Narrative Lectionary: Life in the Ruins (Isaiah 61:1-11)

We have been in an extended Advent since March, yearning for God’s transforming power to come and kick butt, er, sweep through our world.  COVID has put us all in a state of exile from our former lives, and we hear Isaiah’s words with extra longing this year.  Restoration?  Bring it on.  Good news?  Very… Read More

11th Hour Preacher Party: New Year’s Eve

Here we are at our last Sunday before the Liturgical Year begins again. Will you do Christ the King or Reign of Christ? This is one of the years that US Thanksgiving comes between this week and Advent 1. Will you be thinking about gratitude? I spoke Monday to a women’s group about Gratitude in… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Why Is God Being So Nice to Our Enemies? (Jonah 1:1-17; 3:1-10, 4:1-11)

God loves even our enemies, darn it. In God’s care, they have an opportunity to move closer to God.  God sends us to the places and the people we call unworthy, and God is insistent that we go there, even when we don’t want to.  These are interesting truths for the Sunday after a bitter… Read More

11th Hour Preacher Party: Change and Legacy

This week many Protestant congregations celebrate Reformation Sunday. For my congregation, I think it’s third only after Christmas Eve and Easter. It’s important enough that we have planned a 2-week experiment in gathering outside just in time for Reformation Sunday (and rain is forecast for the first time in months for exactly and only that… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Hannah’s Prayers (1 Sam 1:9-11; 19-20; 2:1-10)

Narrative Lectionary Companions, The first thing to note this week is that we are a long way from the golden calf! If you are using this Narrative Lectionary cycle to help people gain a better understanding of the full sweep of the biblical narrative, it might be worth mentioning that we’ve skipped over six books… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Nice Suitable Idols (Exodus 32:1-14)

Idols are so convenient.  Manageable.  Tidy.  When it’s time to move, you just pack them up and move them along.  Otherwise, they stay in one place.  Not like God, who is elusively on the move.  Or Moses, who disappears for long periods of time, supposedly to talk to God.  Maybe he’s really on vacation, taking… Read More

11th Hour Preacher Party: A World of Words

How many words does it take to make the Word of God come alive for your congregation? I’ve discovered my sermons are getting shorter through the pandemic – maybe it’s to accommodate reduced attention spans in online worship, but I find using fewer words of mine does a better job of helping people hear God’s… Read More