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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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Genesis 32:22-31

Proper 13A

When last we saw Jacob, he had finally won his second wife from his duplicitous uncle, Laban.  In the ensuing years, Jacob has continued to work for his uncle, becoming a wealthy man because of God’s blessing on his efforts.  After a total of 20 years working for Laban, Jacob is finally released from virtual…

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Genesis 29:15-28

Proper 12A

If I am Esau, sitting back home in Beersheba, the injustice of my situation is infuriating.  I’ve been deceived and robbed.  My life has been forever changed by the slippery ways of my little brother.  My birthright is gone; so is my blessing.  I’m left here with my blind old father and a mother who…

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Genesis 28:10-19a

Proper 11A

You don’t have to feel close to God for God to be near to you.  You don’t have to reach out to God for God to come to you.  And you don’t have to be a perfect person for God to bless you.  Jacob is a case in point. We are following the Hebrew Patriarchs…

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