 5:1-5, 6:1-5)

Reading through the stories about David is like flipping through a photo album and watching a family member age over time.  Here, we meet a mature David, a man of accomplishment but not yet the callous king who wreaks so much havoc to satisfy his own whims.  This is no longer the impulsive boy who… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: The Law and the Shema (Deut 5:1-21 and 6:4-9)

This Sunday’s text is the second telling of the Ten Commandments, the telling of the commandments just before the Israelites enter the land of milk and honey. So this is not the generation that left Egypt, most of them are dead, but the next generation, the ones who will inherit the land. You can find… Read More

Narrative Lectionary:God’s People Let Go

This week, we leave behind the matriarchs and patriarchs of Genesis and have one week in the Exodus story. The passage is Exodus 1:8-14 [15-2:10]; 3:1-15. Commentary at Working Preacher is here. As I read through the text, I was heartbroken to recognize the strategy of Pharaoh in my own governmental leaders as they speak… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Mixed Martial Arts [Genesis 32:[9-13] 22-30]

Our physical bodies so often reveal our emotional tensions.  The person who is carrying the weight of the world has shoulders that slump inward, bowed by an invisible, deeply felt burden.  The person who is all bent out of shape emotionally also has mysterious aches and pains.  The one who can’t stand something develops pain… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Loneliness & Abundance

It is important to note that many people struggle with infertility. That for those in our congregation, of all ages, the struggle to conceive a baby is real. Who knows how many miscarriages Sarah had. Who knows if Sarah was one of those who’s body never quite worked right. There are those who long for… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: New Beginnings (Genesis 2:4b-25)

This Sunday we begin Year 2 of the Narrative Lectionary. It’s the start of 15 weeks of Hebrew Bible texts, 15 passages to struggle with, mope about, and squeeze meaning from before we start with the Gospel text in Advent. If you haven’t checked it out yet, may I suggest the Overview of Year 2… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Pentecost Freedom (Romans 8:15-39)

Howard Thurman used to read the Bible to his grandmother. She was particular about the texts—he’d read the Psalms, some of Isaiah, and the Gospels “again and again.” But never the Pauline epistles except occasionally “the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians.” As a young college student, Thurman asked her why she would not let him… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Romans 6:1-14

How are you doing, halfway through Romans? I find it really challenging to preach this book, but nevertheless, we persist. Commentary at Working Preacher is here. Our passage this week drops into the middle of one of Paul’s arguments. It may be worth looking back to chapter 5, where it begins.  In 5:20, Paul writes,… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Hoping Against Hope (Romans 5:1-11)

When my daughter was young, I would often say, “Hmmm…” as I thought about something.  “What hmmm?” she would demand, wondering what I was pondering. We have the same reaction to Paul, as the reading begins with “therefore…”  “What therefore?” we wonder.  Read the Narrative  Lectionary Commentary here. Read the scripture here. With his adept… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Organizing Like Paul (Romans 1:1-17)

I am not always a huge fan of Paul’s, but I have to give him credit as an organizer. He gets power and he gets the importance of relationships. This week’s text from Romans 1 can be found here along with an additional commentary here. Paul starts off this letter by what we call in organizing… Read More