Revised Common Lectionary: The Days Are Surely Coming…

As a church professional, I get to hear some pretty terrible theology sometimes, from people who assume that I believe as they do. Can you relate? One of those things that I often hear is that the “Old Testament God” is vengeful while the “New Testament God” is forgiving. Passages like this week’s from Jeremiah… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Masters & Mustard Seeds

Luke 17:5-10 I love how I block things. For example I had no idea that the beloved Mustard Seed text was juxtaposed so handily with a troubling text about slavery and masters. I’m sure the issue is my whiteness in a white context. In the United States, at least, we are too often tempted to… Read More

RCL: Trusting God’s Promises (for real)

I don’t know about you, but I’m having some difficulty staying focused. There’s the Sunday School plans, the stewardship campaign, the funeral services, the special worship services, the Bible studies, and don’t forget Advent will soon be upon us. And have you completed your review of the draft budget? Oh, and what about sabbatical planning… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Dishonest Ethics?

Does anyone claim this week’s parable as their favorite? I would be surprised. It is difficult to discern why Jesus would praise the devious actions of a person who cheated his employer. Though, on the other hand, the character in the parable is a slave, and he is cheating the slave owner. Maybe it’s helpful… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Lost and Found

Years before I was out to my congregation, Friend A approached Friend B, and said, “I think Pat R. is gay.” Friend B, who knew full well that I was indeed in a relationship with another woman said, “Well, what makes you think that?” Friend A replied, “I saw her at the Pride worship service!”… Read More

RCL: This Changes Everything

Here Jesus warns of the cost of discipleship. That it will cost you a real way, in your relationships to follow Jesus. This is a hard text for me, when I would rather be nice and get along, then directly challenge people. And yet, my faith in Jesus calls for me to name and lament… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Setting Expectations

“Setting expectations” is a tactic of management: both self-management and other-management. It necessitates intentionality in communication and reflection. It provides a vantage point for reviewing successes and struggles, relationships and systems. Unclear and/or uncommunicated expectations tend to cause strain and conflict. Enter this Sunday’s Revised Common Lectionary texts as case studies: Isaiah 5:1-7 sings of the… Read More