Guidance on using the lectionary. Lectionary readings for March 6, 2016: Joshua 5:9-12; Psalm 32; 2 Corinthians 5:16-21; Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32 God, help us find our confession; The truth within us which is hidden from our mind; The beauty or ugliness we see elsewhere But never in ourselves; The stowaway which has been smuggled Into the dark…

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Guidance on using the lectionary. Lectionary readings for February 10, 2016: Joel 2:1-2, 12-17 or Isaiah 58:1-12; Psalm 51:1-17; 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 “‘And yet even now,’ says the Lord, ‘return to me with all your heart…’” –Joel 2:12 Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Church’s observance of the Lenten season—six weeks…

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Lent

Oh God, let something essential happen to me, something more than interesting or entertaining or thoughtful.  Oh God, let something essential happen to me, something awesome, something real.  Speak to my condition, Lord and change me somewhere inside where it matters.  Let something happen which is my real self, Oh God. —Ted Loder This year,…

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Lectionary readings for December 25, 2015: Isaiah 52:7-10; Psalm 98; Hebrews 1:1-4 (5-12); John 1:1-14 Guidance on using the lectionary. St. John of the Cross If you want the Virgin will come walking down the road pregnant with the holy and say, “I need shelter for the night, please take me inside your heart, my time…

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Lectionary readings for December 13, 2015: Zephaniah 3:14-20; Isaiah 12:2-6; Phillipians 4:4-7; Luke 3:7-18 Click for complete Advent calendar (Cycle C) and guidance on using the lectionary. “If we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” – Romans 8:25 No matter how disciplined, organized and prayerful you are, you never outgrow waiting. Tracts of humanity wait: for…

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Lectionary readings for November 29, 2015: Jeremiah 33: 14-16; Psalm 25: 1-10; 1 Thessalonians  3:9-13; Luke 21: 25-36 Click for complete Advent calendar (Cycle C) and guidance on using the lectionary. “Unto you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.  O my God, in you I trust.”  Ps 25:1, 2 “Hurry up and wait!” Usually this statement is laced with…

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“When we submit our lives to what we read in Scripture, we find that we are not being led to see God in our stories but our stories in God’s. God is the larger context and plot in which our stories find themselves.”  – Eugene Peterson I can still remember the first time I heard the…

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“Wherever there is something in our life that is not conformed to the image of Christ, there is a place where we are incapable of being all God wants us to be with others … a place where our life with others is hindered and limited and restricted in its effectiveness and in its fullness…

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Part 4 - Experiencing Transformation in Community

Note: As we conclude this eReflections series, we congratulate all those who completed the Life Together in Christ Community Challenge. Our hope is that the way you engage in community will never be the same! If you didn’t participate, but would like to in the future, let us know. That same hour they got up and…

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You can also read Part 1 and Part 2 of this eReflections series. Then he said to them, “How foolish you are, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?” (Luke 24:25-26) If you ask people to…

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Part 1 of this eReflections series can be found here. Part 3 can be found here. “While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, ‘What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?’” —Luke 24: 16,…

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You can also read Part 2 and Part 3 of this eReflections series. “The Lord is risen! He is risen, indeed!” Luke’s account of Resurrection Sunday includes the story of two dazed and distraught disciples traveling along the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus. It was Sunday, the third day of the most traumatic weekend of their lives, and they…

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Click for guidance on using the lectionary Lectionary Readings for Ash Wednesday Year B: Joel 2:1-2, 12-17; Psalm 51:1-17; 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 Today is Ash Wednesday—the beginning of the Church’s observance of the Lenten season.  At some point throughout this day, many of us will experience the symbolic gesture of receiving the…

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Lent

Click for guidance on using the lectionary Lectionary Readings for Ash Wednesday Year B: Joel 2:1-2, 12-17; Psalm 51:1-17; 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 “‘And yet even now,’ says the Lord, ‘return to me with all your heart . . .’” – Joel 2:12 This year Ash Wednesday comes early! Whether we feel ready…

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Epiphany

Click for guidance on using the lectionary. Epiphany of the Lord: Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14; Ephesians 3:1-12; Matthew 2:1-12 “The incredible gift of the ordinary! Glory comes streaming from the table of daily life.” – Macrina Wiederkehr Today, in the rhythm of the church year, we celebrate the feast of the Epiphany—the manifestation of…

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Christmas Eve:  Isaiah 9:2-7 Psalm 96 Titus 2:11-14 Luke 2:1-14 (15-20) Christmas Day:  Isaiah 52:7-10 Psalm 98 Hebrews 1:1-4 (5-12) John 1:1-14 Click for complete Advent calendar (Cycle B) and guidance on using the lectionary. “Christ is born to us today, in order that he might appear to the whole world through us.” -Thomas Merton…

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Advent candles

Lectionary readings for November 30, 2014. Isaiah 64:1-9; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:24-37 Click for complete Advent calendar (Cycle B) and guidance on using the lectionary. “O that you would tear open the heavens and come down!”—Isaiah 64:1 Waiting is one of God’s immensely sweeping invitations. To wait expectantly and with open hands…

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“When we submit our lives to what we read in Scripture, we find that we are not being led to see God in our stories but our stories in God’s. God is the larger context and plot in which our stories find themselves.” – Eugene Peterson I can still remember the first time I heard…

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With gratitude for pastors everywhere

“On the day I called, you answered me, you increased my strength of soul.”  Psalm 138:3 Several years ago I went to a particularly difficult memorial service with my daughter, Haley. It was the funeral for one of her friends from high school who died in a complicated way from causes that were not entirely…

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training partner Ironman

I changed out of my dress slacks and button-down into spandex tri-shorts and my favorite red technical shirt as slowly as I could. It had been a long day at the office with several meetings and requests for assistance. I knew what was ahead so I was in no hurry. Most days I looked forward…

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Mary Magdalene, Jesus’ mother Mary, and the apostle John stayed near the cross and kept watch as Jesus suffered and died.

Scripture for Good Friday (April 18, 2014): Isaiah 52:13-53:12; Psalm 22; Hebrews 10:16-25; John 18:1-19:42 “Who can stay awake in this night of God? Who will not be as if paralyzed by it? Christ’s struggle was with God. This was his real agony. He overcame it through his self-surrender. That was his victory, and our hope.” …

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Winter's end

“Look, a little cloud no bigger than a person’s hand is rising out of the sea!” —I Kings 18:44 I love the way the rain comes at winter’s end hosing down the sooty earth, washing away the dirt that comes from who-knows-where. Oh God, I need a cleansing rain in my life, sullied as I…

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crucifix

Scripture for Ash Wednesday: Joel 2:1-2, 12-17 or Isaiah 58:1-12; Psalm 51:1-17; 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 “‘And yet even now,’ says the Lord, ‘return to me with all your heart . . .’” —Joel 2:12  Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Church’s observance of the Lenten season—six weeks that are set apart for…

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Lent

Scripture for Ash Wednesday: Joel 2:1-2, 12-17 or Isaiah 58:1-12; Psalm 51:1-17; 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 “Lent is a time of returning to God.  It is a time to confess how we keep looking for joy, peace, and satisfaction in the many people and things surrounding us without really finding what we desire. …

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Prayer

“The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know.  Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation.  This is the way our Savior God wants us to live.”…

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Advent candles

Lectionary Readings for Christmas Eve: Isaiah 9:2-7, Psalm 96, Titus 2:11-14, Luke 2:1-14 (15-20) for Christmas Day: Isaiah 52:7-10, Psalm 98, Hebrews 1:1-4 (5-12), John 1:1-14 Advent Calendar (Cycle A) and guidance for using the lectionary “How silently, how silently, the wondrous gift is given.”—O Little Town of Bethlehem Christmas Eve marks the end of Advent…

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Joseph and his walk of faith

Lectionary Readings for December 22, 2013: Isaiah 7:10-16; Psalm 80:1-7,17-19; Romans 1:1-7; Matthew 1:18-25 Advent Calendar (Cycle A) and guidance for using the lectionary “Sooner or later, if we follow Christ we have to risk everything in order to gain everything. We have to gamble on the invisible and risk all that we see and…

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Desert Sand

Lectionary Readings for December 15, 2013: Isaiah 35:1-10; Psalm 146:5-10; James 5:7-10; Matthew 11:2-11 Advent Calendar (Cycle A) and guidance for using the lectionary “The desert of which I speak is a desert of the spirit: a place of revelation, conversion, and transformation… It involves being ‘made over’, being made new, being ‘born again’… In…

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Baby Jesus

If you are joining us for week 2, you might want to also access other eReflections in this Advent series: Read Advent 1—The Importance of Waking up Lectionary readings for Dec 08, 2013: Is 11:1-10; Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19; Rom 15:4-13; Matt 3:1-12 Click for complete Advent calendar (Cycle A) and guidance on using the lectionary. “Our spiritual life depends…

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Daybreak

Lectionary readings for Dec 01, 2013. Isaiah 2:1-5; Psalm 122; Rom 13:11-14; Matt 24:36-44 Click for complete Advent calendar (Cycle A) and guidance on using the lectionary. “God comes to us like the sun in the morning—when it is time.”—Carlo Carretto, The God Who Comes My favorite time of any day is the pre-dawn moments before the…

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“When we submit our lives to what we read in Scripture, we find that we are not being led to see God in our stories but our stories in God’s.  God is the larger context and plot in which our stories find themselves.”  – Eugene Peterson I can still remember the first time I heard…

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Sabbath in the fall

For everything there is a season… Sometimes on the Sabbath all you can do is settle into the soft body of yourself and listen to what it says. Listen to the exhaustion that is deeper than tiredness the hunger that is for more than food the thirst that is for more than drink the longing…

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beach path

If you are joining us for Part 5, you might want to also access other eReflections in this series, Leading in Rhythm: • Part 1—Beyond the Bondage of Busyness  • Part 2—Rhythms of Work and Rest • Part 3—Solitude and Community • Part 4—Three Moves in Self-Examination “Spiritual leadership springs forth in grace from our very…

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Sunlight breaking through clouds

“Let him who cannot be alone beware of community. He will only do harm to himself and to the community…But the reverse is also true: let him who is not in community beware of being alone.” –Dietrich Bonhoeffer In this paradoxical statement from his book Life Together, German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer articulates one of the…

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sunset

“A Sabbath rest still remains for the people of God…Let us therefore make every effort to enter that rest.” —Hebrews 4:9,11 Sabbath-keeping is more than just a day of rest; it is a way of ordering one’s entire life around a pattern of working six days and then resting on the seventh. It is an…

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Dallas Willard

Early yesterday morning Dallas Willard, beloved teacher, philosophy professor, author and spiritual formation guide lost his battle with stage four cancer and entered into the full experience of transformation in Christ’s presence. There is no doubt that Dallas’ passing is a great loss for us and great gain for him. Through the years when people…

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Resurrection of the Lord Acts 10:34-43 OR Isaiah 65:17-25; Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24; 1 Corinthians 15:19-26 or Acts 10:34-43; John 20:1-18 or Luke 24:1-12 Song of Praise Psalm 118 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; His steadfast love endures forever! The Lord is my strength and my song; and he has become…

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Maundy Thursday Exodus 12:1-4, (5-10), 11-14; Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; John 13:1-17, 31b-35 Good Friday Isaiah 52:13-53:12; Psalm 22; Hebrews 10:16-25 or Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9; John 18:1-19:42 Holy Saturday Job 14:1-14  OR Lamentations 3:1-9, 19-24; Psalm 31:1-4, 15-16; 1 Peter 4:1-8; Matthew 27:57-66 or John 19:38-42 “Stay together, friends, don’t scatter and sleep. …

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Sixth Sunday in Lent Liturgy of the Palms: Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29; Luke 19:28-40 Liturgy of the Passion: Isaiah 50:4-9a, Psalm 31:9-16, Philippians 2:5-11, Luke 22:14-23:56 or Luke 23:1-49 “The whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is…

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