RCL: Power vs. Perfection

In Mark 1:4-11 Mark gives the succinct version of John the Baptist. The power of this narrative is so strong that every line could be read and pondered. “John the Baptizer appeared.” Why did he appear? How did he know when to do so? Was he told by his mother Elizabeth, relative of Mary? Did… Read More

RCL for Jan. 3, 2021. Why Is He Here?

Why is he here? And so it began—the long human wondering, imagining, arguing, asserting, interpreting, deciding, proclaiming, expanding, emphasizing, controlling, re-ordering, etc. of reasons for Immanuel, God with us. Yes, there was wondering before it happened. It was a particular responsibility, rich with meaning and a belonging held in trust by some and not others.… Read More

Preaching on Christmas Day 2020

First off, let me say that some congregations and some pastors love Christmas Day. I served such a group for 10 years. The 20-30 people who gathered on the morning of the 25 wanted to be there. They craved the lights up, coffee brewing, less-frequently sung hymns, and reading of John 1. I loved it… Read More

Preaching on Christmas Eve 2020

Today I cut the side of my toe. I cut it in a weird way. I took a long walk to try to stretch out my aching hips, which are tight from sitting too much in a season of many things to do. In the late afternoon sun, I walked through my town and I… Read More

RCL: Growing Advent

Here we are at John 1:19-28 at the forerunner, the John the Baptist, the missing figure from the Nativity scene. The one who is preparing the world for Christ. How is he preparing? He is baptizing people. John baptizes people so much, it become a part of his identity. John the Baptizer. Are we preparing… Read More

RCL: Advent 2 – Comfort and Peace

Here we are at the second Sunday of Advent, traditionally the Sunday of Peace. You may be using different themes for you Advent Sundays and still choosing the lectionary. These texts speak to the chaos and challenge of today as much as they ever did, particularly the Isaiah and Gospel texts. Isaiah begins with a… Read More

RCL Advent I: Keep Awake!? You’re kidding, right?

Keep Awake!???  There it is in Mark’s Gospel reading for Advent I—”Keep awake.” (Mark 13:24-37) Hmmm. I don’t actually know anyone who is getting a good night’s sleep. Do you? Between the pandemic and it’s ancillary product line of economic, social, political, and religious turmoil, the people I know want more strategies for getting asleep… Read More

RCL; thoughts on November 15, Proper 28 Year A

(Judges 4:1-7, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11, Zephaniah 1:7, 12-18, Matthew 25:14-30) We walk a narrow path, it seems. The whole world is in a seemingly precarious state, from additional and unprecedented Covid 19 cases, to the election in the United States, to racial tensions and climate change; well, it all sort of feels overwhelming and end… Read More