The Adventurous Lectionary: The 17th Sunday after Pentecost

Lectionary Reflections for Sunday, September 30, 2012 Proverbs 31:10-31; Psalm 1; James 3:13-4:3, 7-a; Mark 9:30-37 One of my approaches to the lectionary is to counsel preachers that “if you read a passage, and it’s challenging, you need to include the passage in your sermon.”  Too often, troubling passages – or simply unusual passages – are read in [Read More...]

The Adventurous Lectionary: The 16th Sunday after Pentecost

The Adventurous Lectionary – The Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost – September 16, 2012 Proverbs 1:20-33 Psalm 19 James 3:1-12 Mark 8:27-38 Wisdom speaks, but is anyone listening?  Wisdom cries out hoping for a response, but does anyone care?  The whole universe is speaking forth the glory of God and the wisdom of divine creativity, but [Read More...]

The Adventurous Lectionary: The 15th Sunday After Pentecost

Lectionary  Reflections for September 9, 2012 Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23; Psalm 125; James 2:1-10, 14-17; Mark 7:24-27 Today’s lectionary readings break down the barriers of rich and poor, insider and outsider, and body and spirit.  The quest for healing and wholeness embraces all of life, and healing in one place contributes to healing in other places.  We cannot separate [Read More...]

The Adventurous Lectionary: The 14th Sunday after Pentecost

Lectionary Reflections for September 2, 1012 Song of Solomon 2:8-13; Psalm 45:1-2, 6-7; James 1:17-27; Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23 Faith is a matter of head, heart, and hands.  Faith without works is useless, so says the author of the Epistle of James.  Theology that can’t be practiced is irrelevant – a noisy gong or a clanging symbol.  Action [Read More...]

The Adventurous Lectionary: The Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Lectionary Reflections for Sunday, August 26, 2012 1 Kings 8:22-30, 41-43; Psalm 84; Ephesians 6:10-20; John 6:56-69 Spirituality involves holy space and holy time.  As the grandparent of a two year old, I constantly observe my toddler grandchild alternating between order and novelty.  On the one hand, he is constantly growing, and nothing is safe as he explores [Read More...]

The Adventurous Lectionary: Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost

Lectionary Reflections for August 19, 2012 1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14; Psalm 111; Ephesians 5:15-20; John 6:51-58 In Jesus’ encounter with sight-impaired Bartimaeus, the Healer asks, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:51)  To a man who had been paralyzed nearly four decades, Jesus inquires “Do you want to be made well?” (John 5:6)  These [Read More...]

The Adventurous Lectionary: Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost

Lectionary Reflections for August 12, 2012 1 Kings 19:4-8; Psalm 34:1-8; Ephesians 4:25-5:2; John 6:35, 41-51 Today’s readings constellate around the themes of nurture and community.  We need spiritual soul food not superficial fast food.  We need the bread of heaven, embodied in earthly relationships; not spiritual quick fixes and easy answers.  We feast on the Spirit when [Read More...]

Rick Warren Needs a Forty-First Day! Evolution, Evil, and Adventure

Let everything that breathes praise God. (Psalm 150:6)   Praise the Lord from the earth, you sea monsters and all deeps…. Wild animals and all cattle, creeping things and flying birds. (Psalm 148:7, 10)    And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and and creeping things and wild [Read More...]

The Adventurous Lectionary: Tenth Sunday after Pentecost

Lectionary Reflections for August 5, 2012 2 Samuel 11:26-12:13a; Psalm 51:1-12; Ephesians 4:1-16; John 6:24-35 Today’s readings reflect on the contrast between life in relationship and life in alienation from God and others.  Disconnected from God’s relational vision, we literally and figuratively destroy our planetary companions.  We use our power to exploit and see others as a means [Read More...]

The Adventurous Lectionary: Everything’s Possible

As we read this passage together, my colleague in ministry Phil Gilliland noted, “If we take these passages seriously, everything’s possible.” This can be good news or tragedy depending on how we use our power and whether our use of power is self-interested, domineering, and objectifying or connected with God’s vision of Shalom and abundant life for all creation.
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