The Adventurous Lectionary – The Third Sunday after the Epiphany – January 21, 2018

Third Sunday after the Epiphany Jonah 3:1-5, 10 Psalm 62:5-12 I Corinthians 7:29-31 Mark 1:14-20 All things flow. The historical process moves onward and, as Heraclitus of Ephesus once noted, you can’t step in the same waters twice. In fact, they are new waters even as you dip your toes in for the first time. The author of Lamentations had a similar image in mind, when he proclaimed that God’s mercies are new every morning. Today’s lectionary readings invite us… Read more

The Adventurous Lectionary – Second Sunday after the Epiphany – January 14, 2018

The Adventurous Lectionary – Second Sunday after the Epiphany – January 14, 2018 Samuel 3:1-10 Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18 I Corinthians 6:12-20 John 1:43-51 There is a good deal of wisdom in congregational humor. There is a bittersweet joke circulated among members of my denomination, the United Church of Christ. When we proclaim in the spirit of one of our key statements that “God is still speaking,” usually someone responds with a bit of irony, “But is anyone listening?” As members… Read more

The Adventurous Lecitonary – The Baptism of Jesus – January 7, 2018

The Baptism of Jesus – January 7, 2018 Genesis 1:1-5 Psalm 29 Acts 19:1-7 Mark 1:4-11 Today, the focus is water. But, in a divinely-filled creation. Water reflects divine wisdom and is a medium of salvation. We are creatures of water: from 60-70% of our bodies is composed of water and 70% of the earth is water. National defense experts – the ones who know the true facts – believe that that the next great wars will be about water… Read more

Christmas Eve Meditation – Joy to the World

“Joy to the World” – A Christmas Eve Meditation It had been a difficult year for the little boy. Just five years old, he had experienced the impact of his father’s unemployment and his mother’s illness. Kind people brought food baskets to supplement their dwindling reserves; there were few toys and no special outings; his mom was tired, living in the aftermath of her cancer treatments. There were few smiles, and less laughter around his home. Christmas was coming, but… Read more

Winter Solstice/Longest Night Meditation

“Darkness Has a Light of Its Own” On this shortest day of the year, when darkness envelopes the earth, we celebrate the coming light and affirm that within the womb of darkness, light emerges, and growth occurs, often when we least expect it. In the darkness the eye begins to see, so wrote American poet Theodore Roethke. At first, when darkness descends, we feel lost, as if walking through the woods a on moonless night. But, then we discover little… Read more

The Adventurous Lectionary – The First Sunday of Christmas – December 31, 2017

The Adventurous Lectionary – December 31, 2017 – The First Sunday of Christmas Isaiah 61:10-62:3 Psalm 148 Galatians 4:4-7 Luke 2:22-40 The season of Christmas is in mid-swing on this First Sunday of Christmas. We are in the midst of the twelve days of Christmas, although many of us have put away our Christmas CD’s and DVD’s and are beginning to contemplate taking down the Christmas tree. The first Sunday of Christmas, often considered a “low Sunday” in spirit and… Read more

The First Sunday of Christmas – December 28, 2017

The Adventurous Lectionary – December 31, 2017 – The First Sunday of Christmas Isaiah 61:10-62:3 Psalm 148 Galatians 4:4-7 Luke 2:22-40 The season of Christmas is in mid-swing on this First Sunday of Christmas. We are in the midst of the twelve days of Christmas, although many of us have put away our Christmas CD’s and DVD’s and are beginning to contemplate taking down the Christmas tree. The first Sunday of Christmas, often considered a “low Sunday” in spirit and… Read more

Christmas Eve/Christmas Day – December 24/25, 2017

Christmas Eve/Christmas Day Isaiah 9:2-7 ;Psalm 96 ;Titus 2:11-14 Luke 2:1-20; John 1:1-14 On Christmas Eve at South Congregational Church, UCC in Centerville, MA on Cape Cod, we typically do an informal, family-oriented version of lessons and carols, with lots of music aimed at an intergenerational congregation, many of whom are visiting relatives and at worship for the first time since last Christmas as well as others whom, frankly, would rather be home playing video games or enjoying Christmas cheer…. Read more

The Adventurous Lectionary – The Fourth Sunday of Advent – December 24, 2017

The Adventurous Lectionary – The Fourth Sunday of Advent – December 24. 2017 Luke 1:26-55 This year, the Fourth Sunday of Advent is also Christmas Eve. There is a temptation this year to ditch the “annunciation” and get to the baby’s birth. At my congregation’s morning service, we will do both the announcement and birth as part of our pageant, and then move to the full-blown lessons and carols at the Christmas Eve candlelight service. Like many preachers, my remarks… Read more

The Adventurous Lectionary – The Third Sunday of Advent – December 17, 2017

The Adventurous Lectionary – The Third Sunday of Advent – December 17, 2017 Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11 Psalm 126 Luke 1:46b-55 I Thessalonians 5:16-24 John 1:6-8, 19-28 On this Advent Sunday of joy, we proclaim that despite appearances to the contrary, good news is coming! After death comes resurrection; after destruction, rebuilding; after war peace. The world is being transformed by God’s “impossible possibilities.” God’s way is emerging in a troubled world. God’s Spirit is upon all people and the vulnerable,… Read more




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