Tag: Lectionary

Christian Humanist Profiles 126: Surviving the Bible

Download or Stream this Episode In America, we specialize in having strong feelings about everything and knowing something about a few things.  The Bible might be what taught us to be that way: some folks will tell you how oppressive the Bible is without being able to name two minor prophets, and others will say…

Learning to Have Been Lost: A Reflection on the Lectionary Readings for 6 March 2016

Revised Common Lectionary Page for 6 March 2016 (Fourth Sunday of Lent, Year C) Joshua 5:9-12  • Psalm 32  • 2 Corinthians 5:16-21  • Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32 I know I gripe about this too much, but why to the lectionary’s editors cut out two whole blasted parables from this week’s reading?  Have attention spans waned to the point where we can’t…

Ways and Thoughts: A Reflection on the Lectionary Readings for 28 February 2016

Isaiah 55:1-9  • Psalm 63:1-8  • 1 Corinthians 10:1-13  • Luke 13:1-9 Too often, I fear, folks praise a writer or other public figure as “prophetic” because that public figure speaks moralistically, often aggressively against people that we stand against.  Too often such a figure becomes “prophetic” by ignoring the human complexities of why someone might disagree with us, branding them…

Faith in a World with Moving Parts: A Reflection on the Lectionary Readings for 21 March 2016

Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18  • Psalm 27  • Philippians 3:17-4:1  • Luke 13:31-35 or Luke 9:28-36, (37-43a) The second Sunday in Lent, a season dedicated to fasting and reflection on our sins, seems a strange place for Genesis 15.  (As is my wont, for the sake of this post, I’m going to include the verses that the Revised Common…

A Season for Testing: A Reflection on the Lectionary Readings for 14 February 2016

Deuteronomy 26:1-11  • Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16  • Romans 10:8b-13  • Luke 4:1-13 Since Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, I have a public-service announcement to make: LENT IS A FAST. FASTING MEANS ABSTAINING FROM SOMETHING INHERENTLY GOOD, FOR A SET TIME, FOR SPIRITUAL REASONS.  IF YOU PLAN TO “GIVE UP” SOMETHING THAT’S ALREADY INHERENTLY BAD, THAT’S NOT LENT.  THAT’S REPENTANCE. Alright.  I feel…

The Face of the Other: A Reflection on the Lectionary Readings for 7 February 2016

Exodus 34:29-35  • Psalm 99  • 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2  • Luke 9:28-36, (37-43a) Now that I preach only occasionally, usually when our preacher at Bogart Christian Church is out of town, I realize that one of the genuinely good things about composing and revising and delivering a sermon every week is the occasion–indeed the need–to exercise the full range of one’s…

To the Syrian First: A Reflection on the Lectionary Readings for 31 January 2016

Jeremiah 1:4-10  •Psalm 71:1-6  • 1 Corinthians 13:1-13  • Luke 4:21-30 I’ll admit that the gospel reading for this week is one that would have tempted me to too-easy, shock-value sermons in a hurry.  Is this a passage that reminds the nativist that Jesus preached his first sermon on God’s preferential option for a Syrian?  A warning to…

http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=46098

Chief of the Three Beds: A Reflection on the Lectionary Readings for 17 January 2016

Isaiah 62:1-5  • Psalm 36:5-10  • 1 Corinthians 12:1-11  • John 2:1-11 I realized, as I started re-reading John 2, that I don’t have much of an idea of what a “steward” is.  I know that people called “flight attendants” used to have a title similar to the word, and I know that when preachers say “stewardship” they’re…

The Fire King: A Reflection on the Lectionary Readings for 10 January 2016

Isaiah 43:1-7  • Psalm 29  • Acts 8:14-17  • Luke 3:15-17, 21-22 Before I get rolling on the reflection proper, I want to exhort folks who are preaching the gospel text this week to add in the verses that the RSL omits from the reading.  Luke 3 is doing something very cool, in terms of narrative arrangement, and…

He Chose Us: A Reflection on the Lectionary Readings for 3 January 2016

Jeremiah 31:7-14 or Sirach 24:1-12  • Psalm 147:12-20 or Wisdom of Solomon 10:15-21  • Ephesians 1:3-14  • John 1:(1-9), 10-18 One of my defects of personality (the list is long) is that, when an idea seems too dominant, I tend to take on some position that opposes the dominant idea and to do what serious thinking I do…

You Know Where to Find Him: A Reflection on the Lectionary Readings for 27 December 2015

1 Samuel 2:18-20, 26  • Psalm 148  • Colossians 3:12-17  • Luke 2:41-52 First, I am aware that Christmas lies between today and next Sunday.  But this is a series of blog posts about Sunday lectionary readings, so I’m going on ahead to December 27. Readings like this week’s Gospel text make me glad that I’m an English…

How God Remembers: A Reflection on the Lectionary Readings for 20 December 2015

Micah 5:2-5a  • Luke 1:46b-55 or Psalm 80:1-7  • Hebrews 10:5-10  • Luke 1:39-45, (46-55) One of my favorite bits of wisdom for reading the Bible comes from Robert Alter’s book The Art of Biblical Narrative: What we need to understand better is that the religious vision of the Bible is given depth and subtlety precisely by being…

Jumping the Gun: A Reflection on the Lectionary Readings for 13 December 2015

Zephaniah 3:14-20  • Isaiah 12:2-6  • Philippians 4:4-7  • Luke 3:7-18 Once again, reading the text of the Bible carefully reminds me why these blog posts do me at least as much good as they do any readers who happen along.  Certainly I wasn’t unaware that John the Baptist tends to show up each year during Advent.  That’s…

That Other Song: A Reflection on the Lectionary Readings for 6 December 2015

Baruch 5:1-9 or Malachi 3:1-4  • Luke 1:68-79  • Philippians 1:3-11  •Luke 3:1-6 Everyone loves the Magnificat, and I don’t blame them.  The faithful with a traditional theological bent can exult in the opening declaration that “My soul magnifies the LORD,” and those who call themselves progressive rejoice in the great power-reversals that Mary’s song narrates.  (Since I’m…

For YHWH I Wait: A Reflection on the Lectionary Readings for 29 November 2015

Jeremiah 33:14-16  • Psalm 25:1-10  • 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13  • Luke 21:25-36 As I publish this reflection, I will have been an ex-preacher for almost eleven months.  I deliberated on whether I should narrate with any degree of detail how that came to pass, but I’m going to choose not to for now.  For the sake of some…