RCL

Are you entering into the apocalyptic spirit of things? The apocalypse, the end of the world as we know it. Its interesting to me that Christmas is our preview of the apocalypse, because most portrayals of the 2nd coming of Christ bear little resemblance to Christmas. Christmas, however, is indeed apocalyptic precisely because it completely… Read More

RCL: Advent – minus – one

The final Sunday in the church year contains one of my favorite passages of Scripture. When did we see God? When we saw a person in need. How did we show love to God? By meeting the person’s need. Matthew 25:31-46 is one of the most straightforward instructions for faithful living that we find in… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: When God is the Bad Guy

If you’re heading into this coming Sunday’s sermon with the intent of preaching on the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, I might recommend that you skip the Revised Common Lectionary readings. If the faith community you serve concludes & dedicates its annual stewardship pledges this Sunday, I might suggest that you find different texts for your preaching. Because this… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Money Edition

The Revised Common Lectionary continues to bring us complicated teachings of Jesus from the Gospel of Matthew. In an attempt to catch Jesus teaching against the government, the Pharisees ask him about paying taxes. Is it lawful or not? Jesus says to give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and give to God the things… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Questions

I’m reading RevGal Wil Gafney’s new book Womanist Midrash, which — if you haven’t yet purchased it — should be considered essential for your bookshelf of exegetical resources. Wil leaves no stone unturned in her examination of the told & untold stories of women in Hebrew Scriptures, and it is Womanist Midrash‘s (and womanism’s and… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Forgiveness

Like bulky orange barrels along a construction zone, there are red flags and caution tape that catch my attention as I read this week’s Revised Common Lectionary texts: 1. Forgiveness (Genesis 50:15-21 and Matthew 18:21-35) is a theme that can tempt us preachers toward unhelpful generalizations about injury and reparation. Caution: Check whether your definition of forgiveness,… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Little Faith

How does one read aloud, “The LORD tested him” (Psalm 105:19), to those who are struggling? How does one repeat Jesus’ words, “Why do you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31), to those who are drowning every day? How does one affirm, “No one who believes will be put to shame” (Romans 10:11), to those who have been… Read More

RCL: Telling the Stories

“Until lions write their own stories, the hunters will always be the heroes.” — African proverb I’ve been working — with dubious progress — to write some of my life stories for an upcoming book. As I recall and piece together (re-member) these stories, I’m keenly aware that others in my life have experienced these same events quite differently. It’s inevitable… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Swords and Sparrows

This Sunday’s Gospel texts ranks high on my list of “things I wish Jesus never said.” Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword… and one’s foes will be members of one’s own household. This is not the passage to… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Mourning into Joy

Somehow I landed both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day (U.S. holidays) on the schedule of Revised Common Lectionary posts this year. Lord have mercy! Note to self: avoid the RCL posts on these holidays next year, ha! Note to reader: see the end of this post for particular reflections about Father’s Day. I love the… Read More