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John T. Ball

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The Inversion Of Ambition -- Mark 9:30-37 -- John T. Ball -- Proper 20 | Ordinary Time 25 - B -- 2005
In today's text, Jesus teaches the disciples about the power of evil.
An Inclusive Faith -- Mark 9:38-50 -- John T. Ball -- Proper 21 | Ordinary Time 26 - B -- 2005
In 1948, the World Council of Churches was formed in the war-torn rubble of Amsterdam.
Pay Attention To The Context -- Mark 10:2-16 -- John T. Ball -- Proper 22 | Ordinary Time 27 - B -- 2005
A lot of confusion could be eliminated by paying attention to the context of our theological and eth
All That Goes Down Must Go Up -- Ephesians 1:15-23 -- John T. Ball -- Ascension of the Lord - B -- 2005
We are now almost fifty days after Easter, days that were filled with the immediate presence of the
Selling Sin In A Celebrative Age -- 2 Corinthians 5:20b--6:10 -- John T. Ball -- Ash Wednesday - B -- 2005
Dialing the number of a large, well-known metropolitan church, the caller asked, "What time is your
On Having A Good Church Fight -- 1 John 1:1--2:2 -- John T. Ball -- Second Sunday of Easter - B -- 2005
Today's scripture from 1 John is one of the treasures of all the New Testament.
Salvation Is A Journey, Not An Arrival -- 1 John 3:1-7 -- John T. Ball -- Third Sunday of Easter - B -- 2005
In this Information Age, we find summaries of the news helpful.
Faith As Alternating Current -- 1 John 3:16-20 -- John T. Ball -- Fourth Sunday of Easter - B -- 2005
Some troublesome things about the Christian life are its mood swings.
The Commandments Are Not Burdensome -- 1 John 5:1-6 -- John T. Ball -- Sixth Sunday of Easter - B -- 2005
In the Exodus story, Moses leads the Israelites out of Egyptian captivity and takes them to the moun
The Blessings Of Writing -- 1 John 5:9-13 -- John T. Ball -- Seventh Sunday of Easter - B -- 2005
One of the blessings of God is the gift of writing, of putting our thoughts and observations on clay
True Resurrections -- 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 -- John T. Ball -- Easter Day - B -- 2005
Today, Easter is the central festival of the church, out of which comes two derivative festivals, Ch
Dave, Tell Me About The Cross -- Hebrews 10:16-25 -- John T. Ball -- Good Friday - B -- 2005
Dave, having just finished seminary, and before leaving for doctoral studies on the west coast, drov
Listening To Minority Voices -- 1 Peter 3:18-22 -- John T. Ball -- First Sunday in Lent - B -- 2005
The endurance of humanity and even the whole cosmos could depend upon giving a serious listening of
Abraham: The Near Death Of God's Promise -- Romans 4:13-25 -- John T. Ball -- Second Sunday in Lent - B -- 2005
Since Dr.
Finding Our Salvation In Today's World -- 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 -- John T. Ball -- Third Sunday in Lent - B -- 2005
One of Louis Armstrong's vocal hits went like this:
Goodness -- A Way Of Life -- Ephesians 2:1-10 -- John T. Ball -- Fourth Sunday in Lent - B -- 2005
Traditionally, the letter to the Ephesians was thought to be another one of Paul's New Testament wri
Mediating The Grace Of God -- Hebrews 5:5-10 -- John T. Ball -- Fifth Sunday in Lent - B -- 2005
God is always mediated to us. God never comes to us directly and immediately. This is a good thing.
Palm/Passion Sunday And Today's Faith -- Philippians 2:5-11 -- John T. Ball -- Passion Sunday - B -- 2005
In the slaughter of World War I, 1914-1918, a whole generation of European men went to their deaths.
Isaiah, Advent, And Human Hopefulness -- Isaiah 2:1-5 -- John T. Ball -- First Sunday of Advent - A -- 2004
In Jill St.
First Comes An Everyday Hope -- Isaiah 11:1-10 -- John T. Ball -- Second Sunday of Advent - A -- 2004
Today's great spiritual priority may be for a grounded everyday hope.
The Interruption Of Advent Somberness -- Isaiah 35:1-10 -- John T. Ball -- Third Sunday of Advent - A -- 2004
On many Advent altars Christians often place a wreath holding four candles.
The Strangeness Of God's Care -- Isaiah 7:10-16 -- John T. Ball -- Fourth Sunday of Advent - A -- 2004
Religion is a mutual relationship. We pledge loyalty and devotion to God and God blesses us.
When Personal Concerns Are Swallowed Up In Wonder -- Isaiah 42:1-9 -- John T. Ball -- The Baptism of our Lord | Epiphany 1 | Ordinary Time 1 - A -- 2004
We are a culture awash in personal problems.
Theology Two Sizes Too Small -- Isaiah 49:1-7 -- John T. Ball -- Epiphany 2 | Ordinary Time 2 - A -- 2004
One of the legacies of children's writer Dr.

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Generosity As The Clue To Life -- Mark 8:27-38 -- John T. Ball -- Proper 19 | Ordinary Time 24 - B -- 2005
All the great founders of our religious traditions offer secrets to the good life.


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Easter 6
30 – Sermons
110+ – Illustrations / Stories
26 – Children's Sermons / Resources
20 – Worship Resources
25 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
25 – Sermons
160+ – Illustrations / Stories
22 – Children's Sermons / Resources
18 – Worship Resources
23 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
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Easter 7
30 – Sermons
160+ – Illustrations / Stories
27 – Children's Sermons / Resources
25 – Worship Resources
27 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
29 – Sermons
140+ – Illustrations / Stories
27 – Children's Sermons / Resources
28 – Worship Resources
32 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Trinity Sunday
27 – Sermons
140+ – Illustrations / Stories
29 – Children's Sermons / Resources
29 – Worship Resources
30 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
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New & Featured This Week

The Immediate Word

Thomas Willadsen
Dean Feldmeyer
Mary Austin
Christopher Keating
Katy Stenta
George Reed
Bethany Peerbolte
For May 9, 2021:
  • One Nation Under God? by Tom Willadsen — What would the United States look like if we truly were “one nation under God?” What would it be like to live in a place where everyone was treated as one who has been “born of God?”
  • Dying Is Easy by Dean Feldmeyer — Dying is easy; living the gospel is hard.


John E. Sumwalt
Frank Ramirez
“Waking Up to Racism” by John Sumwalt
“Twists and Turns” by Frank Ramirez

Waking Up to Racism
by John Sumwalt
Psalm 98

Let the floods clap their hands;
    let the hills sing together for joy
 at the presence of the Lord, for he is coming
    to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
    and the peoples with equity.
(vv. 8-9)

Emphasis Preaching Journal

David Kalas
In the mid-1960s, a popular song declared, “What the world needs now is love, sweet love. It's the only thing that there's just too little of.”1 It was an era of both national and international unrest. And the American landscape was reeling from the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights movement, and opposition to both. Amidst headlines so marked by unrest and division, therefore, the sentiment of the song struck a chord with an American audience. 
Bill Thomas
Mark Ellingsen
Frank Ramirez
Bonnie Bates
Acts 10:44-48
Prejudice is always wrong. Nat King Cole is a well-known artist who was the first African American to host his own national television program. In 1948, he purchased a beautiful home in an exclusive Los Angeles neighborhood. When the local neighborhood association confronted him and informed him it didn’t want any undesirables to move in, Cole responded, “Neither do I. If I see any coming in here, I’ll be the first to complain.” He lived in that house until his death in 1965.


John Jamison
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” (vv. 9-12)

Hi, everyone! (Let them respond.)

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
Call to Worship:

Jesus gave up his life for us. In our worship today let us explore how to love one another as he has loved us.

Invitation to Confession:

Jesus, sometimes our love for each other is thin and pale.
Lord, have mercy.

Jesus, sometimes we pretend to love but fail to care.
Christ, have mercy.

Jesus, sometimes we don't know how to love.
Lord, have mercy.


John E. Sumwalt
Jo Perry-sumwalt
One evening, when I was 26 years old, beleagered by guilt for acknowledged sins, I was deep into an hour-long prayer of repentance. In despair, I grieved that I had broken the commandments and that I was not worthy of God's love.

Near me lay the Bible, unused and unfamiliar. I had never, ever read from the Bible. Yet my hands reached out and took the Bible to open it. I knew not where, nor why. But my hands knew the way. They opened to John 15:9-11 and as my eyes began to read, my mind knew the meaning with clarity. My eyes read verse 10 first:
Mark Ellingsen
Theme of the Day
God's love brings us together.

Collect of the Day
It is noted that God has prepared great joy for those who love Him. Petitions are then offered that such love may be poured into the hearts of the faithful so that they may obtain these promises. Justification as a reward for our deeds (love) is communicated by this prayer.

Psalm of the Day
Psalm 98
Stan Purdum
(See Christmas Day, Cycles A and B, for alternative approaches.)

Richard E. Gribble
Once upon a time a great and powerful king ruled over a vast territory. There was something very strange about this kingdom, however -- everything was the same. The people ate the same food, drank the same drink, wore the same clothes, and lived in the same type of homes. The people even did all the same work. There was another oddity about this place. Everything was gray -- the food, the drink, the clothes, the houses; there were no other colors.

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