Pentecost 17A What Does Authority Look Like?

The Gospel for the 17 Sunday after Pentecost is Matthew 21:23-32

“By what authority do you do these things, Jesus?”

 

Behind the current battle about “fake news,” and whom to believe—scientists or politicians, is an existential question about the nature of true authority.

There is a great difference between authority and authoritarianism. Matthew tells us about a confrontation […]

Pentecost 16a: The Limits of Rage and Zeal

The alternative first reading for the Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost is Jonah 3:10–4:11. This, and not the Big Fish, is the heart of the book. Jonah is forced to preach a warning to his arch-enemies in Nineveh. They repent. God changes his mind and forgives them. Jonah is angry, and wants to hold onto his […]

Pentecost 15a: Distanced, Different, But Not Divided

The Second Reading for this Sunday is Romans 14:1-12

 

It contains words such as ideas:

Welcome, and do not judge others who have different convictions, and live differently than you.
Leave the judging to God, who is, after all, merciful and capable of helping the fallen get up and stand.
Ultimately, all differences are superseded by Oneness: the one […]

Pentecost 12: Five Women Changed the World

The Old Testament reading for this coming 12th Sunday after Pentecost is Exodus 1:8—2:10. On this week in which we celebrated 100 years of women’s suffrage in the United States, and as we prepare ourselves in earnest to go to the polls for a globally important election, it is an apt time to consider five […]

Pentecost 11: Prejudice Defiles

The Gospel Reading for this Sunday is Mathew 15:1-28

 

The plague we are fighting today is not simply Covid-19. It is prejudice—the prejudice that keeps us from listening to people’s cries—the prejudice that fills us with fear, anger and hatred—the prejudice that defiles.

 

The lectionary gives us the choice at stopping at verse 20 of Matthew 15; […]

Pentecost 9: The Meal That Satisfies

We long to return to restaurants and bars; but what is it that we are searching for? It is now most vital that we answer that question quickly for ourselves since pre-mature and thoughtless gathering without masks and distancing and sanitizing, is surely inviting the plague to return with a vengeance.

 

Yet, we need to break […]

Pentecost 7: Covid-19 and the Groans of Creation

The second reading for the 7th Sunday of Pentecost is Romans 8:12-25

 

It contains these lines:

15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children […]

Pentecost 6--A New Age People

The Second Reading for this coming Sunday is Romans 8:1-11, which begins with this:

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

 

The late New Testament scholar, Joseph Fitzmyer, […]

Pentecost 5 Racist? Who me?

The second reading for the Fifth Sunday of Pentecost is Romans 7.15-25a

 

 

When I hear people of color today cry out against systemic racism, I want to reply, “I’m not racist.” I want to object that this country has come so far from the days of slavery and the sins of the Confederacy, that surely we […]

Pentecost 2: Sheep into the Midst of Wolves

Gospel for Proper 6 (Pentecost 2) Series A

Matthew 9:35–10:8 (10:9–23)

 

This is the year of Matthew in the Revised Common Lectionary. But this is the Sunday we get our first real introduction to what it means to be Christ-followers—what it means to be a genuine part of the church.

 

And it isn’t pretty! And it is not […]