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

Narrative Lectionary: Unwrapped Gifts (Matthew 3:1-17)

It is hard to fathom Jesus as a grown man when just this past Sunday he was a baby being visited by Los Tres Reyes Magos. The Christian Church spends four weeks preparing for the birth of Jesus but he only gets to be an infant for two Sundays. Okay, I confess that maybe the fact… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Home by Another Way

“I say there is no darkness but ignorance.” ― William Shakespeare, Twelfth Nightt Epiphany (meaning: reveal) is the day celebrated that the magi (Three kings or wise men) came to visit Jesus. If you want to know more about the Feast of Three Kings/Epiphany here’s an easy little article with some details! To read the full… Read More

Narrative Lectionary:Begin at the Beginning

I don’t know how it is at your house, but we haven’t even cleaned up from Christmas and the music of Silent Night is still in my head, yet somehow it is time to prepare for Sunday. The ‘relentless return of Sunday’ seems even more relentless this week. I often take the Sunday after Christmas… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Surprise! (Matthew 1:18-25)

If you swab your cheek, and send your DNA off to one of the sites that will analyze it for you, there may be a surprise in store.  People who want to know where in Africa or Europe the family came from have, instead, been finding step-siblings and secrets about their parentage.  Long-held family secrets… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Messy Feelings

The first time I ran across Isaiah 42 verse 1 was when I was preparing my mother’s homegoing service in November of 2002.  The words, “Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights,” brought me some comfort and a bit of peace at the time. This morning, the more… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Such A Time

What a time we are living in… What a time to be alive. Esther was not born into royalty; in fact, it is a very complicated and difficult story. By the time Esther is introduced, or Hadassah, as she is know by her Jewish name. She is an orphan, raised by her Uncle or cousin,… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Waiting in Hope

Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:2-4; 3:[3b-6] 17-19 We enter the season of Advent in the Narrative Lectionary with a perhaps unfamiliar holiday companion, Habakkuk. It is a bleak passage, describing a difficult passage in the history of Israel. We can imagine some difficult passages when we read the news today too. Children facing tear gas when seeking… Read More