Narrative Lectionary: Messy Feelings

The first time I ran across Isaiah 42 verse 1 was when I was preparing my mother’s homegoing service in November of 2002.  The words, “Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights,” brought me some comfort and a bit of peace at the time. This morning, the more… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Such A Time

What a time we are living in… What a time to be alive. Esther was not born into royalty; in fact, it is a very complicated and difficult story. By the time Esther is introduced, or Hadassah, as she is know by her Jewish name. She is an orphan, raised by her Uncle or cousin,… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Minimum Protection (Jeremiah 1:4-10, 7:1-11)

Watching the work that people in my congregation do, it’s clear that they’re called by God to use their gifts as teachers or social workers, as parents or attorneys.  Sometimes they say they just drifted into the work they do, not seeing the steps as part of God’s leading.  Other times they have a certainty… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Requirements

This week’s lectionary is often a favorite of ours. “Ours” being progressive people of faith. Micah 5:2-5a, 6:6-8, mostly Micah 6:8 is one we turn to for guidance and comfort. He has told you, O mortal, what is good;     and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness,     and to… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: The Surprising Faces of God (2 Kings 5:1-15)

The Working Preacher post for this week’s Narrative Lectionary passage can be found here. I’m struck, again, with God choosing those on the margins to demonstrate the generosity and grace of God. In this case, the young girl, who served Naaman’s wife, having been transported from the land of Israel during a raid but remaining… Read More

Narrative Lectionary:Wisdom

The text for this week is 1 Kings 3:4-9, (10-15), 16-28. Commentary at Working Preacher is here. Our focus this week is the wisdom of Solomon, both how he acquires it, and how he dispenses it. My favorite illustration of this in popular culture (although 20 year old popular culture) is this scene from Seinfeld.… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: #Bathshebatoo (1 Samuel 11:1-5, 26-27, 12:1-9)

The important education of the #metoo and #timesup campaigns now shape our understanding of Bathsheba, as we consider her story again.  Generally, her story is a background to talk about David’s failures.  No surprise, it’s all about him.  Dr. Wil Gafney first prompted me to think about it the other way, to see this as… Read More

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