Doth Magnify the Lord: Advent 4C

Some Thoughts for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

Texts:

  • Old Testament: Micah 5:2-5
  • Canticle: The Magnificat (St. Luke 1:46-55) -or- Psalm 80:1-7
  • Epistle: Hebrews 10:5-10
  • Holy Gopsel: St. Luke 1:39-45*

*The Gospel lection is flexible as to guarantee that if the psalm is used in place of the Magnificat, the Blessed Virgin’s song of praise is still read.


Texts in Summary:

As we come to the end of Advent, we make a thematic shift. The lectionary had been pointing us ever forward to the eschaton – starting with apocalyptic imagery at the end of St. Luke’s Gospel and then with John the Baptist’s call to repentance and use of fiery imagery. Now, the RCL is putting everyone in their starting positions.

Continue reading “Doth Magnify the Lord: Advent 4C”

A Righteous Branch: Advent 1C

Sermon Thoughts for the First Sunday of Advent

Texts:

  • Old Testament: Jeremiah 33:14-16
  • Psalm 25:1-10
  • New Testament: 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
  • Holy Gospel: St. Luke 21:25-36

Texts In Summary:

As we move into Advent, we begin at the end – with a dose of eschatology and apocalypticism. In November, the lectionary cycle ended with a distinct turn towards the end of things, and we pick up there as well, like a snake devouring its own tail.

Continue reading “A Righteous Branch: Advent 1C”

Re-Arranging the Markan Narrative: A Modest Lectionary Proposal

DSC_2988There’s a saying among preachers: “Two cheers for the lectionary.”

The Revised Common Lectionary keeps us rooted in the ongoing and unfolding narrative of the liturgical year, provides a wide choice of texts from which to preach, and unites Protestants across denominational lines. In short, it moves us towards becoming a more fully catholic Church. Some proponents of sermon series or the “Narrative Lectionary” dismiss this achievement as yearning for a long-lost “Christendom,” but we should not be so quick to dismiss the lectionary’s major accomplishments. Lutherans, Presbyterians, Methodists, Episcopalians, and even a few Baptists reading and preaching on the same texts? Deo gratias! Continue reading “Re-Arranging the Markan Narrative: A Modest Lectionary Proposal”

Salvation Through the Waters

A Homily for the First Sunday in Lent

Texts: Genesis 9:8-17, 1 Peter 3:18-22, St. Mark 1:9-15


Grace to you and peace from God our Father and Christ Jesus our Lord, who saves us in the waters of the deep. Amen.

Who has been to the Grand Canyon?

grandcanyon
Grand Canyon, 2005

How about Niagara Falls?

Or maybe closer to home, who’s visited Tallullah Gorge?

What do these places have in common? They are geological wonders that show the awesome power of water. The Grand Canyon is, at its max, 18 miles wide, up to a mile deep, and over 200 miles long, all carved out by the Colorado River over the course millions of years – and still growing wider and deeper to this very day as the Colorado continues to eat away at solid rock.

Water is such a common thing we don’t think much about it. Continue reading “Salvation Through the Waters”

In Divine Splendor: Celebrating the Transfiguration of Our Lord

Transfiguration
The Transfiguration from My Book of the Church Year

We are rapidly approaching the end of the season after Epiphany, and with it one of the more confusing holy days in the liturgical calendar. Churches that follow the Revised Common Lectionary are preparing to mark the Transfiguration of Our Lord. Rather, most churches that follow the RCL are. The Anglican Communion — so often in alignment with the Lutheran tradition on matters of liturgy and feasts — will read the same texts, sing many of the same hymns, and hear similar sermons. But they will not refer to this Sunday as the Transfiguration; their collect will be different, their vestments will be green, and they won’t celebrate the Transfiguration until August 6th, the same date as the Catholic Church. Continue reading “In Divine Splendor: Celebrating the Transfiguration of Our Lord”