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Hebrews 5:5-10

Lent 5B

When Jesus’ friends think about his status and work, several things may quickly come to mind. Some Christians readily think of him as the Son of God, Savior and Lord. God’s dearly beloved people may also quickly think of Jesus as a healer, prophet, miracle worker and even a kind of Jewish religious iconoclast. This…

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Hebrews 2:10-18

Christmas 1A

If Jesus had been born not in some kind of livestock shelter but a hospital, how would anyone have been able to pick him out of the other babies in the nursery? Would he have been the baby who, as we sing at Christmas, made no crying? If Jesus’ friends had been choosing sides for…

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Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16

Proper 17C

“Just tell me what I have to do, Pastor!” I suspect that nearly all of us have heard variations on this theme. This Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson seems to offer help in answering such questions. That may, in fact, be a reason why proclaimers’ attention is often most quickly drawn to its ethical pronouncements. Hebrews 13…

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Hebrews 12:18-29

Proper 16C

What might Christian worship look like if each service began with Hebrews’, “Let us … worship God acceptably with reverence and awe”? What affect on worship might a sticky note on preachers, worship planners and leaders’ computers that read, “Let us … worship God acceptably with reverence and awe” have? Those who proclaim and hear…

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Hebrews 11:29-12:2

Proper 15C

Hebrews’ author devotes most of chapter 11 to an exploration of what it means to live and die by faith. But he doesn’t call his readers to “fix their eyes” (12:2) on any of the people we sometimes “heroes and heroines of the faith.” Hebrews’ author only invites his readers to “keep our eyes” on…

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Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16

Proper 14C

We sometimes assume that we can recognize an alien when we see him (he’s green and has antennae) or at least see her citizenship papers (they say citizen of Canada, or Mexico, the United States, or some other country of origin). Yet when Hebrews’ author speaks of people like Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and others…

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Hebrews 10:5-10

Advent 4C

On this last Sunday before Christmas, the RCL (finally) turns its Epistolary Lessons’ eyes from that to which few North American eyes naturally turn toward that to which most Christians’ eyes have been turned for almost a month already. Hebrews 10, after all, turns our eyes away from Christ’s second coming and toward his first….

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Hebrews 10:11-14, (15-18), 19-25

Proper 28B

The COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to mitigate it have changed the way at least some Christians have met or are currently “meeting together” (25). Restrictions have forced at least some of us to meet together remotely rather than in the same building.  Restrictions have also forced some Christians to worship somewhat differently even when they…

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Hebrews 9:24-28

Proper 27B

Hebrews’ proclaimers as well as our hearers may by now feel a little burned out by Hebrews. That’s the way my colleague Len Vander Zee begins his thoughtful and insightful 2018 commentary on this week’s Epistolary Lesson. Hebrews’ preachers and teachers may feel a bit like investigators at a crime scene that’s so covered with…

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Hebrews 9:11-14

Proper 26B

As I noted in a 2018 commentary on this week’s Epistolary Lesson, this Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson is “bloody.” In fact, it’s so bloody that citizens of the already figuratively blood-soaked 21st century may be uncomfortable with it. But perhaps humanity needed such a radical solution because its problem was so deeply-ingrained. Few pieces of baggage…

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