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All Saints Day, Cycle C

As we pause to remember those loved by us who have died during the past twelve months or within the scope of our memories, we turn to the inspired writers of each of the texts selected for this occasion. Shall we not also on this All Saints’ Day worship God with these writers, along with all whom we remember who have lived among us? Let us boldly worship God as God is perceived within Christianity…

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Thanksgiving Day, Cycle C

National days of thanksgiving within the United States and Canada are by nature primarily expressions of civil religion, not of the ecclesial, individual, family, community, or universal levels of religion, even though every level in which we express our religion may be involved. Because civil religion at its best is inclusive of the religions of all of the people living within a nation, in nations such as the United States and Canada in which there are Native Americans, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Atheists, and many other groups, observance of National Days of Thanksgiving should include participation by all of the groups represented and use resources drawn from the oral and written traditions of every group represented. Civil religion at its worst, however, excludes minority groups and uses the power of the state to promote the religion of the powerful majority within the nation. Therefore, worship experiences at the national level should be inclusive of all of the people, and the celebration of national days of thanksgiving in local areas should also be inclusive of all of the people in the local area.

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Christ the King (Proper 29), Cycle C

With the texts chosen for this occasion, the Church Year ends in a note of triumph. The Lord is King! The Lord rules in these texts in a great variety of ways, but in each in some way the Lord is King. This is the message that we shall proclaim next Sunday. It shall be our task to proclaim with all of the skill given to us by God the many ways in which the Lord is King in these texts and in our lives.

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Proper 27 | Ordinary Time 32 | Pentecost 24 (Cycle C)

Perhaps the theological motif that best unites most of the texts selected for this occasion is the statement in Luke 20:38 that God is not God of the dead, but God of the living, and that all who are alive live because of their relationship with God. Some of the texts also proclaim that all life, therefore, should praise and glorify God.

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Proper 26 | Ordinary Time 31 | Pentecost 23 (Cycle C)

The theme of “salvation” in many of these texts relates our worship services for the coming weekend to our need for the ongoing Reformation of the Church in our time on October 31 and to All Saints’ Day on November 1, as well as being a reminder to us that we are nearing the end of our annual Church Year cycle.

Read More About - Proper 26 | Ordinary Time 31 | Pentecost 23 (Cycle C) »

  • Everyday
    should be
    Earth Day... Charged with Grandeur: Sermons and Practices for Delighting in God's Creation

    Dean Feldmeyer
    Meeting Jesus Again
    Luke 24:13-35

    Last month the Barna Research Group released some more of their findings about why people, especially those in the millennial generation, aren’t going to church. Basically, it can be boiled down into two assertions:
    1. I’m not meeting God at church; and
    2. The church isn’t making the world a better place.
         In other words, from their perspective the Christian church, in all of its modern
    permutations, is not keeping the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:36-40), nor is it living out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20).
         Of course, Barna says, this is not news. It has been happening for decades. It’s just being felt more now because the numbers are greater.
         People come to church to meet Jesus, up close and personal, face to face. They want and expect not just to hear about Jesus but to have an encounter with the Living Christ. They are hungry for that encounter; they need it to give their lives meaning, direction, depth, and authenticity. And they want to be part of something that is actually improving their lives and the lives of generations to come.
         Like those two disciples walking to Emmaus on that first Easter afternoon, they are at loose ends and looking for direction -- and they are asking us to help them find it through Jesus Christ....more
    My Laughin' Place
    There's an old Uncle Remus story about Br'er Rabbit. Br'er Fox catches Br'er Rabbit and is fixin' to cook him for supper. Rabbit kinda giggles behind his hand. Fox grabs him by the ear, and says, "Why you laughin'?"
         Rabbit says, "Jus' thinkin' 'bout my Laughin' Place." Fox says, "What Laughin' Place?" Rabbit says, "Oh, I cain't tell you about it. I got to show you!"
         So ol' Br'er Fox fergits about cooking and takes Br'er Rabbit to where he says. Of course, they come to a briar patch and Br'er Rabbit slips away from his captor. A very angry Br'er Fox hollers at Rabbit from across the briar patch: "I ain't laughin'! I thought you said this was a Laughin' Place?"...more
    Sandra Herrmann
    Redemption in Christ
    Many years ago, I was invited to the home of a parish family for Easter dinner. It was a big family, and some of us were standing around the edges of the dining room, waiting for the fragrant aromas to turn into something to eat. It’s always tricky for a woman pastor too. Should I be helping in the kitchen? No. I was the pastor. Still, the offer was greeted with smiles. The grandfather of the clan walked over to me and said, “Pastor, I have a question about your sermon this morning. What’s your definition of a Christian?”....more
    Peter Andrew Smith
    Burning Hearts

    Luke 24:13-35

    Heather lined the basketball up with the net. She took a deep breath and made her shot. The ball was high and missed. She tried again. This time the ball hit the backboard and went toward the corner. Heather sighed and let the ball bounce away. This is useless. I can’t make a basket no matter how much I try. She made her way over to the bench in the empty community center gymnasium and slumped down....more
    Janice Scott
    Strangers or neighbours?
    A week or two ago I received an unexpected registered package through the post. It was a manuscript and turned out to be the memoirs of an elderly relative, Mary, who was a cousin of my mother's, and who had died a couple of years previously. She had lived miles away and I'd never met her, although we had corresponded occasionally and spoken on the phone once or twice. ...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