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Variations on a theme

Commentary
The readings for this day are firmly fixed in all cycles of the lectionary and this poses a challenge to the preacher who has to face them year after year. I have found it a helpful rule of thumb to think in terms of a sermon appropriate to the day. By appropriate I mean a sermon that stays within the field of meaning which is set down by the texts or the theme of the Festival yet finds a creative way to illuminate for the hearer some facet of a traditional story that brings its thrust home in a surprising and provocative way.

New & Featured This Week

The Immediate Word

Mary Austin
Christopher Keating
Ron Love
George Reed
Bethany Peerbolte
Dean Feldmeyer
Thomas Willadsen
For January 27, 2019:
  • What Are We Doing Here? by Mary Austin — In our fractured political climate, what could draw us all together, in a gathering like the one in Nehemiah’s Jerusalem? 
  • Second Thoughts by Bethany Peerbolte — Anticipation builds, the rumors of will they or won’t they spread. Every time they speak in public the expectation of a big announcement buzzes in the crowd....

CSSPlus

Arley K. Fadness
“Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” (v. 21b)

Good morning boys and girls,

I'm practically bursting with joy to see you in this hour. Know why? I get to show my love for you by telling a good news story from the Bible.

But first, what do I have here? (show series of objects) I want to know what is the purpose of, for example, a fly swatter? (children answer)
What is the purpose of a cup? (children answer)

StoryShare

Keith Wagner
Contents
“The Challenge to be Humble” by Keith Wagner
“Forgiveness Without Limits” by Keith Wagner


The Challenge to be Humble
by Keith Wagner
Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Sandra Herrmann
The word epiphany is from the Greek and refers to the experience of a sudden and amazing realization. Usually it’s applied to a scientific or philosophical/religious breakthrough, but it can apply in any situation in which a brilliant insight gives a person a different perspective on life or a problem s/he has been considering. For example, Archimedes’ famous shriek of “Eureka!” came as he was in the baths, contemplating yet again the difficulty of determining if a given mass would float.
Ron Love
Mark Ellingsen
Bob Ove
Bonnie Bates
Bill Thomas
Frank Ramirez
Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10
Imagine a worship service, a sharing of scripture and interpretation, that went on from dawn until midday. How would you respond? In many of our mainline churches a worship service that last more than an hour risks negative comments to the pastor. “Worship was too long.” “I have other things to do today.” “Can’t you try to keep worship to an hour?”

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
Some time ago there was a series of programmes on BBC 2 on the recent history of the Catholic Church. The series was called "Absolute Truth", and one programme looked at Catholicism in the developing parts of the world. It studied the work of liberation theologians in Latin America, particularly Leonardo Boff and Oscar Romero.

SermonStudio

Carlos Wilton
Theme For The Day
The church as the body of Christ is dynamic, unified, and organic.

Old Testament Lesson
Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10
Ezra Reads The Law To The People

Special Occasion