RCL: God Calling

My call story involves an Amy Grant song and Route 128 in Massachusetts. I was already enrolled in a graduate program in Pastoral Ministry. I had been thinking of it as a useful prelude to what I thought I wanted to do: study Jungian psychotherapy. Then, one fall day I found myself driving to the… Read More

RCL: Baptism Renewed

It is time for baptism of Jesus, a well-worn text from the Revised Common Lectionary. This year its Matthew 3:143-17. Many leaders take this opportunity to hold a renewal of baptism. The timing is fitting in the secular calendar, New Year, New Start, Baptism Renewal. After the re-realization of who Christ is and that Jesus… Read More

RCL: Origin Stories

In her final, beautiful book, the late, luminous Rachel Held Evans wrote, The role of origin stories, both in the ancient Near Eastern culture from which the Old Testament emerged and at that familiar kitchen table where you first learned how your grandparents met, is to enlighten the present by recalling the past. Origin stories… Read More

RCL: Praise and … Something Ugly

It must be Christmas 1, Year C because the dreaded “slaughter of the innocents” passage is the Gospel text this week. Of course, there are other options and most of us will choose one of them. Just in case you are feeling called away from God’s reclaiming of God’s people in Isaiah, or the joyful… Read More

RCL: Still Waiting

By now, hopefully your stockings are hung by the chimney with care, your halls have been decked (with boughs of holly or your decoration of choice), and it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go! But we’re not there yet. The season of waiting and anticipation continues. What will be synonymous with… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Reparations

What needs to be repaired in the world? What restoration is longed for by the injured and heartbroken? Here is your God, coming with vengeance to demand reparations and to save you. (Isaiah 35:4) What healing is needed in your community? What aches and pains await resolve in your own life? The Mighty One scatters… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary Advent 2

The end is near. Continuing Matthew’s theme, John the Baptist carries a heavy load of pointing out that the kingdom of God is immanent. A source of comfort to Mary in her magnificat, it is a source of worry for those in powers. John the Baptist promises radical restructuring of the world. “Who warned you… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Reign of Christ

Soon, we will be in the season of Advent, where we prepare for the coming of Christ as a baby on Christmas. The readings during Advent remind us of the end of days, which will usher in the reign of Christ. The purpose of Advent is to prepare us both for the coming of Christ… Read More

RCL: We Can Work it Out

This morning as I was pondering the interesting mix of texts on offer, I had a sudden realization: these were the Revised Common Lectionary texts for Sunday November 13, 2016– the Sunday following the U.S. presidential election. I chose then as I choose this week, to use the Isaiah and Luke texts. About two-thirds of… Read More