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Epiphany 9 | Ordinary Time 9, Cycle A

The importance of having a firm foundation of faith is emphasized in each of these texts selected for use on the rare occasions in which the Lenten and Easter Seasons are very late during the year of our Cycle A texts.

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Epiphany 8 | Ordinary Time 8, Cycle A

If we do the will of God, we will never be forsaken. We are assured of this in each of these texts.

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Epiphany 7 | Ordinary Time 7, Cycle A

In most of the texts appointed for this occasion, the People of God are acclaimed. Through the use of these texts, it will be our pleasure to acclaim the People of God with whom we live as we speak in our own situations what is revealed to us in the Word of God and in our lives.

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Epiphany 6 | Ordinary Time 6, Cycle A

Within the texts designated for this coming weekend, Psalm 119 and Deuteronomy 30:15-20 depict the significant theme of the Israelite Scriptures that happiness, blessings, and security are given by God to those who live their lives in accordance with the commandments and precepts that are so frequently expressed in the Israelite Scriptures themselves. Although the happiness, blessings, and security promised in the Psalm 119 and Deuteronomy 30:15-20 texts are intended primarily for this life and for its continuation here throughout future generations rather than in terms of eternal life with God, these Psalm and Torah readings may be considered to be more specifically liberating “Good News” than are the Matthew 5:21-37 “Gospel” readings selected for this occasion.

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Epiphany 5 | Ordinary Time 5, Cycle A

Within three of the four texts appointed for the Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany in Series A, the central, unifying theme is “the righteousness of the People of God.” Throughout the acrostic Psalm 112 the righteousness of God’s People is described and defined. In a similar manner, righteousness is the quality that the Lord God desires in the People of God in Isaiah 58. Finally, in the Matthew 5:13-20 account the righteousness of the new community of followers of Jesus is the primary subject for consideration. Only 1 Corinthians 2:1-16 stands outside this theme.

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  • Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!: Cycle A Gospel Sermons for Lent and Easter
     
    SermonSuite
    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

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