Login / Signup

Free Access

Not a subscriber?
Get a FREE 30-Day Subscription
(No credit card necessary)
Get Full Access Now!

Words and the Word

Children's Activity
Teachers or Parents: Words are powerful. In a dictionary they are neutral, but when pieced together into sentences, they have the power to wow (v. 22) or to kill (vv. 28-29).

Jesus returned home. Your children can relate to returning home. It should be a pleasant experience -- an experience of love and reception. For Jesus it began that way, but ended on a very negative note. Many trips home can be similar. They begin with everyone glad to see one another and then end with angry words and actions.

Jesus confronted the people of Nazareth with their own unfaithfulness to God. Explore the concept of sin and estrangement from God with the children. This can be visually outlined for them by showing that sin (our condition) is like a deep valley. On the other side of this very deep valley is God. We are separated by an impossibly deep valley, a canyon, a chasm. The only way to bridge the gap is by Jesus. Jesus is the one who overcomes our sin and brings us to God. We cannot do it ourselves. This is called "grace."

Jesus mentions in his speaking to the congregation at Nazareth the story of Elijah and the widow at Zarephath in Sidon. You can take a look at that story and read it from a Children's Bible (1 Kings 17). Jesus also talks about Elisha and Naaman the Syrian (2 Kings 5). These are stories of outsiders becoming insiders to God. We all want to be on the inside scoop. Jesus challenges presumptions of favoritism.

Sunday school assembly opening:
• Sing some of the epiphany hymns listed in your hymnal.
• Tell in your own words the story of today's Gospel where Jesus is accepted and then rejected by his own people. (You might want to relate this to a similar phenomenon on Palm Sunday.)

New & Featured This Week

The Immediate Word

Mary Austin
Dean Feldmeyer
Christopher Keating
Thomas Willadsen
Ron Love
Bethany Peerbolte
For February 24, 2019:


Keith Hewitt
Wilton Lewis stood with his hands on his hips, studying the sanctuary wall, not trusting himself to speak. He wanted to spit, was thwarted by the fact that he was inside, and instead swallowed hard and said, “This is vile. Disgusting and vile.” He turned to his right and added, “I apologize, Reverend Cashmore. This does not represent the good people of Port William. You know that, I hope.”

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Frank Ramirez
Since Albert Einstein is considered the genius above all geniuses, he is often credited quotes he never said. (If Einstein said it, it must be true.) That includes the saying that insanity is defined as doing the same thing again and again and expecting to get a different result. Actually, it wasn't until the 1980's that he was first connected to that saying, but it doesn't matter who actually said it, because these three scriptures seem to validate the saying.

Ron Love
Bonnie Bates
Bob Ove
Frank Ramirez
Mark Ellingsen
Genesis 45: 3-11, 15


Arley K. Fadness
“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you....” (v. 27)

Good morning boys and girls,

First thing I want to say is, I love you little ones. Know why? I just love to give love and to receive love. How many of you know how to hug? (children respond)

Love and hugs are about the same aren't they? (children respond)

Well this morning I'm going to talk about love.

The greatest sermon Jesus ever preached shocked the people. He told them who to love.


David Kalas
Seven years ago, our family moved from southern Virginia to northeast Wisconsin. As you might expect, spring comes later here. Fall comes earlier. And winter is a much different experience in northeast Wisconsin than it was in southern Virginia. The same temperatures that seemed bone-chilling in Virginia are good reason to leave the mufflers and mittens at home in Wisconsin. Of course, many of the retired folks in my congregation here take their cue from the geese and fly south for the winter each year.

Special Occasion