Login / Signup

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Hold down Ctrl (Windows) / Command (Mac) for multiple selections (scroll list to see all options)

Commentary

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Becoming Children of God -- Genesis 1:1-5, Acts 19:1-7, Mark 1:4-11 -- Sandra Herrmann -- The Baptism of our Lord | Epiphany 1 | Ordinary Time 1 - B -- 2021
In following Jesus, there are many choices that must be made.
Enlightenment Expectations -- 1 Samuel 3:1-10 (11-20), 1 Corinthians 6:12-20, John 1:43-51 -- David Coffin -- Epiphany 2 | Ordinary Time 2 - B -- 2021
What can we reasonably expect from the church during troubling times such as pandemics, economic dow
Imperative -- 1 Corinthians 7:29-31, Mark 1:14-20, Jonah 3:1-5, 10 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Epiphany 3 | Ordinary Time 3 - B -- 2021
Recently, British researchers discovered that 42 percent of the church-goers in that country fall as
In the Background -- Mark 1:21-28, 1 Corinthians 8:1-13, Deuteronomy 18:15-20 -- David Kalas -- Epiphany 4 | Ordinary Time 4 - B -- 2021
Perhaps you have someone in your family or friend group who is fond of photobombing.
Witnesses -- Acts 3:12-19, 1 John 3:1-7, Luke 24:36b-48 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Third Sunday of Easter - B -- 2021
Note: This installment was originally published for April 22, 2012.
The Personality of a Personal God -- Isaiah 40:21-31, 1 Corinthians 9:16-23, Mark 1:29-39 -- Frank Ramirez -- Epiphany 5 | Ordinary Time 5 - B -- 2021
These three scriptures tell us much about how personal God is, and how personal we are to treat each
Christ and His Love Be Glorified -- 2 Kings 2:1-12, 2 Corinthians 4:3-6, Mark 9:2-9 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Transfiguration Sunday - B -- 2021
2 Kings 2:1-12
Planning for the Future One Day at a Time -- Joel 2:1-2, 12-17, 2 Corinthians 5:20b--6:10, Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 -- Sandra Herrmann -- Ash Wednesday - B -- 2021
Have a good Lent.
Living Our Baptism During Lent -- Genesis 9:8-17, 1 Peter 3:18-22, Mark 1:9-15 -- David Coffin -- First Sunday in Lent - B -- 2021
The season of Lent is a time to grow in our faith by means of taking our baptism vows seriously (be
Transformation -- Mark 8:31-38, Romans 4:13-25, Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Second Sunday in Lent - B -- 2021
Oscar Wilde penned a powerful story about behaviors and definitions and justice called The Pictu
The Ways of God -- 1 Corinthians 1:18-25, Exodus 20:1-17, John 2:13-22 -- David Kalas -- Third Sunday in Lent - B -- 2021
At the beginning of his masterpiece, Paradise Lost, John Milton articulates a part of his t
Rescue or Ruin? -- Numbers 21:4-9, Ephesians 2:1-10, John 3:14-21 -- Frank Ramirez -- Fourth Sunday in Lent - B -- 2021
It seems obvious if we had a choice, we would choose rescue over ruin. Right?
With God, You Get More Than What You Asked For -- John 12:20-33, Hebrews 5:5-10, Jeremiah 31:31-34 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Fifth Sunday in Lent - B -- 2021
Jeremiah 31:31-34
God Will Use Our Changes -- Isaiah 50:4-9a, Philippians 2:5-11, Mark 14:1--15:47 -- Sandra Herrmann -- Passion Sunday - B -- 2021
This is a difficult Sunday for many in our congregations.
Delivery Dinner -- Exodus 12:1-4 (5-10) 11-14, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, John 13:1-17, 31b-35 -- David Coffin -- Maundy Thursday - B -- 2021
In a particular German ethnic county, spring is the time for confirmation parties, easily identified
Faces at a Funeral -- Isaiah 52:13--53:12, John 18:1--19:42, Hebrews 10:16-25 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Good Friday - B -- 2021
Today is Good Friday. Or Death Day. Or the day of tragedy.
A Whole New World -- Acts 10:34-43, 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, John 20:1-18 -- Frank Ramirez -- Easter Day - B -- 2021
This year’s scripture texts invite us to proclaim not only that Jesus is risen, but that the resurre
Happy New...! -- Ecclesiastes 3:1-13, Revelation 21:1-6a, Matthew 25:31-46, Psalm 8 -- David Kalas -- New Year's Day - B -- 2021
This is the Sunday when we celebrate Jesus’ baptism. This is not Pentecost.
The Resurrection Gets Us All Together -- Acts 4:32-35, 1 John 1:1--2:2, John 20:19-31 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Second Sunday of Easter - B -- 2021
Historically, this is the first Sunday during which newly baptized members on Easter would be admitt
The Light Shines For All -- Jeremiah 31:7-14, Ephesians 1:3-14, John 1:(1-9) 10-18 -- Frank Ramirez -- Second Sunday after Christmas - B -- 2021
Everyone wants to be in on the secret, and once we know a secret, we want to be the only ones who kn
New Life Guidance -- Acts 4:5-12, 1 John 3:16-24, John 10:11-18 -- David Coffin -- Fourth Sunday of Easter - B -- 2021
Easter is a season of new life and that which guides the church into new life.
The Light of Grace Alone Shows the Way -- Isaiah 60:1-6, Ephesians 3:1-12, Matthew 2:1-12 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Epiphany of the Lord - B -- 2021
Isaiah 60:1-6
Getting It Right -- Acts 8:26-40, 1 John 4:7-21, John 15:1-8 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Fifth Sunday of Easter - B -- 2021
Someone has suggested a powerfully illuminating analogy.
Of Supply and Demand -- Acts 10:44-48, 1 John 5:1-6, John 15:9-17 -- David Kalas -- Sixth Sunday of Easter - B -- 2021
In the mid-1960s, a popular song declared, “What the world needs now is love, sweet love.
Calling New Disciples -- Matthew 4:1-11, Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7, Romans 5:12-19 -- Sandra Herrmann -- First Sunday in Lent - A -- 2020
The scriptures for today bind together the beginning of sin in the world, our salvation from sin, an

Communicating God's Love

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Loving God -- Stephen P. McCutchan -- 2011
" 'You should love the Lord your God with all of your heart, and with all your soul, and with all yo
Defusing a time bomb -- Stephen P. McCutchan -- 2010
(Information for this article is drawn with permission from the ToolBox of the Presbytery Pastora
What are you standing for? -- Boyce A. Bowdon -- 2008
Here's a definition I found a few days ago: "Courage means taking a stand that can get
Your presence shows God's presence -- Boyce A. Bowdon -- 2007
June 6, 1960, a week after I finished seminary, my father and my thirty-year-old brother,
Jesus wasn't like the big bad wolf -- Boyce A. Bowdon -- 2007
Do you remember the story of "The Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf"?
Church hospitality communicates God's love -- Boyce A. Bowdon -- 2007
First United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City is directly across the street from the
God's Frisbee® dog -- Boyce A. Bowdon -- 2006
Fresh out of college and bound for seminary, Chris Symes preached in his home church a
It takes tough love to communicate God's love -- Boyce A. Bowdon -- 2006
The Reverend Danny Cavett -- director of chaplain services at the University of
Safe sanctuaries communicate God's love -- Boyce A. Bowdon
Let's imagine you are pastor of a church with an average worship attendance of 150.

Guest column

Emphasis Preaching Journal

The preacher as gracious antagonist -- Terry L. Morgan -- 2008
As a young pastor fresh from seminary in my first call, I preached carefully exegeted, well thought

Illustration

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Sermon Illustrations for New Year's Day (2021) -- Ecclesiastes 3:1-13, Revelation 21:1-6a, Matthew 25:31-46 -- Bill Thomas, Bonnie Bates, Frank Ramirez, Mark Ellingsen -- New Year's Day - B -- 2021
Ecclesiastes 3:1-13
Sermon Illustrations for Christmas 2 (2021) -- Jeremiah 31:7-14, Ephesians 1:3-14, John 1:(1-9) 10-18 -- Mark Ellingsen, Frank Ramirez, Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas -- Second Sunday after Christmas - B -- 2021
Jeremiah 31:7-14
Sermon Illustrations for Epiphany of Our Lord (2016) -- Isaiah 60:1-6, Ephesians 3:1-12, Matthew 2:1-12 -- Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez, Mark Ellingsen -- Epiphany of the Lord - B -- 2021
Isaiah 60:1-6
Sermon Illustrations for Baptism of Our Lord (2021) -- Genesis 1:1-5, Acts 19:1-7, Mark 1:4-11 -- Mark Ellingsen, Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez, Bonnie Bates -- The Baptism of our Lord | Epiphany 1 | Ordinary Time 1 - B -- 2021
Genesis 1:1-5
Sermon Illustrations for Epiphany 2 (2021) -- 1 Samuel 3:1-10, (11-20), 1 Corinthians 6:12-20, John 1:43-51 -- Mark Ellingsen, Frank Ramirez, Bill Thomas, Bonnie Bates -- Epiphany 2 | Ordinary Time 2 - B -- 2021
1 Samuel 3:1-10, (11-20)
Sermon Illustrations for Epiphany 3 (2021) -- Jonah 3:1-5, 10, 1 Corinthians 7:29-31, Mark 1:14-20 -- Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas, Mark Ellingsen, Frank Ramirez -- Epiphany 3 | Ordinary Time 3 - B -- 2021
Jonah 3:1-5, 10
Sermon Illustrations for Epiphany 4 (2021) -- Deuteronomy 18:15-20, 1 Corinthians 8:1-13, Mark 1:21-28 -- Frank Ramirez, Bill Thomas, Bonnie Bates, Mark Ellingsen -- Epiphany 4 | Ordinary Time 4 - B -- 2021
Deuteronomy 18:15-20
Sermon Illustrations for Epiphany 5 (2021) -- Isaiah 40:21-31, 1 Corinthians 9:16-23, Mark 1:29-39 -- Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez, Bonnie Bates, Mark Ellingsen -- Epiphany 5 | Ordinary Time 5 - B -- 2021
Isaiah 40:21-31
Sermon Illustrations for The Transfiguration (2021) -- 2 Kings 2:1-12, 2 Corinthians 4:3-6, Mark 9:2-9 -- Bonnie Bates, Mark Ellingsen, Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez -- Transfiguration Sunday - B -- 2021
2 Kings 2:1-12
Sermon Illustrations for Ash Wednesday (2021) -- Joel 2:1-2, 12-17, 2 Corinthians 5:20b--6:10, Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21, Isaiah 58:1-12 -- Bill Thomas, Mark Ellingsen, Bonnie Bates, Frank Ramirez -- Ash Wednesday - B -- 2021
Joel 2:1-2, 12-17
Sermon Illustrations for Lent 1 (2021) -- Genesis 9:8-17, 1 Peter 3:18-22, Mark 1:9-15 -- Frank Ramirez, Bill Thomas, Mark Ellingsen, Bonnie Bates -- First Sunday in Lent - B -- 2021
Genesis 9:8-17
Sermon Illustrations for Lent 2 (2021) -- Mark 8:31-38, Romans 4:13-25, Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16 -- Mark Ellingsen, Bill Thomas, Bonnie Bates, Frank Ramirez -- Second Sunday in Lent - B -- 2021
Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16
Sermon Illustrations for Lent 3 (2021) -- John 2:13-22, 1 Corinthians 1:18-25, Exodus 20:1-17 -- Mark Ellingsen, Bill Thomas, Bonnie Bates, Frank Ramirez -- Third Sunday in Lent - B -- 2021
Exodus 20:1-17
Sermon Illustrations for Lent 4 (2021) -- John 3:14-21, Ephesians 2:1-10, Numbers 21:4-9 -- Bill Thomas, Bonnie Bates, Mark Ellingsen, Frank Ramirez -- Fourth Sunday in Lent - B -- 2021
Numbers 21:4-9
Sermon Illustrations for Lent 5 (2021) -- John 12:20-33, Hebrews 5:5-10, Jeremiah 31:31-34 -- Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas, Mark Ellingsen, Frank Ramirez -- Fifth Sunday in Lent - B -- 2021
Jeremiah 31:31-34
Sermon Illustrations for Passion Sunday (2021) -- Isaiah 50:4-9a, Philippians 2:5-11, Mark 14:1--15:47 -- Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez, Mark Ellingsen, Bonnie Bates -- Passion Sunday - B -- 2021
Isaiah 50:4-9
Sermon Illustrations for Maundy Thursday (2021) -- Exodus 12:1-4 (5-10) 11-14, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, John 13:1-17, 31b-35 -- Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez, Mark Ellingsen, Bonnie Bates -- Maundy Thursday - B -- 2021
Exodus 12:1-4 (5-10) 11-14
Sermon Illustrations for Good Friday (2021) -- Isaiah 52:13--53:12, Hebrews 10:16-25, John 18:1--19:42 -- Frank Ramirez, Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas, Mark Ellingsen -- Good Friday - B -- 2021
Isaiah 52:13--53:12
Sermon Illustrations for Easter Day (2021) -- Isaiah 25:6-9, Acts 10:34-43, 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, John 20:1-18 -- Mark Ellingsen, Frank Ramirez, Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas -- Easter Day - B -- 2021
Acts 10:34-43
Sermon Illustrations for Second Sunday of Easter (2021) -- Acts 4:32-35, 1 John 1:1--2:2, John 20:19-31 -- Bill Thomas, Bonnie Bates, Mark Ellingsen, Frank Ramirez -- Second Sunday of Easter - B -- 2021
Acts 4:32-35
Sermon Illustrations for the Third Sunday of Easter (2021) -- Acts 3:12-19, 1 John 3:1-7, Luke 24:36b-48 -- Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas, Mark Ellingsen, Frank Ramirez -- Third Sunday of Easter - B -- 2021
Acts 3:12-19
Sermon Illustrations for Easter 4 (2021) -- Acts 4:5-12, 1 John 3:16-24, John 10:11-18 -- Mark Ellingsen, Frank Ramirez, Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas -- Fourth Sunday of Easter - B -- 2021
Acts 4:5-12
Sermon Illustrations for the Fifth Sunday after Easter (2021) -- John 15:1-8, 1 John 4:7-21, Acts 8:26-40 -- Mark Ellingsen, Frank Ramirez, Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas -- Fifth Sunday of Easter - B -- 2021
Acts 8:26-40
Sermon Illustrations for the Sixth Sunday of Easter (2021) -- Acts 10:44-48, 1 John 5:1-6, John 15:9-17 -- Bill Thomas, Mark Ellingsen, Frank Ramirez, Bonnie Bates -- Sixth Sunday of Easter - B -- 2021
Acts 10:44-48
Sermon Illustrations for Christmas 2 (2020) -- Jeremiah 31:7-14, Ephesians 1:3-14, John 1:(1-9) 10-18 -- Mark Ellingsen, Ron Love, Bonnie Bates, Frank Ramirez, Bill Thomas -- Second Sunday after Christmas - A -- 2020
Jeremiah 31:7-14

Political Pulpit

Emphasis Preaching Journal

One Out of Two Americans Has Low-Income Status: Why Is There So Much Silence and What to Do About It -- Mark Ellingsen -- 2012
The title is the subject for this column, a topic that the lectionary texts for March, April, and Ma
Moderate Islam needs to take a stand -- Wesley T. Runk -- 2011
When the news broke concerning Juan Williams being fired for his comment on the O'Reiley Factor
What American Christians might do to enhance Muslim life -- Mark Ellingsen -- 2011
The months of March, April, and May are months of repentance and celebration for Christians.
More on financial responsibility in America -- Mark Ellingsen -- 2011
The assigned lectionary texts for the fall invite our further attention to our economy, the federal
Are we still fighting wars? How come? -- Mark Ellingsen -- 2011
These months (especially at Christmas) are the season of peace. Yes, we sing and pray for peace.
Getting real about ecology -- Mark Ellingsen -- 2010
The lessons for the spring are rich in socio-political opportunities for preaching.
Getting maladjusted to business as usual -- Mark Ellingsen -- 2010
Martin Luther King Jr. spoke of Jesus and Christians as "maladjusted" to certain social dynamics.
Is less government really good for America? -- Mark Ellingsen -- 2010
These months will likely be dominated politically by the upcoming elections and their aftermath.
Expanding political horizons in the local congregation -- Mark Ellingsen -- 2009
Wes has offered important reflections on implementing what we write about in these columns in your p
The market needs some managing -- Mark Ellingsen -- 2008
When it comes to economics, things haven't changed much for our nation or for the
The curse of special interests -- Mark Ellingsen -- 2008
I agree with my friend and boss, Wes, that a key issue for the new president, a factor that
Beyond a political diatribe: the age of bling -- Chester Harris -- 2007
Preparing sermons for Lent is a sacred challenge for every preacher that steps before their
We still need affirmative action (as long as there's sin) -- Mark Ellingsen -- 2007
A significant number of the assigned biblical texts for these summer months are about
The war in Iraq: what's next? -- Mark Ellingsen -- 2007
Because we have to submit this column months ahead of the actual publication date, we
Gas prices and the war -- Mark Ellingsen -- 2006
Although only the "political junkies" in your congregation will be interested in it, in
Somebody's child is still fighting -- Mark Ellingsen -- 2006
November and December are supposed to be months for giving thanks and extolling
Favoring the rich -- Mark Ellingsen -- 2006
Most of us know that Jesus and the biblical witnesses were concerned about the plight of
The naked truth about politics and Social Security -- Chester Harris
The emperor marched in the procession under the beautiful canopy, and all who saw him

Sermon

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Why God has no grandchildren -- John 8:31-36 -- Stan Purdum -- Reformation Sunday - B -- 2006
Children of pastors have their share of strange experiences. As a teenager, I went one day

The Political Pulpit

Emphasis Preaching Journal

The war in Iraq: what's next? -- Mark Ellingsen -- 2008
Click here
Our call for freedom -- Wesley T. Runk -- 2008
Click here
The health-care crisis: -- Mark Ellingsen -- 2008
Recent reports indicate that 47 million Americans were without health insurance in the
Are the candidates really concerned? -- Wesley T. Runk -- 2008
If there is one issue that confronts every American it is our health. We are dismayed to
The health-care crisis: Are the candidates really concerned? -- Mark Ellingsen -- 2008
Recent reports indicate that 47 million Americans were without health insurance in the summer of 200
The health-care crisis: Are the candidates really concerned? -- Wesley T. Runk -- 2008
If there is one issue that confronts every American it is our health.
Conspicuous consumption and its politics -- Mark Ellingsen -- 2007
Tax time and the season of Lent. There are a lot of crosses for the faithful and the
Justice in a polite church society -- Chester Harris -- 2007
C. S. Lewis' character of pen and ink, Screwtape, the imaginary mentor-uncle, offers the
Beware of virtues -- Mark Ellingsen -- 2007
Of course, Christians should be good citizens! That is just common sense, most
What Christians can do to help our schools -- Mark Ellingsen -- 2007
In the first weeks of September and October many members in your congregation will
Public education, an oxymoron -- Chester Harris -- 2007
Public education has become an oxymoron. Strange statement, but as I observe what it
Bread and butter issue -- Chester Harris -- 2006
I have heard the pronouncement that citizens of the United States of America must begin
Time for truth and moving beyond conspiracies -- Chester Harris -- 2006
The Political Pulpit is intended to tackle various societal issues from opposite points of
Assaults on the elderly: what politics have to do with it -- Mark Ellingsen
Time magazine predicts that a hot-button issue for the upcoming midterm
UPCOMING WEEKS
In addition to the lectionary resources there are thousands of non-lectionary, scripture based resources...
Signup for FREE!
(No credit card needed.)
Easter 6
30 – Sermons
110+ – Illustrations / Stories
26 – Children's Sermons / Resources
20 – Worship Resources
25 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Ascension
25 – Sermons
160+ – Illustrations / Stories
22 – Children's Sermons / Resources
18 – Worship Resources
23 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Easter 7
30 – Sermons
160+ – Illustrations / Stories
27 – Children's Sermons / Resources
25 – Worship Resources
27 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Pentecost
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
and more...
Plus thousands of non-lectionary, scripture based resources...
Signup for FREE!
(No credit card needed.)

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.

StoryShare

John E. Sumwalt
Frank Ramirez
Contents
“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.

CSSPlus

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.

SermonStudio

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.

Special Occasion