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How can God bring good...

Illustration
How can God bring good out of evil? What the brothers did to Joseph was still wrong but God used it for good. Only God can see ahead and know what is best. Don't let this be a lesson to do what you want and hope God will work it out for our good and his. Those brothers learned a lesson also. How it must have hurt his father to think Joseph was dead all those years. Much suffering was the result of those brother's actions. He didn't even want them to be angry with each other.

The other lesson, which may be more important for us, is that we should be ready to
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New & Featured This Week

Emphasis Preaching Journal

David Kalas
In the sometimes-tiresome debate over science and scripture with respect to creation, it’s easy to become distracted. While the argument typically requires a focus on the how, we may lose sight of the what. And so, for just a moment, let me invite us to think for a moment about what God created.
Mark Ellingsen
Frank Ramirez
Bonnie Bates
Bill Thomas
Acts 8:26-40
As a local church pastor, I was often asked if I would baptize a child whose family were not members of the church. Some churches rebelled against this, but I remember this scripture -the hunger for understanding and inclusion of the Eunuch and Philp’s response – to teach and share and baptize in the name of our God. How could we turn anyone away from the rite of baptism?

StoryShare

Peter Andrew Smith
“Dad, I think you worked a miracle.” Rolf slowly walked around the tree. “After that windstorm, I assumed this tree was as good as gone.”

“We just needed to give the branches time to heal and come back,” Michael replied.

 “I know, but so many of them were battered and broken I figured that it couldn’t recover. Now though it looks just like it did before the storm.” Rolf paused. “Do you think it will bear any fruit this summer?”

CSSPlus

John Jamison
Object: A live plant that produces fruit, and a broken branch from that plant. I used a tomato plant from a local greenhouse. Ideally, find a plant with blossoms or small fruit already growing. If you use a different kind of fruit-producing plant, just change the script to fit.

* * *

Hello, everyone! (Let them respond.) Are you ready for our story today? (Let them respond.) Excellent!

The Immediate Word

Christopher Keating
Katy Stenta
Thomas Willadsen
Mary Austin
Elena Delhagen
Dean Feldmeyer
Quantisha Mason-Doll
Luke tells us that shortly before Jesus ascends into heaven, he makes it clear that the mission of the church will expand like ripples on the Sea of Galilee. In Acts 1:8, Jesus stands among the apostles to give them his final instructions. He makes it clear that their mission is going to involve crossing all sorts of boundaries and borders, similar to the pattern he set during his own ministry.

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
Call to Worship:

Jesus is the vine, we are the branches. In our service today, let us absorb from the vine all the nourishment we need.


Invitation to Confession:

Jesus, sometimes our branches become cut off from the vine.
Lord, have mercy.

Jesus, sometimes our branches are withered.
Christ, have mercy.

Jesus, sometimes we fail to produce good fruit.
Lord, have mercy.

SermonStudio

Stan Purdum
We will meet Psalm 22 in its entirety on Good Friday, but here the lectionary designates just verses 23-31. The lectionary psalms generally illuminate the week's First Lesson, which in this case is about the covenant initiated by God with Abraham and Sarah in Genesis 17. The nine verses from this psalm, while not inappropriate, nonetheless leave us looking for an obvious connection with the First Lesson.

John S. Smylie
I think some people are natural-born gardeners. Our Lord grew up in a society that was familiar with agriculture. The images that he used to explain the ways of his Father in heaven are familiar to his audience. Growing up, my closest experience to agriculture was living in, "the Garden State." Most people, when they pass through New Jersey, are surprised to see that expression on the license plates of vehicles registered in New Jersey. Most folks traveling through New Jersey experience the megalopolis, the corridor between New York City and Washington DC.
Ron Lavin
A pastor in Indiana went to visit an 87-year-old man named Ermil, who was a hospital patient. A member of his church told the pastor about this old man who was an acquaintance. "He's not a believer, but he is really in need," the church member said. "I met him at the county home for the elderly. He's a lonely old man with no family and no money."

Paul E. Robinson
"Love is a many splendored thing...." Or so we heard Don Cornwall and the Four Aces sing time and again. Of course you or I might have other words to describe love, depending on our situation.

Love. "I love you." "I love to play golf." "I just love pistachio lush!" "It's tough to love some people." "Jesus loves me, this I know."

Love.

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