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.

Home » Sermon Commentary » Sermon Commentary Library

Isaiah 50:4-9a Sermon Commentary

Palm Sunday

Although one would think the Old Testament offers up lots of compelling possible Lectionary texts for Palm/Passion Sunday, the RCL likes Isaiah 50 for this particular day and so assigns it in Years A, B, and C.  It is definitely a text that tilts away from all things “Triumphal Entry” and more definitively in the…

Explore Commentary

Isaiah 58:1-9a (9b-12) Sermon Commentary

Epiphany 5A

Over the years of writing articles and a few books, I’ve learned a lot about grammar from my editors and from a former professor turned friend who knows more about English grammar than anyone I can think of.  Thanks to folks like this I’ve finally figured out (most of the time!) the “that/which” distinction and…

Explore Commentary

Isaiah 9:1-4 Sermon Commentary

Epiphany 3A

The Common Lectionary’s choice to cut off this reading at verse 4 feels artificial.  It’s like asking someone to break off singing midway through verse 2 of “Joy to the World.”  It doesn’t work.  You both want to finish the song and anyway you hear the song finish up in your head even if you…

Explore Commentary

Isaiah 49:1-7 Sermon Commentary

Epiphany 2A

In the Servant Songs in this part of Isaiah the Lord God alternates speaking with the Servant himself also making remarks or comments.  In this passage we hear from both the God who pre-ordained the Servant long before he was born and from the Servant himself.  From God’s side we get high-flying confidence.  From the…

Explore Commentary

Isaiah 42:1-9 Sermon Commentary

Epiphany 1A

Throughout the “Servant Songs” in this part of Isaiah, despite the focus on the Servant, there is no question who is really in charge and calling all the shots.  The Servant has work to do and will achieve that work to a stunning degree of effectiveness.  Nothing short of the bringing of justice to all…

Explore Commentary

Isaiah 63:7-9 Sermon Commentary

Christmas 1A

We have all seen this on the walls of someone’s house.  Perhaps it is done in counted-cross-stitch.  Perhaps it is done in calligraphy.  But we have seen these framed squares or rectangles hanging in a living room and containing a Bible verse shorn of its context.  Most of the time this works fine—the verse functions…

Explore Commentary

Isaiah 9:2-7 Sermon Commentary

Christmas Day A

The first and last titles that we read in Isaiah 9:6 remind us that in God’s Messiah, we find someone who embodies both wisdom and strength.  And as with John’s description of the Word of God being full of both grace and truth, so also with wisdom and strength: we all know people who have…

Explore Commentary

Isaiah 7:10-16 Sermon Commentary

Advent 4A

Comments, Observations, and Questions As an inspired apostle and evangelist, Matthew may make any biblical connection he wishes and no one else can call him or question him on it.  He can unearth any nugget he wants from anywhere across the Hebrew Scriptures and if, having dug it out, Matthew then claims this verse was…

Explore Commentary

Isaiah 35:1-10 Sermon Commentary

Advent 3A

Sometimes as a preacher you are pretty sure that the best idea you could have would be simply to read the passage and then sit down.  Or just read it again.  And sit down.  But for goodness sake, don’t start to let your own pedestrian reflections clog up a passage so full of wonder! That’s…

Explore Commentary