Commentaries Written by Doug Bratt

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Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21 Sermon Commentary

Easter 7C

Relatively few avid readers that I know enjoy surprise endings, especially to books they’ve come to savor. After all, life seems to end all too often in tragedy. Perhaps partly as a result, most readers prefer our literature to end at least hopefully, if not happily. Sometimes, however, books end not surprisingly or hopefully, but…

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Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5 Sermon Commentary

Easter 6C

Revelation 21 is the last stop on the RCL’s “tour” of the book Revelation. That tour is so short that I sometimes wonder if those who constructed it were impatient to get to its happy ending. It’s almost as if they so tired of Revelation’s horrors that they decided to hurdle most of them so…

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Revelation 21:1-6 Sermon Commentary

Easter 5C

While we sometimes say, “The devil is in the details,” we might say part of this Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson’s “gospel is in the details.” After all, some of Revelation 21’s greatest news lies in its verb tenses. In it, the Spirit inspires John to see “a new heaven and a new earth” (1). This is,…

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Revelation 7:9-17 Sermon Commentary

Easter 4C

When Christians recite the Apostle’s Creed, we profess that we believe in “the holy catholic church.” But sweet Miss Virginia always stayed silent during that part of the profession. “I’m sorry, Pastor,” she once apologized to me. “I was raised to believe that Catholics aren’t Christians. So I still have a very hard time saying…

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Revelation 5:11-14 Sermon Commentary

Easter 3C

This Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson’s John reminds me of young children who tell their parents or grandparents a story that so excites them that it tumbles out of them in a string of run-on sentences that begin with “And ….” You may know the form. “I was walking home from school and I saw this big…

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Revelation 1:4b-8 Sermon Commentary

Easter 2C

Comments, Observations, and Questions Revelation is the Bible’s final book. That may be one reason why many Christians have historically thought of it as largely future-oriented. But the Spirit who inspires its author doesn’t just point John and his readers toward the future. The Spirit also reaches back into the mists of eternity. Revelation isn’t…

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1 Corinthians 15:19-26 Sermon Commentary

Easter Sunday

Comments, Observations, and Questions Death stinks – both literally and figuratively. While such a reminder may not seem like a particularly popular (or common) way to begin an Easter proclamation, it is the context within which we begin any and every proclamation of Easter’s great news. Even after Jesus rose from the dead, death still…

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Philippians 2:5-11 Sermon Commentary

Palm Sunday

Comments, Observations, and Questions This Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson points its proclaimers to the horrible degradation and subsequent exaltation of Christ Jesus. So God the Son is always the primary subject of any proclamation of Philippians 2:5-11. Its proclaimers can find a wealth of good help proclaiming Christ Jesus in this site’s various commentaries. But those…

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Philippians 3:4b-13 Sermon Commentary

Lent 5C

Good gospel preaching, like faithful Christian living, always leans forward rather than backwards. While some Christians long for “the good old days,” this Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson expresses the Apostle Paul’s longing for the good coming days. Of course, Philippians 3 says quite a bit about that on what Paul can look back. But the apostle…

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2 Corinthians 5:16-21 Sermon Commentary

Lent 4C

There are Sundays when nearly all of us feel like the Spirit inspired the Scriptures’ authors to address the day’s headlines. This Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson is one of those times. As I write this Commentary, Russia continues to escalate its assault on Ukraine and its people. Its troops recently bombed a maternity and children’ hospital,…

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