Sunday, May 29, 2016

Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time [Proper 4]

Deuteronomy 31:30-32:27 OR Isaiah 5:8-17
Psalm 142
Matthew 17:9-20 OR Mark 9:9-29 OR Luke 9:18-27 (28-36) 37-45
Philippians 2:14-30

O God, our Provider, who sent the Son of Man to suffer for human sin and raised him from the dead by your almighty mercy, draw near and fill us with your Holy Spirit, increasing the faith of all who would receive you. For though we believe, O LORD, yet we would have you help our unbelief! Speak to us and remind us of your amazing miracles and your wonderful deeds! Raise us up, we pray. Lead us into such height and depth and breadth of faith that we might, in faith, remove the mountains that would intimidate us and block our progress on the everlasting way, for you have promised us, as your disciples, that if we only have faith like a mustard seed, nothing will be impossible for us. Come, LORD, that we may worship you and enjoy your holy presence, find refreshment in your Word and Spirit, and be equipped for the work of Christ, for his name’s sake and yours.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Trinity Sunday (D)

1Kings 9:1-9; 11:1-13 OR Ecclesiastes 8:1-17
Psalm 35
John 15:18-25 (26-27); 16:1-4a
2Corinthians 12:11-21; 13:1-10 (11-13)


The Lord Jesus Christ is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful in you. For though he was crucified in weakness, he lives by the power of God; and though we too are weak in him, yet we will live with him, again, by the power of God. Therefore, let everything be done for the sake of building up one another in faith, in truth, in love. Do nothing wrong, but do what is right, for those who walk the way of Christ cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth, as they grow in the love and the Spirit of Christ toward perfection. Know then that, by the grace of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven and free to persevere in faith.

Saturday, May 21, 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, May 15, 2016

Pentecost Sunday (D)

Exodus 4:1-17 OR Deuteronomy 5:1-15 (6-21) 22-33 OR 31:23-29 OR Daniel 12:1-13
Psalm 119:113-136
Matthew 10:9-23 OR Luke 12:1-12
Corinthians 11:1-12:1


The Lord has spoken with a loud voice
from the fire, the cloud, and the thick darkness!
       Who has heard the voice of the living God speaking,
       and remained alive?
Truly the Lord is holy and greatly to be feared!
Yet, just as truly, God may speak to someone and the person may still live.
       O Lord, show us your greatness and glory!
       Let us hear your voice from the fire!
The Lord has said: If only they had such a mind as this,
to fear me and to keep my commandments always,
that it might go well with them and their children forever!
       Let us draw near and hear what the Lord our God will say.
       Let us listen and do all that the Lord commands.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Pentecost (Year C)

Holy and eternal God, we confess that we have failed to keep your commandments; we have been quick to surrender our dreams and visions, and slow to share in the sufferings of Christ; we are too easily bound by fear and reluctant to surrender those things in our lives that block the free flow of your mighty love. Forgive us, O God, and clear a straight path from your mouth to our hearts, that our lives might overflow with the good news of your grace that we see and know in Jesus Christ.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

7th Sunday of Easter

Jeremiah 9:23-24; 24:1-10
Psalm 115
Mark 11:27-33 [AND Mark 12:35-37 if Ascension not observed]
OR Luke 20:1-8 [AND Luke 20:41-47 is Ascension not observed]
2Corinthians 10


Almighty God, we live among a generation that constantly questions authority. We confess that we too have been slow to heed your messengers, to acknowledge the authority of your Word and your Spirit, to believe and obey the gospel of your Son, our Sovereign, Jesus Christ. We have too often feared human opinions more than your holy judgments. Forgive us, LORD, for our rebellion and for the bad fruit we have borne. Make us new by the transforming power and grace of your Spirit, that we might gain victory over the strongholds that have bound us, and bear good and lasting fruit for the kingdom of your beloved Son, in whose holy name we pray.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Ascension (Thursday)

Proverbs 1:1-7
Psalm 119:145-176
Mark 12:35-37 OR Luke 20:41-47
1John 2:3-29


Let the wise hear and gain in learning.
Let the discerning acquire skill.
         For fools despise wisdom and instruction,
         But the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.
Let those who fear the Lord await the Holy Spirit,
that they may come to understand proverbs and figures and words of insight.
         We shall delight in the words of our Savior,
         the Messiah, the Son of David.
For David himself, by the Holy Spirit,
calls his own son, ‘Lord,’ saying,
         “The Lord said to my Lord,
         ‘Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet.’”
Let those who fear the Lord seek the Holy Spirit,
that they may gain instruction in wisdom and righteousness, justice and equity.
         Then we shall teach discernment to the simple,
         the knowledge of the Lord and prudence to the young.

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!