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It is almost impossible to get an accurate count of how many Christians there are in the world today, but several estimates put the number at around 2.2 billion, making it the largest religion in the world. We now have people who are dedicated followers of Jesus from all parts of the globe -- from China to Kenya to Peru to New Zealand to Iceland. To think: it all started in one room with a dozen disciples and an amazing encounter with the Holy Spirit. We even get a glimpse into how widespread this movement would be when we see the list of all the areas represented in the crowd (vv. 9-10).
In addition to the lectionary resources there are thousands of non-lectionary, scripture based resources...
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Christ the King
24 – Sermons
160+ – Illustrations / Stories
34 – Children's Sermons / Resources
24 – Worship Resources
30 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
14 – Sermons
90+ – Illustrations / Stories
20 – Children's Sermons / Resources
12 – Worship Resources
17 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Advent 1 (Cycle B)
31 – Sermons
130+ – Illustrations / Stories
36 – Children's Sermons / Resources
31 – Worship Resources
33 – Commentary / Exegesis
2 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Plus thousands of non-lectionary, scripture based resources...
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(No credit card needed.)

New & Featured This Week


John Jamison
Object: A sign with the word “CAREFUL” printed on it in big letters. For extra meaning, create some small “CAREFUL” cards to give to each child to take with them.

* * *

The Immediate Word

Christopher Keating
Katy Stenta
Thomas Willadsen
Mary Austin
Elena Delhagen
Dean Feldmeyer
Quantisha Mason-Doll
For December 3, 2023:

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Frank Ramirez
Shakespeare’s stage was pretty simple and bare — an open space out of doors where comedies, tragedies, and histories were enacted. Among those histories was a celebration of King Henry V, who was highly revered. As a young prince, he lived a riotous and shameful life. However, when his father died and he ascended to the throne, a young king, he became serious and saintly. In Shakespeare’s play “Henry V,” about the tumultuous Battle of Agincourt, a lone actor walks out on stage before the show begins and proclaims:

O, for a muse of fire that would ascend
Bill Thomas
Frank Ramirez
Bonnie Bates
Mark Ellingsen
Isaiah 64: 1-9


John E. Sumwalt
From ages past no one has heard,
    no ear has perceived,
no eye has seen any God besides you,
    who works for those who wait for him.
(v. 4)

My father, Leonard Sumwalt, spent four long years of his young life waiting---waiting for World War II to end so he could come home to the farm. He dreamed about milking cows, planting corn, putting up June hay, picking black berries, and his mother’s fried chicken during that interminable wait.

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
Call to Worship:

Jesus said, "What I say to you I say to all: Keep awake." Let us keep awake today as we meet with Jesus in our worship.

Invitation to Confession:

Let us share our mistakes and our troubles with Jesus and receive his gifts of love and forgiveness.

Jesus, you give us signs so that we may notice you.
Lord, have mercy.

Jesus, you send your angels to take care of us.
Christ, have mercy.


Michael L. Ruffin
Mark 13 speaks to those who expect too much and to those who expect too little. It is especially pertinent for those who have forgotten to expect anything at all.1

Richard A. Hasler
Lehman's Old-Fashioned Hardware Store at Kidron in Ohio's Amish Country is a fascinating place. This store has specialized in non-electric appliances for more than forty years. Until recently most of its customers have been Amish residents in Holmes, Wayne, and Tuscarawas counties and Christian missionaries in countries of the developing world. The store is appealing to a growing number of religious people caught up in the so-called prophetic teaching that the last days are fast approaching.
Schuyler Rhodes
Have you ever denied something that, deep down, you know to be true? Have you ever turned from a situation or circumstance in order to avoid the uncomfortable process of dealing with it? Or maybe you have had the experience of keeping a stiff upper lip and pretending that something is not ... well, what it is.

Charles And Donna Cammarata
This Sunday's passages reflect a cry for God to restore. In Isaiah 63 and the Psalm there is a deep longing for God to restore the fortunes of Israel. The Mark passage speaks of Christ's return (the Parousia) and the restoration of all things that will occur at that time. First Corinthians 1:1-7 reminds us that Christians are called to live holy lives as we eagerly await the restoration.

Our prayers will focus on this theme of restoration as well as offering some traditional First Sunday of Advent material.

Call To Worship

Special Occasion

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