Holy Textures is a spot for my musings on the various Biblical texts that come our way through the Revised Common Lectionary.
My goal is to provide timely, short, easy to use and faith-provoking background commentary for your sermon or bible study preparation.
Please click on the heading of any post or "Continue reading" to see the full post.
Year B - Season after Pentecost - 2015
Note that in Pentecost, the Sundays are numbered as "after" Pentecost Sunday. So the first Sunday after Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, is Pentecost 1.
May 24, 2015
"We might all hear the same words - each in our own language - but we will not all hear and understand exactly the same meaning. The problem with life, and faith, and following Jesus is always: What does this mean?"
Sermon: "All We Need Is Love."
John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15
"Whatever else we may want to say on this day of Pentecost about the Spirit, it is important to notice that Jesus always refers to the Spirit as the Spirit of truth. And in John truth is always the way, the life, the light, the joy, the friendship."
May 31, 2015
"Being born anew / from above is a huge transformation, since it means quite literally starting over with a new "family of origin.'"... (It) relocates our identity and resets possibilities for our character and life choices / opportunities."
Sermon: "Inner Reality."
June 7, 2015
"Here is the Good News: Jesus is not out of his mind; Jesus is not filled with demonic spirits. Rather, Jesus is has the mind of God; Jesus is filled with the Holy Spirit - and invites all of us to be of the same mind and same Spirit in a new family as his sisters and brothers."
June 14, 2015
"The comfort in this parable is to consider the possibility that the most helpful thing I could do to advance the Kingdom of God is to take a nap."
Sermon: "Mustard Seed."
June 21, 2015
"The moral of this story is NOT: run to Jesus when you are in a crisis and he will make the storm go away. Rather the moral is: run to Jesus when you are in crisis and learn from him the source of his calm."
Sermon: "Have You Still No Faith?"
June 28, 2015
"Once again, it is important to remember that in the Bible, "faith" is NOT about "beliefs," or "ideas," or "understandings." It is about trust. And so Jesus' observation: My daughter, your faith has made you well.
is better understood as: My daughter, your trust / loyalty / bonding with me has made you well."
July 5, 2015
"The reference to "son of Mary," with no mention of his father would not so subtly remind everyone of the shaming gossip about Mary being pregnant before getting married. And who would believe the story that Mary tells about who the real father is?"
July 12, 2015
"All of this background is very interesting and helpful, but my original question remains: Where is the Good News? Perhaps there is none, and this is precisely Mark's point. Just in case we are getting too excited and thinking this business of being a disciple of Jesus is going to be a piece of cake, is going to be a story of ever increasing fame, miracles, and wonders, Mark gives a story of a good man being executed because of weakness, capriciousness, and vengeance."
July 19, 2015
Mark 6:30-34, 53-56
"Try posting this note on your office door / Facebook / Twitter / blog / voice mail / memo to your Board:
'Gone to the fields to be lovely.
Be back when I'm through with blooming.'
And say a grateful, gleeful prayer of thanks all the while for the poetry of Lynn Ungar."
Sermon: "Showing Up."
July 26, 2015
"These stories try to open our eyes, hearts and minds to see the hidden truth that is plain sight. They are trying to train us so that we too can SEE where is the bread of life. ... So that we can SEE Jesus and welcome him into our frail boats on the stormy sea."
August 2, 2015
"The challenge here is to SEE which things perish and which things endure, and to embed ourselves - to abide in, to focus our living on - the things that endure. Because only the things that endure truly satisfy, and only the things that endure bring true life."
August 9, 2015
John 6:35, 41-51
"But the whole point of this passage is that while earthly bread nourishes earthly life (all of which will pass away), Jesus has been sent so that we might come / see / hear / learn / trust / eat the bread from heaven / the true bread that gives eternal life."
August 16, 2015
"The crowd has looked at Jesus through the distorted lens of their longing and seen 'king.' Jesus is asking us to reverse our gaze. To look through the lens of himself at our longing."
August 23, 2015
"John wants us to hear the word, 'abide,' as being as viscerally real as 'flesh' and 'blood.' And to hear the words, 'flesh' and 'blood,' as dynamically real as 'abide.'"
August 30, 2015
Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
"The struggle that every community in every age - including our own - faces is how can the 'tradition of the elders,' which has given us our identity, now be changed so that what was good in it - the desire live according to the will of God - can actually be expressed in our current circumstances."
September 6, 2015
"The racial and religious differences between Jesus and the Gentile woman are unchanged. But what has changed is that courage and caring for a daughter have been shown to be acceptable to God - even when they come from a Gentile heart; even when they come from a woman's heart; even when they come from the heart of a woman who has publically shamed herself by being out alone, by speaking to a man, and by daring to speak back to a man."
Sermon: "Pushing The Boundaries."
September 20, 2015
"The disciples response of not understanding, being afraid to ask, and then being silent echoes the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden. Their initial reaction of being afraid to ask breaks communication with Jesus; breaks their relationship with him. It leaves them with only themselves to talk to, and it leads them to do things for which they feel ashamed to name."
September 27, 2015
"The Good News in this parable is ... that Jesus knows we will stumble and expects us to show up in Heaven lame and scarred by the inner struggle to be true to our loyalty to God as frail and faulty human beings."
Sermon: "Instructions For The Community."
October 4, 2015
"Jesus is being tested for his detailed knowledge of the Torah and his ability to demonstrate wisdom in his application of it to real life issues."
Sermon: "Not Being Perfect."
October 11, 2015
"The only way to 'inherit' eternal life is to be the eldest son of the one who owns eternal life. Everyone else can only receive eternal life as a freely given gift from the owner."
October 18, 2015
"Jesus says that his followers are to treat one another as they would treat their own family: meeting each other's needs without concern for pay back."
Sermon: "Two Empires."
October 25, 2015
"Notice that Mark says Bartimaeus is told that it is 'Jesus of Nazareth' - which identifies Jesus only by his low cast, peasant, hillbilly status by birth - but Bartimaeus SHOUTS out, 'Jesus, Son of David' - identifying Jesus by his God-given status."
Sermon: "Seeing Jesus - Knowing God."
November 1, 2015
"Using this text for All Saints is problematic because it confuses RESTORED life with RESURRECTED life."
November 1, 2015
"No one in that crowd of both opponents and admirers would dispute, "Love of God," as the greatest commandment. But when Jesus goes on and links it to, "Love of neighbour as oneself," he has lifted attachment to the welfare of one's neighbours above all other duties and obligations."
Sermon: "A Question of Humility."
November 8, 2015
"The widow who has given "all she had to live on" foreshadows the coming contribution of Jesus to his mission of proclaiming God's Good News of non-violent justice in the face of Rome's violent injustice. Like the widow, Jesus holds nothing back."
Sermon: "All That We Are."
November 15, 2015
"Whatever system of government may currently be in power, God's Royal Proclamation comes as a Word that evokes an accounting from - and possibly a confrontation with - earthly rulers. And as Jesus simply observes: don't be led astray, earthly rulers never accept accounting kindly. There will be resistance."
Reign of Christ or Christ the King
November 22, 2015
"Thus the tension in the Gospels is not between Jesus and 'the Jews.' The tension is between Jesus the Galilean hillbilly proclaimer of the coming of God's Kingdom of non-violent justice and the Judean snobbish elites who are also collaborators of the Roman Empire of violent non-justice."
Sermon: "Travelling With The King."