Genesis 3:8-15 is the Hebrew Bible Lesson properly appointed for Proper 5B, Track 2 according to the Revised Common Lectionary. The story of the Garden in Genesis is the story of brokenness. And, as such, it’s a story that we know all too well. We know it in our bones. In the beginning, after God had drawn us out of the clay and filled us with His breath, God was right there with us. He […]
A reflection on Matthew 10:24–39, the Gospel lesson for Proper 7a according to the Revised Common Lectionary. Fear really is the antithesis of faith. And yet, fear hangs on us like humidity on an summer night. It coats us front and back, and attracts all kind of grime, so that even when it’s dries it’s still sticky. In adulthood we may not be living in fear of what bumps in the night, what’s under the […]
The following is a reflection on Luke 3:15-17, 21-22, the Gospel lesson for the first Sunday after the Epiphany Year C, according to the Revised Common Lectionary. ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’ Of course this incredible Divine statement is made in the context of Jesus being baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist. But, it’s also important to keep reading on for a verse or two. For […]
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?
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 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 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 […]
The following is a reflection on James 3:1-12, the epistle lesson for proper 19B, according to the Revised Common Lectionary. As we saw in the first chapter of James’s epistle, James is writing to a community in conflict. People are fighting, people are arguing, and things are not going well. As we saw in the second chapter of the epistle, the argument is over the bigotry of class distinction. What becomes clear very early on […]
The following is a reflection on James 2:1-17, the epistle lesson appointed for Proper 18 B, according to the Revised Common Lectionary. James wrote to a church in crisis. And we know what that crisis was: the bigotry of class.