RCL: Power vs. Perfection

In Mark 1:4-11 Mark gives the succinct version of John the Baptist. The power of this narrative is so strong that every line could be read and pondered. “John the Baptizer appeared.” Why did he appear? How did he know when to do so? Was he told by his mother Elizabeth, relative of Mary? Did… Read More

RCL: Growing Advent

Here we are at John 1:19-28 at the forerunner, the John the Baptist, the missing figure from the Nativity scene. The one who is preparing the world for Christ. How is he preparing? He is baptizing people. John baptizes people so much, it become a part of his identity. John the Baptizer. Are we preparing… Read More

RCL: Advent 2 – Comfort and Peace

Here we are at the second Sunday of Advent, traditionally the Sunday of Peace. You may be using different themes for you Advent Sundays and still choosing the lectionary. These texts speak to the chaos and challenge of today as much as they ever did, particularly the Isaiah and Gospel texts. Isaiah begins with a… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Super Bowl Half Time Show (Mark 6:1-29)

I don’t watch SportsBall. So I missed the Super Bowl 2020 halftime show, even though I have loved Shakira since the 1990s. After reading some reviews, I decided to watch it myself. And as a “woman of a certain age,” I was impressed with the 43-year-old Shakira and the 50-year-old JLo. If I’m to be… Read More

RCL: God Calling

My call story involves an Amy Grant song and Route 128 in Massachusetts. I was already enrolled in a graduate program in Pastoral Ministry. I had been thinking of it as a useful prelude to what I thought I wanted to do: study Jungian psychotherapy. Then, one fall day I found myself driving to the… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Beginning of the Good News

Merry Christmas Eve, and I apologize for showing up here and reminding us that as soon as we get done with Silent Night, we get to do it again on Sunday. Merry Christmas, preachers! The Narrative Lectionary moves to the Gospel of Mark with the beginning of the Good News, which begins with John the… 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

Revised Common Lectionary Advent 2

The end is near. Continuing Matthew’s theme, John the Baptist carries a heavy load of pointing out that the kingdom of God is immanent. A source of comfort to Mary in her magnificat, it is a source of worry for those in powers. John the Baptist promises radical restructuring of the world. “Who warned you… Read More

RCL: Coming Christ & Preparations

    The theme of preparation is strong this week. How can we prepare for the one who is coming? Every year, we need to practice. We have to practice how to wait. How do you wait? I suspect we prepare to help us wait, because we can never truly be ready. Luke 3:1-6 juxtaposed… Read More

The Pastoral Is Political: Being Prophetic in a New Call

Just this past week, I started a new call in my hometown.  I am ecstatic to be the senior pastor of this congregation, and they are excited for this new chapter in their church. As this is a congregation with a variety of political and theological views (like most in my denomination), I’m finding it… Read More