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Paul A. Laughlin

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The apparent absence of God -- Exodus 17:1-7, Romans 11:33-36, Psalm 95, Matthew 16:13-20 -- Paul A. Laughlin -- Proper 16 | Ordinary Time 21 - A -- 1989
Exegetical note: At first it appears that the thirsty (and by now weary) Israelites are expressing m
Our futile present vs. God's future presence -- Isaiah 7:10-16, Romans 1:1-7, Psalm 24, Matthew 1:18-25 -- Paul A. Laughlin -- Fourth Sunday of Advent - A -- 1989
Exegetical note: In its original setting, this famous prophecy was directed at a reluctant recipient
The qualities and consequences of the One who comes -- Psalm 72, Romans 15:4-13, Matthew 3:1-12 -- Paul A. Laughlin -- Second Sunday of Advent - A -- 1989
Exegetical note: This description of the ideal Davidic king (i.e., the hoped-for Messiah) contains t
The requirements of God -- Micah 6:1-8, 1 Corinthians 1:18-31, Psalm 37, Matthew 5:1-12 -- Paul A. Laughlin -- Epiphany 4 | Ordinary Time 4 - A -- 1989
Exegetical note: Prophesying at the end of the eighth century B.C.
The Church's mission in time and space -- Acts 1:1-11, Psalm 47, Ephesians 1:15-23, Luke 24:46-53 -- Paul A. Laughlin -- Ascension of the Lord - A -- 1989
Exegetical note: With this beginning to what is, in effect, his Volume Two, Luke epitomizes his Gosp
Being borne on eagle's Wings -- Exodus 19:19, Psalm 114, Matthew 16:21-28 -- Paul A. Laughlin -- Proper 17 | Ordinary Time 22 - A -- 1989
Exegetical note: One of the most striking images of God in the Pentateuch appears in this passage: G
A Servant with Spirit -- Isaiah 42:1-9, Psalm 29, Matthew 3:13-17 -- Paul A. Laughlin -- The Baptism of our Lord | Epiphany 1 | Ordinary Time 1 - A -- 1989
Exegetical note: The identity of the Suffering Servant named in this so-called "First Servant Song"
Other gods -- Exodus 20:1-20, Psalm 19, Matthew 18:21-35 -- Paul A. Laughlin -- Proper 19 | Ordinary Time 24 - A -- 1989
Exegetical note: The commandments of the so-called "First Table," i.e., those dealing directly with
God's coming salvation -- Isaiah 62:6-7, 10-12, Psalm 97, Titus 3:4-7, Luke 2:8-20 -- Paul A. Laughlin -- Second Sunday after Christmas - A -- 1989
Exegetical note: These verses are drawn from a larger passage that announces the imminent restoratio
God's unbearable majesty -- Exodus 33:12-23, Psalm 99, Philippians 2:1-13, Matthew 21:28-32 -- Paul A. Laughlin -- Proper 21 | Ordinary Time 26 - A -- 1989
Exegetical note: Face imagery permeates this selection.
God's return to reign -- Isaiah 52:7-10, Psalm 98, John 1:1-14 -- Paul A. Laughlin -- The Nativity of our Lord - A -- 1989
Exegetical note: Deutero-Isaiah's enthronement announcement - "Your God reigns!" - and vision of Yah
Divine commission and human ordination -- Numbers 27:12-23, Psalm 81, Philippians 3:12-21, Matthew 21:33-43 -- Paul A. Laughlin -- Proper 22 | Ordinary Time 27 - A -- 1989
Exegetical note: In anticipation of his death, Moses asks God to select a successor for him, lest th
The saints' ultimate reward -- Revelation 7:9-17, 1 John 3:1-3, Psalm 34, Matthew 5:1-12 -- Paul A. Laughlin -- All Saints Day - A -- 1989
Exegetical note: The powerful scene here is best appreciated against the backdrop of the reign of Em
The greatness of godliness -- Deuteronomy 34:1-12, Psalm 135, Philippians 4:1-9, Matthew 22:1-14 -- Paul A. Laughlin -- Proper 23 | Ordinary Time 28 - A -- 1989
Exegetical note: The testimonial that concludes the poignantly moving account of Moses' death and se
Felt repentance versus formal regrets -- Joel 2:1-2, 12-17, 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:2 (3-10), Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21, Psalm 51 -- Paul A. Laughlin -- Ash Wednesday - A -- 1989
Exegetical note: The context for Joel's prophesies is a plague of locusts, which he interprets as a
A God for all -- Ruth 1:1-19a, Psalm 146, 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10, Matthew 22:15-22 -- Paul A. Laughlin -- Proper 24 | Ordinary Time 29 - A -- 1989
Exegetical note: The fact that the heroine of this story is not a Hebrew but a Moabite woman, and th
The power of God's presence -- Isaiah 9:2-7, Psalm 96, Titus 2:11-14, Luke 2:1-20 -- Paul A. Laughlin -- The Nativity of our Lord - A -- 1989
Exegetical note: This joyous coronation anthem probably celebrated the enthronement rather than the
Grace begets grace -- Ruth 2:1-13, Psalm 128, 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8, Matthew 22:34-46 -- Paul A. Laughlin -- Proper 25 | Ordinary Time 30 - A -- 1989
Exegetical note: It is not entirely clear whether Ruth set out for or happened onto Boaz' field, sin
Easter as God's "Yes" -- Acts 10:34-43, Colossians 3:1-4, Psalm 118, Matthew 28:1-10 -- Paul A. Laughlin -- Easter Day - A -- 1989
Exegetical note: The heart of the kerygmatic recapitulation contained in Peter's speech to Gentiles
Small human events in God's great plan -- Ruth 4:7-17, Psalm 127, Matthew 23:1-12 -- Paul A. Laughlin -- Proper 26 | Ordinary Time 31 - A -- 1989
Exegetical note: The key idea in this selection is that people behaving righteously in small events
Public holiness -- Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18, Psalm 119, 1 Corinthians 4:1-5, Matthew 5:38-48 -- Paul A. Laughlin -- Epiphany 8 | Ordinary Time 8 - A -- 1989
Exegetical note: The first two verses of this chapter set the theme: holiness.
End-time expectations -- Amos 5:18-24, Psalm 50, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Matthew 25:1-13 -- Paul A. Laughlin -- Proper 27 | Ordinary Time 32 - A -- 1989
Exegetical note: The warning of Amos is against the presumption of those among his own people who we
Ritual versus righteousness -- Isaiah 58:3-9a, Psalm 112, Matthew 5:13-16 -- Paul A. Laughlin -- Epiphany 5 | Ordinary Time 5 - A -- 1989
Exegetical note: Trito-Isaiah, writing in the context of the early days of the return of the exiles
The jealousy of God -- Zephaniah 1:7, 12-18, Psalm 76, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11, Matthew 25:14-30 -- Paul A. Laughlin -- Proper 28 | Ordinary Time 33 - A -- 1989
Exegetical note: Writing in the days of the reformer King Josiah and the prophet Jeremiah, Zephaniah
God's eternal plan: a Gospel for the world -- Ephesians 3:1-12, Matthew 2:1-12 -- Paul A. Laughlin -- Epiphany of the Lord - A -- 1989
Exegetical note: The axis around which this (probably pseudoPau line) passage turns is the idea of G
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While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”


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Acts 3:12-19
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Note: This installment was originally published for April 22, 2012.

During the time of the Reformation, John Foxe of England was impressed by the testimony of the early Christians. He gleaned the pages of early historical writings, and wrote a book that has become a classic in the church: Foxe's Book of Martyrs.

One story he tells is about an early church leader named Lawrence. Lawrence acted as a pastor for a church community. He also collected the offerings for the poor each week and that led to his death.

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
Call to Worship:
Jesus said, "Peace be with you. You are witnesses to the living Christ." Let us welcome the living Christ in our worship today.

Invitation to Confession:

Jesus, sometimes we are frightened and anxious.
Lord, have mercy.

Jesus, sometimes we aren't good witnesses to you.
Christ, have mercy.

Jesus, forgive us for all those things we think and do which we know are wrong.


John A. Stroman
The theme of 1 John all along has been the love of God. The author now expands that love in the phrase, "the children of God," and for the first time he considers what it means to be the children of God. Earlier, he presented love within the fellowship and now he speaks of the meaning of God's love for us and its implications for the future. The consequences and proof of the love of God are evident in being called "the children of God." He is careful to point out that the love of God is a gift; we do not earn it.
Robert A. Noblett
Here's the scene. The disciples are huddled together and they have just heard Simon's account of experiencing the risen Christ when Cleopas and his companion enter and add word of their encounter with the risen Christ. Luke describes the scene like this: "While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, 'Peace be with you.' They were startled and terrified, and thought they were seeing a ghost" (v. 36).
James R. Wilson
First Lesson: Acts 3:12-19
Theme: Responding to God with repentance

Call To Worship
Leader: Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord!
People: Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven!
Leader: Let us proclaim in all the world the glory due God's name!
People: Let us bring our offerings into the courts of Almighty God!
Leader: Let us come together and bring praise for our salvation in Christ!
All: Blessed be the name of the Lord!


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