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"Beautiful tyrant!" "Damned saint!" "Honorable villain!" "Feather of lead!" "Loving hate!" "Heavy lightness!" "Cold fire, sick health!" These lines from Shakespeare's tragedy Romeo and Juliet are famous because of their nonsense. "Heavy lightness"? "Cold fire"? These phrases, made up of words that seem to be opposites, are called oxymorons. They are, quite simply, impossible. Can fire be cold? Not quite! It's speech in riddles, and we often think of oxymorons as silly. But the very concept of our redemption in God's grace is an oxymoron.
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Lent 3
31 – Sermons
140+ – Illustrations / Stories
30 – Children's Sermons / Resources
26 – Worship Resources
27 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Lent 4
31 – Sermons
140+ – Illustrations / Stories
32 – Children's Sermons / Resources
28 – Worship Resources
29 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Lent 5
31 – Sermons
140+ – Illustrations / Stories
31 – Children's Sermons / Resources
31 – Worship Resources
28 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Passion/Palm Sunday
32 – Sermons
160+ – Illustrations / Stories
33 – Children's Sermons / Resources
26 – Worship Resources
29 – 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

Christopher Keating
Bethany Peerbolte
Thomas Willadsen
Katy Stenta
Mary Austin
George Reed
Dean Feldmeyer
For March 14, 2021:
  • Why Did It Have To Be Snakes? by Chris Keating — Impatience can become a deadly poison. Fortunately, the Numbers text reminds us that God’s presence is never far from the onslaught of ever-wiggling reptiles.


Keith Hewitt
C. David Mckirachan
“The Serpent…” by Keith Hewitt
“Looking Into the Shadows” by C. David McKirachan

The Serpent…
by Keith Hewitt
Numbers 21:4-9

Fire, Ruben decided.

If one could somehow catch fire in a bottle, then empty that bottle into an open wound so that the fire could flow throughout the body, it would feel like this.

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Frank Ramirez
It seems obvious if we had a choice, we would choose rescue over ruin. Right? But will our pride let us admit we are wrong, or, worse yet, that we need help? People don’t like to admit they are not self-sufficient, that we need grace, that salvation comes to us not because we’re really nice but because we’re on the edge of ruin and God reached down to us. There’s that hymn — “My Faith Looks Up To Thee.” But does it? Is our default setting looking up to God when we need help?
Bill Thomas
Bonnie Bates
Mark Ellingsen
Frank Ramirez
Numbers 21:4-9


John Jamison
Note: Just be aware that some children may feel embarrassed if others knew they use a nightlight in their room. Part of the gift of this lesson might be to ease some of that fear by explaining how night lights sometimes help us overcome our natural fears. Even grown-ups use them sometimes to see what is “really there”.

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
Present day icons tend to be stars - football stars, film stars, models and so on. Part of their attraction lies in their opulent and glamorous life-style, which many of us would love to emulate. So all the trappings which go with stars, the fast cars, the palatial houses with amazing furnishings, the yachts, the jewellry, the clothes and so forth, take on a fascination of their own. We are encouraged by advertisers who want us to buy their products, to aim for these accoutrements of the rich and famous. And when we've acquired them, we are presumed to have


Schuyler Rhodes
It's been said that people have short memories. It must be so. Simple observation is verification enough. Many can site the passage of time as reason enough. Middle age slips barely noticed into old age. Memories blend and soon come the moments when the reason for walking into a room are unclear. Collectively, we forget the lessons of history, as war after war scars the face of God. Acts of tyrants and lunatics conveniently slip the common mind as the tape loop of history plays again and again. Same story, different characters.
Richard E. Zajac
"... God so loved the world ..."

Some down-to-earth applications of what my father would have called a "fifty-cent word."

Ron Lavin
A French Bishop once told a story to a vast audience about a rebellious group of boys who stood outside a great cathedral and taunted the parishioners who were standing in line to go into the confessional. One boy said, "So you believe in God, do you? Well, there's no God. The priests just made up this religion to make money."

Another said, "So, you believe in Jesus, do you? He was no Savior, just a man."

A third boy, the leader of the ruffians, said, "So, you believe in forgiveness, do you? Don't count on it. There's no such thing."

Mark J. Molldrem
Once upon a long time ago, a friend of mine owned a yellow Datsun. It was a neat little car that took him over the hills and through the valleys of southern Wisconsin. With "five on the floor," it was fun to drive, shifting up and down, turning left and right, accelerating and stepping on the breaks. The yellow Datsun kept him happy for a couple years, until one day it died. The head cracked and the engine decided not to turn over any longer. It was a sad day for my friend, his only consolation coming from the farmer who was willing to buy it for $200 as is.

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