Friday Festival: The Other Side of Christmas

Like every other pastor, I struggle with the Christmas Eve sermon.  Having spent the year with church members standing by a graveside, or sitting in a claustrophobic hospital consult room, or handing out tissues when there are no words, I wonder what to say when I look into their eyes on Christmas Eve.  The good… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Never Assume [Luke 1:5-13, [14-25] 57-80]

The story of the birth of John the Baptist is the story of the ordinary turned upside down, and made extraordinary.  Every common assumption is reversed, through the power of God. Everyone in the story is wrong about what they expect to happen.  God is in the reversal business all through Advent and Christmas, changing… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Change of Plans [2 Kings 22:1-10, [14-20]; 23:1-3]

God’s reward system is curious.  The reward for faithfulness is never a shiny new Mercedes, or even a Prius, just the gift of deeper work to do.  The gift exchange for following God turns out to be…more of God.  Answering Josiah’s remorse over Israel’s faithlessness, God promises him a peaceful death, and to be spared… Read More

Friday Festival: Dawn and Dusk

Shorter days are coming in some parts of the world, while others are finding longer, sunnier days.  In the U.S., I find this time of year hard, as the dark and the cold take a mental toll.  I found sustenance in our bloggers’ reflections on light, new dawns, and the beauty of twilight.  A new… Read More

Friday Festival: Connections, Broken and Whole

Our bloggers are guiding our minds to the connections of the heart this week.  Turning from weariness to gratitude, Kristin Berkey-Abbott notices a parallel between herself and the living things in the garden, “The milkweed is blooming this week–these are plants that have been eaten back to bare stalks several times since I bought them… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: The Other Side of History (2 Samuel 5:1-5, 6:1-5)

Reading through the stories about David is like flipping through a photo album and watching a family member age over time.  Here, we meet a mature David, a man of accomplishment but not yet the callous king who wreaks so much havoc to satisfy his own whims.  This is no longer the impulsive boy who… Read More

Friday Festival: Relationships Reconsidered

With honesty and tenderness, our bloggers are considering relationships this week – with God, with Jesus, with our stuff and with a lamented mother, who has just died.  The hard work of stopping the rush of her life has Sally Coleman thinking about where God is inviting her to sing a new song.  “I have… Read More

Friday Festival: Hot and Cold Running Wisdom

Sitting in front of fans and air conditioning units, our bloggers are digging deep within for wisdom.  While many of us want to flop on the couch with beach books, or are now finding ourselves in mid-winter, depending on where we live, our bloggers are mining the depths for unexpected gems of wisdom. The body… Read More

Preacher Party: Pigs and Prejudices

Is it time to start pulling our hair out yet, preachers?   Are you preaching from the Revised Common Lectionary this coming Sunday?  If so, are you riveted again by Luke’s story of Jesus and the man possessed by so many spirits that they name themselves “Legion”?  I can’t hear the story without thinking about… Read More