Revised Common Lectionary: Yes, Mary Knew

It’s Magnificat Sunday! This week, we hear Elizabeth’s praise of Mary and her child, and Mary’s song of praise to God. How wonderful to have two female prophets in one worship service! As you speak about God’s call for them and their response, be sure to remember that your congregation includes worshippers who have struggled… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Mouthful

What is in your mouth? What words, what complaints, what praises, what bitterness? This Sunday’s Revised Common Lectionary texts offer quite a mouthful: Job’s mouth is unapologetically filled with complaints and arguments, as he rages, “Oh, that I knew where I might find God in order to make my case!” (Job 23:3-4) A rich man… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Leadership Lessons

Solomon, in all his idealism, painted a retrospective image of his father King David as a “very nice guy.” So God rewarded Solomon with discernment, wealth, and longevity. Wisdom, in all her discipline, built a house, tended a farm & vineyard, and set an ample banquet table for the whole community. So God sent the… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Good Shepherd Edition

My home congregation is Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Madison, Wisconsin, USA. For as long as I can remember, their logo has included a silhouette of Jesus as shepherd, holding a long staff. They have a beautiful metal (iron?) sculpture of a shepherd carrying a sheep. Their columbarium, which I have yet to see in person,… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Faithful Followers

An impossible child. Sarah and Abraham receive wonderful news from God in today’s reading from Genesis. Though they have no children, and Sarah is long past child-bearing age (and Abraham is long past child-rearing age), God promises them that they will become parents to a multitude of nations. In a society where one’s worth was… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Fishy Edition

Oh, Jonah. That poor prophet who achieved exactly the result he was called upon to do, and felt betrayed to the point of wanting to die because of it. Though, of course, we don’t get the whole story in today’s pericope. Today we just hear God’s call to Jonah (the second time, after all that… Read More

Preacher Party

Hello Friends, Where are you right now? I’m at a coffee shop after a last minute reschedule of coffee with a congregant, and savoring the extra moments of babysitting to spend on my sermon before my three boy-boys get to bed. Where are you? What are you up to? No matter what I’m grateful that you… 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

11th Hour Preacher Party: Gates and Sheep edition

Preaching colleagues, it’s that time of the week again! How is your sermon coming along? Between planning liturgy, preparing for children’s sermons, and writing something for the main preaching event, this is often the busiest time of the week! At least, it is for those who tend to procrastinate, or who had unexpected events eat… Read More