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Luke 21:5-19

Proper 28C

Luke likely wrote his gospel and the Acts of the Apostles around 80 AD. In other words, Luke already knew how the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, and had already witnessed the persecution of the church and its leaders. Luke lived through and witnessed new followers of the Jesus Way be put to death for…

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2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17

Proper 27C

Paul spends much of his letters to Thessalonica’s Christians talking about Jesus’ second coming, about what he calls in this Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson’s verse 2 “the day of the Lord.” That, however, may seem like an odd topic for the Lectionary to call Christians to contemplate just weeks before our celebration of Jesus’ first coming….

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Luke 20:27-38

Proper 27C

It is interesting that the Sadducees are the ones to pose this particular question to Jesus because they did not believe in a heaven. Using this story about a wife of seven brothers, they believe, will show the absurdity of the concept. To put it in its most basic summary form, the Sadducees believed that…

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Christmas A: Flutter of Angels

The Advent world is a world of angels. It’s a world alive with the flutter of angels. Our world, in contrast, is inhospitable to angels. It seems totally void of angels. This discrepancy between the Advent world and our world is the thought behind H. G. Well’s story, “The Wonderful Visit.” One day, so this…

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Christmas Eve Year A Meditation: Christmas

We can hear this story over and over again, and never really get tired of it. Our imagination takes over and we see the scene with our mind’s eye. Mary and Joseph, tired, exhausted after their long journey. We can smell the stable, that pungent mixture of dung and hay. We can hear the animals…

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Luke 19:1-10

Proper 26C

Both Zacchaeus and Jesus are depicted as seeking in this story. In fact, seeking, or seeing, is a central and repeated theme in the passage. Zacchaeus wants to see, Jesus is seeking, the crowd sees. We readers are even pulled into the story through seeing: Luke starts with giving us details about Zacchaeus, but does…

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2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12

Proper 26C

Among the various elements of Paul’s epistles, two are, arguably, the most challenging to proclaim in a 21st century context: the apostle’s “personal touches,” and his eschatology. It can be as difficult to preach about the apostle’s more personal messages as about his proclamation of Jesus’ second coming. That might seem to make the challenge…

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Luke 18:9-14

Proper 25C

In our passage this week, the great reversals continue in the Gospel of Luke. One of the challenges we have as modern readers is that we know what to expect. For instance, those of us who have encountered these stories many times know that it is likely that the Pharisee is going to be revealed…

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2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18

Proper 25C

It’s hard to read this Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson without getting a lump in one’s throat. After all, it’s not just that it contains what are perhaps among the imprisoned Paul’s last recorded words. It’s also that it suggests that the apostle who has befriended to so many seems about to die virtually all alone. Acts…

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Luke 18:1-8

Proper 24C

The “unjust judge” is the key comparison in this parable: it is the judge from whom we are meant learn something about God. This is made clear by the fact that this is a parable of comparison. If this judge, who is at the other end of the spectrum of what we know God’s character…

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