Sunday, May 1, 2016

6th Sunday of Easter (D)

Deuteronomy 15:1-18 OR 19:15-21
Psalm 129
Matthew 18:1-14 (15-20) OR Luke 9:46-50; 17:1-4
2Corinthians 9 


O God our Father, you have said through your Son that, unless we change and become like children, we will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Yet you have also promised that, whoever welcomes a child in your name welcomes Christ Jesus your Son, and whoever welcomes Christ welcomes you, who sent him into the world! Therefore, as we invoke your name and invite you into our midst, help us to be childlike and humble before you. And help us further to welcome your children into this place, for Jesus has said that in heaven their angels continually see your face. Truly, they are among the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, and you, the greatest of all, are among them!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Year D at the God Box

Hearty thanks are due to the entire Consultation on Common Texts, esp. Taylor Burton-Edwards and David Gambrell for graciously hosting and coordinating this interesting conversation on "Patterns of Proclamation" at the Interchurch Center on Monday, April 25, 2016. Thanks as well to fellow presenters Will Weedon, Msgr. Alan Detscher, Fritz West, Martha Simmons, and Karoline Lewis for their respective presentations and their parts in the concluding forum. Here is my bit on The Year D Project, which I later discovered blew way past the time limit, since all the side comments I had edited out somehow crept back in.

One particular note of clarification. I did not mean to say Presbyterian polity requires use of lectionaries, though it sort of came out that way on my way to saying that the Directory for Worship charges Presbyterian "teaching elders" with responsibility not only for biblical material covered by RCL, but also for that which lies beyond its three-year cycle, i.e., for the rest of the canon or "the fullness of Scripture." (W-2.2002, 3) That is where, at this juncture, I think we need more guides, resources, and scholarship, albeit suggestive (not legalistic) in nature, to which I hope Year D can serve as an invitation or an overture of sorts.

In case you are wondering, the hat tip to my colleague Matt Schlimm was a reference to his wonderful new book, This Strange and Sacred Scripture

Sunday, April 24, 2016

5th Sunday of Easter (D)

1Samuel 21:1-15 OR 2Kings 4:38-44
Psalm 49
Matthew 15:29-39; 16:1-12 OR Mark 8:1-26
2Corinthians 8:1-6 (7-15) 16-24


Praise be to you, O God of Israel, for sending your only Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to cure the sick and to restore to life those long dead. Showing us your great compassion, Christ Jesus feeds the hungry, makes the mute to speak, the lame to walk, the blind to see, and the maimed to be made whole. He himself, once dead and buried, was raised to eternal life, and thus fulfilled the sign of Jonah. Now reigning with you and the Holy Spirit in glory, he comes with the dawn to receive the worship of those who are baptized in his name, those who long for his glorious appearing. Therefore, let nothing worldly weigh down our words, our songs, our hearts, our spirits, but come and receive, O Triune God, the thanksgiving and praise that is due you! Praise be to you, O God of Israel, for you alone are worthy of praise.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

4th Sunday of Easter (D)

Genesis 38:1-30 OR Ecclesiastes 5:1-20
Psalm 10
Matthew 22:23-33 OR Mark 12:18-27 (OR Luke 20:27-40)
2Corinthians 7:2-16


Holy LORD, you are the God of the living, not the dead! For you, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, spoke from the burning bush about our ancestors, and spoke of them as living with you. Truly, you are the God of the Resurrection! Yours is the power, revealed in your Word, by which the dead are raised to new life and Christ Jesus your Son is the head of your new creation. By your grace, you have given us the Spirit of your risen Son to dwell in our hearts, that we might die to sin and self and live together with Christ in your eternal presence. This, O LORD, is our great consolation, and by this promise, you give us joy to see us through every temporary affliction. Therefore, we draw near to you, to offer you our thanks and praise. Come, LORD, and receive our humble, yet exultant, testimony to your goodness!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

3rd Sunday of Easter (D)

Zechariah 13:1-9
Psalm 60 OR Psalm 108
John 16:25-33
2Corinthians 6:11-7:1


O God our Father, whose love for us we have seen and known in Christ Jesus, we thank you for sending your Son into the world, for Christ has overcome the world for the vindication of your holy name and for the salvation of all who love and believe in him. We praise you for the promise that, though we face persecution in the world, we may take heart and find of peace in Jesus Christ, who has won for us the victory, and through whom we can approach you in confidence, in his name.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

2nd Sunday of Easter (D)

Hosea 14:1-9
Psalm 64 OR 119:73-96
John 16:16-24
2Corinthians 1:23-2:17


The LORD says, “What have I to do with idols?
It is I who answer and look after you.”
The ways of the LORD are right, and the upright walk in them,
but transgressors stumble in them.
“I am like an evergreen cypress; your faithfulness comes from me.
The wise understand these things; the discerning know them.”
Let the righteous rejoice and take refuge in the LORD.
Let all the upright in heart glory.
“You have pain now, but it will soon turn to joy; I will see you again,
and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.”
Thanks be to God, who in Christ leads us in triumphal procession,
and through us spreads the fragrance that comes from knowing him.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Resurrection of the Lord/Easter Sunday (D)

Deuteronomy 7:1-26
Psalm 75 OR 76
John 5:19-30
2Corinthians 1:1-17 (18-22)

Just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life,
so the Son gives life to whomever he wishes.
        Let all honor be given to the risen Son of God,
        to God the Father, and to God the Holy Spirit.
Jesus says, “Very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word
and believes him who sent me has eternal life.”
        The hour is coming - and this is the hour!  -
        when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God.
“Those who hear will live; whoever believes does not
come under judgment, but has passed from death to life.”
        Those in their graves will hear his voice and be raised —
        those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, 
        and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Good Friday (D) — A Prayer of Confession and Declaration of Forgiveness

Ezra 9:5-15 OR Jeremiah 25:15-38 OR 2Chronicles 7:1-22
Psalm 88
Luke 23:(1-12) 13-49
1Peter 4:1-19

Prayer of Confession [see Ezra 9]
O Lord our God, how can we lift our faces to you, for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has mounted up to the heavens. From the days of our ancestors to the present, we have been deep in guilt, and we are ashamed of all our iniquities. For we have forsaken your commandments and filled the land from end to end with uncleanness. And now, our God, what shall we say? Here we are before you in our guilt, and no one can face you who may claim to be righteousness, no one but Jesus Christ, the Righteous One himself. After all that has come upon us for our sins and our great guilt, you, our God, have not punished us as our iniquities deserve; you have not forsaken us, but have extended your steadfast love to us, to give us new life in Christ. Forgive us, therefore, O merciful God, for the sake of your gracious Son, Jesus Christ, that his great suffering and his redeeming work might bring us fully into eternal fellowship with you, and that we might commit and commend our spirits, as he has done, into your loving and gracious hand.

Declaration of Forgiveness [see Luke 23; 1Peter 4]
Truly Jesus our Messiah came not to save himself, but to save sinners. In his suffering on the cross, and in his prayer that even his executioners might be forgiven, he who was found guiltless has atoned for our guilt and secured the salvation of all those who, though formerly his enemies, now trust in him whose love covers a multitude of sins. For this is the reason the gospel was proclaimed even to you who were once dead in your sins, so that you too might live in the Spirit as God does, no longer by human desires, but by the will of God and with all the strength that God supplies, so that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ, in whom we are forgiven and to whom, with the Father and the Spirit, belongs all glory and power, forever and ever. Blessed be God forever! Amen!