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

Narrative Lectionary: Loneliness & Abundance

It is important to note that many people struggle with infertility. That for those in our congregation, of all ages, the struggle to conceive a baby is real. Who knows how many miscarriages Sarah had. Who knows if Sarah was one of those who’s body never quite worked right. There are those who long for… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Romans 6:1-14

How are you doing, halfway through Romans? I find it really challenging to preach this book, but nevertheless, we persist. Commentary at Working Preacher is here. Our passage this week drops into the middle of one of Paul’s arguments. It may be worth looking back to chapter 5, where it begins.  In 5:20, Paul writes,… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Hoping Against Hope (Romans 5:1-11)

When my daughter was young, I would often say, “Hmmm…” as I thought about something.  “What hmmm?” she would demand, wondering what I was pondering. We have the same reaction to Paul, as the reading begins with “therefore…”  “What therefore?” we wonder.  Read the Narrative  Lectionary Commentary here. Read the scripture here. With his adept… Read More

11th Hour Preacher Party:

It’s that time of the week again, the time when one really can’t procrastinate one’s sermon-writing much longer, can one? Revised Common Lectionary preachers might be resurrecting Tabitha/Dorcas, or otherwise exploring Good Shepherd texts. Narrative Lectionary preachers are traveling with Paul and Barnabas. Maybe you’ve come up with a post-Easter series, or (in the U.S.)… Read More