Revised Common Lectionary: Pentecost!

Welcome to the end of the season of Easter, and one of the only days in the church year that celebrates the work of the Holy Spirit! (Do you know where your red stole is?) RCL texts for this Sunday can be found here, and links to additional resources are available on The Text This… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Good Shepherd Edition

My home congregation is Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Madison, Wisconsin, USA. For as long as I can remember, their logo has included a silhouette of Jesus as shepherd, holding a long staff. They have a beautiful metal (iron?) sculpture of a shepherd carrying a sheep. Their columbarium, which I have yet to see in person,… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Palms & Passion Edition

Holy Week is about to begin! Are you ready? Which pieces of the story will you share on each day? Does this Sunday bring you to Jesus’ triumphal entry to Jerusalem, or the story of his passion? Both? Will folks return to hear more of the story on Maundy Thursday or Good Friday? Will you… Read More

The Pastoral Is Political: White Folk, Are We Brave Enough?

White Folk, Are We Brave Enough?* Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.  (John 12: 25, NRSV) Jesus is a strong (and long) talker in John’s gospel.  John takes this saying that is found in similar forms across all four… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Fishy Edition

Oh, Jonah. That poor prophet who achieved exactly the result he was called upon to do, and felt betrayed to the point of wanting to die because of it. Though, of course, we don’t get the whole story in today’s pericope. Today we just hear God’s call to Jonah (the second time, after all that… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Mary Edition

This post is intended to be a discussion of the Revised Common Lectionary texts for the 4th Sunday of Advent. If you’re looking for Christmas Eve or Day, check this page! Today’s Gospel lesson recounts Gabriel’s visit to Mary, telling her that she will become the mother of God incarnate. This passage has been getting… Read More

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