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The Village Shepherd

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Janice Scott ... The Village Shepherd

After being ordained in 1994 with the first wave of women priests, Janice became curate in a large city centre parish in Norwich and from there, moved to South Norfolk in 1999 as Rector of a rural benefice of six parishes. After completing her MA in Pastoral Theology with the Cambridge Theological Foundation in 2008 she was appointed Honorary Canon of Norwich Cathedral. Janice now lives with her husband Ian just outside Norwich. In addition to her diocesan work and writing "The Village Shepherd," she is a freelance writer for Redemptorist Publications in the UK. She has also written and broadcasts "Pause For Thought" on a local radio station and has written several novels, all with a church background.

Second Sunday of Advent - B

Children's Liturgy and Story

Mark 1:1-8

Janice B. Scott
Call to Worship:

With John the Baptist, in our worship today let us prepare the way of the Lord and make his paths straight.


Invitation to Confession:

Jesus, we are not worthy to undo the strap of your sandals.
Lord, have mercy.

Jesus, we repent. Forgive our sins.
Christ, have mercy.

Jesus, baptise us with your Holy Spirit.
Lord, have mercy.


Reading:

Mark 1:1-8

Children's Story

Mark 1:1-8

Janice B. Scott
Sam was the envy of all his friends. His dad was a farmer, so he drove a tractor. On rare occasions Sam was allowed to sit in the tractor cab and even help drive.

Sam's dad was entering a ploughing competition, so he was spending quite a lot of time in the tractor practising ploughing in straight lines.

Privately, Sam thought it something of a waste of time. He couldn't see why it mattered whether or not furrows were straight. He'd just like to sit in the tractor and drive, without bothering about keeping a straight line. Any way, it was difficult enough just to drive the tractor, let alone drive it straight.

Intercession

Mark 1:1-8

Janice B. Scott
Prayers usually include these concerns and may follow this sequence:

The Church of Christ

Creation, human society, the Sovereign and those in authority

The local community

Those who suffer

The communion of saints


These responses may be used:


Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Sermon

Isaiah 40:1-11

Janice B. Scott
At a recent seminar on spirituality, we were told (and this was backed up with data) that here in the UK we are not living in a secular age. All the pointers indicate that ours is a very spiritual age, although for most people, spirituality is unconnected with organised religion. There is a huge variety of spiritual expression and of health and well-being in a kind of DIY spirituality, in which people pick and mix to suit themselves.

People who are exploring this kind of spirituality are usually very open to God, who often works quickly within them. Apparently 76% of people claim to have had some sort of spiritual experience, varying from a smell, to a vision, to a feeling, to a ghost.

Some of

Sermon

2 Peter 3:8-15a

Janice B. Scott
We watched an episode of the comedy programme "Becker" recently. In this episode Becker, a doctor, revealed to one of his patients that the results of lab tests showed that the man had only two weeks to live. Naturally the man went away devastated.

Sermon

Mark 1:1-8

Janice B. Scott
Things which are new and different and perhaps a little dangerous always cause a stir, at least for a while. And people who have the courage to be different, especially eccentrics, and more especially those who carry a hint of danger, are always the source of excitement and interest.

John the baptiser simply appeared in the wilderness. What a stirring and perhaps terrifying sight he must have been. It seems he'd spent some long time in the wilderness, for he emerged as a wild man, dressed in animal skins, and eating locusts - can you imagine anything worse! - which he washed down with wild honey.

What is The Village Shepherd?

The Village Shepherd offers sermons, bible stories, children's stories and prayers based on the Revised Common Lectionary. These inspirational sermons, stories, and prayers are sure to touch your heart, because they reflect the simple virtues and tranquil serenity that characterize Reverend Scott's English countryside pastorate. The questions "Where is God in this particular situation?" and "Where does the Gospel story cross our own human story?" are always at the heart of these meditations -- but rather than finding overt answers, instead you will be gently led to make your own connections and discover the powerful ways in which God works. Janice Scott has the unique ability to find interesting details in ordinary life that illuminate scripture, while still challenging even the most intellectual reader. And that gift is precisely what also makes her an outstanding communicator with children.

Most weeks include:

  • Sermon based on the Gospel reading
  • Sermon based on the Epistle reading
  • Sermon based on the First reading
  • Children's stories linked with the Gospel readings
  • Children's liturgy and story (a different story than mentioned above)
  • An intercessory prayer
UPCOMING WEEKS
In addition to the lectionary resources there are thousands of non-lectionary, scripture based resources...
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Advent 2
34 – Sermons
120+ – Illustrations / Stories
35 – Children's Sermons / Resources
23 – Worship Resources
29 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Advent 3
32 – Sermons
120+ – Illustrations / Stories
32 – Children's Sermons / Resources
23 – Worship Resources
31 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Advent 4
28 – Sermons
110+ – Illustrations / Stories
32 – Children's Sermons / Resources
25 – Worship Resources
31 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Plus thousands of non-lectionary, scripture based resources...
Signup for FREE!
(No credit card needed.)

New & Featured This Week

The Immediate Word

Mary Austin
Christopher Keating
Dean Feldmeyer
Thomas Willadsen
George Reed
For December 6, 2020:
  • Hype Man for Disruption by Mary Austin — John the Baptist kicks off Mark’s gospel as the hype man for Jesus, drawing the crowds out to the Jordan River, and proclaiming that something new is coming.
  • Second Thoughts: We Need A Little Comfort by Chris Keating — Isaiah declares the promised tenderness of a God who has heard the cries of suffering and whose comfort is beyond measure.

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Frank Ramirez
Back in the 80’s, when I pastored a multiracial church in Chicago, there was one African American family with Cajun roots who had the tradition of preparing a huge pot of filé gumbo every Christmas Eve. Gumbo includes just about everything imaginable, and all the flavors slosh around to create something even greater than all the great stuff that goes into it.
Bonnie Bates
Bill Thomas
Ron Love
Mark Ellingsen
Frank Ramirez
Isaiah 40:1-11
Wilfred Brimley died on August 1, 2020, at the age of 85. The actor was gruff and burly, yet very lovable. His best-known movie role was in Cocoon. Others may remember him for his Quaker Oats commercials with his famous tagline, “It’s the right thing to do.” He was also in the movies The Natural, The China Syndrome, and played Shannen Doherty’s grandfather on NBC’s Our House. Once when he was asked how he prepares for a role, Brimley replied, “I get up in the morning and I get dressed.”

StoryShare

Keith Hewitt
C. David Mckirachan
Contents
“The Estranged” by Keith Hewitt
“The Greatest Story Ever Told” by C. David McKirachan


The Estranged
by Keith Hewitt
Isaiah 40:1-11

CSSPlus

John Jamison
Note: This sermon is the second in a series you can continue through Advent. This is a great opportunity to have some fun with the children as you lead up to Christmas. The series is designed to end on Christmas Eve, but you can end it on the 4th Sunday of Advent if you do not have a children’s cermon on Christmas Eve. The most important part of this series is that the more fun you have with it, the more fun everyone else will have too!

Objects: You will need three objects:

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
Sam was the envy of all his friends. His dad was a farmer, so he drove a tractor. On rare occasions Sam was allowed to sit in the tractor cab and even help drive.

Sam's dad was entering a ploughing competition, so he was spending quite a lot of time in the tractor practising ploughing in straight lines.

SermonStudio

Wesley T. Runk
(Appropriate for Advent)

Elizabeth Achtemeier
To understand this rich passage, the preacher must first understand its setting. Historically, this is the message addressed to the Judean exiles in Babylonia, between 550 and 538 B.C., and it takes the place of the call of the prophet known as Second Isaiah, who is himself among the exiles. That prophet's preaching is found in Isaiah 40-55.
Robert J. Elder
The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ.
-- Mark 1:1a

The four gospels each have very different ways of introducing the story about Jesus. Matthew begins his gospel with a long genealogy, tracing Jesus' lineage -- "son of David, son of Abraham" (Matthew 1:1-16) from the time of Abraham through fourteen generations, through the line of Mary's husband, Joseph, all the way to Jesus.

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