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

Revised Common Lectionary: John the Baptist and glancing at other texts

Hello Friends, I hope your re-entry post-Christmas hasn’t been too bumpy. Perhaps it is because of the frenzied time of Christmas that the RCL returns every year to John the Baptist text. Hopefully Mark 1:4-11 can be familiar but not tired as you look forward. Although not a Christian concept, the idea of revolutionary baptism… Read More

Narrative Lectionary:Testify to the Light

We close out the calendar year with John the Gospel Writer’s story of John the Baptizer’s story. John 1:19-34  Working Preacher commentary is here. Jan Richardson has some lovely reflections and poetry about this passage at Advent Door. How does the story of John the Baptizer look in the season of Christmas, rather than the… Read More

RCL

Are you entering into the apocalyptic spirit of things? The apocalypse, the end of the world as we know it. Its interesting to me that Christmas is our preview of the apocalypse, because most portrayals of the 2nd coming of Christ bear little resemblance to Christmas. Christmas, however, is indeed apocalyptic precisely because it completely… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Prepare the Way Edition (Luke 3:1-22_

Brood of Vipers! Ax at the Root of the Trees! Don’t Take More than Your Due! Come and be baptized! John is an interesting fellow.  And why was he so popular? One of the blessings (at least in my opinion) of the Narrative Lectionary is that you do not have 2 Sundays dealing with John… Read More