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Looking Up: Looking Out

Sermon
Sermons on the Gospel Readings
Series III, Cycle B
This passage serves as a gift to the church as we prepare to enter into the season of Lent beginning with Ash Wednesday this coming week. At the outset, it is important to realize that this fantastic vision of the transfigured Jesus follows upon the hard prediction Jesus made concerning his own death:

Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
-- Mark 8:31

New & Featured This Week

The Immediate Word

Mary Austin
Bethany Peerbolte
Dean Feldmeyer
George Reed
Ron Love
Thomas Willadsen
Christopher Keating
As the disciples stand with Jesus by the temple, the size of the stones is stunning to them. Great wealth and power are invested in the temple building, and it seems as if it can last forever. But Jesus, seeing more than the disciples do, warns them that the time is coming when these huge stones, and the institution they represent, “will all be thrown down.” Difficult as it is to imagine, the day is coming when the stones -- and the institution of the temple -- will be toppled.

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Bonnie Bates
Bill Thomas
Mark Ellingsen
Bob Ove
Frank Ramirez
1 Samuel 1:4-20 and 1 Samuel 2:1-10
David Coffin
Another cold, autumn Wednesday evening as the sun sets early and the church council gathers into the cool, musty church basement. As they sit on the plastic chairs surrounding two rectangle tables placed together, the pastor leads in prayer and maybe a Bible passage. The council president dutifully distributes the council agenda in front of all of the attendees. An older lady member was nice enough to bake some cookies and brew some decaffeinated coffee (so people are not kept awake at night) for those present.

StoryShare

C. David Mckirachan
Frank Ramirez
Contents
“Mom” by C. David McKirachan
“Not One Stone” by Frank Ramirez


Mom
by C. David McKirachan
1 Samuel 1:4-20, 1 Samuel 2:1-10

My mother told me that if I’d been a girl, I’d have been named Hannah. It was always an incidental detail. Then my nephew and his wife gave their daughter the name and I realized it ran in the family. So I got interested. The Bible keeps surprising me. This time when I read the familiar story, I ran into something new.

CSSPlus

Arley K. Fadness
“...do not be alarmed...” (v. 7a)

Good morning boys and girls,

I have a question for you today. The question is this: Were you scared at anything this past Halloween? Did anything frighten you like at a Halloween party or when you were out trick or treating? (children respond) Maybe with your weird masks and silly costumes you frightened someone else yourself. That's so much fun!

Well, there's fun-fear like at Halloween. And there's also not-fun-fear.

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
I had the privilege to be with my father when he died. I'd never seen anyone die before, and although I'm sure it must be a different experience for different people, I was amazed at what a struggle it seemed to be for him.

He wasn't in any pain, but he struggled to take off his pyjama jacket, and he struggled to have the window open, and he struggled to breathe, and it seemed as though it was a struggle to die. And although he was given various drugs which relaxed and calmed him, I still felt that underneath that surface calm, perhaps the struggle was continuing.

SermonStudio

Arthur H. Kolsti
The gospel reading for this day is bracketed by the command to keep alert, to watch. Suppose I could hang before you a giant photo of the sun peeking over the horizon and asked you to tell me if this were a surprise or a sunset. Could you tell? Only the photographer would know for sure. A sunrise and a sunset are similar in appearance. We can mistake the one for the other.

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