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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) »

  • 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