RCL: Perfume and Poor

Only human beings can take a text like “the poor will always be with you” and turn it into a hammer text. The first time I heard that some people thought that John 12:1-8 was about Jesus commanding us to keep people poor in this text, my jaw dropped. Not only does this turn something… Read More

RCL: The Prodigal Edition

With suicide in the U.S. headlines once again in recent days, I cannot help but hear messages of hope and extravagant love in the texts this week. There is comfort and there is challenge in these passages. What are we willing to risk in order to share hope and healing to those most vulnerable among… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Beyond Understanding

Mother Teresa is frequently credited with the quote, “I know God won’t give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish he didn’t trust me so much.” A version of that saying shows up in this week’s epistle reading. “No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: In All Honesty

God: “Don’t be afraid. I am your shield. Also, the payoff will be well worth your while.” Abram, asking for a friend: “What kind of payoff? My friend might not be afraid if they know how big the reward will be. But right now, things don’t look promising.” God: “It’ll be seriously big. Land. Children.… Read More

RCL: Temptation Time

https://www.agnusday.org/comics/269/matthew-04-01-11-2008 We are beginning Lent with temptations, per usual. And as all well known passages, it’s a tricky one to preach on. I fully believe that part of Jesus being fully human means that he was actually tempted by these offers from the devil. He actually does want to eat bread, or die, or rule… Read More

RCL: The Dazzling Edition

Moses’ shining face, Paul’s proclamation of transformation from glory to glory, and dazzling Jesus on a mountain top. Must be Transfiguration Sunday once again. Who doesn’t need a dose of dazzle to launch us into Lent? These are all odd texts, but there is hope and power embedded in them just waiting to come alive… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Love Your Enemies Edition

Sometimes, it feels like all the world is against you. Everyone is cursing, hating, or abusing you. Nothing is working out the way you want, and all the powers are conspiring against you. Sometimes, this is really the case. When that happens, Jesus has difficult but important advice for us. Love those people anyway. The… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Planted

Y’all. I’m scheduled as a guest preacher this coming Sunday … I’ve already submitted my texts from the RCL, sent a sermon title and some hymn ideas … already drafted an outline … but lo and behold! today as I reflect on Sunday’s RCL readings, I’m struck by an entirely different theme. Oy. And so the… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Fishing for People

Simon Peter… fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” … Then Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.” (Luke 5:8-10) There are several call stories for Revised Common Lectionary preachers this week. The challenge for the… Read More

RCL: Behavior Modification Edition

Do you ever get discouraged by human behavior? I do, often. I sometimes find even my own behavior disheartening. We know what is right and good, yet we persist in doing things that are harmful to ourselves, to our neighbors, or to the planet. The other day, after reading a particularly horrid news article, I… Read More