Lectionary Year C--The Gospel of Luke

Among the gospels, Luke--the focus of the lectionary in "year C"--is considered by many the "most loved." It features some of the most treasured stories in the New Testament, like Zacchaeus, the road to Emmaus, and baby Jesus in a manger. It offers some of the Jesus' most popular parables, like the Good Samaritan, the lost coin, and the prodigal son. It is a gospel with a distinct interest in the socially marginalized, like women, widows, tax collectors, Samaritans, and Gentiles. It has a unique interest in the realities of empire which is more explicitly visible in its companion volume, the Acts of the Apostles. It is the only gospel to feature extended birth narratives and the ascension, making it historically favored among liturgists and artists. It's sheer length gives readers the impression of being the most thorough account of Jesus available. These features led the French scholar Ernest Renan to call the third gospel "the most beautiful book ever written." 

 

Here are some of the major themes in the gospel of Luke:  faith as a journey, faith as food, table and hospitality, the guidance of the Holy Spirit, divine necessity, the presence of women, "the here and now", the socially marginalized and good news for the poor. Also important to Luke's gospel is the use of wealth and atonement theology of the Cross.  In year C of the lectionary, we will hear from the gospel of Luke more than forty times on Sundays and festivals--ample opportunity for a sustained meditation on Luke's narrative of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

Sermons in Year C 2018-2019

Click on the picture to read the sermon.

  • Advent I, 2 December 2018:  There Will be Signs

    We begin the new Church year by contemplating "end times." What an odd way to begin! What does this have to do with Christmas? But the season of Advent demands a very different kind of preparation than that of the secular Christmas celebrated in the shopping malls and catalogues. So is Advent about best of times or the worst of times? How do we wait when we are in Babylon?

  • Advent II, 9 December 2018: Are You Ready for Christmas?

    "Are you ready for Christmas?" is a question we hear a lot this time of year. When people ask that question, they are speaking of a particular day. But when John the Baptist both asks and answers that question, he is speaking about a particular way.

  • Advent III, 16 December 2018:  Advent Lessons and Carols, The "O" Antiphons

    Click on the picture to view the bulletin for Advent Lessons and Carols.

  • Advent IV, 23 December 2018:  But You, O Bethlehem . . .

    I am Micah. I lived in a time of transition; a time when those paying the greatest price were the poor and voiceless. Yet I proclaimed that from the little town of Bethlehem would come a shepherd-ruler who would reveal God to the whole world.

  • Christmas Eve, 24 December 2018:  Home for the holidays

    Christmas is a season that brings families together. But in Bethlehem, Joseph's hometown, he and his great-with-child wife, Mary, had to bunk down in a stable because there was no room for them . . . Where was their family? We all have visions of what it means to be "home for the holidays," but was is God's vision?

  • Epiphany of our lord, 6 January 2019:  More than a Star?

    Life is filled with epiphanies. When you experience them you are observing "his star at its rising."

  • Baptism of Our Lord, 13 January 2019:  Redeemed, Precious, Beloved

    When you encounter water, remember the words spoken at Jesus' baptism because they are spoken over you and I who are baptized into Christ: You are my [child], the beloved; with you I am well pleased.

  • Epiphany II, 20 January 2019:  When the Wine Runs out

    They have no wine, Mary said. These words speak a truth beyond the wedding at Cana. They speak a truth about our lives. But when the wine gives out, the miracle of abundance begins.

  • Epiphany III, 27 January 2019:  Spirited and Embodied Word

    Scripture is not just some ancient, one-dimensional words written on a piece of paper. No, they become multidimensional and alive when embodied in you and me in this time and place.  Amen? Amen!

  • Epiphany IV, 3 February 2019:  What's Your Plan?

    What's your plan for the day? Often when I ask that question I already have a plan, an agenda for my day and I want to figure out if the other person will participate and support my agenda. The question isn't whether or not we have agendas, we all do. The question is whose agenda guides your life.

  • Epiphany V, 10 February 2019:  Absolutely Necessary to leave  . . .

    When was the last time you knew you had reached the point where it became absolutely necessary to leave what came before  behind you?  That it became absolutely necessary for you to follow a new path, when you left the "same old, same old" behind.?

  • Epiphany VI, 17 February 2019:  Blessed are you, Woe is Me?

    Standing on a level place with a crowd of his disciples around him, Jesus tells them what discipleship actually looks like.  In a nutshell he says: Blessed are you who are hungry, poor, sad, and expendable. Woe to you who are rich, full, happy, and popular. What are we to make of this?

  • Epiphany VII, 24 February 2019:  It's Just a Dream, right?

    We all have times as individuals, as families, as communities, as countries even the world, where we feel as if we have been thrown down to the bottom of a well, where we fee like we have no control over our future, when we feel cursed, abused, and suffering from an endless assault of lies and treachery. In those times, we need to remember the story of Joseph and Jesus when God creates a way out of no way; when God's grace insists that not only will grace survive, but Grace will thrive.

  • Transfiguration of Our Lord, 3 March 2019:  Mountaintops and Valleys

    Can we hold the mountain and the valley in faithful tension with each other--denying neither, embracing both? Can we do this hard work out of love and compassion for each other so that no one among us, not the joyous nor the anguished, not the beloved nor the broken, is every abandoned or forgotten?

  • Ash Wednesday, 6 March 2019:  Knowing Which Way to turn

    The disciplines and practices of Lent are not ends in themselves; they help reorient us in God and help us to know which way to turn.

  • Mid-Week Homily, Wednesday, 13 March 2019:  What's love . . . ?

    When it comes to love, what is more important--the head or the heart? This may seem like an odd question, especially since our culture is steeped in romanticism where feelings or "sensibility" reigns. Yet, agape--the unconditional love of God--is not so much about feelings. Agape, divine love, is the will for the good of the other. 

  • Lent II, 17 March 2019:  A Hen? That's All you Got?

    The Pharisees try to scare Jesus away from Jerusalem by telling him that Herod is on the prowl for him.  Jesus responds, "Tell that fox . . ." And follows his rebuff to Herod by describing himself as a mother hen.  Really? Jesus, a mother hen is all we get?

  • Mid-Week Homily, Wednesday, 20 March 2019: What's Love Got to do with us and Creation?

    By virtue of our being created in God's image, we are God's agents and representatives in willing the good for all creation. We need to define the call to fill, subdue and have dominion in ways that cherish, protect and care for every living thing on our unique and strange rock of a planet.

  • Lent III, 24 March 2019: The Whys of Tyrants and Towers

    Jesus tells a surprising parable in response to tragic reports about the actions of a tyrant and a falling tower.

  • Funeral Sermon for Michael Slevin, 26 March 2019

    The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it.

  • Lent IV, 31 March 2019: There was a Man who had two sons . . .

    An imagined conversation between a resentful son and a loving father.

  • Mid-week Homily, Wednesday, 3 April 2019:  What's love Got to do with Us and our enemies?

    Standing beneath the Cross, we realize that loving enemies is our saving grace.

  • Lent V, 7 April 2019:  "Shumukh"--Deserving of the Highest

    To love or not to love is an underlying question inherent not only in the gospel for Lent V but all through the gospel lessons throughout this Lenten season. On Wednesday evenings, we have explored what love is--that is the "will for the good of the other." Mary and Judas present to responses to the question of whether or not to love, especially in response to the love which is both costly and priceless.

  • Mid-week Homily, Wednesday, 10 April 2019:  What's love Got to with speaking truth and casting out fear?

    To speak the truth in love, we begin by speaking the truth to ourselves.

  • Maundy Thursday, 19 April 2019:   Servant at His Last Supper

    Many like to "play the game" of what would I choose as my last supper.  Our choices reveal what and who we value.  Jesus chooses the Passover meal as his last supper. And, not only that, he chooses to be among his disciples as a servant.

  • Easter Day, 21 April 2019:  I Have Seen the Lord

    The tomb is empty! The tomb is the place where Jesus goes but it is not where he stays, and it is not where we shall stay, either--thanks be to God!

  • Easter II, 28 April 2019:  Just a Starting Point

    Welcome to the week after Easter! The week after euphoria. The week after triumph. It's one week after the empty tomb and the resurrection and the disciples are in the same place they were Easter night--behind locked doors. Why are they still afraid?

    Why do they seem to be stuck in the same place? It seems the resurrection is not a destination but a journey.

  • Easter III, 5 May 2019:  Face Everything and Rise

    Fear has two meanings: Forget Everything And Run, or Face Everything And Rise. Peter had his moments of fear--the good kind and the bad kind--but he eventually, through the love of Christ, chose to face everything and rise.

  • Easter IV, 12 May 2019:  If you are . . .

    Those keeping the Festival of Lights (Hanukkah), come to Jesus and say, "Why are you keeping us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly!"  There are times when we, too, come to Jesus as ask, "If you are . . ." But Jesus respects the mystery of what we are asking to much to answer "plainly." The only way to know the answer is to belong to the sheepfold. Believing comes by way of following the shepherd.

  • Easter V, 19 May 2019:  Judas has left the building, Jesus remains . . . Will we?

    We return to "last things" in the gospel of John--Jesus' last supper and his last instructions to his disciples. Judas has left the building, Jesus remains.  In his last opportunity to get his point across to us, he simply says--"Love one another as I have loved you."  Will we walk away or will we stay?