Revised Common Lectionary: Good Shepherd Edition

My home congregation is Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Madison, Wisconsin, USA. For as long as I can remember, their logo has included a silhouette of Jesus as shepherd, holding a long staff. They have a beautiful metal (iron?) sculpture of a shepherd carrying a sheep. Their columbarium, which I have yet to see in person,… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Repent

After the long season of Lenten contrition & conversion, with the celebration of Eastertide & new life in full swing, we can be surprised to (re)discover that our ashes still cling to us despite their redemption and our cynicisms still burrow in our souls despite the invitation to joy. Rend your hearts and share your… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: But Thomas

“But Thomas,” this phrase sticks with me. Poor Thomas was the exception, the one who missed it. Maybe that makes sense though. It was Thomas who was the first one willing to risk going back to Judea, even tho they tried to stone him the last time he was there John 11: 7-16. No one… Read More

RCL: The On-Going Story Continues

Throughout Lent, I’ve been contemplating the power of stories – biblical stories, ancient stories, personal stories, fictional stories, mythical stories, new stories, my story, written stories, oral stories, poetic stories, musical stories, all kinds of stories. There’s power in words. Sometimes we forget the power words have. Sometimes we’re too busy or too burdened to… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Palms & Passion Edition

Holy Week is about to begin! Are you ready? Which pieces of the story will you share on each day? Does this Sunday bring you to Jesus’ triumphal entry to Jerusalem, or the story of his passion? Both? Will folks return to hear more of the story on Maundy Thursday or Good Friday? Will you… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Sin Sick Souls

Looking at the RCL this week, I’m fairly struck by the theme of sin and sickness, and how tied they are in the Biblical text. You have the Hebrews grumbling in Numbers 21, if there is anything the Exodus teaches you it is our impulse for whining when things are difficult, and the people are… Read More

RCL: Foolishness, Wisdom, and Community

Usually, Lent calms me. I realize that it’s okay, even necessary, to acknowledge my brokenness, my sharp edges, my weak places, and my overall need for God’s power and presence. It’s not working this year. Maybe because I have stopped trying to cover over or ignore those parts of me that aren’t so pretty or… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Faithful Followers

An impossible child. Sarah and Abraham receive wonderful news from God in today’s reading from Genesis. Though they have no children, and Sarah is long past child-bearing age (and Abraham is long past child-rearing age), God promises them that they will become parents to a multitude of nations. In a society where one’s worth was… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Cut Off

I’ve been thinking recently about the ways in which I find myself feeling cut off and cut into pieces: within myself, within my faith, within my relationships. For me, that sense of isolation is a particular result of my own life experiences, but to a certain degree, the struggle with feeling disconnected is universal to… Read More

Ash Wednesday: Lectionaries

With all your heart, cries God through the prophet Joel. With a clean heart, prays the psalmist. With a heart set on heaven, teaches Jesus. (And for those preachers whose hearts are set on using the Narrative Lectionary texts for Ash Wednesday, check out this reflection on Psalm 23 and John 10:1-18.) Ash Wednesday’s Revised… Read More