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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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  • 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