First thoughts on Luke 5:1-11 (Narrative Lectionary)

If asked which Gospel is your favorite, I imagine a preacher should respond in much the same way a parent should respond to being asked about their favorite child: “Well, each one has its unique endearments and they are all equally precious.” Nevertheless, Luke has always been my favorite Gospel. Partly, yes, because it is…

A Prayer for Protection in a Time of Violence

I know I am not the only one worried about violence erupting in the United States in these days leading up to Biden’s inauguration. There have been threats of violence against churches and members of congress. Right wing groups have called for raids on every state capitol. Too many people with deeply held racist beliefs…

Storming the Capital on Epiphany

The part of the Epiphany story I have always found most haunting is Matthew 2:3: “When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him.” This one line speaks to an insecure and immature political leader who the people understand will do damage if he feels threatened. It foreshadows the slaughter of…

Reflection on Luke 3:1-17

At Peace Mennonite, we are currently using the Narrative Lectionary for worship. I will occasionally post some thoughts about the coming Sunday’s scripture as part of my own sermon preparation. These aren’t fully formed pieces, but may give some inspiration. John the Baptist apparently didn’t read many church growth blogs. He sets up his ministry…

Prayer for the New Year

God of new life,God of life made new, We begin this new year as we ended the last–embraced by your spirit of loveyour presence of peaceyour gentle power. We leave behind the old year in the knowledge thatWhatever we have done in the service of selfish desire;Whenever we have participated in injustice;However we have strayed…

Christmas Reflection: Life as Gift

(Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11-14a) I’ll be honest with you–my life is not exactly the way I want it to be. Like everyone, I have rough spots; times of illness and stress and just plain grumpiness. Times it is difficult to accept life as the gift that it is. I imagine Mary had one of those times…

Christmas Reflection: Follow that Star

(Matthew 2:1-12) This “beautiful Star of Bethlehem” has captured the hearts and imaginations of people for hundreds and hundreds of years. Poets, artists, and musicians have explored the mystery of this object—the holy light guiding the enigmatic magi to the Christ child. Actual historians and astronomers—honest to goodness scientists–pour over data and debate what exactly…

Christmas Reflection: Holy Foreigners

It seems that people around the world are drawing harder lines, taking harsher measures to separate people into groups; to establish who is “us” and who is “them”–and to claim security and power for “us” by putting “them” in their place. So it seems a good time for Epiphany. A good time for this familiar…

Christmas Reflection: The Point of the Waiting

I forgot to post this yesterday, so you get Monday’s reflection this morning and today’s reflection this afternoon. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! (Luke 2:22-40) Simeon and Anna sit in the temple—looking to, longing for, waiting for the messiah. It is a long hard waiting, with no Advent calendar to mark the…