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  • The Village Shepherd

    Janice B. Scott
    I used to know a man who claimed to be able to make himself invisible. I regarded his claim as complete nonsense, until I saw him in the bank several weeks later. Or rather, almost failed to see him! I was impatiently waiting in a queue to be served, but he stood at the counter so quietly and so still that he almost melted into the background. If I hadn't known him, I don't think I would have noticed him.

    I then understood that he was achieving his so-called invisibility by self-effacement. He worked at making himself insignificant, he stood back in the shadows, and he was almost unnoticeable.
  • SermonStudio

    James L. Killen, Jr.
    The church calendar says that this is the day on which we celebrate the festival of Christ the King. That makes this a very important day. The idea of the kingdom of God, or the kingdom of Christ, is one of the most important biblical and theological explanations of the meaning of the Christian faith. It probably represents the very heart of Jesus' own teachings. Mark tells us that right after Jesus returned from being tempted in the wilderness, "Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, 'The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe the good news'" (Mark 1:14-15).
  • Emphasis Preaching Journal

    David Coffin
    Reign of Christ or Christ the King Sunday lends itself to the narration of stories as to how people experience God and God’s kingdom breaking into our world. Karen D. Scheib’s book titled Pastoral Care: Telling Stories of our Lives (Abingdon Press, 2016) makes some practical sense. “Narrative identity provides a means to hold together our various beliefs, hopes, dreams, and roles in a coherent way. The story you tell about yourself, for example, at that church retreat or in the classroom, interprets your past, conveys beliefs about how you developed over time into the person you are now, and projects anticipated in the future.
  • Emphasis Preaching Journal

    Bill Thomas
    Frank Ramirez
    Bonnie Bates
    Bob Ove
    Mark Ellingsen
    Ron Love
    Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24
    The image of a shepherd is unfamiliar to most of us, and yet the prophet does a good job of sharing the characteristics God fulfills as shepherd: a searcher and a rescuer; one who feeds and provides water; one who gives places of rest; one who finds the lost, heals the injured and strengthens the weak; and one who judges who is included in the flock. Interesting, isn’t it, to view God in this way? The judgment comes at the last and then only because of unjust behavior -- those who push out the weak and the infirm and the thin and the weak are those who are judged.
  • CSSPlus

    Arley K. Fadness
    “...come you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you...” (v. 34b)

    Good morning girls and boys,

    It's so good to see you this morning. I hope you are fine. Let's see a great big smile. (children smile broadly) Now let's give God a big smile. (motion towards the cross and so on)
  • StoryShare

    Peter Andrew Smith
    John Fitzgerald
    "I Was A Prisoner" by Peter Andrew Smith
    "Thanksgiving and Advent" by John Fitzgerald

    I Was A Prisoner
    by Peter Andrew Smith
    Matthew 25:31-46

    The prison door slammed shut behind Gary. His heart raced as he stepped forward to the guard standing behind the security glass.

    “You have your papers and identification?” the guard asked.

    Gary slid them forward and watched the guard looked them over carefully and check his identification against the computer.

    “You’re here to see Purcell?”

    Gary nodded.

    “What are you going to do with him?”
  • The Immediate Word

    Mary Austin
    Christopher Keating
    Dean Feldmeyer
    Ron Love
    George Reed
    The final Sunday of the church year -- known as Christ the King Sunday -- celebrates the Reign of Christ in the world and our station as his loyal subjects and sheep. But as team member Mary Austin points out in the next installment of The Immediate Word, that imagery seems rather quaint in a modern world that has little experience with either kings or shepherds. That’s especially true when this Sunday has to compete with one of the secular culture’s high holidays -- the busiest shopping weekend of the year, punctuated by Black Friday deals enticing consumers into retail outlets (not to mention Cyber Monday, promoting online shopping).

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