The beginning of the gospel in Mark 1

The gospel lectionary reading for the Second Sunday in Advent in this Year B is Mark 1.1–8. This is a slightly odd choice, since in a few weeks’ time, for Epiphany Sunday, we will be reading Mark 1.4–11, which goes on to include the brief account of Jesus’ baptism. Four years ago, before all the … Continue Reading

Is Jesus ‘transfigured’ in Matthew 17? video discussion

The lectionary gospel reading for the last Sunday before Lent in Year A, is Matt 17.1–9, Matthew’s account of the Transfiguration. There some important things to note in relation to this passage as we think about preaching on it or hearing it preached. All three Synoptic accounts place this immediately after Peter’s confession of Jesus … Continue Reading

Is Jesus ‘transfigured’ in Matthew 17?

The lectionary gospel reading for the last Sunday before Lent in Year A, is Matt 17.1–9, Matthew’s account of the Transfiguration. There some important things to note in relation to this passage as we think about preaching on it or hearing it preached. All three Synoptic accounts place this immediately after Peter’s confession of Jesus … Continue Reading

Does Jesus bring peace or ‘division and a sword’ in Luke 12?

The Sunday lectionary reading (Trinity 9, Year C) continues on its journey through Luke’s ‘special section’ of Jesus’ ministry and teaching on road to Jerusalem from Luke 9.51 to Luke 18.14. In this short (and again, inexplicably truncated by the lectionary) reading from Luke 12.49–56 (you might choose to read on to verse 59 to … Continue Reading

Jesus stills the storm in Luke 8

The Sunday gospel lectionary reading for the Second Sunday before Lent in Year C is Luke 8.22–25, the concise account by Luke of Jesus stilling the storm. (It is worth noting that the ecumenical lectionary has a different set of readings; apparently for the Church of England it was thought that there was not enough … Continue Reading

Jesus calms the storm in Mark 4

The lectionary reading for Trinity 3 in Year B is Mark 4.35–41, the account of Jesus calming the storm. It is a fabulous story both full of little eye-witness details, and yet at the same time impossible to read without feeling its symbolic significance. Unlike Matthew, Mark does not bridge the literal story to its … Continue Reading

The baptism of Jesus in Mark 1

The lectionary gospel reading for this Sunday, the First Sunday of Epiphany, is Mark’s rather compressed account of Jesus’ baptism by John in Mark 1.4–11. Just over a year ago, when such things were normal (remember that…?) I went with my family to see a film—the final episode of the nine main instalments of the … Continue Reading

The ‘transfiguration’ of Jesus in Matthew 17

The lectionary gospel reading on Sunday, the last Sunday before Lent in Year A, is Matt 17.1–9, Matthew’s account of the Transfiguration. There some important things to note in relation to this passage as we think about preaching on it or hearing it preached. All three Synoptic accounts place this immediately after Peter’s confession of … Continue Reading