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

Narrative Lectionary: Religious Plurality (Acts 13:1-3; 14:8-18)

Sometimes I need a reminder that as much as I love Jesus, as much as I follow Jesus, I am not Jesus. And sometimes, when the folks around me so desperately need saving, I have to remind myself that I cannot save them. When I look at the difficulties in my church, I remind myself,… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: There is no ”other”! (Acts 10:1-17; 34-35)

It started with food… It started with Peter… and a man named Cornelius… Peter, as we experience him  is always pretty black and white. In his mind he knew exactly what was acceptable and what was unacceptable. We see, at times, Jesus working very hard at trying to open Peter up to a whole new way of thinking. In this dream,… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Great Commission

Matthew 28:16-20 I’ve barely recovered from Easter, but apparently Sunday’s a comin’ again. This week, the Narrative (finally!?) ends it’s season of Matthew with the closing verses of the book. Working Preacher commentary is here. I saw this quote on Facebook this morning, and it may inform my sermon quite a bit.   This passage… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: The Living and the Dead (Matthew 28:1-10)

Matthew’s gospel begins and ends with angels, bringing the same message: “Do not be afraid…oh, and also, you have a job to do.”  The first angel in Matthew instructs Joseph to make Mary his wife, before Jesus is born.  The Easter morning angel tells the women at the tomb not to be afraid, and also… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Embodying the Text

As I read the text this morning I saw Jesus bringing the scripture he had been taught to life. Like an actor taking a script and not only committing their lines to memory – but making the story their own, embodying the text and helping those watching feel the intent and intensity of what was… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Sheep and Goats (Matt 25:31-46)

This week, the Narrative takes us through the vision of the sheep and the goats, a riff on Ezekiel’s vision of sheep. Matthew continues to lay out glimpses of what the kindom of heaven will be like, and what the return of the Son of Man will reveal. Working Preacher Commentary is here. This is… Read More