The Lively Lectionary New Testament is a blog by Rev. Dr. Alyce McKenzie that reflects on the gospel text from the Revised Common Lectionary each week. It offers a 1000-1200 word post that relates the text to contemporary life.

Inside Out: Reflections on Matthew 15:1-20

Clean hands aren’t enough. The heart must also be pure. The pure in heart are those who are spiritually pure rather than ritually or ceremonially clean. Most people get heart checkups and start watching what goes into their mouths. Jesus recommends that we check out our hearts and then start watching what comes out of them!

Monday, August 17, 2020

Feeding the Multitude: Reflections on Matthew 14:13-21

As we stand in the shoes of the disciples in Matthew’s account, we are to obey Jesus’ daring, ridiculous command. We are to offer our limited resources to him to bless and multiply, and take responsibility, not to hoard them for ourselves, but to distribute them to others. 

Monday, July 27, 2020

Weeds Among the Wheat: Reflections on Matthew 13:24-30

The presence of forgiveness in our lives is an important criterion on which our obedience will be judged when the time comes. We are not to roll judgmentally down the road of life, but we are to stop when necessary, to take stock of our own sins and to extend the same forgiveness we have received to others.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Let’s Hear Something We Haven’t Heard Before - Reflection on Matthew 13:1-9; 18-23

When my now grown son Matt was a boy, I would read him Bible passages every night. Every now and then, when we would return to a familiar passage, he would say, “Let’s hear something we haven’t heard before.” 

We’ve all heard the parable of the sower many, many times before. How to rekindle interest?  Let’s try rebranding “The Parable of the Sower” and see if any new insights arise.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Applause and Gold Stars?? Lectionary Reflections Matthew 10:40-42

We all like to be rewarded for our efforts. Gold stars on our school papers as children. Praise from parents and teachers as we get older.

Jesus is promising a reward for those who welcome prophets and righteous persons to the community, and for those who offer small kindnesses to the vulnerable in their midst. That reward is participation in the kingdom of God, which has both a present and a future component.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Doing What We’re Told? - Reflections on Matthew 28:16-20

The message of this closing scene in Matthew is that any and everybody is called to make disciples any and everywhere. With no excuses, no postponements of justice, and no obstacles that God can’t do something about.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

A Panel of Three: The Ascension of Jesus

Like the stained glass triptych, the Ascension in Luke’s account highlights three panels that all depict stages in the story of the same Savior.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Jesus’ Commencement Address

Jesus’ Commencement Address holds out the promise of a God who doesn’t just wave from the porch and wish us luck, but who lives and works in our hearts and in our homes.

Monday, May 11, 2020