Revised Common Lectionary: Swords and Sparrows

This Sunday’s Gospel texts ranks high on my list of “things I wish Jesus never said.” Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword… and one’s foes will be members of one’s own household. This is not the passage to… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Still Easter!

As we approach the end of the Easter season, the Revised Common Lectionary brings us to John 14. Whether it’s irony or the work of the Spirit, these verses are some of the most popular funeral texts. That was perhaps more true for last Sunday’s reading, but this week’s is part of the same passage… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Easter Revisited

Christ is Risen! He is risen indeed! And this is just as true the Sunday after Easter as it was on Easter itself, with all the flowers and choirs and trumpets and bonus worshippers and long-awaited Hallelujahs! Most of us are celebrating the Resurrection this week with less of the bells and whistles, and with… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: New Life

On the fifth Sunday in Lent, the Revised Common Lectionary brings us the raising of Lazarus and the reanimation of dry bones in Ezekiel. While it’s easy to see why the two stories are paired together, there are significant differences. Lazarus is raised from the dead and can serve as protector and provider to his… Read More

11th Hour Preacher Party: Temptation Edition

Welcome to Lent 1 and the season of temptation and spiritual discipline. This week we get stories about the temptation of Adam and Eve and of Jesus, and a comparison of the sin of Adam to the salvation of Jesus (in the RCL). The Narrative Lectionary brings us the Golden Rule, the story of the Good… Read More

RCL: You Shall Be Holy

Sometimes Scripture gets a little obvious (even heavy-handed), as it does in this coming Sunday’s Revised Common Lectionary texts: “You shall not deal falsely. You shall not lie to one another.” (Leviticus 19:11) #guilty “Do not boast about human leaders.” (1 Corinthians 3:21) #beentheredonethat “You shall not profit by the blood of your neighbor. You… Read More

11th Hour Preacher Party: Salt and Light

Welcome to the 5th Sunday after Epiphany! How is the season of light going for you? This Sunday’s RCL Gospel continues the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus shares words of wisdom that are counterintuitive to the world’s values. The Isaiah reading is explicit about the requirements for a faithful life requiring housing the homeless and feeding… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Called and United

In this week’s installment of Adventures in Preaching, we who follow the Revised Common Lectionary have options of a hopeful prophesy in Isaiah (that is fulfilled by Jesus in Matthew), the calling of some of Jesus’ disciples, a Psalm expressing deep faith, and Paul preaching to the church in Corinth about unity. Those of us in… Read More

11th Hour Preacher Party: Choose Your Own Adventure Sunday

Jesus passes through childhood in the blink of an eye this lectionary cycle, with only one Sunday in the season of Christmas before we enter Epiphany. There are so many occasions to mark, and not enough Sundays in which to do so! While the brief attention given to Jesus’ infancy and childhood is faithful to… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

This weekend we celebrate the birth of Jesus! It’s an honor and blessing to proclaim one of the central stories of our faith to worshippers on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve. It is also a continual struggle for preachers – how do we proclaim such a familiar story in a way that is faithful, relevant,… Read More