The following is a reflection on Luke 1:39-55, the Gospel lesson for the fourth Sunday in Advent in year C, according to the Revised Standard Lectionary. …Mary set out and went with haste… But, why?
The following is a reflection on Luke 3:7-18, the Gospel lesson for Advent 3C, according to the Revised Common Lectionary. This reflection is a selection from my book Going to Hell, Getting Saved. There’s a fantastic scene in the third chapter of the Gospel of Luke where we’re introduced to the wild-eyed prophet John the Baptist.
A reflection on Christ the King Sunday, especially for year B of the Revised Common Lectionary. Pope Pius XI inaugurated Christ the King Sunday in 1925, when the authority of the church was evidently waning in the world. Of course nearly ninety years later, the “authority” of the church—or even just the “place” of the church—in the world is almost laughable. We are all but irrelevant in the power structures of the community of nations. […]
The following is a reflection on 1 Samuel 1:4-20 & 2:1-10, the Old Testament and Psalm Lessons for Proper 28B, according to the Revised Common Lectionary. Twice in the Bible people who are praying are mistaken for being drunk. Hannah on the threshold of the Temple of Shiloh is praying for a son and is castigated by Eli. “Put away your wine,” he says. On the day of Pentecost the apostles are filled with the […]
The following is a reflection on John 11:32-44, the Gospel Lesson for All Saints B, according to the Revised Common Lectionary. There is also a Litany for All Saints Day on this site here. While I don’t use the King James Version of the Bible often, I do happen to love its rendering of the raising of Lazarus. Jesus, after weeping and being emotionally moved, commands those around him to open Lazarus’ tomb. There’s instant […]
The following is a reflection on Job 42:1-6, 10-17, the Hebrew Bible lesson appointed for Proper 25B, according to the Revised Common Lectionary. I have to admit, while I’ve always had an attraction to the Book of Job, I’ve never cared much for the ending. I’ve tended to agree with scholars who say that it was tacked on to the book much later to make the book more palatable. I mean…he just gets everything back? […]
The following is a reflection on Job 38:1-7, 34-41, the Hebrew Bible lesson appointed for Proper 24B, according to the Revised Common Lectionary. If the opening chapters of Genesis tell us how the universe was created, the Voice of God booming from the Whirlwind in the end of The Book of Job tells us that and much more.
The following is a reflection on Job 23:1-9, 16-17, the Hebrew Bible lesson appointed for Proper 23B, according to the Revised Common Lectionary. By the time we get to the twenty-third chapter of Job, a lot of water has gone under the bridge. The broken, but altogether devout, man we left in the early narrative section has met his prosperity-gospel friends. They’ve tried to convince him that God is just, and therefore his own egregious […]
The following is a reflection on Job 1:1; 2:1-10, the Hebrew Bible Lesson appointed for Proper 22B, according to the Revised Common Lectionary. There once was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job. Job opens with a certain “once upon a time” quality to it, in a make-believe land that no one has ever heard of. In this half verse Job is introduced as “everyman.” Attached to no time and to […]
The following is a reflection on James 5:13-20, the epistle lesson appointed for Proper 21B, according to the revised common lectionary. I think it’s helpful to read the conclusion of the Epistle of James in its full context. James was writing to a community engaged in conflict over class discrimination. It was apparently a vicious and heated inter-church argument. In the beginning of the Epistle, James urges the people in the church to be quick to […]