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Fifth Sunday in Lent, Cycle C

The marvelous, amazing grace of God is the most significant unifying factor within this series of texts selected for us for next Sunday. Psalm 126 In this community lament during a time of depression, suffering, and weeping, there is no reference to the causes of the suffering of the people. All of the emphasis is [...]

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Fourth Sunday in Lent, Cycle C

The emphasis within most of the texts appointed for next Sunday (Psalm 32; 2 Corinthians 5:16-21; Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32) is on turning to God, acknowledging sin, and receiving forgiveness from God. These are basic motifs within our Christian Lenten season. As we utilize these texts, our proclamation and our parenesis should be focused on these [...]

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Third Sunday in Lent, Cycle C

The profound subject of suffering is a factor in each of the texts selected for next Sunday. Perhaps Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha) was on target when he reached the conclusion that “to live is to suffer,” that suffering is universal — the first of his Four Noble Truths. At any rate, there are few subjects about which we proclaim our message that hold the attention of the members of the assembled congregations as well as the subject of suffering. If we dare to consider seriously the profound subject of suffering that is present in each of these four texts, we can be assured that those who hear us will be involved with us as we proclaim the Word of God next Sunday.

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Second Sunday in Lent, Cycle C

Jerusalem and the temple in Jerusalem are prominent in many of these texts selected for Lent 2, Series C. It is in Jerusalem and at its temple that the beauty of the Lord is seen (Psalm 27). Jesus’ death and his departure from the earth will occur in Jerusalem (Luke 13:31-35), and Jesus expresses his love for the city and for its people.

Transformation is another theme present in several of these texts. In his letter to the Philippians, Paul proclaims that the Lord Jesus Christ will transform our lowly body and make it conform to his glorious body. Within the Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18 promise and covenant text, Abram was said to have been transformed in a sense as the Lord caused the smoking fire pot and flaming torch to pass between the pieces of Abram’s offering and made the covenant of land and many descendants with him.

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First Sunday in Lent, Cycle C

A unifying factor present in all four of these texts selected for Lent 1 in Series C is the concept of deliverance. According to Psalm 91, the person who trusts in the Lord will be delivered from all danger. In the Deuteronomy 26 confession of faith it is said that the Lord (the God of our Fathers) heard our voice when we were slaves in Egypt and rescued us. The temptation account in Luke 4:1-13 has Jesus demonstrate that if you worship the Lord your God (as perceived by the Israelites, the Jews, and the early followers of Jesus) and serve only the Lord, you will be delivered from the power of the devil. Finally, in Romans 10:8-13 Paul wrote that if you confess with your lips and believe in your heart that Jesus the Risen Christ is Lord, you will be saved.

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  • Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!: Cycle A Gospel Sermons for Lent and Easter
    Beth Herrinton-Hodge
    See the Light, Live the Light, Shine the Light

    John 9:1-41; Ephesians 5:8-14
    We are not strangers to dichotomies. The world seems easier to get our head around as we construct dichotomies: male and female; voters and non-voters; old and young; haves and have-nots.
         We can align ourselves with one side or another. We find kinship among those who are on “our” side.
         What implications do these dichotomies have for God’s people, for Christ’s followers, for us?
         The writer of Ephesians has an answer: Live as children of light. Fully embrace it. Let the light that is yours in Christ shine -- try to find what is pleasing to God, what is good and right and true...more
    A Man Born Blind

    This is the story of a miracle that is important mostly as the beginning of the real action of the story. Most often the miracle itself is the centerpiece of the story, but in this instance the focus is on people's reaction to the man who was healed, not the healing itself.
         This can make the lesson easier as a subject for a sermon by providing an alternative to a miraculous healing which can easily be dismissed. A focus on the reactions of the audience can translate quite easily into a contemporary view of modern reactions to Jesus and the stories we hear of his actions....more
    David Kalas
    And there was light
    The significance of light and darkness is evident from the very beginning of scripture. Indeed, from the very beginning, period. “Let there be light” is, famously, the first thing we have a record of God saying. It is the essential first act of creation. And as we continue to read, we discover that it is just the first blow in God’s ongoing combat against darkness.
         Later, the gospel writer picked up on what God did at creation and built upon it. John saw yet another divine victory over darkness in the person and work of Christ. “In him was life,” John wrote, “and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it” (John 1:4 NRSV)....more
    C. David McKirachan
    Your Staff Comforts Me
    Psalm 23
    There were four of us, American teen aged boys, living in an Ethiopian Orthodox monastery near Addis Ababa. We were there for three months helping to build a school for the local children. There were a dozen or so Ethiopian young men, around our age living with us. It was called an ecumenical encounter....more
    Janice Scott
    How to wake up to a life of radiance
    Anyone who lives in the country will know that there's a particular quality to the darkness of night in the country. For those who live in the town, total darkness is rarely if ever experienced, but in the country the quality of blackness during night hours can be almost absolute. Country people who go out during evening hours in the winter soon get into the habit of carrying a torch, for without some source of light they would be utterly blind....more
    Mary Kay Eichelman
    Mean Lies
    Object: small pieces of poster board that say "Stupid," "Ugly," "Can't do anything right!," "Cheater"
    Let's imagine that there is a new student that comes to your school. They don't have any friends so you invite them to play with you at recess.  But when your other friends see you do that they say things like what are on my cards.  Can you read them with me.  (Read off the cards together.)  It could really be painful hearing these words and you may feel like giving up doing the kind deed....more

Authors of
Lectionary Scripture Notes
Norman A. Beck is the Poehlmann Professor of Theology and Classical Languages and the Chairman of the Department of Theology, Philosophy, and Classical Languages at Texas Lutheran University
Dr. Norman A. Beck
Mark Ellingsen is professor at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia
Dr. Mark Ellingsen