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Genesis 12:1-4a

Lent 2A

 “Go!” That is God’s first word to Abram.  And it sets up what will become a curious dynamic for the people of God forever after.  The people of God are a traveling people.  Wherever “home” might be for us, it is as often as not something still up ahead of us rather than something we…

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Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7

Lent 1A

It is one of the more important questions you could ever pose. Perhaps that is also why it is one of the most-asked questions in history: Where does evil come from? As Christians, we perhaps think that surely the answer to this vital inquiry must be somewhere in the Bible. But it’s not there. Everywhere…

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The Weapons of our Warfare

The first verse of our reading is rather shocking if you think about it. “Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil.” We don’t usually think of temptation as a spiritual exercise. Jesus had just been baptized. In his baptism, Jesus had taken his place with all the…

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Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18

Lent 2C

Genesis 15 is full of curiosities and oddments.  But right in the middle of this chapter is a verse that went on to exercise an enormous influence on the New Testament. “Abram believed Yahweh and it was credited to him as righteousness.”  In Romans and Galatians this one verse became a linch-pin in Paul’s argument…

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Genesis 45:3-11, 15

Epiphany 7C

Easter in the Western Church can come as early as the third Sunday in March and as late as the last Sunday in April.  Falling as it does on April 17 this year, Easter’s late date means an extra-long season after Epiphany and that in turns means getting to some RCL texts we don’t see…

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Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16

Lent 2B

As any regular reader of my Sermon Commentaries on these Old Testament readings can easily tell, the theme for Lent in Year B of the Revised Common Lectionary is covenant.  Every one of our Lenten readings has to do with God’s covenant in one way or another, even our upcoming lesson from Numbers 21, which…

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Genesis 9:8-17

Lent 1B

As we begin our annual Lenten journey to the cross and the tomb, our Old Testament reading takes us to the new journey of the human race after The Flood.  In words that almost directly parallel the Genesis account of creation, the opening verses of Genesis 9 lay out God’s mandates for the new human…

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Genesis 1:1-5

Epiphany 1B

This First Sunday after Epiphany celebrates the Baptism of Jesus, that spectacular epiphany of his glory as he began his public ministry.  All of the Lectionary readings for this Sunday were chosen because they have to do with water, whether the primeval waters of Genesis 1 or the waters of the Mediterranean that spawn a…

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Genesis 45:1-15

Proper 15A

You can’t beat the Bible when it comes to telling dramatic stories in a spellbinding way.  Our text for today is a perfect case in point.  I’m going to use Eugene Lowry to explain that.  In his classic preaching book, The Homiletical Plot, Lowry outlined the 5 movements of classic narrative using 5 interjections: Oops,…

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Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28

Proper 14A

We can approach this text from two very different angles.  The first comes from renowned Old Testament scholar, Walter Brueggemann.  He suggests that this story might have taken its final form during the reign of Solomon, a time of royal splendor in Israel, when everything was going well for God’s people. There was peace internationally,…

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