All posts filed under: New Testament

advent 3a: chucking the wrench

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Advent / Christology / Gospels / Jesus / Lectionary / New Testament / Religion / Year A
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It’s a Saturday in the middle of winter, and the heating system in your church breaks down. It’s cold outside, and somehow seems even colder inside. The air stings, and the pews are frigid. You can’t imagine having sweet little old ladies sitting on them tomorrow, but you don’t want to cancel church again. It’s been a snowy winter. The HVAC company van rolls into the church driveway, and the technician gets out with a clipboard […]

advent 2a: a turn of repentance

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Advent / Gospels / New Testament / Religion / Status / Temple / Year A
Calligraphy by Rick. Watercolor on paper.

But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit worthy of repentance. Do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; […]

2,000 years later and I’ve finally figured out the Lord’s Prayer! (maybe) (ok, not really)

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Jesus / Lectionary / New Testament / Prayer / Year C

In the Gospel of Luke the disciples ask Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray,” and Jesus gives them a shorter-than-we’re-used-to version of the Lord’s Prayer. There’s a jillion sermons and books and journal articles and videos and blog posts about the content of the Lord’s Prayer, how important it is, how similar it is to other ancient Jewish prayers of Jesus’ day, etc. But, here’s the thing… I think we might just possibly be barking […]

forgiveness on the lips: Charleston

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Jesus / New Testament

Like most preachers, I’ve been struggling with what to say this week. Struggling with what to say to others, when I am coming up painfully short with something to say to myself. And then, like a breath of fresh wind straight from the Holy Spirit, the families of the victims have begun to speak. And what’s the word we hear? Forgiveness. It’s unbelievable, isn’t it? We can come with ramped up anti-racism programs – and […]

good advice from an unlikely source: a reflection on matthew 2:1-12

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Gospels / Jesus / New Testament

The following is a reflection on Matthew 2:1–12, the Gospel lesson appointed for the Second Sunday after Christmas, according to the Revised Common Lectionary. Sometimes the truth comes from the most unlikely of places. King Herod was a wicked, wicked man. He was guilty of the most despicable of crimes against humanity. And yet, his directive to the magi was spot on. Go and search diligently for the child. Was better advice ever given? It […]

growing edge: sermon starter for proper 25a

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Gospels / Jesus / Lectionary / New Testament / Year A

A reflection on Matthew 22:34-46, the Gospel lesson for Proper 25a, according to the Revised Common Lectionary. Ilike digging into scripture to find the subtexts, the links to other texts and stories in another section of the Bible, and the cultural references that might not be readily grasped today. I love that so much, that when I’m preaching I too often spend the bulk of my time on that, and relegate the “so here’s what […]

what is fair

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Jesus / Lectionary / New Testament / Year A

A reflection on Matthew 20:1-16, the gospel lesson for Proper 20a, according to the Revised Common Lectionary. This parable sounds “unfair” to our ears, every bit as much as it sounded unfair to those who heard Jesus say these words 2,000 years ago. But, they are only unfair if you’re looking out for yourself first. I mean, what if, just for a moment, your main concern was for someone else to get ahead. I mean […]