Bread for the Preacher
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Bread for the Preacher
April 26, 2013
May's liturgical observances locate Jesus in heaven, the Spirit among us, and both within the community of the Trinity. By month’s end, all are in place to continue the divine drama of God’s saving work among us. As preachers, our challenge is to help our listeners discover their own place in that drama. The month begins with the reminder from Revelation that the destination of our story is a place for "the healing of the nations." May your preaching be an invitation to that place.
April 2, 2013
Sometimes simple songs capture deep truth. The April lectionary readings give us ample opportunity to explore meaning of the resurrection and the ways that the first believers responded to it. By the fifth Sunday of Easter, though, the Gospel lesson takes us back to the Maundy Thursday mandate that frames it all: “Just as I have loved you, you should love one another” (John 13:34).
February 20, 2013
As our Lenten preaching follows Jesus' journey to Jerusalem and eventually the cross, Isaiah reminds us of the God who makes a way where there is no way (Isaiah 43). Faith in that God makes this journey bearable. This "make a way" God turns the journey to the cross into a resurrection journey.
January 25, 2013
What happened to ordinary time? Moving from Epiphany to Ash Wednesday in five weeks leaves us just two February Sundays before we begin following Jesus on his journey toward the cross. The texts for these Sundays offer rich opportunities to explore themes of compassion and justice. And they help frame decisions being made in the nation’s capital during the current fiscal debates: Will there be good or bad news for the poor? What is our responsibility to the "aliens" among us?
January 1, 2013
New beginnings are always an occasion for hope — especially to those of us who trust that God is at work in them. Politically speaking, the first year of a new presidential term is always the best opportunity for bold initiatives. There is a short window, before mid-term election politics encroach, to enact creative solutions to hunger, poverty, and immigration. So let us pray for our president, for the Congress, and for the nation.
December 1, 2012
Advent touches us in that place where we long for "the crooked to be made straight." And that longing is only heightened by the shallowness and self-centeredness that commences with Black Friday and Cyber Monday. At some point, we realize that John's invitation to "come and repent" is more life giving than Walmart’s invitation to "come and shop."
November 1, 2012
James reminds us that pure religion has to do with caring for widows and orphans in their distress. The lectionary readings for November give us an opportunity to explore that theme more deeply—just as the coming holiday season will engage our members in caring for those "less fortunate."
October 1, 2012
The October calendar is crammed with special observances focusing on justice issues. Bread for the World Sunday is October 21, and many of our friends and partners have their own special "Days" clustered around World Food Day, October 16. They are all expressions of the yearning that God's abundance might be more broadly shared in a hungry world.
September 1, 2012
In the month of September, the lectionary reminds us of core values and behaviors for followers of Jesus: pursuing God's will, integrating our inner and outer lives, refusing to show partiality based on money, and supporting other disciples. At the same time, the church program year begins again, schools start, and an election season demands attention.
August 1, 2012
For those who follow the lectionary, there is no escaping the “bread of life/bread of heaven” focus in August as we move through Jesus’ discourse in the sixth chapter of John. But the richness of those texts, combined with this month’s other lectionary themes, such as leadership, power, and community, offer great preaching opportunities. How better to proclaim God’s abundant promises than with images of bread and of communities in which there is no more hunger or thirst?