Revised Common Lectionary: Showing Up

You know that phrase, eighty percent of success is showing up? That’s what Sunday’s parable feels like to me. (Who knew that Woody Allen and Jesus shared a philosophy?) The workers who endured the long hours and heat of the day earned exactly the same wages as the people who worked for about an hour before… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Forgiveness

Like bulky orange barrels along a construction zone, there are red flags and caution tape that catch my attention as I read this week’s Revised Common Lectionary texts: 1. Forgiveness (Genesis 50:15-21 and Matthew 18:21-35) is a theme that can tempt us preachers toward unhelpful generalizations about injury and reparation. Caution: Check whether your definition of forgiveness,… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary

“Countries are just human lines in the sand.” As I look at Matthew 18:15-20 my tweet regarding the DACA situation in the United States–where the dreamer immigrant children might lose their protection–is echoing in my head. Whatever we bound on earth  is bound in heaven. What are these lines we draw upon one another? Too… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Take Up Your Cross

As ark-worthy rains poured down on the Texas gulf coast, news broadcasts were filled with films and stories of people doing whatever was necessary to help rescue others from the flood waters. Informal boat crews were formed to cruise neighborhood streets, looking for anyone who was trapped. Furniture stores opened their doors to give those… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Equipped for Resistance

After the U.S. elections last fall, I heard many people saying things like, “How are we going to survive this?” and “It’s never been this bad before.” My response was, and continues to be, “The people of God have been here before. If we seek to serve God, we will find a way through.” This week’s… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Foreigners and Refugees

Dear preachers, if you have the option in your setting, I highly recommend adding in the optional verses to the Revised Common Lectionary Gospel this Sunday. In a week when hate speech and crimes are making international headlines, this is a poignant time to hear Jesus’ words: It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a… Read More

Friday Festival: August Potpourri

Well, it’s August, and the eclipse is coming, along with the end of summer rush to get away and to prepare for fall beginnings.  August always feels like such a random month to me and so . . . a random potpourri of posts:​ Knowing that “good people can be clueless,” Jan in achurchforstarvingartists writes… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Little Faith

How does one read aloud, “The LORD tested him” (Psalm 105:19), to those who are struggling? How does one repeat Jesus’ words, “Why do you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31), to those who are drowning every day? How does one affirm, “No one who believes will be put to shame” (Romans 10:11), to those who have been… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Spoiler Edition

Do you think Jesus was an extrovert or an introvert? Here, in Matthew 14:13-21, is Jesus after a really tough time; his family disowned him and then his cousin is killed by the powers that be. When I was small, I was sad, because I was convinced that Jesus was an introvert, because he wanted… Read More