Today marks the beginning of a new year on the church calendar. We start with Advent. And each year we shift our focus to a new gospel. Advent 2016 began Matthew’s turn. 2017 took us to Mark. Today, we move to Luke. If you are wondering when John gets to speak, his voice is interspersed in each of the three years. But we do not
John 18:33-37 33 Then Pilate entered the headquarters[a] again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?” 35 Pilate replied, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not from
I Samuel 1:4-20 On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters; but to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the Lord had closed her womb. Her rival used to provoke her severely, to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb. So it went on year by year; as often as she went
Luke 10:25-37 Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?” He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your
Prayer for Illumination: God of every unanswered question and every trembling heart, we need a word from you. Come in power and make these ancient scriptures live that we might know ourselves encountered by a love that will not let us go. Then send us forth unafraid to serve you with all that we are and all that we hold dear, for it is our
One of the joys in ministry is to encourage people to let their imagination loose as they explore scripture. When I was teaching at Trinity Episcopal School in Charlotte, we chaplains taught about the prophets from the Old Testament in fourth-grade. Now, you might expect that the prophets would be dry and distant for fourth graders, but we encouraged the kids to use their creativity.
John 15:5, 11-17 I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved
Psalm 22:1-11 1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning? 2 O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer; and by night, but find no rest. 3 Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. 4 In you our ancestors trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them.
Mark 9:30-37 They went on from there and passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it; for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.” But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid
Questions of identity loom large in our day. What does it mean to assign gender identity to a baby? Racial identity to a stranger? To be labeled neuro-typical or neuro-divergent? Disabled or able-bodied? When are we young? When are we middle-aged? When are we old? Questions of identity also loom large in today’s passage from Mark. When Jesus asks, “Who do people say that I