As part of my work with sparkhouse, I was involved with the launch of lectionary-based website several years ago. The brainchild of the irascible Rev. Russell Rathbun, it’s called The Hardest Question, and we’ve posted two lectionary posts every week for three years, covering the entire cycle of the Revised Common Lectionary. It’s been great, hosting the thoughts of commentators like Phyllis Tickle, Lauren Winner, Nadia Bolz-Weber, and many, many more. This week, the posts are by Mike Stavlund. The site itself has been the indefatigable work of David Schoenknecht.
This week, Mark Stenberg launches his post on the Gospel lection thusly:
And with this name-calling of the Baptist we hereby are going live! No, calling you sons of snakes is not a best practices model of exceeding customer expectations and building brand loyalty. Deal with it. That’s the jolt of the Baptist, spewing forth his most gloriously damning words right in the middle of our Advent season, just when church leaders are looking to make that perfect first impression on their highly anticipated holiday shoppers.
And it goes on from there, ultimately asking if Matthew is really trying to silence the Baptist rather than give him voice.
Preachers and others who follow the lectionary would be wise to bookmark Question the Text. But be warned, its weekly offerings are not for the faint of heart.