Narrative Lectionary: Oil Crisis

Matthew 25:1-13 Working Preacher commentary is here. Let me start out by saying I’m opposed to the very premise in this parable, that women should be sitting around in the dark, just waiting for some guy to arrive. I know, I know. That’s not the point of the story. But some days it is for… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Invitations (Matthew 22:1-14)

Decisions, decisions, decisions…the other day I RSVP’d for a wedding, and I was invited to choose my meal from these options: gluten-free, nut-free, vegetarian and “I’ll eat anything.”  The hosts are working hard to show hospitality to all of their guests.  And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  They have to make decisions about… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Business Practices

I’ve heard this parable (here) preached and taught as an economic justice story. And, it is. I’ve also heard it shared in relation to God’s grace, abundance, and generosity. And, it is. But, when I read it this time something new happened for me. Images of an owner whose business practice is to center persons… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Banquets and Blessings (Matthew 14:13-33)

Yawn…another feeding story…another miracle story.  Because versions of this story show up in the readings so often, the power of the story gets lost in our familiarity with it.  Even the delightful details are familiar – Jesus inviting (commanding?) the disciples to share the work with him, the grass that evokes a new Eden, the… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: On Earth as it is in Heaven

After reading the kin-dom stories found in this week’s text around 7 times this morning I can’t help but wonder if Jesus is expounding on the “on earth as it is in heaven” portion of the prayer he teaches his disciples in Chapter 6…? The story about the “good” and the “bad” dwelling together sounds… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Do Unto Others

Narrative Lectionary this week is the last in Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount. With so much packed into these last three weeks I have chosen to concentrate on one verse. Some say it sums up the Sermon on the Mount, others the whole of Christianity, and some more than that, what it means to be… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Treasuring Prayer (Matthew 6:7-21)

Whenever I write prayers, the voice of one of my supervisors echoes through my efforts: “No flowery words”. This gracious teacher instilled in me the urge to get to the point and to keep it simple when we pray. Even when introducing prayer I am more likely to invite others to join by saying: “Let… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Days of Blessedness Have Begun

At the end of last week’s passage, the Narrative Lectionary takes us from Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness to the beginning of his ministry, saying “repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven has come near”. In this week’s passage, we start to get a sense of what the Kingdom of Heaven (or commonwealth of heaven, as… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Highs and Lows (Matthew 4:1-17)

When I visit a nursing home near my church, I say hello to the receptionist, and ask her how she’s doing.  Her answer is always the same.  “The devil is busy,” she says firmly.  Sometimes, if the phone isn’t ringing, she elaborates with news of her family’s struggles, or an illness or a problem she’s… Read More