David J. Lull

Second Sunday after Christmas Day

January 4, 2015
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Jeremiah 31.7-14
Reading 2: 
Psalm 147.12-20
Reading 3: 
Ephesians 1.3-14
Reading 4: 
John 1.1-18
By David J. Lull

With today’s readings, we have left behind stories of Jesus’ birth. Instead, the focus is on God’s timeless redemption of all people—indeed, all creation—revealed (and effected) in and through Jesus Christ. Each of our texts has an element of “Advent”—the “not yet” of our future! Each text also has an element of the “Epiphany” to the nations.

 

Jeremiah 31.7-14

First Sunday after Christmas Day

December 28, 2014
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Isaiah 61.10-62.3
Reading 2: 
Psalm 148
Reading 3: 
Galatians 4.4-7
Reading 4: 
Luke 2.22-40
By David J. Lull

After Christmas Day, the theme still is “what God has done and is doing in the world for all peoples”! Isaiah interpreted the restoration of Israel after the Babylonian conquest and deportation of Israel as a sign of God’s justice and victory for “all the nations” to see. Psalm 148 proclaims God is the God of all creation! Paul wrote to gentile Galatians to explain that God’s promise to save everyone, without exception, through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ.

Christmas Day

December 25, 2014
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Isaiah 52.7-10
Reading 2: 
Psalm 98
Reading 3: 
Hebrews 1.1-4
Reading 4: 
John 1.1-14
By David J. Lull

“What God has done and is doing in the world for all peoples” is the theme for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!

 

Christmas Eve

December 24, 2014
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Isaiah 9:2-7
Reading 2: 
Psalm 96
Reading 3: 
Titus 2:11-14
Reading 4: 
Luke 2:1-20
By David J. Lull

“What God has done and is doing in the world for all peoples” is the theme for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!

 

Proper 21

September 28, 2014
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Exodus 17.1-7
Reading 2: 
Psalm 78.1-4, 12-16
Reading 3: 
Philippians 2.1-13
Reading 4: 
Matthew 21.23-32
By David J. Lull

Unless otherwise noted, biblical quotations are from the NRSV.
 

Today’s readings have a common theme: obedience, fidelity, faithfulness to God. 

Exodus 17.1-7

Proper 20

September 21, 2014
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Exodus 16.2-15
Reading 2: 
Psalm 105.1-6, 37-45
Reading 3: 
Philippians 1.21-30
Reading 4: 
Matthew 20.1-16
By David J. Lull

Unless otherwise noted, the biblical quotations are from the NRSV.
 

Exodus 16.2-15 (and Psalm 105.1-6, 37-45)

See Walter Brueggemann, “Exodus,” in The New Interpreter’s Bible, edited by Leander E. Keck (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1994), vol. 1:812-16.

Proper 19

September 14, 2014
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Exodus 14.19-31
Reading 2: 
Psalm 114
Reading 3: 
Romans 14.1-12
Reading 4: 
Matthew 18.21-35
By David J. Lull

Unless otherwise noted, the biblical quotations are from the NRSV.

 

Exodus 14.19-31 and Psalm 114

Proper 18

September 7, 2014
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Exodus 12.1-14
Reading 2: 
Psalm 149
Reading 3: 
Romans 13.8-14
Reading 4: 
Matthew 18.15-20
Alt Reading 2: 
Psalm 119.33-40
Alt Reading 1: 
Ezekiel 33.7-11
By David J. Lull

Unless otherwise noted, the biblical quotations are from the NRSV.

 

In your preparation for preaching on today’s readings, you might consider their different approaches and solutions to sin.

  • The Exodus reading and today’s psalm focus on God’s liberation of those who have been sinned against, and God’s fierce judgment against those who sin against others that leaves no room for repentance.

Proper 25

October 27, 2013
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Joel 2:23-32
Reading 2: 
Psalm 65
Reading 3: 
2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18
Reading 4: 
Luke 18:9-14
By David Lull

The Gospel reading for this week has been a centerpiece in Christian anti-Judaism. Christians have made the Pharisee a stereotype of self-righteous, legalistic Jews. For Christians, the toll collector is an iconic hero, an example of true Christian piety. Never mind that his life work contributed to Rome’s imperial domination of Judea! Is it possible to find good news for Jews and Christians in this parable, or do we have to find it against this parable? These issues are so important that I will focus my comments on the Gospel.

Proper 24

October 20, 2013
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Jeremiah 31:27-34
Reading 2: 
Psalm 119:97-104
Reading 3: 
2 Timothy 3:14-4:5
Reading 4: 
Luke 18:1-8
By David Lull

This week’s lections explore novelty in God’s acts of righteous justice, and the delicate balance between confidence in one’s ability to be faithful to God’s righteousness and relying on God’s help.

Jeremiah 31:27-34

Proper 22

October 6, 2013
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Lamentations 1:1-6
Reading 2: 
Psalm 137
Reading 3: 
2 Timothy 1:1-14
Reading 4: 
Luke 17:5-10
By David Lull

What do you say about God when bad things happen? How do you reconcile God’s unconditional and unsurpassable love with texts that ask God to kill the enemy’s “little ones”? What—concretely, physically, empirically—does it mean to profess, “Christ Jesus is savior”? Can slavery serve as a metaphor for complete devotion to Jesus today?

Lamentations 1:1-6

Proper 21

September 29, 2013
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15
Reading 2: 
Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16
Reading 3: 
1 Timothy 6:6-19
Reading 4: 
Luke 16:19-31
By David Lull

This week’s texts continue to explore the inseparability of religion and politics, the contrast between faithfulness and idolatry, the grave danger of the love of wealth, and the relationship between divine judgment and hope.

Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15

Proper 20

September 22, 2013
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Jeremiah 8:18-9:1
Reading 2: 
Psalm 79:1-9
Reading 3: 
1 Timothy 2:1-7
Reading 4: 
Luke 16:1-13
By David Lull

 Jeremiah 8.18–9.1: Speak the truth clearly and boldly!

Proper 23

October 13, 2013
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7
Reading 2: 
Psalm 66:1-12
Reading 3: 
2 Timothy 2:8-15
Reading 4: 
Luke 17:11-19
By David Lull

Our world has too many refugees and exiles, yearning to be free and restored to wholeness. With them, we also yearn for a world without refugees, exiles, and deportees. Today’s lectionary readings invite reflections on hope and faith in the face of suffering.

Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7

Proper 19

September 15, 2013
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28
Reading 2: 
Psalm 14
Reading 3: 
1 Timothy 1:12-17
Reading 4: 
Luke 15:1-10
By David Lull

The lectionary committee seems to want us to read 1 Timothy 1:12-17 and Luke 15:1-10 as the “good news” response to the “bad news” of Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28, and Psalm 14!

Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28

Proper 18

September 8, 2013
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Jeremiah 18:1-11
Reading 2: 
Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18
Reading 3: 
Philemon 1:1-1:21
Reading 4: 
Luke 14:25-33
By David Lull

Jeremiah 18:1-11

Proper 17

September 1, 2013
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Jeremiah 2:4-13
Reading 2: 
Psalm 81:1, 10-16
Reading 3: 
Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16
Reading 4: 
Luke 14:1, 7-14
By David Lull

My wife and I have just moved from Iowa to California, and we have given first attention to moving in. I am now up against a last minute deadline to post the first commentary for September. Consequently, I can only offer questions and brief comments to think about. For later Sundays, I plan to offer more developed commentaries.

Jeremiah 2:4-13

Easter Sunday

April 24, 2011
See Also: 

Lenten Candle Liturgy
Lenten Benedictions/Commissioning/Blessings

Preaching Lent/Easter I
Preaching Lent/Easter II
Preaching Lent/Easter III

John Cobb on atonement
John Cobb on redemption
John Cobb on Jesus
Biblical Preaching on the Death of Jesus (Cobb)

Reading 1: 
Acts 10.34-43 or Jeremiah 31.1-6
Reading 2: 
Psalm 118.1-2, 14-24
Reading 3: 
Colossians 3.1-4 or Acts 10.34-43
Reading 4: 
John 20.1-18 or Matthew 28.1-10
By David J. Lull

Easter Day turns our focus to our deepest hopes and desires. Many of us have forgotten what those are or have replaced them with hopes and desires that are too small, too narrow, and too selfish. Easter Day reminds that God is the source of our deepest hopes and desires, and not we ourselves.

Passion/Palm Sunday

April 17, 2011
See Also: 

Lenten Candle Liturgy
Lenten Benedictions/Commissioning/Blessings

Preaching Lent/Easter I
Preaching Lent/Easter II
Preaching Lent/Easter III

John Cobb on atonement
John Cobb on redemption
John Cobb on Jesus
Biblical Preaching on the Death of Jesus (Cobb)

Reading 1: 
Isaiah 50.4-9a
Reading 2: 
Psalm 118.1-2, 19-29
Reading 3: 
Philippians 2.5-11
Reading 4: 
Matthew 21.1-11, Matthew 26.14-27.66 or Matthew 27.11-54
Alt Reading 2: 
Psalm 31.9-16
By David J. Lull

What was Jesus’ journey toward “Holy Week” like? A traditional answer, perhaps the most popular, is that it was a journey toward the death God intended him to die “for us”: the journey of a “dead man walking,” so to speak. Some Christians find hope in that scenario. However, it does not speak to many in our churches, as well as to many who have left our churches, who cannot make sense of it, or find it offensive. For some, mostly women, this scenario lends support to those who have abused them.

5th Sunday in Lent

April 10, 2011
See Also: 

Year A
Year B
Year C

Lenten Candle Liturgy
Lenten Benedictions/Commissioning/Blessings

Preaching Lent/Easter I
Preaching Lent/Easter II
Preaching Lent/Easter II

John Cobb on atonement
John Cobb on redemption
John Cobb on Jesus
John Cobb on Death of Jesus
Cobb/Lull: Romans

Reading 1: 
Ezekiel 37.1-14
Reading 2: 
Psalm 130
Reading 3: 
Romans 8.6-11
Reading 4: 
John 11.1-45
By David J. Lull

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