Narrative Lectionary: Who's Corban? Whose Corban? (Mark 7:1-23)

Once my children went to preschool and then on to kindergarten, they were very alert to hand washing. Now, of course, I taught them to wash their hands after the potty and before eating, etc., but school and teachers brought that lesson into full force. I do utterly and completely believe in hand washing, but… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Pigs and Prejudice (Mark 5:1-20)

Having a favorite Bible passage is as ill-advised as having a favorite child, but if I did have a favorite, this intriguing story would be a strong contender.  It has everything: conflict, healing, payback, revelation, and even traveling pigs.   Read the scripture here. Read the Working Preacher commentary. The story unfolds like a movie, with… Read More

11th Hour Preacher Party: An Epiphany!

Are you observing Epiphany? Or the Second Sunday of Christmas? Or something else, moving into the new year? Revised Common Lectionary (including both Epiphany and Christmas 2) and Narrative Lectionary posts are available for inspiration. (Have you found the Wandering Wisemen on facebook yet?) Here is the place to offer and ask for help, on… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: New Beginnings, Joy–and Tears (Ezra 1:1-4; 3:1-4, 10-13)

Welcome to the 3rd Sunday of Advent! Hopefully that is a cause for great JOY to all of you! {and hopefully very little panic that 14 days from today will be Christmas Eve.} This week the Narrative Lectionary leads us to Ezra and a new beginning (Ezra 1:1-4; 3:1-4, 10-13). Last week the people in… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Change of Plans [2 Kings 22:1-10, [14-20]; 23:1-3]

God’s reward system is curious.  The reward for faithfulness is never a shiny new Mercedes, or even a Prius, just the gift of deeper work to do.  The gift exchange for following God turns out to be…more of God.  Answering Josiah’s remorse over Israel’s faithlessness, God promises him a peaceful death, and to be spared… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Stuck in the Middle with You (1 Kings 18:[17-19] 20-39)

Oh Elijah. What have we done? What have you done? And how are we supposed to preach about it? For a reading of this week’s text check out Working Preacher’s Commentary. And if you’re not listening to NL;DR with Dr. Amy Robertson and Dr. Robert Williamson then GET THEE TO THE PODCAST NOW! So where… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: The Other Side of History (2 Samuel 5:1-5, 6:1-5)

Reading through the stories about David is like flipping through a photo album and watching a family member age over time.  Here, we meet a mature David, a man of accomplishment but not yet the callous king who wreaks so much havoc to satisfy his own whims.  This is no longer the impulsive boy who… Read More

Narrative Lectionary:God’s People Let Go

This week, we leave behind the matriarchs and patriarchs of Genesis and have one week in the Exodus story. The passage is Exodus 1:8-14 [15-2:10]; 3:1-15. Commentary at Working Preacher is here. As I read through the text, I was heartbroken to recognize the strategy of Pharaoh in my own governmental leaders as they speak… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Mixed Martial Arts [Genesis 32:[9-13] 22-30]

Our physical bodies so often reveal our emotional tensions.  The person who is carrying the weight of the world has shoulders that slump inward, bowed by an invisible, deeply felt burden.  The person who is all bent out of shape emotionally also has mysterious aches and pains.  The one who can’t stand something develops pain… Read More

11th Hour Preacher Party: Messy Desk Edition

At the first church I served, the church administrator gave me a sign for my office door: “A clean desk is the sign of a messy mind.” Ahem. Yes, my desk is always always always messy. Let’s hope that means my mind is orderly, because it’s time to get a sermon in order. Preaching friends,… Read More