Narrative Lectionary: “Speaking of His Departure” (Luke 9:28-45)

While the story of the Transfiguration is in all three Synoptic Gospels, it is only Luke who tells us what Moses and Elijah speak with Jesus about: They “were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem” (v. 31). Moses and Elijah have done hard things—impossible things—for God, and now they… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Spread the Word (Luke 7:1-17)

This week, millions of people around the globe are contending with COVID.  Some are in hospitals on vents, and others are at home; some are desperately trying to recover, and others have mild symptoms.  To the tremendous sorrow of friends and family, some of the sick will die, as millions of people around the globe… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Are we the Pharisees? (Luke 6:1-16)

This week, in the Narrative Lectionary, we encounter the conflict between Jesus and the Pharisees for the first time. This conflict has been brewing for a while (see chapter 5), but it escalates here with the discussion over what can, and cannot, be done on the Sabbath day. As a preacher it may be tempting… Read More

NARRATIVE LECTIONARY: Luke 5: 1-11

Abundance, and permission to leave everything behind. (A reflection on Luke 5: 1-11 for January 24, 2021) As I read these this short but dense scripture of the calling of the disciples, I am struck immediately by two very basic themes to draw on: the first being the idea that GRACE COMES FIRST.  And the… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: When the Bible Gets You in Trouble (Luke 4:14-30)

Reflection Many of the people who raided the United States capitol building last Wednesday were wearing “Jesus” t-shirts and waving Christian flags. And it is pretty obvious those people have listened to a lot of unfaithful preaching and read very little of the actual Bible. We’re in the season of Epiphany now which is when… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: the tweenager Jesus (Luke 2:41-52)

The celebration of New Year’s Eve (Hogmany) is a big event in Scotland. However, this year it will be very much curtailed, as were our Christmas and Easter celebrations, along with the festivals of other faiths in 2020. It’s within this very different New Year that we read of Jesus’ family going up to Jerusalem… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Rituals Then and Now (Luke 2: 21-38)

This week’s lectionary passage, saturated in ritual and tradition, invites us to consider the rituals of our own lives. Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Life in the Ruins (Isaiah 61:1-11)

We have been in an extended Advent since March, yearning for God’s transforming power to come and kick butt, er, sweep through our world.  COVID has put us all in a state of exile from our former lives, and we hear Isaiah’s words with extra longing this year.  Restoration?  Bring it on.  Good news?  Very… Read More