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Emphasis Preaching Journal

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Commentary

Emphasis Preaching Journal

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
Worthwhile Journey -- Genesis 12:1-4a, Romans 4:1-5, 13-17, Matthew 17:1-9 -- David Coffin -- Second Sunday in Lent - A -- 2020
It is the second Sunday in Lent!
Overcoming Objections -- Exodus 17:1-7, Romans 5:1-11, John 4:5-42 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Third Sunday in Lent - A -- 2020
The Black Angel. That’s what Michael Christopher calls Herman Engel in his famous play.
Vision Test -- 1 Samuel 16:1-13, Ephesians 5:8-14, John 9:1-41 -- David Kalas -- Fourth Sunday in Lent - A -- 2020
Samuel was clearly impressed by what he saw.  But the question is, what could he actually see?
Rise and Shine -- Ezekiel 37:1-14, Romans 8:6-11, John 11:1-45 -- Frank Ramirez -- Fifth Sunday in Lent - A -- 2020
Eternal life. Real life.
God’s Love Shines Through the Cross and Changes Us -- Matthew 26:14--27:66, Isaiah 50:4-9a, Philippians 2:5-11, Matthew 27:11-54 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Passion Sunday - A -- 2020
God’s love shines through the cross and changes us.
Just Love One Another -- John 13:1-17, 31b-35, Exodus 12:1-4 (5-10) 11-14, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19 -- Sandra Herrmann -- Maundy Thursday - A -- 2020
If your congregation(s) are typical for these United States, you’re possibly combining the Last Supp
Purposeful Passion -- John 18:1--19:42, Isaiah 52:13--53:12, Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9, Psalm 22 -- David Coffin -- Good Friday - A -- 2020
In the 2002 movie Gran Torino Clint Eastwood plays the recently widowed and disgruntled ret
Transformation -- John 20:1-18, Matthew 28:1-10, Acts 10:34-43, Jeremiah 31:1-6, Colossians 3:1-4 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Easter Day - A -- 2020
Second chances are important to us.
What Now? -- John 20:19-31, Acts 2:14a, 22-32, 1 Peter 1:3-9 -- David Kalas -- Second Sunday of Easter - A -- 2020
Last week felt very much like a climax.
What Does It Take? -- Luke 24:13-35, Acts 2:14a, 36-41, 1 Peter 1:17-23 -- Frank Ramirez -- Third Sunday of Easter - A -- 2020
What does it take to become the church? Where is Jesus to be found in our midst?
We Need God In Charge of Our Lives -- John 10:1-10, 1 Peter 2:19-25, Acts 2:42-47 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Fourth Sunday of Easter - A -- 2020
God takes charge!
Do We Have The Courage of Christ? -- Acts 7:55-60, 1 Peter 2:2-10, John 14:1-14 -- Sandra Herrmann -- Fifth Sunday of Easter - A -- 2020
It is hard for us, living after the resurrection, to understand how Jesus, who was clearly a mortal
Advocating New Life -- John 14:15-21, Acts 17:22-31, 1 Peter 3:13-22 -- David Coffin -- Sixth Sunday of Easter - A -- 2020
It was the high school graduation season in a certain community who had been blessed with the public
Strategic Moves -- Acts 1:1-11, Ephesians 1:15-23, Luke 24:44-53 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Ascension of the Lord - A -- 2020
There is something wonderfully paradoxical about the Christian church.
The Spirit, Out of the Box -- John 7:37-39, Acts 2:1-21, 1 Corinthians 12:3b-13, John 20:19-23 -- Frank Ramirez -- Day of Pentecost - A -- 2020
Acts 2:1-21 is the obvious choice for your Pentecost lectionary text and perhaps you have used it on
Life-changing Triune God -- Genesis 1:1--2:4a, 2 Corinthians 13:11-13, Matthew 28:16-20 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Trinity Sunday | 1st Sunday after Pentecost - A -- 2020
An eternally loving, life-changing Triune God!
God Has Come To Us -- Matthew 9:35--10:8 (9-23), Romans 5:1-8, Genesis 18:1-15 (21:1-7) -- Sandra Herrmann -- Proper 6 | Ordinary Time 11 - A -- 2020
Here is the good news: God loves us.
Living Which Values? -- Matthew 10:24-39, Romans 6:1b-11, Genesis 21:8-21 -- David Coffin -- Proper 7 | Ordinary Time 12 - A -- 2020
An older pastor and his wife who serve in a remote hill area with sporadic cell phone reception driv
Transforming Grace -- Genesis 22:1-14, Romans 6:12-23, Matthew 10:40-42 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Proper 8 | Ordinary Time 13 - A -- 2020
Fred Craddock tells of a vacation encounter in the Smoky Mountains of eastern Tennessee years ago th
Wood Across the Back -- Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67, Romans 7:15-25a, Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30 -- David Kalas -- Proper 9 | Ordinary Time 14 - A -- 2020
When I was a boy, I heard a preacher remind his congregation about the true nature of the cross.
Equalizing the Inequality -- Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23, Romans 8:1-11, Genesis 25:19-34 -- Frank Ramirez -- Proper 10 | Ordinary Time 15 - A -- 2020
There are situations of inequality between us as individuals.
Beholding Glory -- John 1:(1-9) 10-18, Jeremiah 31:7-14, Ephesians 1:3-14 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Second Sunday after Christmas - A -- 2020
There are only a handful of truly great words in the English language, says one scholar.
Just Another Day -- Isaiah 42:1-9, Acts 10:34-43, Matthew 3:13-17, Psalm 29 -- David Kalas -- The Baptism of our Lord | Epiphany 1 | Ordinary Time 1 - A -- 2020
This is the Sunday when we celebrate Jesus’ baptism. This is not Pentecost.
Something Old, Something New -- Isaiah 49:1-7, 1 Corinthians 1:1-9, John 1:29-42 -- Frank Ramirez -- Epiphany 2 | Ordinary Time 2 - A -- 2020
There’s that old rhyme associated with weddings, “Something old, something new, something borrowed,

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 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
Sermon Illustrations for Baptism of Our Lord (2020) -- Isaiah 42:1-9, Acts 10:34-43, Matthew 3:13-17 -- Ron Love, Mark Ellingsen, Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez -- The Baptism of our Lord | Epiphany 1 | Ordinary Time 1 - A -- 2020
Isaiah 42:1-9
Sermon Illustrations For Epiphany 2 | Ordinary Time 2 (2020) -- Isaiah 49:1-7, 1 Corinthians 1:1-9, John 1:29-42 -- Mark Ellingsen, Ron Love, Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez -- Epiphany 2 | Ordinary Time 2 - A -- 2020
Isaiah 49:1-7
Sermon Illustrations For Epiphany 3 (2020) -- Isaiah 9:1-4, 1 Corinthians 1:10-18, Matthew 4:12-23 -- Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas, Ron Love, Mark Ellingsen, Frank Ramirez -- Epiphany 3 | Ordinary Time 3 - A -- 2020
Isaiah 9:1-4
Sermon Illustrations For Epiphany 4 | OT 4 (2020) -- Micah 6:1-8, 1 Corinthians 1:18-31, Matthew 5:1-12 -- Bill Thomas, Mark Ellingsen, Ron Love, Frank Ramirez, Bonnie Bates -- Epiphany 4 | Ordinary Time 4 - A -- 2020
Micah 6:1-8
Sermon Illustrations For Epiphany 5 (2020) -- Isaiah 58:1-9a (9b-12), 1 Corinthians 2:1-12 (13-16), Matthew 5:13-20 -- Ron Love, Bill Thomas, Mark Ellingsen, Bonnie Bates, Frank Ramirez -- Epiphany 5 | Ordinary Time 5 - A -- 2020
Isaiah 58:1-9a (9b-12)
Sermon Illustrations For Epiphany 6 | Ordinary Time 6 (2020) -- Deuteronomy 30:15-20, 1 Corinthians 3:1-9, Matthew 5:21-37 -- Mark Ellingsen, Ron Love, Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez -- Epiphany 6 | Ordinary Time 6 - A -- 2020
Sirach 15:15-20
Sermon Illustrations For Transfiguration Sunday (2020) -- Exodus 24:12-18, 2 Peter 1:16-21, Matthew 17:1-9 -- Bonnie Bates, Mark Ellingsen, Ron Love, Frank Ramirez, Bill Thomas -- Transfiguration Sunday - A -- 2020
Exodus 24:12-18
Sermon Illustrations For Ash Wednesday (2020) -- Joel 2:1-2, 12-17, 2 Corinthians 5:20b--6:10, Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21, Isaiah 58:1-12 -- Mark Ellingsen, Ron Love, Bill Thomas, Bonnie Bates, Frank Ramirez -- Ash Wednesday - A -- 2020
Joel 2:1-2,12-17 
Sermon Illustrations For Lent 1 (2020) -- Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7, Romans 5:12-19, Matthew 4:1-11 -- Ron Love, Bonnie Bates, Frank Ramirez, Mark Ellingsen, Bill Thomas -- First Sunday in Lent - A -- 2020
Psalm 32
Sermon Illustrations For Lent 2 (2020) -- Genesis 12:1-4a, Romans 4:1-5, 13-17, John 3:1-17, Psalm 121 -- Bill Thomas, Ron Love, Mark Ellingsen, Bonnie Bates, Frank Ramirez -- Second Sunday in Lent - A -- 2020
Psalm 121
Sermon Illustrations For Lent 3 (2020) -- Exodus 17:1-7, Romans 5:1-11, John 4:5-42, Psalm 95 -- Bill Thomas, Ron Love, Bonnie Bates, Mark Ellingsen, Frank Ramirez -- Third Sunday in Lent - A -- 2020
Psalm 95
Sermon Illustrations For Lent 4 (2020) -- 1 Samuel 16:1-13, Ephesians 5:8-14, John 9:1-41, Psalm 23 -- Mark Ellingsen, Frank Ramirez, Bill Thomas, M Adryael Tong, Ron Love, Bonnie Bates -- Fourth Sunday in Lent - A -- 2020
Psalm 23
Sermon Illustrations For Lent 5 (2020) -- Ezekiel 37:1-14, Romans 8:6-11, John 11:1-45, Psalm 130 -- Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas, Mark Ellingsen, Ron Love, Frank Ramirez, M Adryael Tong -- Fifth Sunday in Lent - A -- 2020
Psalm 130
Sermon Illustrations For Passion Sunday (2020) -- Isaiah 50:4-9a, Philippians 2:5-11, Matthew 26:14--27:66, Psalm 31:9-16, Matthew 27:11-54 -- Ron Love, Bill Thomas, Mark Ellingsen, Bonnie Bates, Frank Ramirez, M Adryael Tong -- Passion Sunday - A -- 2020
Psalm 31:9-16
Sermon Illustrations For Maundy Thursday (2020) -- Exodus 12:1-4 (5-10) 11-14, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, John 13:1-17, 31b-35 -- Mark Ellingsen, Bill Thomas, Ron Love, Frank Ramirez, Bonnie Bates, M Adryael Tong -- Maundy Thursday - A -- 2020
Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19
Sermon Illustrations For Good Friday (2020) -- Isaiah 52:13--53:12, Hebrews 10:16-25, John 18:1--19:42, Psalm 22 -- Bonnie Bates, Ron Love, Mark Ellingsen, Frank Ramirez, Bill Thomas, M Adryael Tong -- Good Friday - A -- 2020
Psalm 22
Sermon Illustrations For Easter Sunday (2020) -- Acts 10:34-43, Colossians 3:1-4, John 20:1-18 -- Mark Ellingsen, Frank Ramirez, Ron Love, Bill Thomas, Bonnie Bates, M Adryael Tong -- Easter Day - A -- 2020
Acts 10:34-43
Sermon Illustrations For Easter 2 (2020) -- Acts 2:14a, 22-32, 1 Peter 1:3-9, John 20:19-31 -- Ron Love, Mark Ellingsen, Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez, M Adryael Tong -- Second Sunday of Easter - A -- 2020
Acts 2:14a, 22-32:
Sermon Illustrations For Easter 3 (2020) -- Acts 2:14a, 36-41, 1 Peter 1:17-23, Luke 24:13-35 -- Bill Thomas, Ron Love, Mark Ellingsen, Frank Ramirez, Bonnie Bates, M Adryael Tong -- Third Sunday of Easter - A -- 2020
Acts 2:14a, 36-41
Sermon Illustrations For Easter 4 (2020) -- Acts 2:42-47, 1 Peter 2:19-25, John 10:1-10, Psalm 23 -- Bonnie Bates, Ron Love, Mark Ellingsen, M Adryael Tong, Frank Ramirez, Bill Thomas -- Fourth Sunday of Easter - A -- 2020
Psalm 23
Sermon Illustrations For Easter 5 (2020) -- Acts 7:55-60, 1 Peter 2:2-10, John 14:1-14 -- Bill Thomas, Ron Love, Mark Ellingsen, M Adryael Tong, Frank Ramirez, Bonnie Bates -- Fifth Sunday of Easter - A -- 2020
Acts 7:55-60
Sermon Illustrations For Easter 6 (2020) -- Acts 17:22-31, 1 Peter 3:13-22, John 14:15-21 -- Frank Ramirez, Ron Love, Mark Ellingsen, Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas, M Adryael Tong -- Sixth Sunday of Easter - A -- 2020
Act 17:22-31
Sermon Illustrations for Ascension of the Lord (2020) -- Acts 1:1-11, Ephesians 1:15-23, Luke 24:44-53 -- Mark Ellingsen, Ron Love, M Adryael Tong, Bill Thomas, Bonnie Bates, Frank Ramirez -- Ascension of the Lord - A -- 2020
Acts 1:1-11
Sermon Illustrations For Easter 7 (2020) -- Acts 1:6-14, 1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11, John 17:1-11 -- Mark Ellingsen, Ron Love, Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez, M Adryael Tong -- Seventh Sunday of Easter - A -- 2020
Acts 1:6-14

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
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Emphasis Preaching Journal

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