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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Mark 4:35-41 Sermon Commentary

Proper 7B

What an interesting detail Mark gives us when he narrates the story of Jesus calming the storm. He says that the disciples “took him [Jesus] with them in the boat, just as he was.” Just as he was… The disciples took Jesus just as he was. Which, apparently, was a tired man because the next…

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2 Corinthians 6:1-13 Sermon Commentary

Proper 7B

Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote one of the most formative and influential books of the 20th century. He entitled it, The Cost of Discipleship. In his book that he wrote under the dark cloud of Nazi tyranny, he explored how costly it can be to take God’s grace not “in vain” (cf. 2 Corinthians 6:1) but, instead,…

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Psalm 107:1-3, 23-32 Sermon Commentary

Proper 7B

Ancient Israel was never know to be a seafaring people.  By Jesus’s day being a fisherman was clearly a common occupation on the Sea of Galilee but Israel did not have much experience with sailing forth on mighty sea vessels out into the Mediterranean or some such.  Yet the section of Psalm 107 that the…

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1 Samuel 17: (1a, 4-11, 19-23), 32-49 Sermon Commentary

Proper 7B

What’s not to like about this story? It has everything a good story needs: a scrappy young up-start, in intimidating and arrogant bully and a dramatic reversal of fortune with national consequences.  For all that we say the Bible isn’t a book of heroes, this story — and it’s popularity in Sunday school classrooms around…

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Psalm 92:1-4, 12-15 Sermon Commentary

Proper 6B

It gets repetitive to point out the RCL’s tendency to avert the reader’s eyes from anything smacking of judgment or the destruction of the wicked and of those who pose themselves as enemies of God.  But here it is again as we scoop out seven verses from the middle of what is already a somewhat…

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2 Corinthians 5:6-10, (11-13) 14-17 Sermon Commentary

Proper 6B

Students decorated the back bumpers of cars on the campus of the dispensationalist Christian college near which I grew up with a number of eye-catching bumper stickers. Among the most memorable was “Read the Bible. It will scare the hell out of you.” I’m not sure reading the Bible ever scared anyone away from eternal…

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Mark 4:26-34 Sermon Commentary

Proper 6B

Mark chapter 4 has three different parables about seeds. The first parable is the well-known story about the sower who sows his seed in four different kinds of soil (v 1-9). While with his disciples a little later on in the day, Jesus tells his disciples that the sower and the soil story is about…

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1 Samuel 15:34 – 16:13 Sermon Commentary

Proper 6B

Comments, Observations and Questions: God’s Regret? This week’s reading begins in an uncomfortable place: with the failure of King Saul — a King appointed by God.  And so we are told that God regrets (in some translations, repents from) making Saul king.  What are we to make of a God who regrets and/or repents?  Folks…

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1 Samuel 8:4-11, (12-15), 16-20, (11:14-15) Sermon Commentary

Proper 5B

Getting Political This week’s lectionary reading fronts a larger section of text that tells us what happens when God’s people “get political.”  From the start, God’s people have been shaped and sustained through covenants.  Of course, there have always been leaders mediating this covenant — folks like Moses and Joshua feature prominently in that list. …

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