February 6, 2023

The Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany – February 12, 2023 Deuteronomy 30:15-20, Psalm 119:1-8, I Corinthians 3:1-9, Matthew 5:21-37 Today’s scripture readings reflect on life and death, joy and unhappiness, maturity and childishness in our spiritual lives and ethical decision-making. Death is not just a matter of physiology, it is also a matter of emotions, spirituality, and our institutional lives. Choosing the way of life brings joy and wholeness for ourselves and others. Choosing way of death puts our health,... Read more

January 30, 2023

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany – February 9. 2020 Isaiah 58:1-12, Psalm 112:1-10, 2 Corinthians 1-16, Matthew 5:13-20 A popular saying challenges us to “go big or go home.” The Season of Epiphany is for big thinkers and big actors. Going beyond parochialism, Epiphany charts a global faith. The Season of Epiphany calls us to creative transformation and to move from self-interest to world loyalty. It is the time of God’s revealing – the revealing of God’s vision, the... Read more

January 23, 2023

The Adventurous Lectionary – Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany – January 29, 2023 Bruce G. Epperly Micah 6:1-8 Psalm 15 I Corinthians 1:18-31 Matthew 5:1-12 Today’s scriptures turn our social norms upside down. The race is not always to the swift. The powerful don’t always win. Independence is a vice, and interdependence a virtue. Justice trumps profit and humility outlasts celebrity. Political power plays will end in ruin for politicians and their nations. Micah charts this week’s lectionary adventure. The... Read more

January 16, 2023

The Adventurous Lectionary – The Third Sunday after the Epiphany – January 22, 2023 Bruce G. Epperly Isaiah 9:1-4 ; Psalm 27:1, 4-9; I Corinthians 1:10-18; Matthew 4:12-23 Today’s readings capture the spirit of the magi, followers of Zoroaster, non-Jews who experience God’s revelation when the rightful religious leaders are oblivious. Foreigners and strangers and pioneers in inter-spirituality who worship God of Jesus, while remaining true to their own faith and ethnicity. Following the star, taking a chance on a... Read more

January 8, 2023

The Adventurous Lectionary – Second Sunday after the Epiphany – January 19, 2020 Isaiah 49:1-7; Psalm 41:1-11; I Corinthians 1:1-9; John 1:29-42 The Second Sunday of Epiphany focuses on the nature of call. Life is a call and response in which God speaks to us in our gifts and in the events of our lives, and we respond, embodying God’s call in our own unique way. Our call is for us and our fulfillment. It is also for the world... Read more

January 2, 2023

The Baptism of Jesus – January 8, 2107 Isaiah 42:1-9; Psalm 29; Acts 10:34-43; Matthew 3:13-17 Epiphany is all about revealing the divine in expected and unexpected places. Today’s revelation is all about water, one of the most common and taken for granted aspects of first world life. Our tap water, flowing Jordan waters, waves on Cape Cod shores, the water of the womb, and the waters that nourish our crops and our bodies. Yet, water can be scarce in... Read more

December 26, 2022

The Adventurous Lectionary – January 1, 2023 – The First Sunday of Christmas Isaiah 63:7-9 Psalm 148 Hebrews 2:10-18 Matthew 2:13-23 A new year is upon us. After the revels of the holidays, with extra services and visits, and imaging for the year ahead, many pastors are taking the Sunday. Indeed, I am preaching on New Year’s Day to give a respite to a local colleague. Hopefully, it will not be a “low” Sunday, after the “high” of Christmas Eve.... Read more

December 24, 2022

I never knew what became of them. Every year scores of people come to our church seeking help in responding to needs of body, mind, and spirit. And we always tried to respond with grace and generosity. But this couple was unique. It was two days before Christmas, and they showed up in a battered car that they had been sleeping in since being evicted from their apartment the week before. They had a history, involving drugs and alcohol, like... Read more

December 19, 2022

The Adventurous Lectionary – Christmas Eve and Day , December 24/25, 2022 Isaiah 9:2-7 Luke 2:1-20 John 1:1-14 Christmas Eve is a challenge for preachers. And, this year, so is Christmas Day, since it falls on a Sunday this year and many congregations’ worship will be modestly attended in person or will be online this year. Moreover, this year, with the lessening of COVID fears, most congregations expect good attendance on Christmas Eve. Even with the diminishing importance of Christian... Read more

December 11, 2022

The Adventurous Lectionary – The Fourth Sunday in Advent – December 18, 2022 Isaiah 7:10-16 Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19 Romans 1:1-7 Matthew 1:18-25 The Christmas stories join metaphysics and mysticism in the messy incarnation of Jesus. Today’s reading is about a world changing birth inspired by Joseph’s Christ-saving dream. While we need not neglect Isaiah’s imaginative vision of a child whose birth will change everything, the Psalmist’s hymn to divine restoration, or Paul’s account of Jesus as the fulfillment of God’s... Read more

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