Commentaries Written by Chelsey Harmon

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John 6:56-69 Sermon Commentary

Proper 16B

We are now at the end of our long jaunt through John 6. Rather climactically, the final question of why we find it difficult to simply believe culminates with Jesus asking a very non-hypothetical question of his own, forcing us to consider ourselves in the process. Can we accept God’s work and ways? There are…

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John 6:51-58 Sermon Commentary

Proper 15B

If you’re using the questions/objections to belief structure that I laid out last week, this week’s question from John 6 is: “How can he give us his flesh to eat?” The challenge: God offends us. When the people asked that question to each other, they were offended at the thought of even being associated with…

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John 6:35, 41-51 Sermon Commentary

Proper 14B

The lectionary started us in John 6 a with the feeding of 5,000+ miracle, then Jesus began to share about his relationship with the world as the bread of life. As the bread of life, Jesus offers to spiritually nourish all who come to him for eternity; a seat at the never-ending table simply requires…

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John 6:24-35 Sermon Commentary

Proper 13B

We’re in week two of our long stretch in John 6 as Jesus introduces himself as the bread of life. This week’s Scripture passage begins in an odd spot. The lectionary skips a couple of verses that talk about how some people noticed that Jesus didn’t travel with the disciples and picks up the story…

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Colossians 1:11-20 Sermon Commentary

Proper 29C

What a weird place to start our lectionary selection for Reign of Christ Sunday and the close of Ordinary Time. We get the last few verses of Paul’s thanksgiving prayer section, then all of the Christ hymn, but not the verses that describe the community’s reconciliation. If it’s “application” that we’re after, wouldn’t verses 21-23…

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2 Thessalonians 3:6-13 Sermon Commentary

Proper 28C

Why were people in Thessalonica not wanting to work? Was it because they figured that Jesus was returning soon, or had already returned? Was it because things were a bit desperate after a famine in the area? Was it because many of them were continuing in a very normal pattern of client-patron relationships common in…

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2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17 Sermon Commentary

Proper 27C

Both First and Second Thessalonians spend a lot of their ink on the second coming of Christ, the Parousia. In the verses for today, Paul takes on some fake news spreading about Christ’s return head on. The first five verses of chapter two, in a nutshell, are meant to bring comfort to the church. To…

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2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12 Sermon Commentary

Proper 26C

I think that a really helpful way to frame a sermon on the lectionary text for today, including if you choose to cover the verses that the lection skips over, is our covenant relationship with God. A covenant is an agreement between two parties where each makes promises about how they will be to and…

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2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18 Sermon Commentary

Proper 25C

So here we are at the most intimate, and soul laid bare, part of Paul’s letters to Timothy. In these sermon starters, we’ve hinted all along about what Paul reveals in these verses—that he’s at the end of his earthly life, abandoned by fellow ministry partners, waiting on his imminent death. The lectionary selection leaves…

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2 Timothy 3:14-4:5 Sermon Commentary

Proper 24C

Well, one thing’s clear from today’s epistle lectionary: no one can accuse Paul of a triumphal view of ministry here on earth. These two letters to Timothy were meant to be encouragements to not just a colleague, but a protégé and mentee who was in a really tough ministry locale. Now, towards the closing of…

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