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2 Timothy 3:14-4:5

Proper 24C

Our lectionary reading for this 22nd Sunday of The Growing Season (more commonly known as Ordinary Time) reminds us of one of the deepest darkest secrets of spiritual growth.  As we’ve followed the readings for Year C, we’ve been reminded of the importance of getting the basic gospel straight (Galatians), of staying Christ centered (Colossians),…

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Advent 1A: Steady and Ready

There are basically two kinds of shoppers. There are those who shop with the goal of a particular purchase in mind, and those for whom the shopping itself is the goal. For the first group shopping goes something like this: You notice that the elastic on your underpants is getting fairly loose, so you head…

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Luke 17:11-19

Proper 23C

From standing at a distance asking for mercy to coming right up to his feet and lying prostrate with praise, our healed leper goes on quite the journey. The other lepers who are healed do too, of course, but they take a different direction upon the revelation that they are healed. I don’t want to…

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2 Timothy 2:8-15

Proper 23C

Paul speaks repeatedly about suffering for the sake of the gospel. He does so not just in this Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson but also throughout his letter to Timothy. Yet that kind of suffering may be largely unfamiliar to many of the preachers who read this commentary as well as 2 Timothy. Of course, some North…

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Advent 4A: God With Us

A number of years ago, somewhere in England, a schoolboy wrote these words in an essay: Why are so many twins born into the world today? I believe it is because little children are afraid of entering the world alone. That’s deep thinking for a schoolboy. This boy pointed his small finger at a big…

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Advent 2A: Shedding Your Skin

Every time Advent rolls around we discover again that we can’t get to the manger and the stable without going past John the Baptist. There he is, out there in the wilderness, with his ragged leather clothes, and locust wings stuck between his teeth. Barbara Brown Taylor says that John always seems to her like…

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Advent 2A: Rearranging Our Price Tags

Our eyes naturally focus on stars — baseball and football greats, movie actors, TV personalities, famous authors, rock stars and tennis players. These are the people who dazzle us and dominate our magazines and television screens. We pour over the details of their lives: the clothes they wear, the people they love, the way they…

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Advent 1A: The Days of Noah

There is a photo that has been making the rounds on Facebook lately.  It is ostensibly from inside a bookstore that has posted a sign that says “Books on the Apocalypse Have Now Been Moved to the Current Events Section.”  Well, maybe.  All through history there have been eras when people were convinced they were…

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Christmas: Home

“Are you going home for Christmas?” What question has been more commonplace in recent weeks?  Some while ago in December I was at the grocery store and as I walked through the store, I heard some version of that very question over and over. A cashier glanced over to a bagger, “So, you going home…

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2 Timothy 1:1-14

Proper 22C

Paul’s call to his dear son Timothy to “guard” (14) the gospel is evocative. It’s, what’s more, the title of John Stott’s commentary, to which I owe a lot for this message’s ideas, on the apostle’s second letter to Timothy. So Paul’s call to “guard the gospel” might also serve as a kind of on-ramp…

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