Saturday, November 26, 2016

KCM Lectionary Blog Restart

As previously announced. The KCM Lectionary Blog has currently suspended active posting because its author is working on another project that officially begins Sunday, November 27, 2016. You are invited to follow.

Wilderness Urgency According to Mark is Wesley White's next project. The imagery of wilderness in both its danger and retreat/renewal aspects has occurred enough that Wesley finally paid attention. The particular stimuli for this particular were repeated nudgings from memories of Mark and the latest American political season. Mark does not lay out 3 orderly temptations in the wilderness. He only indicates there were testings there and those testings seem to keep cropping up all the way to and including the end of the story where people run away from renewal (and, yet, find a good message in one another).
     In WildernessUrgency Wesley will look at the Gospel According to Mark, verse by verse. Postings of this slow daily walk through Mark will contain a next verse in Mark from the OpenEnglishBible followed by a stanzaic response from Wesley and comments that will attend to both technical details and contemporary relevance. [Note: the stanzas have no punctuation so read them aloud to see where the words would like to relate to one another.]

You are welcome to follow along and comment in two ways:

1. There will be a daily posting at You are welcome to visit there, read, and comment.

2. I am also experimenting with a MailChimp sending of the daily posting to those who would like to receive it as an email. To try this process that can be unsubscribed from at any time, go to: and enter your name and email.
     As indicated, this is an experiment. If it doesn't work there are other processes that might function for those desiring an email rather than going to a website. Let me know if you sign-up and either don't receive any emails or they come in an unusable format.

Thank you for your support through the last 14 years. Here's a picture I took in the Badlands, South Dakota to encourage you in the midst of whatever state of wilderness is currently engaging you.

Yes, deserts can bloom.
You are called to join the blooming.
Share the belovedness that is yours.


Wednesday, November 02, 2016

End of this Lection - Notice of a New Project

This Lectionary blog has come to its end. There will be a new set of writings about "Wilderness Urgency According to Mark" coming soon.

When that notice is ready it will be posted here and announced elsewhere.

Many thanks for your attending here over the past 15 years.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Luke 10:25-37

Year C - Pentecost+8 or Community Practice+8
July 10, 2016

“Legal experts” are like children pushing and pulling to find the limits of their situation. Limits here are both minimum and maximum. If I am going to plan a trajectory toward some goal or desire—in this case something called “eternal life”—what will describe how little and how much I need to do to achieve this outcome. Not attending to a basic entrance fee or overdoing the good to the point of whatever “works righteousness” is would both disqualify one.

So, is this your question or not. In a culture of “None” religion we are more likely to hear this spoken of in terms of self-actualization or manifestation language. This reverses the classic striving to arrive at eternity to a question of how to attract eternity into my sphere.

A question about questions is a necessary starting point for a pericope responding to a question. Did Jesus help with setting a minimum limit to enter eternity? Did he leave us with additional questions to engage our potential disengagement from both dogma and experience, scripture and story?

In good Socratic fashion Jesus responds with a question that pushes the lawyer and ourselves—what is the basis of your interpretation of what is going on around you? This has and will haunt us beyond our sophomore bull-sessions, limit-explorations.

Note the temptation to settle into extending what we consider to be right, fair, limiting. Only now is a story appropriate (after dealing with a legalist’s question with a legal question).

Still we are left with a question: which response was neighborly?

Everyone seems to know it is the third person in a story that becomes the hero. In this case the qualifying quality of the hero is that of “mercy”.

Now the invitation with an implied next question. “Go and do likewise (show mercy to all your relatives).”

“How is that working for you?”

= = = = = = =

Now that you have tried premeditated mercy, your report or next question is . . . ?

Monday, June 27, 2016

Luke 10:1-11, 16-20

Year C - Pentecost+7 or Community Practice+7
July 3, 2016

A next try for Jesus Messengers.

We have just heard of post-Transfigurational attempts to live out Jesus’ focus on engaging G*D closely enough that it will change the way we interact with one another. First a failed healing (9:40). This is followed with failed learning by failing to ask clarifying questions (9:45) and vying for institutional bragging rights of succession (9:46). There is an attempt to blame another so I’ll look better (9:49). Last week it was messengers sent ahead to reprise the blame game with harm being added to accusation and excuses aplenty (9:51-62).

After all this Jesus tries girding the disciples in nothing but one another. This seems to have had some effect as they report out of joy rather than status. Apparently healings are now possible and there is a brief respite from the internecine behavior previously evidenced (and still evident today).

End of the story here is, “Rejoice in nothing.” Read that again. Again.

Know that what follows (10:21-24) is Jesus’ closet prayer that the slow-of-head-and-heart had a moment of glimpsing something larger—the importance of nothing. We won’t get to this in the lectionary in a following week, so it will be important to acknowledge here that this gets turned from insight into a doctrine of exclusiveness, contrary to the parentheses of “nothing” that bracket this story. This is fair warning to warn that triumphalism lurks everywhere and is a dead-end—attractive but idolatrous.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Luke 9:51-62

Year C - Pentecost+6 or Community Practice+6
June 26, 2016

This pericope will be the text of my final Sunday time at a 9-month return to the pastoral ministry. 

"As the time approached when Wesley was to be re-retired, he determined to follow a vision of Peace Beyond Understanding too easily translated into religious idolatry of place. "Who knows whether I will be more preaching to myself or to the congregation.

The messengers developed from a 9-month run (some leaving, some joining in) will be entering known difficulties that will put them on edge and doubt their work of preparation. Their temptation will be that of every thwarted suitor or missionary: consign an ideal but reluctant beloved to whatever is meant by hell.

By our very ardor we are spoken to as sternly as we desired to strike others. It will be important to spend time here imaging what “stern words” Jesus used. As quiet as those words may have been (remember how proactive Jesus was with the Gerasene and how gently he left that land when rejected), they were remembered as very bracing indeed. What is more important than winning or revenge? Of such did Jesus speak?

The following interactions reinforce a difficulty with dealing with a weak Jesus not needing an American style of fantasized success: power, money, fame. These reprise the mistake of the messengers asked to prepare a community for a non-Messiah.

First we hear, “I’ll follow by preparing a way.” And Jesus says, “You prepared for the wrong thing. There is no expectation of results or you will be as disappointed as pigs in non-houses make of sticks.

Secondly, we hear Jesus repeating the request to be messengers, none-the-less. And the erstwhile messengers are revealed in their priority to meet social norms before their work of preparation beyond the limits of today. It is to this subtle idolatry of comfortability that Jesus reminds us that there is no returning to any past glory to arrive at new life. Burial is no way to get to resurrection. Resurrection is a state of being ready in this moment, not the painting of a pre-numbered outline. "Your preparation for me is to tell of your own healing and already resurrection in the midst of a dead culture."

In good story-telling fashion, we return to point one and bring in point two. This drives home the message that there is no going home again (Yes, browse your Thomas Wolfe again), there is no stopping of time, particularly with Jesus, for anything that smacks of settling for this reward, that contingency, or some other partiality.

Friends, we don’t stop to settle scores. We advance where we can, We take our lumps. We continue telling new stories until they arrive and build a framework for a next tale less full of sound and fury.

= = = = = = =

time creeps up
on silent paws
as we prepare
for what can’t be
prepared for

in final moments
we set our answer
to a misheard call
mistaking endings
for a begining

and in this mismatch
have ready excuses
why prepartions
need not engage
our life’s story

we miss an arc
and settle for storm
disappointed preparations
follow following and more
preparations anew

Friday, June 10, 2016

Galatians 2:15-21

Year C - Pentecost+4 or Community Practice+4
June 12, 2016

The faithfulness of Jesus here equates to the grace of G*D. Faithfulness is thus parallel to Grace. This is a worthy comparison to contemplate over time.

Play with the 60’s song I Fought the Law and the Law Won. Is this the same as Paul’s, “I died to the Law through the Law...” This loss could very well be a crucifixion similar to every other conversion experience that moves from what appears to be a losing proposition to an expected winning side.

A question for Paul is why the issue of righteousness remains so important if we are working by grace rather than law. Grace doesn’t line up as well with righteousness as does Law.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Psalm 5:1-8

Year C - Pentecost+4 or Community Practice+4
June 12, 2016

A Psalm for the Flutes. Flutes are ancient instruments of hearing again a creative breath moving over the deep in tones too precious to be turned into everyday words. Here we move from groans to clarity by way of the lens of enemies.

Consider the gift of your enemies that refine your being. Can you hear that far-off song hailing yet another creation? Thank a flautist for momentarily embodying this ancient tune and do your very best to return these weary and wobbly words to a breath over a hole.

For the moment I will refrain from adding one more word about this portion of Psalm the Fifth. Listen behind the words.