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Lectionary Tales For The Pulpit
57 Stories For Cycle C
She was elected to high office some time ago. Let's call her Beverly Washington. She was the first woman Lieutenant Governor ever elected in her state. Such a first brought much deserved media attention. There were many demands for photo opportunities and interviews. Beverly Washington had never experienced the limelight quite like this before.

One of the interviews with Lt. Governor Washington was conducted by a much younger woman who was obviously taken with the Lt. Governor's success. "I see you have a degree in law from Harvard," the interviewer began. "You must have had a family which really supported your dreams for higher education. Not many women were encouraged to go to college and law school in the 20s and 30s. You seem to be the exception to the rule."

"I'm no exception at all," Beverly Washington replied. "My father's attitude was that boys should go on to school and girls should get married and raise a family. I was lucky that he let me finish high school. After high school I simply determined to go to college. There would be no financial help. There would be no moral or family support. But I decided. I thought it was unfair to hold women back the way my father wanted to hold my sisters and me back. So I decided, packed my bags, and left for college."

"Very good," said the impressed interviewer, "I guess you were blazing trails for women a long time ago. How then did you get started in politics? Not many women ran for public office in the days you first ran."

"That's true," Lt. Governor Washington responded. "It certainly wasn't easy. It wasn't easy finding a job as a lawyer either. There weren't many women lawyers in those days and no one would hire me. I took all kinds of odd jobs to support myself and our family in those early years. That's when I decided that there was something wrong with a system that could discriminate against women in such a way. So I began to wonder how I might change the system. I concluded that the best way to change the system was to get into elective politics. I would become part of the system! Then I could change it. But, of course, that was more easily said than done. It was hard, for example, just trying to get enough signatures on my petition to run for office. The office was county auditor. It took me six months to get the necessary signatures. But I did it. I got beat in the election, of course. Bad! I lost my first three tries but I finally did get elected county treasurer. I knew I was bucking the system. I knew I was blazing a new trail for women. But I had decided in the face of much opposition that this is what I had to do. I decided and I stuck with my decision."

"And here you are the newly-elected Lt. Governor," the interviewer interjected. "It must be a wonderful feeling. You continue to prove the critics wrong. Do you have any advice for women who might be inspired by your example to run for public office?"

"Go for it," Ms. Washington shot back. "You've got to decide for yourself. All the old rules may be lined up against you. Even friends and family may not always support you. So, you've got to want it very badly and be willing to pay the price. The most important thing is that you must decide for yourself. Then stick with your decision. Choose your path and don't look back."
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Easter 6
30 – Sermons
110+ – Illustrations / Stories
26 – Children's Sermons / Resources
20 – Worship Resources
25 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
25 – Sermons
160+ – Illustrations / Stories
22 – Children's Sermons / Resources
18 – Worship Resources
23 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Easter 7
30 – Sermons
160+ – Illustrations / Stories
27 – Children's Sermons / Resources
25 – Worship Resources
27 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
29 – Sermons
140+ – Illustrations / Stories
27 – Children's Sermons / Resources
28 – Worship Resources
32 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Trinity Sunday
27 – Sermons
140+ – Illustrations / Stories
29 – Children's Sermons / Resources
29 – Worship Resources
30 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
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John Jamison
They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.  Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.  As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. (vv. 16-18)
John Jamison
When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them.  While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.  Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God. (vv. 50-53)

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Emphasis Preaching Journal

Mark Ellingsen
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Acts 1:15-17, 21-26
Frank Ramirez
The resurrection of Jesus takes center stage, rightfully so, in the church calendar. By contrast, Ascension Day often falls by the wayside, unless it happens to fall on a Sunday. It’s something Jesus did, but it’s not necessarily a significant event in the lives of many churches. These three texts, however, illustrate the central importance of this event, which is the capstone of the ministry of Jesus.
Mark Ellingsen
Bonnie Bates
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Acts 1:1-11
There is still a lot to be in despair about in America. Racism is not gone, as the families who lost loved ones to wanton police shootings continue to mourn. Those who lost jobs, incomes, and businesses in the pandemic continue to suffer and remain in despair. It is all so tragic, as the German-born philosopher Theodor Adono once wrote: “But he who dies in despair has lived his life in vain.” Martin Luther saw this text and its account of the ascension as a time to preach on faith and the comfort from despair that that Word brings:

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
Many years ago I met a churchwarden who had grown up within a Jewish background but who had converted to Christianity quite late in life. She had had an amazing conversion experience which had affected her deeply and as a result had become an ardent Christian. She was particularly zealous about Christian mission to the Jews, wanting to convert all Jews to Christianity. When I asked whether she thought Jesus was the only way to God, she looked astonished and said yes, of course!


Constance Berg
Brian could feel the heat of anger rising in his neck. His left hand curled into a fist and he hit the palm of his right hand. He felt dizzy as he looked around.

Clothes, towels, and sheets were scattered all over the living room. A glass of orange juice was empty, the contents still dribbling down the side of the coffee table. A towel landed at his feet. His one-year-old looked up at him and giggled, making Brian even more angry.
E. Carver Mcgriff
We Americans have long had a love affair with winners. Successful undertakings of nearly every sort quickly receive the admiration of those around us. As a group, we take great delight in banquets and other ceremonies at which honors are distributed. People who come in second are rarely remembered in our culture. The runner-up usually receives a brief word of recognition and then is quickly forgotten. If you happen to be a sports enthusiast, you'll remember the poor old Buffalo Bills of the NFL.
Paul E. Robinson
How many of you know what BASE jumping is? BASE jumping is the very scary sport of jumping off Buildings, Antennae, Spans, and Earth objects. If you want to do it more than once, you jump with a parachute or perhaps a hang glider. Some of you may have seen examples of this daring sport on television.

An example:
John W. Clarke
Ascension Day is a good time for the Christian community to assess where it has been and where it is going. We need to ask ourselves why we are here and exactly what is it we are supposed to be doing. Our lesson for this day provides us with much needed information on what we should be doing and what our final destination as we travel this road in ministry with Jesus is.
Erskine White
When people are confused or afraid, when they feel that things are out of control, or when they feel helpless to overcome the problems which confront them, they often resort to "pie in the sky" religion. They look for Jesus to come and fix what they can't fix for themselves. They figure that one day, as if by magic, Jesus will make everything right for them in the "sweet bye and bye."


Peter Andrew Smith
David O. Bales
“Not the Hour or the Day” by Peter Andrew Smith
“Closer To Heaven” by David O. Bales
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Not the Hour or the Day
by Peter Andrew Smith
Acts 1:1-11

“God, I know that I’m supposed to have faith and trust,” Paul said softly as he sat on the bench outside of the nursing home. “Yet a part of me wishes you would tell me when.”

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