Sermon Commentary Library

Our weekly sermon commentaries are Lectionary-based, which across its three-year cycle, encompass a vast array of biblical texts. Filter the Sermon Commentary Library to search Scripture texts by book and chapter to find commentary, illustrations, and reflections to spark ideas.

Looking for something else? View our Heidelberg Catechism sermon resources and our Reformed Connections to the RCL section that traces Lectionary texts to specific parts of the Heidelberg Catechism and the Belgic Confession.

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Romans 4:13-25 Sermon Commentary

Lent 2B

It sometimes feels as if alienation, hostility and division flourish nearly everywhere we look. Hostilities that have turned violent between Ukrainians and Russians, as well as Israelis and Palestinians. Alienation between American Democrats and Republicans, as well as advocates for traditional and non-traditional understandings of human sexuality. Churches and denominations dividing over race relations, climate…

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Mark 8:31-38 Sermon Commentary

Lent 2B

Though it is not included in the lectionary selection, it is worth looking at the verses prior to our text. Seeing Peter go from acknowledging the truth about Jesus, the Christ, to doing what he does here, well, it’s quite the lenten journey. Clearly, Peter does and doesn’t get it. His mental model of what…

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Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16 Sermon Commentary

Lent 2B

Cutting Out the Covenant Perhaps the compilers of the Lectionary intended a compassionate reprieve for those who might have to explain the meaning of circumcision to their youngest and most inquisitive learners.  It is, however, a lamentable omission for two reasons. The first is that it truncates the literary markers of covenant-making, which typically include…

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Psalm 22:23-31 Sermon Commentary

Lent 2B

Considering that a portion of Psalm 22 is assigned to the Second Sunday in Lent, it seems odd that the Revised Common Lectionary would select for us not the first two-thirds of the psalm that is a whopping lament but instead the sunny-side-up concluding verses.  Psalm 22 almost seems like it’s two separate poems.  We…

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Mark 1:9-15 Sermon Commentary

Lent 1B

We’ve gotten snippets of this lectionary text in Epiphany, a bit of an echo as we enter the lenten journey. In fact, knowing that we’re starting Lent this Sunday may help you frame this week’s message built on these three snippets from Mark. Among other things, Lent is a time of preparation; often it works…

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Genesis 9:8-17 Sermon Commentary

Lent 1B

Covenants For preachers interested in holding a cohesive theme through Lent, this year’s Old Testament lectionary readings provide an opportunity to reflect deeply on the nature of God’s relationship with God’s people through covenant.  This Sunday, it is his covenant not to destroy the earth, next Sunday, his choosing and making a great nation through…

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Psalm 25:1-10 Sermon Commentary

Lent 1B

If the Lectionary decided for whatever the reason to not recommend all of Psalm 25, they could have at least extended this to verse 11.  Since this is the reading for the First Sunday in Lent, you’d think the one verse of this psalm that is a straight up confession of sin would make the…

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1 Peter 3:18-22 Sermon Commentary

Lent 1B

It may be a good thing that the RCL appoints 1 Peter 3:18-22 as this Sunday’s (as well as an earlier Easter) Epistolary Lesson. Otherwise, preachers might succumb to the temptation to skip over it without ever addressing this passage that’s both so theologically rich and, in some places, deeply mysterious. This Sunday marks the…

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Mark 9:2-9 Sermon Commentary

Epiphany 6B

We transition towards Lent with the Transfiguration. Similar to Matthew and Luke’s account, the Transfiguration event takes place after Jesus prophesies his future suffering. In fact, it’s this suffering speech (in Matthew) that leads Peter to try to rebuke Jesus, and to be subsequently told by Jesus, “Get behind me, Satan!” Though we can’t know…

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