Revised Common Lectionary: Is This The Time?

Whether you’re celebrating the Ascension of the Lord or the Seventh Sunday of Easter this week, you’ll be hearing a timely question from the disciples: Lord, is this the time? (Acts 1:6) Is this the time we can meet in person again? Is this the time to resume congregational singing? Is this the time we can… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Safer at Home?

It was the evening of Easter. Jesus’ followers weren’t sure what to do with themselves. They were mostly taking the safe route and staying secluded – almost in quarantine. There was no telling what danger they risked if they ventured out into the hubbub of the town. And yet, they had heard good news from… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Saints and Sinners

For all the saintswho from their labors rest……and we, somewhere in the space between mourning and jealousy, continue to labor in a world that assumes little opportunity for rest. The law is slack and judgment is perverted (Habakkuk 1:4), our bodies groan day & night and our strength is dried up (Psalm 32:3-4), faithful discipleship… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: The Days Are Surely Coming…

As a church professional, I get to hear some pretty terrible theology sometimes, from people who assume that I believe as they do. Can you relate? One of those things that I often hear is that the “Old Testament God” is vengeful while the “New Testament God” is forgiving. Passages like this week’s from Jeremiah… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Dishonest Ethics?

Does anyone claim this week’s parable as their favorite? I would be surprised. It is difficult to discern why Jesus would praise the devious actions of a person who cheated his employer. Though, on the other hand, the character in the parable is a slave, and he is cheating the slave owner. Maybe it’s helpful… Read More

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