Login / Signup

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Emphasis Contributors

Commentary Writers
David Kalas
Sandra Herrmann

David Coffin
Frank Ramirez
Mark Ellingsen
 
Illustration Writers
Ron Love
Bob Ove
Frank Ramirez
Bonnie Bates
Bill Thomas
Mark Ellingsen

Thanksgiving Day - A

David Kalas
Most of us have a collection of traditional items that we make part of our Thanksgiving spread each year. Perhaps this year, even if only as a conversation piece, we ought to add two more items, side by side. Adorn your Thanksgiving table this year with a chicken and an egg.

The chicken-or-the-egg, you know, is the classic cause-and-effect question. Which came first? Chickens lay eggs on the one hand, but chickens come from eggs on the other. So where did it all start? Which came first in that cycle of cause and effect?
Mark Ellingsen
Ron Love
Bob Ove
Bill Thomas
Frank Ramirez
Bonnie Bates
Deuteronomy 8:7-18
As a baseball fan, I watched the World Baseball Classic prior to the beginning of the regular season. It was exciting to see the United States team defeat Puerto Rico for the championship. I ran across a story that was written about the 2013 Classic. Danny Espinosa, who twice played for U.S. national baseball teams while in high school and college, was on Mexico’s preliminary roster, hoping to represent his father’s heritage for the first time, before he had to withdraw with an injury. In describing the pride he would have representing Mexico, Espinosa said: “My dad always told me, ‘Don’t forget where you come from. Don’t forget what got you here. Don’t forget your background.’ ”

Christ The King (Proper 29) - A

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. This story also communicates your convictions, values and commitments” (Scheib, pp. 8-9).
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.

Lectionary Commentary and Sermon Illustrations

Emphasis Preaching Journal provides in-depth lectionary-based commentary on lectionary texts, plus thousands of sermon illustrations to help you create riveting sermons.

For over 45 years, Emphasis has provided subscribers with scripturally sound, lectionary-based commentaries and sermon illustrations that connect with the people in the pews.

For each week, Emphasis writers delve into the heart of the lectionary readings, providing you with several fresh, solid ideas -- based squarely on the lectionary texts -- for creating sermons that speak powerfully to your audience. They look for overall themes that hold the readings together. Then, they zero in on the themes and the specific scripture links, suggesting directions for the sermon and worship service. Since a single idea each week may not provide what you are looking for at that particular time, writers suggest several, giving you the opportunity to select the one that matches your specific needs.

Archives

Emphasis Preaching Journal gives you even greater value by putting back issues of the journal at your fingertips. This access to the archives provides you with practically limitless ideas and approaches to weekly readings.

New & Featured This Week

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.

StoryShare

Peter Andrew Smith
John Fitzgerald
Contents
"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.

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)

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Bill Thomas
Frank Ramirez
Bonnie Bates
Bob Ove
Mark Ellingsen
Ron Love
Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24
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 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.

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.

Special Occasion