Readings: 1 Samuel 2:1-10; Psalm 113; Romans 12:9-16b; Luke 1:39-57
Romans teems with heady imperatives this week.
Some are intuitive: “Let love be genuine,” Paul demands, and “be ardent in spirit,” alongside “live in harmony with one another” (Romans 12:9, 11, 16). More than likely, these are spiritual orientations we’d be wont to reference if asked about the center of our faith.
But what about the requirements that are less suited to sunny days, to the joyful generosity which follows from great blessings?
Acts 2:1-21; Genesis 11:1-9; Psalm 104:24-34, 35b; Romans 8:14-17; Acts 2:1-21; John 14:8-17, (25-27); Genesis 11:1-9
The story of the Tower of Babel presents an idea of God which most likely sits uncomfortably with many of us.
Readings: Acts 16:9-15; Psalm 67; Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5; John 5:1-9
I recently had a discussion with my spiritual leader about the reservations I have when it comes to prayer.
More precisely, I admitted to him that prayer is something I tend to feel inept at. I’ve never been able to follow the formats we learn as children with real sincerity.
Readings: Acts 11:1-18; Psalm 148; Revelation 21:1-6; John 13:31-35
We used to call my Grandpa Johnny every Sunday to catch up across our three thousand miles .We tended to catch him after church, and he usually had a good church joke for me. “The priest said the salad prayer today. Do you know it?” he’d ask, and though I’d heard this one before, I’d pretend ignorance. “It starts ‘lettuce pray,’” said grandpa, and you could hear him smile across the line.
Readings: Acts 9:36-43; Psalm 23; Revelation 7:9-17; John 10:22-30
While most of our lectionary cycle affords us time to consider the great deeds Jesus did while on Earth, through to the sacrifice which purchased humanity’s eternal freedom, these weeks after Easter leave us reflecting on a different period.
For most of the year, we remember the periods in which Christ was a physical presence, in which his days were spent rescuing and teaching those around him. Now, we watch as the disciples, without Jesus’s constant presence, struggle to bring those examples and lessons to bear.
Readings: Acts 9:1-6, (7-20); Psalm 30; Revelation 5:11-14 ; John 21:1-19
Our gospel reading for the week finds the disciples out to sea.
The gospel means this literally: Simon Peter and the others, while in Tiberias, took a boat out on the water before sunrise to see if they could catch their breakfast.
While spending time in the reading, though, many of us will draw a connection in the figurative sense, particularly those of us with connections to Boston.
Readings: Acts 5:27-32; Psalm 118:14-29; Psalm 150; Revelation 1:4-8; John 20:19-31
This lectionary cycle presents us with some interesting challenges.
For this year’s second week of Easter, we encounter passages from John and Acts, both of which cast our brethren in a questionable light. This is a frequent occurrence in the former book, and not an infrequent one in the latter.
Readings: Acts 10:34-43; Isaiah 65:17-25; Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24; 1 Corinthians 15:19-26; Acts 10:34-43; John 20:1-18; Luke 24:1-12
How odd that a holiday which was supposed to have demolished all earthly divisions becomes a pretext for divisiveness.
Wolf and lamb are supposed to feed together in the world made new, Isaiah says (Isaiah 65:25). Christ’s death, and then his resurrection, is meant to be a reminder of God’s impartiality—proof that all who do what is right are acceptable to God (Acts 10:34-35). Death is destroyed; new life takes root.
Readings: Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29; Luke 19:28-40
Palm Sunday revolves around stories of rejection and redemption.
Most obviously, such transformations are centered in Christ. Though at the religious margins of his day, and though from the humble family of stone masons (and with a mother whose virtue may still have been held in doubt, socially), Jesus rides into Jerusalem—a city in all these ways ostensibly not “his”—on a carpet of palms and the cloaks of the people.
Readings: Isaiah 43:16-21; Psalm 126; Philippians 3:4b-14 ; John 12:1-8
There’s a certain futility involved in meditating too long on what might have been.
Futile or not, we’re all given to these moments. They arise at three a.m. and chase sleep away, or come up when we encounter someone connected to an embarrassing memory.
Would my life have turned out differently, if…? What could we have been to each other, if only I’d done things a bit differently?