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Easter 2, Cycle A

THEME OF THE DAY Christ and the resurrection have their way with us. Historically, this was the first Sunday during which newly baptized members (since baptisms occurred only on Easter in the first centuries) would be admitted into the fellowship as full members of the church, and so this theme of how Christ, his Resurrection, [...]

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Easter Sunday, Cycle A

THEME OF THE DAY The Resurrection: its reality and impact. As a day of celebration of what God has done in Christ, Justification by Grace and its implications for Christian life (Sanctification) are the primary themes. Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24 This thanksgiving for deliverance in battle is one of the Egyptian Hallel Psalms (Psalms of Praise) [...]

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Good Friday, Cycle A

THEME OF THE DAY How the Cross changes everyday life. The texts and the nature of Good Friday direct us to the doctrines of Christology (the suffering of Jesus and how he then identifies with us in our suffering), Sin, Atonement, Justification by Grace, and to some extent Sanctification. Psalm 22 The Psalm is a [...]

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Maundy Thursday / Holy Thursday, Cycle A

THEME OF THE DAY In the presence of Christ! The focus of the texts is on the sacraments (especially the Lord’s Supper), Repentance, and Sanctification. Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19 This is a thanksgiving for healing and/or deliverance. God is praised for healing us, a witness made amidst the whole congregation in the temple (vv. 1-2, 18-19). [...]

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Passion / Palm Sunday, Cycle A

THEME OF THE DAY God’s love shines through the Cross and changes us. This is a Sunday for reflection on the Atonement, the love of God and its implications (Justification and Sanctification by Grace), along with some reflection on our Sin. Psalm 31:9-16 This is a prayer for deliverance from personal enemies attributed to David. [...]

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    SermonSuite
    Mary Austin
    Do I Have to Invite Jesus Over for Thanksgiving?
    Matthew 10:24-39; Genesis 21:8-21

    Daytime talk shows, podcasts, and reality TV shows remind us every day that family drama is common, even normal. Advice columns are full of questions about where to place our loyalty. What are our obligations to in-laws, stepchildren, and extended family? What about the troublesome family? The abusive family? None of these questions would have made any sense in Jesus’ day, where loyalty to family was a sacred obligation and duty to family was clear. Family strife may have been normal, but there was no option to check out of the family and find a new one.
         The question of who belongs comes at us constantly, in a world where we can select our own tribe. We can choose to live near people who share our economic status, work with people who share our values, and vacation with people who love the same places. We can eat with people who follow the same eating plan, and shop with people who share our taste. At the ballgame, we sit with people who have the same loyalties. Our news comes slanted to our particular taste.
         But Jesus pokes his way into our cocoon, raising the question of who belongs in a wider family of faith; and Abraham and Sarah, believing they’re following God’s plan, make a choice to exclude rather than include. So who belongs? Who gets to come over for a family dinner?...more
    Proper 7 | OT 12
    The Gospel assigned for the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost comes out of the heart of Matthew 10. Last week's text brought us through Chapter 10:23. In the optional verses from 10:9-23 we heard Jesus give additional words of instruction for the disciples as they are set to carry out their mission to Israel. In 10:16-23 there begins a section of Jesus' call and commissioning that portends a mission that will be very difficult....more
    Mark Ellingsen
    Living in Jesus can ease our anxieties
    In accord with the overall theme of the Pentecost season, all the texts for this Sunday pertain to living the Christian life (sanctification), specifically with how Christian life is easy, for it is not our work but the result of God’s grace....more
    C. David McKirachan
    Going Native
    Matthew 10:24-39
    A few years ago, when I’d been in my then church about 10 years, I took a continuing education course called Renewal in the Long Pastorate. Walter Wink and Roy Oswald came at the attendees from both directions, comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable. To get in you had to be in your present parish at least eight years....more
    Janice Scott
    Gotcha!
    Steven couldn't believe his luck. He'd been slouching around the shopping centre with his hands in his pockets feeling miserable because he had no money. There was a new computer game he was desperate to buy, because all his friends had it and were raving about it. Steven had been wandering around the shop gazing longingly at the game, but he had no means to buy one....more
    Arley K. Fadness
    No Fear
    Object: Football or bicycle helmet

    Have I got something to show you today! But first I have a question.
    Are there things that make you afraid?  (children answer)
    Are you afraid of the dark? Are you afraid of thunder?
    Are you afraid of getting sick or hurt in sports?...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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