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Illustration
In January of 2011, when Dan Uggla signed the contract to be the coach of the Atlanta Braves, he did so because he knew he was signing onto a winning team. In the press conference that followed the signing, Uggla said, "This team is ready to win right now. The core group is going to be here a long time. We have the pieces in place to win for a long time." The core group, to which Uggla referred, had previously known disappointment. But, having endured those trials on the field, Uggla realized they are now ready to win. From the team's past failures, they have learned to go forward.
UPCOMING WEEKS
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Epiphany 4 | OT 4
29 – Sermons
160+ – Illustrations / Stories
36 – Children's Sermons / Resources
22 – Worship Resources
26 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Epiphany 5 | OT 5
27 – Sermons
160+ – Illustrations / Stories
38 – Children's Sermons / Resources
24 – Worship Resources
29 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Epiphany 6 | OT 6
29 – Sermons
120+ – Illustrations / Stories
32 – Children's Sermons / Resources
23 – Worship Resources
27 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Plus thousands of non-lectionary, scripture based resources...
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New & Featured This Week

The Immediate Word

Thomas Willadsen
Dean Feldmeyer
Mary Austin
Christopher Keating
George Reed
Katy Stenta
For February 5, 2023:
  • Jesus’ Feedback Sandwich by Tom Willadsen based on Matthew 5:13-20 and Isaiah 58:1-9a (9b-12).
  • Second Thoughts: Sure Fire Cure by Dean Feldmeyer. If we discovered a sure-fire, never fail cure for athlete’s foot, we’d tell everyone we know. So why are we so reluctant to tell people about Jesus?

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Bill Thomas
Mark Ellingsen
Bonnie Bates
Frank Ramirez
Isaiah 58:1-9a (9b-12)
David Kalas
We have an idiom in our day that was born in the church but has worked its way into the broader culture. The idiomatic phrase is “preaching to the choir.” Within the church context, of course, the choir represented the faithful ones, the people who were always there. To preach to the choir, therefore, was to say things to people who didn’t really need to hear it. These are the people who were already convinced, who were already doing and being what they needed to do and to be.

StoryShare

John E. Sumwalt
You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything but is thrown out and trampled underfoot. (v. 13)

Ruth Anderson, a long-time leader of Willow Valley United Methodist Church in Ithaca, Wisconsin, was struck and killed by a car while crossing the road to the mailbox in front of their farm home. The driver was arrested on a tentative charge of homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle.

CSSPlus

John Jamison
Object: A flashlight or other light, and something to put it under. A basket or bucket, or even a piece of cloth could work.

* * *

Hello, everyone! (Let them respond.) Are you ready to hear today’s story? (Let them respond.) Let’s get started!

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
An abiding memory of my childhood is of my father in the garden. He was a great gardener, probably because his father before him was a nurseryman, so my father had grown up amongst plants and flowers. He particularly loved growing vegetables, so every summer we were swamped with tomatoes and runner beans, because they grew best in our type of soil, London clay.

SermonStudio

Elizabeth Achtemeier
In the church, we speak often of "salvation." But what do we mean by that term? Certainly several different meanings are given us in the scriptures. The Apostle Paul understood "salvation" to include our resurrection from the dead, our vindication in Christ at the last judgment, and our entrance into the eternal Kingdom of God. And certainly Third Isaiah's understanding is preparatory for that, for in this sixth century B.C. prophetic text, "salvation" means to live abundantly in God's presence.

Timothy J. Smith
Many people have come to rely on Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to travel from one place to another. GPS is especially helpful when you are traveling in an area that you are unfamiliar with. By typing in the address of your destination, the GPS will inform you where and when to turn. If you miss a turn it will recalculate your position and get you back on course. The GPS will get you to your destination in one piece and in the same condition you were in when you left.
Susan R. Andrews
There is, in this congregation, a running conversation as to what to call this structural wonder that rises above my head. Is it a dome? Or is it a lantern? The answer, of course, is both/and, depending on your perspective. It is a modern dome - the 1960s version of those elegant Byzantine basilicas that grace much of Europe, reminiscent of glittery mosaics and luminous paintings proclaiming the powerful promises of God. But functionally, architecturally, it is also a lantern, transparently receiving and then sending forth the light of God's creative and healing Spirit.
Amy C. Schifrin
Martha Shonkwiler
Order For Confession And Forgiveness
P: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, + and of the Holy Spirit.
C: Amen.

P: God calls us from our rebellion, from our bondage of sin to seek him and to delight in his ways. He calls us to fast in humility, to serve our neighbor, to share our bread with the hungry, and to bring the homeless poor into our houses. He calls free the bonds of the oppressed. Let us, therefore, examine our hearts in the light of his commands.

Silence for reflection and confession

P: Gracious and holy God,

Special Occasion

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