Magnificat! Learning to Sing Mary’s Song (A Progressive Christian Lectionary Commentary on Luke 1:46-55)

I love that the Revised Common Lectionary includes the Magnificat as the alternative Psalm reading for the third Sunday of Advent. Mary was bold to sing about God, “You have brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly / You have filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.” And this Advent season, I invite to consider, "How is God calling you to sing new lyrics to Mary’s song?"How are hope, peace, joy, and love being birthed in you this Christm … [Read more...]

Progressive Christian Reflections on Advent

How should progressive Christians approach Advent in light of twenty-first century knowledge? The following are four meditations based on the Annunciation account in Luke 1:(1) "Magnificat! Learning to Sing Mary’s Song" - An excerpt: How are you being called to sing new lyrics to Mary’s Song — of hope and peace and joy and love — this Christmas and in the new year so that your soul may ever more fully magnify God?”(2) "A Performance of Those Things Which Were Told" - An excerpt: The way w … [Read more...]

#OccupyAdvent: “Let the Reader Understand” (A Progressive Christian Lectionary Commentary on Mark 13)

Backing up a few verses to look at the preceding context for this week's Gospel Lesson (Mark 13:24-37), in Mark 13:14 the Gospel writer makes a curious aside: "But when you see the desolating sacrilege set up where it ought not to be (let the reader understand), then those in Judea must flee to the mountains.” I am fascinated that Mark did not place his hopes in his audience reading between the lines. He, instead, explicitly inscribed a parenthetical reference “(let the reader understand)” into t … [Read more...]

Four Spiritual Practices for Preaching on Matthew 25 (A Progressive Christian Lectionary Commentary for Nov 20, 2011)

Spiritual Practice I: Visio Divina To begin to reflect on this scripture, I invite you first to slow down. Take three deep breaths. And gaze softly at Robert Lentz's icon "Christ in the Margins." What resonates with you most strongly about this picture? What word, phrase, image, or emotion does this image trigger in you? What surprises, excites, or disturbs you about this representation? The name for this icon is "Christ in the Margins," echoing the call in Matthew 25 to see Christ in the … [Read more...]

From “A Thief in the Night” to Harold Camping (A Progressive Christian Lectionary Commentary for Nov 13, 2011)

Before there was a New Testament, before the Gospels were written, before any of Paul’s other letters were composed, there was 1 Thessalonians. Many scholars date this epistle to 49 CE, making this book not only Paul’s oldest letter of which we are aware, but also the oldest extant piece of Christian literature. So, approximately two decades after the life of the historical Jesus and approximately two decades before the Gospel of Mark, we have Paul’s first letter to the church at Thess … [Read more...]

Response to Tony Jones’ Blog on “Picking and Choosing Your Bible Verses (or, Why To Abandon the Lectionary)”

(Note: At the end of last week, I posted a lectionary commentary for Sunday, October 23 on “Why Not Choose Love? Picking and Choosing Scripture as a Twenty-first Century Christian.” Tony Jones, a leader in the Emergent Church Movement, wrote a response titled, "Picking and Choosing Your Bible Verses (or, Why To Abandon the Lectionary)." I have been out of town all week at a conference, but when my flight home was delayed yesterday, I had some time to draft these thoughts related to Tony’s origi … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X