Narrative Lectionary: A Mystery Gift (1 Corinthians 15:1-26, 51-57)

This scripture is particularly poignant in this pandemic time, when we’re confronting death in different, more demanding ways than we usually do.  Some of us are overwhelmed with the number of deaths around us, and have lost people to death much too soon.  All of our lives have changed in response to the lethality of… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: The Challenge of Conflict (Acts 18:1-4; 1 Corinthians 1:10-18)

I once knew a man with a 1942 Indian motorcycle—an antique beauty of industrial design. He was invited to bring his motorcycle to a Vogue photo shoot in a stately home, on a gorgeous oriental rug. The nervous homeowner asked, “It doesn’t leak does it?” Without batting an eye, the man with the motorcycle answered,… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Mystery Gifts (Acts 3:1-10)

At the big intersection near my home, four gentlemen have divided up the corners.  In their system, each of them asks for money on only one corner. Three of the four work their corners most days, but even when someone is missing for a day, no one takes over his corner.  Each man works a… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: The Alleged New Normal Edition

Greetings, friends connected by the Spirit and electronics. Our Narrative Lectionary post was delayed this week due to our writer experiencing a situation familiar to all of us right now- more work than expected, to be completed in new and different ways. I’m pinch-hitting, even though I’m an RCL user, so I appreciate your indulgence.… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Look Towards Resurrection (Mark 16:1-8)

This Sunday’s text can be found at Mark 16:1-8, and the commentary from WorkingPreacher here. On the day Jesus died, the state-run newspaper ran the headline “Fringe Group Leader Executed.” The Religious Daily News posted “Temple Cloths Torn by Invisible Hand.” The local radical weekly posted “Disciples Denied while Doyen Crucified.” Over the weekend, the… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Use What You’ve Got

Which to choose… the part of the text about the mass protest, or the part of the text about touch… Lord, you do have a sense of humor. I’m sticking with chapter 11 for the majority of this post, but chapter 14 is one of my very favorite texts, in the end, I offer a… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Jesus and the Scribe Stand Several Feet Apart to Converse (Mark 12:28-44)

Assume positive intent, thoughtful people advise, when reading emails.  It’s hard to understand someone’s tone of voice from the words on the screen. Even when – or especially when – we know them well.  Perhaps it’s hardest with someone we know, or think we know.  We add the weight of all our previous interactions to… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: Who’s in Charge?

Photo credit: © 2017 Blueprint Church – All Rights Reserved from https://www.blueprintchurch.org/series/imago-dei. Last Sunday I preached on the Narrative Lectionary, which took up the large swatch of Mark 12:1-17 with the stories of the wicked tenants (who kept beating & killing the vineyard owner’s representatives) and the paying of taxes to Caesar. There are a… Read More

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