Narrative Lectionary: So Many Tangents, So Little Time (1 Kings 5, 8)

This week’s readings are 1 Kings 5:1-5 and 1 Kings 8:1-13. We’ve skipped over the entire reign of David (which, honestly, is fine by me) and are now reading about the dedication of Solomon’s Temple. Of course, it is not really Solomon’s Temple, it is God’s Temple. Though reading through the full narrative here, from… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: The Tragically Flawed Hero

Sermon ideas for 1 Samuel 16: 1-13 (The Anointing of David) With the October 1 release of The Many Saints of Newark (2021) – IMDb we are once again reminded of the beauty of the Tragically Flawed Hero.  And just as the long-awaited Sopranos prequel locates Tony as the young adult poised to be anointed… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Listening to God (1 Samuel 3)

Well, Narrative Lectionary preaching friends, so much for Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, and Ruth; we’re jumping right into 1 Samuel! This Sunday is our one chance to talk about the period of the judges before we find ourselves in the monarchy next week. It’s likely that many people in your congregation will be familiar… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Let’s Eat! (Exodus 16:1-18)

Manna looks like a simple fix for a simple complaint.  Still, as always, God is up to something bigger.  It looks like food, and it’s really the taste of freedom.  These COVID days have sparked a lot of conversation about technical vs. adaptive change in the church.  We often fail to recognize adaptive challenges, which… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Wrestling with Blessings

Reflections on Genesis 27: 1-4, 15-23 and Genesis 28: 10-17 For me, there are stark parallels between the story of Jacob and Esau, and the state of America’s divided nation. The rivalry of brothers can affect nations. So it was with the nation of Israel. So it is with nations today. For a deeper dive… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: The Story We Can’t Avoid Forever (Genesis 21:1-3; 22:1-14)

I was so excited to start a new cycle of the Narrative Lectionary last week! I love that the NL focuses in on one passage (compared to the RCL’s four), so there’s no hemming and hawing and spending half of my week just trying to decide which scripture to preach. Or rather, I loved that… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Beginnings (Genesis 1:1-2:4a)

“September is another January,” writer Gretchen Rubin says often, conveying the feeling of a new start in September.  In the U.S., where I live, school is starting, and students, aides and teachers are back to in-person learning in many places.  This year, the beginning also feels dangerous, with COVID still hovering.  Churches shift to fuller… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Six Weeks of Summer in the Psalms

The Narrative Lectionary runs each year from September to Pentecost which means that the summer break can be spent preaching on other things. One option this year is to spend 6 weeks in the Book of Psalms. We don’t often preach the psalms, usually preferring to sing them instead. In my tradition, we sing many… Read More

11th Hour Preacher Party: Holy Spirit Edition

I love Pentecost. I love the bright colors, the ways we celebrate, the use of multiple languages, the story, the Spirit. I like having a church feast day celebration that doesn’t have the pressure of Christmas or Easter. This year we are still virtual for Pentecost, but I think some churches are gathering again for… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Do This, Not That (Galatians 1:13-17; 2:11-21)

The church I serve is full of delightful people with a love for the world, and they find great solace in policies. Binders. Manuals. Rules. What makes me itch makes them feel secure. Looking back two thousand years, I can imagine that the churches in Galatia, once Paul left them, wanted the security of a… Read More