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Romans 1:1-7

Advent 4A

Comments, Observations, and Questions Paul basically frames this Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson with references to calling (1, 7a). What lies between those references forms the basis for those calls, both for the apostle and all of God’s dearly beloved people to whom the Spirit speaks through him. However, preachers who wish to talk about calling need…

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Romans 15:4-13

Advent 2A

Few things are arguably in shorter supply in both our culture and the Church of Jesus Christ than unity. It’s not just that the Church has long been divided into Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Protestant camps. It’s also that 21st century churches and denominations seem to be dividing nearly as often as some of us…

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Romans 13:11-14

Advent 1A

Doesn’t it almost seem as if the Revised Common Lectionary’s editors must have been citizens of the northern hemisphere? Of course, this Sunday’s first in the season of Advent makes their choice of Romans 13’s reflections on Christ’s return appropriate. But Paul sure spends a lot of its time talking about darkness in it. Citizens…

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Romans 5:1-5

Trinity Sunday C

A quick glance at the church year’s calendar may make gospel proclaimers’ pulses race. Trinity Sunday has, after all, come again. It may make proclaimers’ palms sweat not just because, as the New Testament scholar Beverly Gaventa to whose commentary I owe a great deal for this commentary, notes, “reference to the Trinity is itself…

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Romans 8:14-17

Pentecost C

My last surviving parent’s death last year reminded me that inheritance can be complicated. My mom and dad, while never materially wealthy by North American standards, did what they could to ensure that their children as well as worthy causes would inherit something from them. But, of course, so many others also wanted a “piece”…

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Romans 10:8b-13

Lent 1C

Comments, Observations, and Questions Some Christians at least imply that grace is what we might call a “Yesbut” phenomenon. “Yes,” they say, “We’re saved by grace alone through faith. But people also need to oppose gay marriage or voting restrictions in order to be truly saved.” Or “Yes, people who confess that Jesus is Lord…

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Romans 8:12-17

Trinity Sunday B

It should be no mystery why the Lectionary chose this passage as a Trinity Sunday text.  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all nicely on display in these half-dozen verses.  Of course, if you also chose the Romans 8 Lectionary text option for Pentecost last week, then you realize that for some reason the Lectionary…

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Romans 8:22-27

Pentecost B

There’s a whole lot of groaning going on not just in this Sunday’s RCL Epistolary Lesson, but also in God’s world. Sometimes, in fact, that groaning’s so loud that you don’t even have to listen very carefully to hear it. The Greek word that English Bible’s generally translate as “groan” is systenezai. It carries with…

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Romans 4:13-25

Lent 2B

Death continues to intimidate many people. As a result, most people will do almost anything to avoid or at least indefinitely postpone death. The Bible suggests that we’d even trade everything we have in exchange for an escape from death. We sometimes sense that many people believe that if we just didn’t have to worry…

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Symposium 2021: Discover Beauty in Everyone

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