RCL: Advent – minus – one

The final Sunday in the church year contains one of my favorite passages of Scripture. When did we see God? When we saw a person in need. How did we show love to God? By meeting the person’s need. Matthew 25:31-46 is one of the most straightforward instructions for faithful living that we find in… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Money Edition

The Revised Common Lectionary continues to bring us complicated teachings of Jesus from the Gospel of Matthew. In an attempt to catch Jesus teaching against the government, the Pharisees ask him about paying taxes. Is it lawful or not? Jesus says to give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and give to God the things… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Showing Up

You know that phrase, eighty percent of success is showing up? That’s what Sunday’s parable feels like to me. (Who knew that Woody Allen and Jesus shared a philosophy?) The workers who endured the long hours and heat of the day earned exactly the same wages as the people who worked for about an hour before… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Foreigners and Refugees

Dear preachers, if you have the option in your setting, I highly recommend adding in the optional verses to the Revised Common Lectionary Gospel this Sunday. In a week when hate speech and crimes are making international headlines, this is a poignant time to hear Jesus’ words: It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Wheat and Weeds

Jesus could have been using my garden as an example when telling this parable. Weeds among the things that were intentionally planted? Story of my life. I don’t particularly like weeding, so often the weeds will grow so tall that they will overshadow the plants that are supposed to be the highlights of my garden!… Read More

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