Adventurous Lectionary – Lent 5 – March 25

The Fifth Sunday in Lent Jeremiah31:31-34; Psalm 51:1-12; Hebrews 5:5-10; John 12:20-33 With holy week on the horizon, this Sunday’s readings are soul-full in nature.  They call us to align ourselves with God’s vision for our lives.  God’s vision is not externally imposed but emerges out of the depths of our spirit.  The goal of [Read More...]

The Adventurous Lectionary -Lent 4

The Fourth Sunday in Lent – March 18, 2012 Numbers 21:4-9; Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22; Ephesians 2:1-10; John 3:14-21 The Fourth Sunday in Lent is theological treasure trove, where the preacher can discover some of the best and worst of Jewish and Christian images of God.  All in all, the passages from today’s readings, even those [Read More...]

The Adventurous Lectionary – Lent 3

The Third Sunday in Lent – March 11, 2012 Exodus 20:1-17; Psalm 19; I Corinthians 1:18-25; John  2:13-22 Last week, my wife and I took our eighteen month old grandson to the planetarium at the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum.  My grandson loves stars and the moon and points them out to me every evening when we’re [Read More...]

The Adventurous Lectionary – Lent 2

The Adventurous Lectionary – Second Sunday in Lent (March 4, 2012) Readings: Genesis 17:1-7; Psalm 22:23-31; Romans 4:13-25; Mark 8:31-38 Today’s scriptures join sacrifice, simplicity, and solidarity.  The solidarity of revelation – which is always energetic and supportive as well as illuminating – enables us to let goof our egos and our claims on the many [Read More...]

A Joyful Lent?

“There is a time and season for everything,” as the wisdom teacher of Ecclesiastes proclaims, and Lent typically has been the time of fasting, rending garments, long faces, abstention, and sobriety.  Surely there is plenty of reason to be reflective in recognition of the realities of life on both the micro and macro levels.  On [Read More...]

Ash Wednesday Lectionary Adventure

Ash Wednesday Joel 2:1-2, 12-17 Psalm 51 (consider amending or eliminating altogether) 2 Corinthians 5:20-6:10 Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 Good news on Ash Wednesday?  Many people stayaway from Ash Wednesday services because of the ashes, doom, and gloom they identify with the Ash Wednesday message. In their eyes, it’s all about sin and mortality, guilt and punishment, [Read More...]

From Jesus Candidate to Nation’s Theologian

A few months ago Rick Santorum asserted that there is always a need for a “Jesus candidate” and implied that his credentials made him ideal for the position.[1] Yesterday, Santorum challenged President Barack Obama’s Christian beliefs, suggesting that President Obama’s vision of America and Christianity is “not about you. It’s not about your quality of [Read More...]

Abraham Lincoln and the Quest for Religious and Political Stature

AbrahamLincoln, flickr, Marion Dass

One of my favorite books is Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals, in which Goodwin reflects on Lincoln’s sagely leadership of a cabinet, many of whose members opposed both Lincoln and one another prior to Lincoln’s election and, at times, during Lincoln’s presidency, one of our nation’s darkest hours.  With the future of the nation [Read More...]

Valentines of the Spirit

Heart Doorknob

When I was a small child, Valentine’s Day was a big deal.  Though I hadn’t yet discovered the joys of romance, I recall my excitement at going to the store with my Mom, buying two packs of valentines for fifty cents, and then writing notes to all my classmates and my teacher, who got a [Read More...]

The Tragic Beauty of Christmas: The Massacre of the Innocents

Just a few days after the celebration of Christmas, the light of Bethlehem is eclipsed and the dark shadows of life return to the stories of young Jesus.  Tucked between Christmas Day and the Feast of Epiphany (January 6), the Massacre of Infants or Slaughter of Innocents is remembered.  In the Roman Catholic, Lutheran, and [Read More...]


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