RCL: Advent – minus – one

The final Sunday in the church year contains one of my favorite passages of Scripture. When did we see God? When we saw a person in need. How did we show love to God? By meeting the person’s need. Matthew 25:31-46 is one of the most straightforward instructions for faithful living that we find in… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: When God is the Bad Guy

If you’re heading into this coming Sunday’s sermon with the intent of preaching on the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, I might recommend that you skip the Revised Common Lectionary readings. If the faith community you serve concludes & dedicates its annual stewardship pledges this Sunday, I might suggest that you find different texts for your preaching. Because this… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary:  The You are Holy (so act like it) Edition

Pick a text, any text, this week and we’re confronted with who we are and how we are to be in this world. It can be a celebratory experience – we are holy because God is holy! And it can be a humbling experience – do we really love our neighbors as ourselves? In Deuteronmy… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Money Edition

The Revised Common Lectionary continues to bring us complicated teachings of Jesus from the Gospel of Matthew. In an attempt to catch Jesus teaching against the government, the Pharisees ask him about paying taxes. Is it lawful or not? Jesus says to give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and give to God the things… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Questions

I’m reading RevGal Wil Gafney’s new book Womanist Midrash, which — if you haven’t yet purchased it — should be considered essential for your bookshelf of exegetical resources. Wil leaves no stone unturned in her examination of the told & untold stories of women in Hebrew Scriptures, and it is Womanist Midrash‘s (and womanism’s and… Read More

RCL

Matthew 21: 33-46 I don’t know how to read such a rending text on the heels of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma & Maria, and the violence in both Rohingya and Las Vegas. Its hard for me to read about the brutal killing of the messengers and the son of the landowner. And, the response by the… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: The Unity Edition

Many of us will participate in World Communion Sunday this week. I suppose it’s no coincidence that the texts speak to the ways in which we are all united. While I have been following the semi-continuous readings through the summer and have tracked with the Moses and the Israelites escaping into the desert, the Ezekial… Read More

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