Category Archives: The Holy Gospel

The Holy Gospel: November 24, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  Luke 23:33-43 Meditation:  “The Great Promise” We end the Christian Year with Jesus’ great promise, “You will be with me.”  The Cross bridges the gap, heals the breach, and ignites the reconciliation.  In every way, we are “saved.”  A … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: November 17, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  Luke 21:5-9 Meditation: “Be Prepared!” Jesus’ extended teaching (Luke 21:5-36), which today’s lesson only introduces, can be summed up in two words: be prepared.  Scholars believe Jesus was mixing two events in his discourse—the fall of Jerusalem that would … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: November 10, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  Luke 20: 27-38 Meditation: “Thinking Differently” Jesus not only avoided the trap that the Sadducees were setting, he added a significant insight as he did so–namely, we cannot use earthly categories to interpret heavenly realities. Marriage is one of … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: November 3, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  Luke 19:1-10 Meditation: Ready Now! John Wesley believed that everyone is open to God sometimes….no one is open to God all the time… and some people are open to God now.  He was on the lookout for those who … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: October 27, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  Luke 18:9-14 Meditation: “The Great Mistake” Jesus hit the nail on the head–when we declare ourselves “righteous,” we will use our self-declared status to look upon others with contempt.  That’s what egotism does.  It has to be “above” some … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: October 20, 2013 (Year C)

Read: Luke 18:1-8 Meditation: “Spoiled Chilren” Jesus’ question at the end of today’s lesson used to strike me as disconnected from the parable.  But one day, I realized it was precisely the question to ask. The parable of the importunate … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: October 13, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  Luke 17:11-19 Meditation: “The Importance of Gratitude” All ten lepers were cleansed.  It is important to see that.  We do not have to be grateful to God in order for God to do something good to us.  God’s generosity … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: October 6, 2013 (Year C)

Read: Luke 17:5-10 Meditation: “The Increase of Faith” The request of the disciples for increased faith (v 5) comes on the heels of their realization of how challenging the Christian life is, particularly when it comes to forgiveness. The rest … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: September 29, 2013( Year C)

Read: Luke 16:19-31 Meditation: “What Would It Take?” Jesus tells a story that makes perfect sense–if someone could come to us from “the other side” and tell us what it is really like, we would all snap to, order our … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: September 22, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  Luke 16:1-13 Meditation: “Do What You Can” Okay, I admit it–I still wrestle with Jesus’ use of dishonesty to illustrate a Kingdom principle.  But the point he makes is clear: do what you can do in the maintenance and … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: September 15, 2013 (Year C)

Read: Luke 15:1-10 Meditation: “Lost and Found” In some ways, God invented the list-and-found department.  As the two stories in today’s lesson clearly show (as does the omitted story of the two sons), there are all sorts of ways to … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: September 8, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  Luke 14:25-33 Meditation:  “The Long View” Short-term assessments rarely produce long-term results.  I saw this in education as a professor.  Students who wrote papers for a grade in class did tgeir work differently than those who used a paper … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: September 1, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  Luke 14: 1, 7-14 Meditation:  “The Upside-Down Gospel” This principle doesn’t always work, but a lot of the time if we did the opposite of what the fallen world wants, we would be doing what Jesus wants.  Today’s lesson … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: August 25, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  Luke 13:10-17 Meditation:  “People Are Waiting” This is a hard passage for those of us who are professionally religious.  The synagogue-leader’s religious indignation is the foil for showing what God’s mercy looks like, leaving the leader’s view stinking like … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: August 18, 2013 (Year C)

Read: Luke 12:49-56 Meditation: “Breaking News” Even when I am watching television in a semi-conscious state, I perk up when a program is interrupted so that “breaking news” can be reported.  I have this reaction when reading today’s passage.  Jesus, … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: August 11, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  Luke 12: 32-40 Meditation: “What God Enjoys” Jesus said that God takes pleasure in giving us the Kingdom.  These words follow the passage in which Jesus told us not to worry about our lives. This whole section of the … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: August 4, 2013 (Year C)

Read: Luke 12:13-21 Meditation: “Slaying the ‘G’ Demon It would be almost impossible to find one sentence in the Gospels more relevant than the one Jesus spoke to the man in today’s lesson: “be on guard against all kinds of … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: July 28, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  Luke 11:1-13 Meditation:  “Teach Us To Pray” We are made for prayer (imago dei), and this means prayer is natural.  But right here we have made a great mistake.  We have assumed that because prayer is natural, people automatically … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: July 21, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  Luke 10:38-42 Meditation:  Don’t Anticipate! When I went on my Walk to Emmaus, one of the mantras was, “don’t anticipate.”  From then until now, I realize how often this has been my problem.  I think it may have been … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: July 14, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  Luke 10:25-37 Meditation: “From Sympathy to Compassion” The word compassion literally means “to feel with.”  Not to feel “for.”  The latter is sympathy–a good thing, but not what the Samaritan felt concerning the injured man. To feel “with” was … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: July 7, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  Luke 10:1-11; 16-20 Meditation: “Scouting for Jesus” We misread the Gospel if we think Jesus only gave one Great Commission.  The fact is, there are crucial commissions in each gospel account–Matthew 28:16-20, Mark 16:15-18, Luke 24:44-49, and John 20:21-23. … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: June 30, 2013. (Year C)

Read:  Luke 9:51-62 Meditation:  “Messy Ministry” Perhaps you have noticed that the lectionary Gospel lessons the past five weeks have all focused on Jesus’ care for and outreach to some person or group on the margin–some person or group left … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: June 23, 2013. (YearC)

Read:  Luke 8:26-39 Meditation:  “Crickets” I heard recently about a pastor whose caregiving and witness resulted in one of the town’s “outcasts” starting to come to church.  Problem was, he came in pretty much the same shape that he was … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: June 16, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  Luke 7:36–8:3 Meditation:  “Thank God for the Women” I will leave it to the scholars to debate whether Mary Magdalene (8:2) is the same person noted in the bulk of today’s lesson.  And I’ll leave it to Dan Brown … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: June 9, 2013 (Year C)

(Thanks to a friend for catching the error in the passage, Luke–not John) Read:  Luke 7:11-17 Meditation:  “He Had Compassion” Children are not supposed to die before their parents do.  When they do, it is tragic.  The woman was especially … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: June 2, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  Luke 7:1-10 Meditation:  “How To Amaze Jesus” All sorts of people were amazed by what Jesus said and did, but this is the only place where we are told that he was amazed. We’d better pay attention. Here we … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: May 26, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  John 16:12-15 Meditation:  “The Full Picture” I know a person who does not believe in the Trinity because the word is not found in Scripture.  I suspect there is another underlying reason he rejects the idea, but he ascribes … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: May 19, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  John 14:8-17, 25-27 Meditation:  “Preserving Christ’s Voice” I once read that people who lose loved ones miss their voices most of all.  We have photos to remember what people look like, but pictures do not “talk” to us.  Thanks … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: May 12, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  John 17:20-26 Meditation:  “Christ Prays For You” I had not been a Christian very long before I was spiritually “knocked off my feet” when I realized I have been prayed for by Christ. He prayed for me in the … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: May 5, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  John 14:23-29 Meditation:  “Whatever You Say” Jeannie and I recently celebrated our 43rd wedding anniversary.  The love we felt initially was genuine, but neither of us had any idea how it would grow, be challenged, and leave us better … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: April 28, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  John 13:31-35 Meditation:  “Show and Tell” E. Stanley Jones emphasized the fact that at the core of Christianity we find a person, not a philosophy–incarnation, not information. Jesus reveals this in today’s lesson.  “Love one another” is philosophy–good philosophy–something … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: April 21, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  John 10:22-30 Meditation:  “In Plain View” I hate to admit it, but sometimes I fail to see things that are right in front of me.  It can be my car keys or a pen I was writing with only … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: April 14, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  John 21:1-19 Meditation: “A Fresh Start” Thomas Merton writes in his Journal that Easter puts “a clean taste in your soul” (April 9, 1950).  It is our opportunity to make a fresh start.  Today’s lesson shows us how Peter … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: April 7, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  John 20:19-31 Meditation: ” Believing Thomas” I think Thomas has received bad press.  Labeling him as “doubting Thomas” fails to read his story all the way to the end. The passages in the Gospel of John are written to … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: March 17, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  John 12:1-8 Meditation:  Extravagant Love When I read this passage, I always think of Mrs. Rogers, a member of the church I served in Kentucky while I was in seminary. One day, when Jeannie and I were visiting in … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: March 10, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  Luke 15-1-3; 11b-32 Meditation:  “Stuck!” The familiar story for today tells us there were two “stuck” sons. One was stuck in the mud, the other was stuck in the field.  Jesus shows that it is actually better to be … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: March 3, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  Luke 13:1-9 Meditation:  “Welcome to the Club!” We are not as far removed from ancient times in our hearts as we think we are.  We still harbor and promote the idea that some people are “more sinful” than others.  … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: February 24, 2013. (Year C)

Read:  Luke 13:31-35 Meditation: “Finishing Well” Jesus ‘s entire mission was about redemption (v. 34).  This passion kept his mind focused and his heart singular all the to the Cross.  Jesus finished well. But he did not do so without … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: February 17, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  Luke 4:1-13 Meditation:  “Confronting the Confrontation” I am not anything close to an expert in the Lectionary.  But I have to admit that the recent readings seem to me to be “skipping around.”  We were in Luke 4 a … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: February 10, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  Luke 9:28-36 Meditation:  “Reactions to Revelation” The lectionary reading moves swiftly.  Last week we were in Nazareth at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry; today we stand on the mountain of transfiguration.  In both places, Jesus is revealing that the … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: February 3, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  Luke 4:21-30 Meditation:  “The Challenge of Fulfillment” We are masters of deferral and delay.  But Jesus is the “here and now” igniter of fulfillment.  He stood before people in his home town who had known him since he was … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: January 27, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  Luke 4:14-21 Meditation:  “The Fulfillment of Advent” Some have called Jesus’ announcement in Nazareth the fulfillment of Advent.  The baby born in the stable is now the Messiah commissioned in the synagogue. Jesus uses Isaiah’s words to define the … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: January 20, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  John 2:1-11 Meditation:  “When the Wine Runs Out” You can count on it, our wine is going to run out.  Our insights, our power, our plans, and all the rest that we make will not be enough. We can … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: January 13, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  Luke 3:15-17; 21-22 Meditation:  “Windows” When Jeannie and I travel to beautiful places, we ask for campsites (for our pop-up) or rooms that have great views.  If we’re in our camper, we don’t waste much time unzipping all the … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: January 6, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  Matthew 2:1-12 Meditation:  “Perception” This year, we have the privilege of celebrating Epiphany on Sunday.  We will, like the magi, make our way to the “cradle of Jesus” (the sanctuary) and offer Christ our gifts, the ultimate gift being … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: December 30, 2012 (Year C)

Read:  Luke 2:41-52 Meditation:  “A Glimpse into Normality” We hardly have Christmas behind us before we are guided to read the story of Jesus when he was twelve years old.  We would feel like we’d been shot out of a … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: December 23, 2012 (Year C)

Read:  Luke 1:39-45 Meditation:  “Under the Influence.” Jesus influenced people even before his incarnation.  Mary’s announcement was enough to cause the child in Elizabeth’s womb to leap.  Elizabeth herself was filled with the Holy Spirit and literally shouted for joy … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: December 16, 1012 (Year C)

Read:  Luke 3:10-18 Meditation:  “The Good News of Radical Change” Luke describes John the Baptist’s ministry as that of proclaiming good news to the people (v. 18).  But that conclusion comes on the heels of quite a bit of challenge … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: December 09, 2012 (Year C)

Read:  Luke 3:1-6 Meditation:  “Setting the Stage” Significant occasions are almost always preceded by special preparations.  Hold-the-date cards often provide the first indication that something important is going to take place.  Invitations follow giving more details.  In the meantime, people … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: December 2, 2012 (Year C)

Read:  Luke 21:25-36 Meditation:  “Hoping Between Two Hopes” Our annual observance of Advent is a “present hope” that’s always couched between two hopes.  The first hope came with the birth of Jesus Christ, and was expressed by the grieving travelers … Continue reading

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