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Isaiah 50:4-9a

Palm Sunday

Years ago when my son was in the 8th Grade, his Christian school teacher was preparing the students to watch the whipping scene from the Mel Gibson movie, The Passion of the Christ, which at the time had come out quite recently.  Long before they got to viewing the actual video clip—in fact, they never…

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Isaiah 50:4-9a

Lent 6B

The choice of this text for the Sixth Sunday of Lent makes perfect sense if we remember that the RCL has been tracing the theme of covenant this year (Year B).  We have moved from God’s covenant with Noah and nature to God’s covenant with Abraham, from the giving of the covenant Law at Sinai…

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Isaiah 50:4-9a

Palm Sunday A

This is going to be a disappointing Palm Sunday for any church that follows the RCL, because there isn’t much joy and celebration in the readings.  Psalm 31 is filled with suffering and Philippians 2 traces the downward movement of Christ’s kenosis, while the Gospel reading from Matthew 26 and 27 is the whole passion…

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Isaiah 50:4-9b

Palm Sunday C

Clearly, the composers of the Revised Common Lectionary thought this little snippet of Scripture was perfect for Palm Sunday because they have selected it for all three years of the preaching cycle.  I’m not sure your people will see it that way, because it is obviously more about Christ’s suffering than about his Triumphal Entry. …

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Isaiah 50:4-9a

Lent 6B

Isaiah 50:4-9a’s juxtaposition of beauty and brutality is so jarring that it may be disconcerting.  Yet that combination is part of what helps make our text in so many ways reminiscent of daily life.  After all, it sometimes feels as if we’re almost constantly moving from beauty to brutality (and then, so often, right back…

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Isaiah 50:4-9a

Palm Sunday A

Isaiah 50’s juxtaposition of beauty and brutality is jarring and perhaps somewhat disconcerting.  Yet that combination is part of what helps make it in so many ways reminiscent of daily life.  After all, it sometimes feels as if we’re almost constantly moving from beauty to brutality (and then, so often, right back to beauty –…

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Isaiah 50:4-9a

Palm Sunday C

Those who try to say something authoritative about the Lord had better have a really good reason for doing so. After all, few tasks are, more intimidating than trying to faithfully proclaim God’s Word. In fact, most preachers and teachers know the fear that sometimes chases them right up to the pulpit or lectern. Scholars…

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Isaiah 50:4-9a

Lent 6B

Comments, Observations, and Questions to Consider Parts of this lection are pretty well known, particularly since in the Passion section of his oratorio Messiah, G.F. Handel lifted up some of these words and set them to music.  (I have personally always been struck by the way Handel turned the word “plucked” into a two-syllable word…

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