Feed Me, Seymour: A Search for Real Meaning (Lectionary Texts for Sunday, April 14, 2013)


Bible Cliff’s Notes (My dog ate my Bible!) Gospel John 21:1-19 Jesus’ third appearance to the disciples after the resurrection. They’re not catching fish; Jesus tells them to try the other side of the boat and they catch hundreds. First Reading Acts 9:1-6 Paul (called Saul until he converted to Christianity, then renamed Paul), the erstwhile professional Christian assassin, encounters Jesus on the road to Damascus. This is a pretty big deal for Paul, and the turning point after … [Read more...]

Resources on Good Friday and Blood Atonement


If you're like me, you struggle with Easter. Yes, of course there's the whole mystery of resurrection and Easter, but more than that, there's crucifixion and all that carries with it. Personally, I ome away from Easter and the entirety of Holy week with more questions than answers: What does resurrection look like? And what if I can't wrap my mind around a bodily resurrection? Why call Good Friday "good?" Did Jesus really die for our sins? What kind of a God sets up his son for that kind … [Read more...]

Truth or Fact? Lectionary Texts for Sunday, April 7th


Bible Cliff’s Notes (My dog ate my Bible!) Gospel John 20:19-31 Jesus appears to his disciples and breathes the Holy Spirit into them. He endows them with powers of healing and forgiveness of sin. Thomas wasn’t there and doesn’t believe unless he sees Jesus for himself. Jesus reappears to the disciples and lets Thomas feels his wounds, and says, “Happy are those who haven’t seen and still believe.” First Reading Acts 5:27-32 Disciples are brought before the high priest an … [Read more...]

Welcome to the Heretic’s Guide to the Bible!

Thanks for taking a chance on this new project with me. Whether you’re a seasoned preacher or a Bible newbie, taking on scripture can be tougher than gnawing through week-old bagels (dontcha hate when you get those poppy seeds stuck in your teeth??). If I’m being honest with you, it freaks me out a little bit too, but I also think it’s an important thing to try. There are tons of reasons we don’t pick up our Bibles. The stories are boring. They don’t make sense. They seem to lack … [Read more...]

Resurrection for Dummies: Reflections on the Easter Texts


Easter Sunday March 31, 2013 ∞ Bible Cliff’s Notes (Or, the Dog Ate My Bible) Gospel: Luke 24:1-12 Jesus’ tomb is empty. The women who discover he’s gone and then Peter are baffled. First Reading: Acts 10:34-43 Peter speaks to Cornelius and a group of Gentiles about the resurrection and about God showing no favor to a particular group of people. Psalm: Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24 The stone rejected by builders is now the foundation stone. Psalmist also rejoices in God’s … [Read more...]

I’m a Loser, Baby: Lectionary Texts for March 24, 2013


Bible Cliff’s Notes (My dog ate my Bible!) ∞ Gospel Luke 22:14-23:56 (long/full version) Luke 23:1-49 (short version) Jesus is tried and crucified. First Reading No “first reading” this week. Why? Ask the Lectionary people! But my guess is that it has to do with how long the Gospel text is. The long version is 114 verses. Psalm Psalm 31:9-16 I’m a loser, God. But I trust you. Second Reading Philippians 2:5-11 Empty yourselves out, humble yourself and you … [Read more...]

You’d Better Recognize: Lectionary Texts for March 17, 2013


Bible Cliff’s Notes (My dog ate my Bible!) Gospel John 12:1-8 Mary anoints Jesus’ feet with expensive oil. First Reading Isaiah 43:16-21 I’m doing a new thing; don’t you recognize it? Psalm Psalm 126 God, change our circumstances for the better. Let those who plant with tears reap the harvest with joyful shouts. Second Reading Philippians 3:4b-14 Forget what’s behind; reach ahead. Lose everything you have for the sake of Christ. ∞ WTF? (Breaking down … [Read more...]

Get It Together! Lectionary Texts for March 10th

get it together

Bible Cliff’s Notes (My dog ate my Bible!) Gospel Luke 15:1-3 Jesus associates with sinners and tax collectors 11b-32 Story of the Prodigal son. First Reading Joshua 5:9-12 Removing the “disgrace of Egypt” from the Jews. Celebrated Passover in Gilgal. No more manna; eating from the crops of the earth. Psalm Psalm 32 The one whose wrongdoing is forgiven is truly happy. Do not keep silent, but confess your sin to God. Second Reading 2 Corinthians 5:16-21 We … [Read more...]