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Commitment

Commentary
According to social researchers there are five basic reasons why people fail to make long- term commitments such as marriage. First, some are hurt by a past relationship that came undone in a nasty or painful way. "Once bitten, twice shy" is the way the modern proverb puts it. Troublesome difficulties in a passionate romance where we allowed ourselves to become vulnerable and then felt abused or misused by the object of our emotions can cause us to pull back from similar future possibilities.

Second, there is a fear of losing our freedom that hammers down the brakes for some,
UPCOMING WEEKS
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Lent 5
28 – Sermons
120+ – Illustrations / Stories
38 – Children's Sermons / Resources
23 – Worship Resources
29 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Passion / Palm Sunday
31 – Sermons
120+ – Illustrations / Stories
37 – Children's Sermons / Resources
20 – Worship Resources
28 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Maundy Thursday
15+ – Sermons
80+ – Illustrations / Stories
18 – Children's Sermons / Resources
14 – Worship Resources
15 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
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New & Featured This Week

The Immediate Word

Katy Stenta
Mary Austin
Dean Feldmeyer
Thomas Willadsen
Christopher Keating
George Reed
Elena Delhagen
For March 26, 2023:

CSSPlus

John Jamison
Object: Three or four rips of cloth. I have used pieces of gauze from bandages, or long strips of an old sheet. We will also need a couple of volunteers for the role-play. When you wrap your volunteer, it does not need to be tight, but just enough to show how it keeps them from moving freely and being free.

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Mark Ellingsen
Ezekiel 37:1-14
The First Lesson is the work of a prophet from a priestly family whose ministry to his fellow exiles during the Babylonian captivity extended from 593 BC to 563 BC. Some oracles pre-date Jerusalem’s fall. The original collection of prophecies was rewritten and expanded by an editor.
Bonnie Bates
Bill Thomas
Mark Ellingsen
Frank Ramirez
Ezekiel 37:1-14
The prophet Ezekiel is addressed as “Son of Man” by God in this passage. Indeed, the term is used over ninety times in the book. We can’t help but be interested in this title, specifically because in a few centuries Jesus is going to use it to describe himself.

StoryShare

John E. Sumwalt
But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.  But if Christ is in you, then the body is dead because of sin, but the Spiritis life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesusfrom the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also throughhis Spirit that dwells in you. (vv. 9-11)

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
Call to Worship:
Jesus said, "Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die." In our worship today, let us explore how it is possible to die but still continue to live.

Invitation to Confession:
Jesus, sometimes I cannot understand your words.
Lord, have mercy.
Jesus, sometimes I find your words hard to believe.
Christ, have mercy.
Jesus, sometimes I am afraid of death.
Lord, have mercy.

Reading:

SermonStudio

Schuyler Rhodes
Forgiveness is a concept common to most everyone. It covers a vast landscape, to be sure. In biblical understanding it is especially broad, linking together economic, social, divine, and interpersonal realities. Indeed, it is pervasive and foundational to Judeo-Christian faith. However, in our contemporary world we cling with worn fingernails to forgiveness as a sparse, seldom-used interpersonal notion. If utilized, it comes when two people have a quarrel, and one forgives the other -- simple -- clean -- easy -- not too intrusive.
Lee Griess
When the famous agnostic, Robert Ingersoll, died, the printed funeral program left this solemn instruction. It read: "There will be no singing." For without faith, few feel like singing in the face of death. Running, perhaps. Crying, certainly. But not singing. Not in the face of death. For without faith, death steals our reason to sing. Death takes the song off our lips and leaves in its place stilled tongues and tear-stained cheeks.

Harry N. Huxhold
A gripping and extremely well told story of how the law works out in the lives of people is Midwives, a novel by Chris Bohjalian. The principal character in the story is Sibyl Danforth, an unlicensed Vermont midwife. Isolated and trapped by an unwelcome ice storm, Sibyl is not able to reach the hospital with a patient having great difficulty during her labor. Sibyl performs a cesarean section on the patient when she believes the mother has died of a stroke in trying to give birth to her child.
Bill Mosley
Schindler's List is a true story of World War II. It focuses on the heroism and self-sacrifice of Oskar Schindler, a Catholic from Krakow, Poland. Schindler goes from wanton war profiteer to a conspirator who tries to free condemned prisoners from concentration camps.

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