Moses by John August Swanson. Image from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, Tenn. Original source © 1983 by John August Swanson.
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Matthew 27:27-61 Commentary
by Holly Hearon
Researchers have been exploring the power of writing and re-writing personal narrative as a tool to help individuals gain perspective on their lives and identify the obstacles that prevent them from taking steps towards positive change (“Writing Your Way to Happiness” by Tara Parker-Pope, NYT, Jan 19, 2015).
This is not far off from early Christian practices of entering the narrative world of scripture in order to examine our own lives. There are, of course, limitations to this approach. We may think we know the story better than we do and impose on it our own narrative rather than seeing and hearing what is really there. Or, it can become a way of indulging our emotions and imaginations rather than seeking honest self-awareness. Yet when faced with a narrative, like the crucifixion of Jesus, that we have heard many times before, it can provide an opportunity to see the story anew, to raise questions of ourselves, to gain perspective, and, perhaps, identify obstacles that prevent us from moving further along the path of discipleship.
As the story opens we are with the soldiers of the governor to whom Jesus has been handed over for crucifixion. As readers, we know Jesus to be innocent; in the story, the guards only know Jesus to be an enemy of the state. They strip his clothes from him, dress ...
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Summer 2020 Readings
2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
April 03, 2015
Narrative Lectionary podcast on readings for April 3, 2015: Matthew 27:27-61 (Accompanying text: Psalm 22:1-2, [14-18]).