Narrative Lectionary: How God Sees (1 Samuel 16:1-13)

There’s a peculiar grief, for me, when a couple I married gets a divorce.  I feel a small pang of sadness when a member of a past congregation dies, and I’m not the one to officiate at the funeral that will celebrate their life.  These things are part of the past, but they reach into… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Stuck in an Evil System (1 Samuel 3)

This Narrative Lectionary season has led me down a peculiar trail—I’m doing a series about being stuck. Moses was stuck in self-doubt, the Hebrew people were stuck in the past, and Samuel (and Eli) are stuck in an evil system. Be sure to look at the Working Preacher commentary here. And you can find this… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: What is this Stuff? Edition (Exodus 16:1-18 — Bread/Manna From Heaven)

Well this is a hop skip and a jump through the story isn’t it? Last week we stood with Moses beside the burning bush as he was given a job to do. This week we are already out in the desert with this nation of complaining hungry people. You can read this week’s story here.… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Real Families of Israel (Genesis 27:1-4, 15-23, 28:1-10)

Isaac, once betrayed by his father, Abraham, is now betrayed his wife and son, as they scheme together so the younger son, Jacob, gets the blessing intended for Esau, the older son. Read the Working Preacher commentary here. Read the scripture here. Not long before this, Esau comes home famished, and trades his birthright as… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: God Who Has Created and Is Creating. (Genesis 1:1-2:4a)

This Sunday marks the beginning of Year 4 in the Narrative Lectionary cycle. Since the goal of the Narrative Lectionary is to carry the church through the scope of the Biblical Narrative between now and Pentecost Sunday it only makes sense that we (to quote a would-be nun named Maria) “start at the very beginning,… Read More

Narrative Lectionary – Before and After (Galatians 1:13-17, 2:11-21)

A staple feature of women’s magazine’s is the makeover.  We get the “before” picture, with the disorganized closet, the unflattering haircut or the dated clothes.  Then the experts take over, and we see the “after” picture of the functional closet, the arresting haircut, or the stylish new clothes.  One magazine, bowing to reality, used to… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: The Early Church in Conflict (Acts 15)

The early church was full of amazing things, wasn’t it? The Holy Spirit working in and among the people, the people living together, sharing all things in common, all seemingly working towards a common goal. It seems idyllic, doesn’t it? And then we re-read this Sunday’s passage found in Acts 15:1-17. You can find the Working… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: The Circle Starts to Spread Edition (Acts 8:26-39, Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch)

As we continue our Easter journey through Acts we embark on a theme that will carry us through the next few weeks . Who gets to be part of the church? What are the criteria for inclusion? A foreign eunuch? Those who do not follow the Law? This week we have a story that is… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Heartburn (Luke 24:13-35)

Journalist Cokie Roberts said once that, decades after her father’s death, she still thinks she sees him on the streets of Washington, D.C., the city where he lived and worked.  Someone with a similar gait, or mannerisms, will catch her eye, and for a brief, impossible moment, she thinks it’s her father. We have the… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Can we get to Jerusalem Already? Edition (Luke 18:31-19:10)

There are stories that remain with us for years. This week’s text offers up one of them (though would I remember it so well without this sappy little song???). Many chapters ago Luke told us that Jesus had set his face toward Jerusalem. Surely we must be getting close by now right? On the other… Read More