My recent practice of expanding the Revised Common Lectionary readings continues today as I extend the selection from Colossians, adding an extra three verses at the end to cover chapter 1,verses 3-23. As with many of the New Testament epistles (or letters), the opening is a positive one. Paul the likely author has a splendid practice of giving the good news first by praising the efforts of his audience. The timing is splendid, and we’d do well to focus on the light and life he shares. Perhaps we, too, can help build people upwards before we introduce the challenges. This is a wonderful pattern becauseRead More →

Today’s lectionary lesson from Luke 21 and 2 Thessalonians 3 continue an end-time theme. In Luke, the scene is Jesus’ reply to someone’s admiration for the great temple in Jerusalem, whose beautiful hand-smoothed stones Jesus said would be smashed by besieging invaders. False prophets, false messiahs, wars, uprisings, and all such tumult would also occur as part of what to us can seem like an uncertain apocalyptic timeline. Yet, Jesus assured the faithful remnant that he would descend from the clouds and rescue the followers who had endured the carnage and clung to their hope. There is an overarching, troublesome issue underlying the apocalyptic portrayal.Read More →