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Colossians 3:1-11

Proper 13C

Few issues roil the 21st century North American church more than those that revolve around human sexuality. North American Christians spend much time arguing about extra-marital sex, same sex attraction and marriage, as well as gender dysphoria. Churches and denominations are dividing, whether formally or informally, around the appropriateness or inappropriateness of various sexual behaviors….

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Colossians 2:6-15 (16-19)

Proper 12C

The sacrament of baptism isn’t just a source of almost endless controversy among Jesus Christ’s friends. It’s also sometimes vulnerable to distraction from its importance. When, for example, Reformed Christians think of infant baptism, we sometimes focus on cute babies and their outfits, as well as beaming parents and grandparents. When Christians who practice “believers’…

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Colossians 1:15-28

Proper 11C

“Sedition” and “seditious” are concepts to which at least some Americans have paid a lot of attention over the past eighteen months. Some are asking themselves and each other whether a mob’s January 6, 2021’s storming of the United States Capital building was an act of sedition. At least some Americans who wonder that also…

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Colossians 1:1-14

Proper 10C

Elements of this week’s Epistolary Lesson are faintly reminiscent of Huck Finn’s experience with prayer. In the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck recounts how his foster mother, Miss Watson, tried to teach him to pray. “Miss Watson … took me in the closet and prayed, but nothing come of it. She told me to pray…

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Colossians 3:12-17

1st Sunday after Christmas C

Commentators use a variety of terms to describe this Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson’s set of ethical commands. Leonard Klein calls it a “haustafel, a table of duties for those in various estates.” Elsewhere I have called it “the Christian’s wardrobe.” Yet no matter how its proclaimers label Colossians 3’s set of invitations to Christ-likeness, there can…

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Colossians 3:1-4

Easter Day A

On that glorious first Easter morning an angel shocked people by insisting that God had raised Jesus from the dead.  Two thousand years later an aging apostle may no less shock Colossians 3:1-4’s proclaimers and hearers by insisting that God also raised us with Christ. After all, if it’s sometimes hard to believe that Jesus…

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Colossians 1:11-20

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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Colossians 3:1-11

Proper 13C

On that glorious first Easter morning an angel told the two Mary’s that God had raised Christ from the dead.  Two thousand years later God’s adopted sons and daughters hear an aging apostle tells us that God also somehow raised us with Christ. But if it’s sometimes a little hard to believe that God raised…

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Colossians 2:6-15, (16-19)

Proper 12C

Few phrases seem harder to learn and say than, “Thank you.”  After all, few responses mature more slowly than thanksgiving.  In fact, gratitude hasn’t yet fully ripened in me, even after nearly more than sixty-one years’ worth of reasons for feeling it.  I, after all, naturally assume that I deserve nearly everything I have. So…

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Colossians 1:15-28

Proper 11C

If the first four verses of this Sunday’s RCL’s Epistolary Lesson don’t make its preachers and teachers’ heads spin at least a bit, we’re probably not paying enough attention to them.  In verse 15, after all, Paul insists, probably no more than 20 years after Jesus ascended into the heavenly realm, he’s “the image of…

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