Revised Common Lectionary: Hardened Hearts

What makes for a hardened heart? Consider, for example, all of the life junctures and experiences captured by Romans 5:1-11 (from this week’s Revised Common Lectionary texts) that can lead us to harden our hearts: Suffering, instead of producing endurance, can produce a bitter or jealous heart. Endurance, instead of producing character, can lead to… Read More

RCL: You Shall Be Holy

Sometimes Scripture gets a little obvious (even heavy-handed), as it does in this coming Sunday’s Revised Common Lectionary texts: “You shall not deal falsely. You shall not lie to one another.” (Leviticus 19:11) #guilty “Do not boast about human leaders.” (1 Corinthians 3:21) #beentheredonethat “You shall not profit by the blood of your neighbor. You… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Called and United

In this week’s installment of Adventures in Preaching, we who follow the Revised Common Lectionary have options of a hopeful prophesy in Isaiah (that is fulfilled by Jesus in Matthew), the calling of some of Jesus’ disciples, a Psalm expressing deep faith, and Paul preaching to the church in Corinth about unity. Those of us in… Read More

RCL: Christmas Continues

If we are listening, I’m quite certain we can still hear Rachel weeping for her children. It isn’t exactly what we want to be thinking about with Christmas candles still burning, though, is it? For decades I have avoided preaching on this passage from Matthew. The other texts this week are much more uplifting and… Read More

RCL: Papa Joe

In this week’s Revised common lectionary readings we get the story of Papa Joe. Joseph is the much overlooked person in the birth story of Christ. I often find myself wondering just how he must have felt about the whole thing. Matthew tells us that he is visited by an angel who tells him not… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Joy

What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Someone reclining in comfort? Someone with an unending smile? What then did you expect to see when you went looking for joy? This coming Sunday’s Revised Common Lectionary readings combine to provide a picture of joy that — while familiar in the… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: All Things New

Reflecting on the Revised Common Lectionary texts for this coming Sunday, November 13: Be glad! Rejoice forever! God is creating new heavens & a new earth! (Isaiah 65:17-18) There is a day coming when evil will stumble (Malachi 4:1), when the complacent and the lovers of the status quo will be revealed (2 Thessalonians 3:11),… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Words Matter

You have heard it said, “Words don’t matter. Locker room words. Political words. Loud words. Behind-closed-door words.” But I tell you: Words matter. Words of belonging matter: “I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (Jeremiah 31:33) Words of naming matter: “You shall be called Israel, because you have striven with God… Read More