Lectionary Commentary

The Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany

February 1, 2015
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Deuteronomy 18:15-20
Reading 2: 
Psalm 111
Reading 3: 
I Corinthians 8:1-13
Reading 4: 
Mark 1:21-28
By Bruce Epperly

What insights can a process preacher bring to reflection on unclean spirits and demonic possession? It is tempting to disregard Mark 1:21-28 altogether as an irrelevant era piece, pertinent only to studies of a bygone era. Progressive Christianity seldom deals with the supernatural or demonic. We have exorcized the devil and Satan from our theologies, and have doubts about angels and demons. Yet, there is a side of life that goes beyond reason and human control.

Third Sunday after the Epiphany

January 25, 2015
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Jonah 3:1-5, 10
Reading 2: 
Psalm 62:5-12
Reading 3: 
Corinthians 7:29-31
Reading 4: 
Mark 1:14-20
By Bruce Epperly

Today’s scriptures invite us to let go of the familiar and live in the ever-flowing stream of life.  We may have to let go of our job security, theological certainty, or way of life, or at least our attachment to these as the final ends of our lives.  But, God’s holy adventure provides us with possibilities and encounters that are more than we can ask or imagine.

Second Sunday after the Epiphany

January 18, 2015
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Samuel 3:1-10
Reading 2: 
Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18
Reading 3: 
I Corinthians 6:12-20
Reading 4: 
John 1:43-52
By Bruce Epperly

Process theology affirms the ubiquity of divine revelation. In one way or another, each creature and each moment of experience is influenced by God. Philosophically speaking, each emerging moment of experience (actual entity) receives its “initial aim” toward self-creation from God in the context of its environment and past historical context. Beyond these rather sterile words, we can say that God provides each moment of life with a vision and the energy to seek the highest good for itself and its environment.

The Baptism of Jesus

January 11, 2015
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Genesis 1:1-5
Reading 2: 
Psalm 29
Reading 3: 
Acts 19:1-7
Reading 4: 
Mark 1:4-11
By Bruce Epperly

Today, we celebrate creation and re-creation as we consider the waters of baptism and the waters of the Spirit that refresh and renew us, body, mind, spirit, and relationships. Process theology has much to say about creation as relational and emerging. God is constantly creating and is bringing forth new life throughout our cells and souls, and every aspect of the universe, human and non-human. Divine creativity encourages creativity and agency, supportive of our own growth and the well-being of our environment.

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!

 

4th Sunday of Advent

December 21, 2014
Reading 1: 
2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16
Reading 3: 
Romans 16:25-27
Reading 4: 
Luke 1:26-38, 46-55
By Bruce G. Epperly

This lectionary commentary was first published on December 21, 2008.

 

3rd Sunday of Advent

December 14, 2014
Reading 1: 
Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11
Reading 2: 
Psalm 126
Reading 3: 
1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
Reading 4: 
John 1:6-8, 19-28
By Bruce G. Epperly

This Lectionary Commentary was first published on December 14, 2008.

 

2nd Sunday of Advent

December 7, 2014
Reading 1: 
Isaiah 40:1-11
Reading 2: 
Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13
Reading 3: 
2 Peter 3:8-15a
Reading 4: 
Mark 1:1-8
By Bruce G. Epperly

This Lectionary Commentary was first published on December 7, 2008.

 

1st Sunday of Advent

November 30, 2014
Reading 1: 
Isaiah 64:1-9
Reading 2: 
Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
Reading 3: 
I Corinthians 1:3-9
Reading 4: 
Mark 13:24-37
By Bruce G. Epperly

This lectionary commentary was first published on November 23, 2008.

 

Proper 29

November 23, 2014
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24
Reading 2: 
Psalm 100
Reading 3: 
Ephesians 1:15-23
Reading 4: 
Matthew 25:31-46
Alt Reading 1: 
Psalm 95:1-7a
By David Grant Smith

The Day

Proper 28

November 16, 2014
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Judges 4:1-7
Reading 2: 
Psalm 123
Reading 3: 
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
Reading 4: 
Matthew 25:14-30
By David Grant Smith

Judges 4:1-7

Proper 27

November 9, 2014
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25
Reading 2: 
Psalm 78:1-7
Reading 3: 
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Reading 4: 
Matthew 25:1-13
By David Grant Smith

Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25

Proper 26

November 2, 2014
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Joshua 3:7-17
Reading 2: 
Psalm 107:1-7, 33-37
Reading 3: 
1 Thessalonians 2:9-13
Reading 4: 
Matthew 23:1-12
By David Grant Smith

Joshua 3:7-17

All Saints' Day

November 2, 2014
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Revelation 7:9-17
Reading 2: 
Psalm 34:1-10, 22
Reading 3: 
1 John 3:1-3
Reading 4: 
Matthew 5:1-12
By David Grant Smith

All Saints' Day

 


Revelation 7:9-17

Proper 25

October 26, 2014
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Deuteronomy 34:1-12
Reading 2: 
Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17
Reading 3: 
1 Thessalonians 2:1-8
Reading 4: 
Matthew 22:34-46
By Ignacio Castuera

Holiness and finitude are the twin topics for this collection of texts. Even the great first Prophet, Moses, dies without accomplishing all he wished to do. He cannot enter the Promised Land. Like Martin Luther King centuries later he can only say I see it from afar. Reinhold Niebuhr left us with a great statement about finitude and, in some ways, about holiness: Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore, we must be saved by hope.

Proper 24

October 19, 2014
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Exodus 33:12-23
Reading 2: 
Psalm 99
Reading 3: 
1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
Reading 4: 
Matthew 22:15-22
By Ignacio Castuera

The self-exclusion of idolatry continues to be contrasted with the true worship of the One who loves all in the texts for our Sunday. In addition a kind of “explanation” for the tendencies toward idolatry is given in the Exodus passage. Even a prophet like Moses has doubts and wants to “see.” Not content with hearing the voice of God now he wants to see the face of God.

Proper 23

October 12, 2014
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Exodus 32:1-14
Reading 2: 
Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23
Reading 3: 
Philippians 4:1-9
Reading 4: 
Matthew 22:1-14
By Ignacio Castuera

October 12 is a most important day to remember. Preachers should not ignore the fullness of the meaning of this day for world history. Above all, pastors must not forget the pain of the conquered. In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue AND Spain expelled Muslim and Jew. 1492 brought to an end almost eight centuries of Islamic rule in the Iberian Peninsula and the universal dimensions of Andalusian Islam were shattered by the tribalistic perspectives of medieval Christianity.

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