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Christmas 1, Cycle B

THEME OF THE DAY Christmas: Dreams realized! The texts focus us on an awareness of how the Christ who has come to us in Christmas fulfills all our best hopes. Justification by Grace and Sanctification, along with Christology, are the predominant themes. Psalm 148 A hymn calling on all created things (including animals, trees, mountains, [...]

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Christmas Eve / Christmas Day, Cycle B

THEME OF THE DAY
Why the incarnation matters! The assigned lessons make clear that Christ comes to save us (Justification by Grace).

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Advent 4, Cycle B

THEME OF THE DAY
Our Savior is coming! The Sunday’s focus on Christology leads us better to appreciate God’s faithfulness to his promises and his love for us. God’s ways make more sense in this light. Providence and Justification by Grace are insights growing out of life in Christ.

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Advent 3, Cycle B

THEME OF THE DAY
Hearing the prophets of Jesus and becoming one of them for today. All the texts afford some opportunity to explore prophecy, an office and undertaking that proclaims our sin in the midst of praising God (Sanctification), gives hope (Eschatology), as well as proclaims and advocates justice (Social Ethics).

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Advent 2, Cycle B

THEME OF THE DAY
Get ready! All of the lessons have to do with the theme of getting ready (for Christ’s coming) or the passing of time. Christology, Providence (God’s care for us), Justification by Grace, Sanctification (living in preparation for Christ to come), and Eschatology receive special attention as we prepare ourselves for Christmas.

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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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