Narrative Lectionary: Move Forward

This week, after leaving Joseph unjustly imprisoned last week at the hands of Mrs. Potiphar, we skip ahead quite a bit in the narrative to Exodus 14:5-7, 10-14, 21-29 and the story of the long walk to freedom for the Israelites, out of bondage in Egypt, through the Red Sea. Working Preacher commentary is here. The… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Soap Opera in Egypt (Genesis 39:1-23)

Some people live their whole lives in the same hometown, marry the person next door, and work in the family business.  Not much changes in their lives from year to year.  Joseph is not one of those people.  He has more ups and downs in a month than most people ever experience.  He moves from… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Why did God choose a flood? (Genesis 6:16-22; 9:8-15)

It’s Rally Day or Welcome Back Sunday or Where the Heck Have you Been All Summer Sunday and everyone is excited to kick off the new church year. A fun hymn is sung, the Sunday school teachers are commissioned, and then with great anticipation the first reading is begun: The Lord saw that wickedness of… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Language Barriers (Acts 2:1-21)

Jerusalem, the setting for the Acts story, is also the site of the new United States embassy to Israel, which opened this week to much fanfare from some and much anguish from others.  Unlike on the day of Pentecost, this week, no one was speaking the same language, or hearing news of grace in their own… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Work Out Your Own Salvation (Philippians 2:1-13)

If you are a woman, don’t ask me for a letter of recommendation. I’m going to make you write your own. Women have the hardest time expressing our strengths, bragging on our accomplishments, and saying that we want something—all the things that a letter of recommendation does. In some way, it’s because we already have… Read More

Narrative Lectionary — Get By With A Little Help From my Friends Edition (Philippians 1:1-18a)

This week we move out of Acts and into the Epistles, as we start to take a look at Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi. We will read from Chapter 1 this week, Chapter 2 next week and from Chapter 4 on Pentecost Sunday. You can read the 18 verses for this week here. … Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Unknown God (Acts 17:16-31

I remember asking about all those people who didn’t know about God as a precocious Pastor’s Kid back in the day. I must have been at least 6, maybe older. My parents, obliquely, referred to Acts 17, letting me know that people have ways to know God even if they don’t have the same information… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Palm / Passion Sunday (John 12:12-27; 19:16b-22)

“Sir, we would see Jesus,” the plaque on the pulpit proclaimed, visible only to the preacher.  In a former congregation, like many places, the words of people seeking Jesus greeted every preacher who stepped into the pulpit.  Mysteriously, thankfully, in that particular church, the plaque was lost in a sanctuary renovation. The people who come… Read More

11th Hour Preacher Party: Changing Seasons

Seasons are changing! Lent is drawing to a close (well, closer to a close, anyway). Spring is coming in the Northern Hemisphere, and Fall arrives in the Southern. At our church, we’re journeying through Holy Week for all the Sundays of Lent, and this week brings Thursday (Mark’s account includes a Last Supper, Jesus’ arrest,… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Soft Targets (John 13:1-17)

“Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!”  The departing parishioner accosted my pastor friend at the church door, at the end of worship.  “Is that all you have to talk about?” “Pretty much,” he answered.  The Narrative Lectionary asks us the same question, and, thankfully, the answer is still yes. Read the scripture here. Read Meda Stamper’s commentary for Working… Read More