Bible Readings for Sunday, May 29, 2022

Introduction It is possible to hear in Jesus’ high priestly prayer, a prayer he offered shortly before his death, the petitions of the ascended Christ for his own throughout history—to our day—and beyond. Jesus prays for us. In holy baptism … Continue reading

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Bible Readings for Sunday, May 22, 2022

Introduction Visions abound in the readings for the sixth Sunday of Easter. Paul has a vision about what to do. John has a vision of what will be. Jesus provides visions of peace that surpasses human understanding and power beyond … Continue reading

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Bible Readings for Sunday, May 15, 2022

Introduction Easter initiates a new day. It anticipates a new heaven and a new earth. The risen Christ is making all things new. In the mystery of holy baptism God has made new people of us. Today Jesus invites us … Continue reading

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Bible Readings for Sunday, May 8, 2022

Introduction The gift of new life, of eternal life, is the gift of the risen Christ. It is the promise of Jesus. It was true for Dorcas in Joppa. It was true for those “who have come out of the … Continue reading

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Bible Readings for Sunday, May 1, 2022

Introduction The disciples make a big splash and eat breakfast with the risen Jesus. Wading in the water (remembering baptism) and eating with Jesus (celebrating holy communion) is our weekly encounter with the risen Christ. Jesus asks us again and … Continue reading

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Bible Readings for April 24, 2022

Introduction In spite of all we have heard and all we have seen, it is often hard to believe. Because it is hard to believe, we will invest ourselves in the Easter mystery for fifty days (a week of weeks). … Continue reading

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Bible Readings for Sunday, April 17, 2022

Introduction “The last enemy to be destroyed is death,” Paul writes. Today Christ is risen, and we gather together with astonishment and joy. Christ is risen, and we have been set free from the bonds of death. Christ is risen, … Continue reading

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Bible Readings for April 10, 2022

Introduction Today we follow Christ from triumphal entry to the cross, each waypoint of the journey marked by Jesus’ compassion for those who would betray, mock, accuse, or do violence to him. Though persecuted and beaten, Jesus the Son of … Continue reading

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Bible Readings for April 3, 2022

Introduction Our God makes all things new. In the first reading God promises it. In the gospel Mary anticipates it, anointing Jesus’ feet with costly perfume in preparation for the day of his burial. In the second reading Paul recalls … Continue reading

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Bible Readings for Sunday, March 27, 2022

Introduction The psalm sets the tone this day: “Happy are they whose transgressions are forgiven, and whose sin is put away!” Happy are those who have “become the righteousness of God” in the merits of Christ Jesus. Happy are those … Continue reading

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Bible Readings for March 20, 2022

Introduction The warnings are plentiful and blunt on the third Sunday in Lent. Cut it out or get cut down! The warnings are accompanied by God’s invitation to attentiveness: “Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you … Continue reading

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Bible Readings for Sunday, March 13, 2022

Introduction Though we sometimes doubt and often resist God’s desire to protect and save us, our God persists. In holy baptism, God’s people have been called and gathered into a God-initiated relationship that will endure. Lent provides the church with … Continue reading

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Bible Readings for Sunday, March 6, 2022

Introduction These forty days called Lent are like no other. It is our opportune time to return to the God who rescues, to receive the gifts of God’s grace, to believe with the heart and confess with the mouth the … Continue reading

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Bible Readings for Feb. 27, 2020

Introduction Witnesses to the glory of God in the face of Jesus reflect that glory in the world. It was true for Moses. It was doubtless true for Peter, James, and John. We pray that it will be true of … Continue reading

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Bible Readings for Feb. 20, 2022

Introduction Mercy. Mercy. Mercy. Joseph lives it in Egypt. Jesus preaches it in the gospel. The Spirit guides us into merciful lives with the power of forgiveness to reconcile what is fractured and divided. Such merciful living is the baptismal … Continue reading

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Bible Readings for Feb. 13, 2022

Introduction Blessings and curses abound on the sixth Sunday after Epiphany. We would do well to listen closely to whom the “blessed ares” and the “woe tos” are directed and to find our place in the crowd among those who … Continue reading

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Bible Readings for Feb. 6, 2022

Introduction The fifth Sunday after Epiphany continues to highlight unlikely instruments and circumstances appointed to reveal God’s glory. “Who will go for us?” God asks. A person of unclean lips, a former persecutor of the church of God, and three … Continue reading

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Bible Readings for Jan. 30, 2022

Introduction The glory of God is often revealed when and where it is least expected. God uses our lips to declare that glory, inexperienced and hesitant though they may be. God uses our love to demonstrate that glory and so … Continue reading

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Bible readings for January 23, 2022

Introduction God’s glory is revealed in the reading of scripture. People stand at attention. People weep. People prostrate themselves in prayer. The unity of the church is another reflection of God’s glory. Most gloriously, the promises of God are fulfilled … Continue reading

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Bible readings for Jan. 16, 2022

Introduction The Sundays after Epiphany continue to celebrate the revelation of God’s glory to us as it was made known to the magi and to those on Jordan’s banks at Jesus’ baptism—today using wedding imagery. Our God rejoices over God’s … Continue reading

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Bible Readings for Jan. 9, 2022

Introduction Today’s festival rejoices in God’s blessings. We recall and celebrate our adoption as God’s children, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and the promised company of almighty God when we “pass through the waters . . . the rivers . . . fire.” … Continue reading

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Bible Readings for Jan. 2, 2022

Introduction Within the gospel reading’s profound words lies the simple message that God is revealed in a human person. Though we may try to understand how the Word existed with God from the beginning of time, the wonder we celebrate … Continue reading

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Bible Readings for Dec. 19, 2021

Introduction Cradle and cross are inextricably connected on the fourth Sunday of Advent. Between a lovely tribute to the little town of Bethlehem and Mary’s magnificent song of praise, the letter to the Hebrews reminds us in no uncertain terms … Continue reading

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Bible readings for Dec. 12, 2021

Introduction Christ’s presence in our midst in the wonder of the holy supper is cause for singing. The nearness of the God in prayer, in every circumstance, is cause for rejoicing. The coming of one “more powerful” than John, even … Continue reading

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Bible Readings for Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021

Introduction Forerunners and messengers advance the advent of our God. While John the baptizer’s voice in the wilderness may be the principal focus of the day, Malachi’s prophecy could as easily herald the coming Christ as forerunner of the Lord of hosts. … Continue reading

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Bible readings for Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021

Introduction Even after Israel had experienced the vagaries of kings, the people still longed for a true king to set things right. He would have the king’s title of Anointed One (Messiah); he would be the “one like a human … Continue reading

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Bible readings for Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021

Introduction Of all three years of the lectionary cycle, this year’s All Saints readings have the most tears. Isaiah and Revelation look forward to the day when God will wipe away all tears; in John’s gospel, Jesus weeps along with … Continue reading

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Bible readings for Oct. 31, 2021

Introduction Rooted in the past and growing into the future, the church must always be reformed in order to live out the love of Christ in an ever-changing world. We celebrate the good news of God’s grace, that Jesus Christ … Continue reading

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Bible readings for Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021

Introduction Can we pray the way Bartimaeus prays? People try to hush him up because by addressing Jesus as “Son of David” he is making a politically dangerous claim that Jesus is the rightful king. Could our prayers ever be … Continue reading

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Bible readings for Sunday, Oct. 17. 2021

INTRODUCTION Today’s gospel starts with disciples obsessing over who will be closest to Jesus, leading to Jesus teaching his followers about God’s take on importance and power. Here Jesus makes it explicit that the reversal of values in God’s community … Continue reading

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Bible readings for Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021

Introduction The rich man who comes to ask Jesus what he should do to inherit eternal life is a good man, sincere in his asking. Mark’s gospel is alone in saying that Jesus looked on him and loved him. Out … Continue reading

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Bible readings for Sunday, Oct. 2, 2021

Introduction Today’s gospel combines a saying that makes many of us uncomfortable with a story we find comforting. Jesus’ saying on divorce is another of his rejections of human legislation in favor of the original intent of God’s law. Jesus’ … Continue reading

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Bible readings for Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021

Introduction Today we hear James warn against selfish ambition, while the disciples quarrel over which one of them is the greatest. Jesus tells them the way to be great is to serve. Then, to make it concrete, he puts in … Continue reading

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Bible readings for Sept. 12, 2021

Introduction Three weeks ago we heard Peter’s confession of faith as told in John’s gospel. This week we hear Mark’s version, when Peter says, “You are the Messiah.” In John, the stumbling block is Jesus’ invitation to eat his flesh, … Continue reading

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Bible readings for Sept. 5, 2021

Introduction James tells us to stop showing favoritism in the assembly, treating the rich visitor with more honor than the poor one. Jesus himself seems to show partiality in his first response to the Syrophoenician woman in today’s gospel. Was … Continue reading

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Bible readings for Sunday, August 29, 2021

Introduction Jesus protests against human customs being given the weight of divine law, while the essence of God’s law is ignored. True uncleanness comes not from external things, but from the intentions of the human heart. Last week Jesus told … Continue reading

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Bible readings for Sunday, August 16, 2021

Introduction In today’s gospel many people take offense at Jesus’ invitation to eat his flesh and drink his blood; even many of Jesus’ disciples peel off. This is the backdrop in John’s gospel for Peter’s confession of faith. “To whom … Continue reading

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Bible readings for Sunday, August 15, 2021

Introduction Wisdom prepares a feast, sets her table, and invites all to come and eat her bread and drink her wine. The first chapter of John’s gospel owes much to the biblical tradition that imagined Wisdom as existing before anything … Continue reading

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Bible readings for Sunday, August 8, 2021

Introduction Jesus says that the bread he gives for the life of the world is his flesh, and whoever eats this bread has eternal life now and will be raised on the last day. In Ephesians Paul tells us what … Continue reading

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Bible readings for Sunday, August 1, 2021

Introduction Apparently not satisfied by Jesus’ feeding of thousands, some who were there press him for a sign of his power; perhaps it is daily manna they want. As always in John’s gospel when people want a sign, Jesus offers … Continue reading

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Bible readings for July 25, 2021

Today’s First Reading, Genesis 9:8-17, is recorded after the account of the devastating flood sent by God to destroy sinful humanity: the story of Noah and the ark.  In the flood we see God’s judgment on human sin – He is … Continue reading

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Bible readings for Sunday, July 18, 2021

The First Reading is found in Jeremiah 23:1-6.  This passage is written as an indictment against the leaders of Israel of Jeremiah’s day: they were not taking care of the people of God; in fact, they were scattering them instead … Continue reading

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Bible readings for July 11, 2021

The first Reading is recorded in Amos 7:7-15.  Before reading the lesson, consider some of the clichés we use in our society, for example: How are you measuring up?  Are you standing straight and true?  Those clichés, and similar ones, … Continue reading

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Bible readings for Sunday, July 4, 2021

The First Reading is recorded in Ezekiel 2:1-5.  There is an ominous tone in this passage: the Lord is sending the prophet Ezekiel to a sinful and rebellious people.  Of course, the Lord hopes that His rebellious people will repent, … Continue reading

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Bible readings for Sunday, June 27, 2021

Imagine what life would be like if your family and friends were either killed in warfare, or taken into captivity far from home.  Imagine a ruthless, brutal occupying army taking over and controlling everything you own and everything around you.  … Continue reading

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Bible readings for May 23, 2021

Happy Birthday!  A greeting we like to hear.  This greeting is appropriate because Pentecost Sunday is considered to be the birthday of the church!  Pentecost occurs 50 days after the resurrection of Jesus, and is the day when the Holy … Continue reading

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Bible readings for Sunday, May 16, 2021

This Sunday completes the seven Sundays of Easter, but the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection never ends, each Sunday in worship is a celebration of His resurrection as we gather to worship God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as we hear … Continue reading

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Bible readings for May 9, 2021

Today’s First Reading, Acts 10:34-48, is the account of the spread of the Gospel to the Gentiles (Gentiles are those who are not Jewish).  The context is that Peter has been summoned, and sent by God, to the home of … Continue reading

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Bible readings for Sunday, May 2, 2021

The First Reading is recorded in Acts 8:26-40.  In this passage we see the Gospel of Jesus being extended to an Ethiopian convert to Judaism, a court official, a high government official in Ethiopia.  Notice that the man had a … Continue reading

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Bible readings for Sunday, April 25, 2021

We are well into the Easter season, which is seven weeks and seven Sundays of joy that Jesus is risen, and that He reconciles us to God and to each other.  Let us rejoice!  The Fourth Sunday of Easter is … Continue reading

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