Narrative Lectionary: Language Barriers (Acts 2:1-21)

Jerusalem, the setting for the Acts story, is also the site of the new United States embassy to Israel, which opened this week to much fanfare from some and much anguish from others.  Unlike on the day of Pentecost, this week, no one was speaking the same language, or hearing news of grace in their own… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Work Out Your Own Salvation (Philippians 2:1-13)

If you are a woman, don’t ask me for a letter of recommendation. I’m going to make you write your own. Women have the hardest time expressing our strengths, bragging on our accomplishments, and saying that we want something—all the things that a letter of recommendation does. In some way, it’s because we already have… Read More

Narrative Lectionary — Get By With A Little Help From my Friends Edition (Philippians 1:1-18a)

This week we move out of Acts and into the Epistles, as we start to take a look at Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi. We will read from Chapter 1 this week, Chapter 2 next week and from Chapter 4 on Pentecost Sunday. You can read the 18 verses for this week here. … Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Unknown God (Acts 17:16-31

I remember asking about all those people who didn’t know about God as a precocious Pastor’s Kid back in the day. I must have been at least 6, maybe older. My parents, obliquely, referred to Acts 17, letting me know that people have ways to know God even if they don’t have the same information… Read More

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