RCL: Chaos & the Cross

This is a moment of crises in the city of Jerusalem. The moment Jesus enters there is tumult. First the impromptu military parade of victory, followed by the last supper with disciples and finally Jesus arrest. Like the last few weeks in the United States and Europe, and like the last few months in China… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Come to the Water

I love this passage (John 4:5-42) so much, it is hard to approach it with anything resembling even-handedness. The story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well was the appointed gospel lesson for my first-ever preaching experience (Lent 3A, 1990). And thanks to the chaplain who craftily invited me to give a homily… Read More

RCL: Love and Theology

Image I lift my eyes to the hills, do you know psalm 121 is the most favored Psalm? When people are in trouble, they lift their eyes to the hills. The hills, at that time were not places of safety. The hills were where you would find ambush, the hills were where trouble was hard,… Read More

RCL: Tempted… Again

Lent is upon us whether we are ready or not. Some of us are scrambling to put together an Ash Wednesday service and other’s are already working on Holy Week. Those of us in between are looking at Sunday and wondering what to say about some familiar texts. I don’t know about you, but Lent… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Transfiguration

Transfiguration Sunday is complicated. In a world of ever-increasing racial tensions, the last thing that our congregations need in their lives is dazzlingly white Jesus. The historic Jesus was likely brown-skinned, brown-eyed, and black-haired. If your church has typically celebrated Transfiguration with traditional light/dark imagery, please pay attention and tread carefully regarding the possible racial… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: On the Law

Last Sunday’s passage from the Sermon on the Mount ended with Jesus’ assurance that he did not come to abolish the law. He assured his listeners that, to use the King James language, not “one jot or one tittle” would pass from the law, until all was fulfilled. The understanding of Jesus as “lawgiver” is… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Taste and See

Be Salty, find the light that shines Jesus urges his followers. After the most famous sermon ever spoken, Jesus does not hold back. He elaborates on the commandments as an illustration of the Blessings he has just preached on the Mount. Jesus tells us not to lose our flavor, not to hold back. Jesus urges… Read More

RCL: Simple (and nearly impossible) Requirements

I have been thinking a lot about discipleship these days. It’s not a word that progressive, predominantly white churches are all that comfortable with. Yet, with the lectionary moving from the Magi showing up to pay homage to Jesus to Jesus’ baptism, and to the calling of the first disciples… Discipleship seems a reasonable thing… Read More