Tag Archives: healing

Time after Pentecost – Lectionary 12, YEAR C

Here is the devotion page for the Time after Pentecost, Lec 12 year C. (Click on the words!) This devotion is designed for the years the Holy Trinity leads to Lectionary 12

NOTE:  There has been some confusion about the dates on the Devotion pages.  The dates are the range of Sundays that the pages are for.  If you are using starting on a Sunday in the range, then you are using the correct one!  Read below for a longer explanation.

Did you miss a week? Go to the Weekly Devotion page to download past weeks!

Lectionary dates and time after Pentecost

We are working on developing a complete 3 year cycle of devotion pages for the Revised Common Lectionary.  To make this really work the pages need to be tied to the lectionary Sunday, not the specific date.  For most seasons of the church year this is pretty easy to do.  The First Sunday in Advent is 4 weeks before Christmas, every year, so the date floats around, but the readings are always the same.  It is similar for Epiphany, Lent and Easter.  The Second Sunday after Epiphany is always the same readings, as is the Second Sunday of Lent and Easter.  Pentecost and the season after are different.  Unlike the other seasons where the first reading of the season is set, in the time after pentecost the last reading is set.  The readings for Christ the King are always lectionary 34 and Christ the King Sunday is always on the Sunday that is between November 20 and 26, inclusive of those dates (five weeks before Christmas).  This wouldn’t be a big deal if Easter was also set, but Easter moves – by as much as 5 weeks!  So the Day of Pentecost can be closer or further away from Christ the King, depending on when Easter falls.  So if the Easter is early, the season after Pentecost is longer, and there are more readings leading up to Christ the King.  If Easter is late, there are fewer.  Since the last Sunday is of the season is set, that means the early Sundays are not always the same readings.  For example – in 2017 the 2nd Sunday after Pentecost used the readings for Lectionary 11 (Easter was relatively late that year).  In 2018 the 2nd  Sunday after Pentecost used Lectionary 9 (Easter was early).  So, indicating which Sunday after Pentecost on the devotion pages is not clear from year to year – so we use lectionary numbers that are tied to a range of Sundays.

Children’s Sermon – Luke 12:49-56 – August 14, 2016

Prepare: Bring something with you that is a reminder or how you relieve stress for yourself (ideally a healthy stress relief!).  For example, I like to run or walk when I am stresses out, so I might bring my running shoes.

20130822-223315.jpg

As you gather the children ask them if they have every felt like they cannot do or say anything right. Like everything they do or say makes someone else upset or gets them in trouble.

20130822-223633.jpgIn the Gospel reading today we hear what seems like a pretty upset Jesus.  He even says that he is under stress! There are some clues in the story about what is causing Jesus to be upset, but we really can’t be sure exactly what it was because we weren’t there and, more important, it wasn’t happening to us.  And even being there or being the person who is upset doesn’t always make it easier to understand. 

I don’t know about you, but there have been plenty of times in my like when I have been stressed out and upset and said some pretty strange or mean things, and I really had no idea what was making me so upset. Have you ever felt like that? And sometimes its not just one thing that is upsetting me, it’s a bunch of things. I think that might be what’s going on with Jesus, too. He know that he is on his way to Jerusalem to be arrested and die, he can hear people around him arguing about who he is and what his stories mean, he has even told them what is going on and they still don’t get it!

Just to be clear, being upset is OK. Being stressed out sometimes is normal, too. Jesus seems to be able to blow off a little steam and still work to guide people with a good story, but what do we do? I brought my running shoes with me, because that is what I like to do when I feel stressed out, or upset, or just overwhelmed with what is going on.  I put on my shoes and head out of a run. I know that whatever is going on, no matter how bad it seems, Jesus is with me, and Jesus understands what it’s like to feel like everything is going wrong.

20130822-223908.jpgJesus loves you and understands you.

20130822-223749.jpgLoving and understanding God, thank you for all the relationships that we have. Help us to love the people around us and to understand that when things go wrong it’s OK, and that you are still there with us. Amen.

FaithCross_WorshipMake a wall of healthy stress relief!  Use this as a chance to create some good social groups in your congregation, or as a way to figure out some interests.  Maybe you have a church full of runners and don’t know it. Maybe you have the makings of a chess club! Engage people in a conversation about stress relief and interests that might help to build community.  If could be written thing, or a discussion, or make a big banner. Whatever you think will engage the congregation in fun community activities.

Children’s Sermon – July 10, 2016 – Luke 10:25-37

Prepare: Make a poster (or a use a flip chart) that says “Who is my neighbor” across the top.  If you are doing a worship station, either make the poster two-sided (same on the back) or make two posters.  You will need one for the children’s sermon, and a different one for the congregation.

20130822-223454.jpgInvite the children to come forward with a request for help.  Something like, “I need some of the smartest people in the room to help me answer this question, so please send all the children up here!”

20130822-223633.jpgHave your poster ready to go, and read it to the children. In today’s story about Jesus, someone asks him a pretty easy question, and, to be honest, I think that Jesus just over-thinks it. He launches into this long story about a traveler who gets attacked by robbers, and there are priests and leaders and people we don’t like . . . I just think it’s a mess!

So, let’s see if we can make sense of this question and maybe get a clearer answer than Jesus gave us.  Who is your neighbor?

(write their ideas on the poster as they say them – you can, and should, repeat them for all the people to hear. Go with the flow here, but once things start to calm down, or it seems like a good time to add some complexity go on to the next part.  You’re going to have to ad-lib a little depending on what they have said, what they say, etc.)

OK, so a neighbor is someone who lives next to you? What about across the street? OK, so what about the neighbor of my neighbor, is that my neighbor, too? I have a friend who lives about two blocks away . . . is she my neighbor? What about her neighbors, are they mine, too?

Here’s a tough question – what if all of these people look different from me? What if they have curly hair? Or different colored skin than me? Or what if they are really short, or really tall? What if they like tuna and I think it’s gross?

Boy, the deeper we get into this neighbor question the more difficult it is to answer!  Maybe Jesus was right to tell a story rather than trying to give a simple answer.  See, the story that Jesus tells about neighbors taking care of each other doesn’t put neighbors in a specific place – not next to you, or down the street. Jesus’ story doesn’t make sure that neighbors look like us, or think like us. Jesus’ story even says that sometimes the person we think should be a good neighbor isn’t a very good neighbor at all!

Maybe what Jesus is trying to say is that our neighbors aren’t just the people who live near us, or look like us, but instead they are anyone and everyone who needs our love and care.

20130822-223749.jpgLoving God, thank you for being our neighbor and for giving us people who love us a care for us. Help us to be loving and caring neighbors to all the people we meet. Amen.

20130822-223908.jpgGod’s love binds up your heart.

 

 

FaithCross_WorshipFor the worship station, set up a prayer station around you “neighbor” poster and encourage people to think about the people who they don’t want to be neighbors with.

Children’s Sermon – June 19, 2016, Galatians 3:23-29

Prepare:  You will need some arbitrary way to divide people up.  Something simple, like a jar with two different colored beads in it so that you can divide the group into “red” beads and “blue” beads (or whatever colors, items, etc you have). For the worship station you need a baptismal font that everyone can get to, and a sign that says, “Child of you God, you have been sealed with the Holy Spirit and marked with the Cross of Christ forever.”

FaithCross Have you jar of beads (or whatever, but I will use beads in this write-up!) ready for the children as they gather.  Have each child take just one bead.  It doesn’t matter what color.

20130715-114218.jpg Hi!  How is everyone doing today? It is sooooooo good to see all of you and I am so happy that you are here. (Pick one child and start talking mostly to them.) How are you?  Are you having a good weekend? (generally just making small talk – then . . . ) Hey, can I ask you what color bead you got? (It doesn’t matter what color they have, you have to immediately distrust that child!) Whoa! a red bead! Uh . . . could you move over there? Yeah, just not by me. In fact, do any of the rest of you have red beads?  Really? Yeah, I need you to move over there, too.  People with blue beads are fine, but NOT red beads.

Alright, now that we have the sorted let’s take a look the Bible story today.  This story is part of a really long letter that we call Galatians. I just need to review it a little . . . let me see  . . . the law was our discipline . . . justified by faith . . . uh huh . . . uh oh.

So, I was reading this and it says that we are all children of God.  Doesn’t matter what we look like or where we are from. God loves us for who we are and we should do our best to do the same.  

Part of what this means is that it doesn’t matter what labels we put on people – cool, nerd, silly, too serious – God sees us all the same, as beloved children.

I guess that means I can’t really be mean to those people over there just because they happen to have a red bead.  Come back over here and let’s all pray together!

20130822-224425.jpg Loving God, you care for us and love no matter what we look like, where we are from, or what we like or dislike. Thank you for your unconditional love! Teach us to love and care for each other with that same unconditional love. Amen.

 

20130822-223908.jpgYou are a beloved child of God

FaithCross_Worship Invite people to come up to the font to remember that they are God’s child, too! They are welcome to make the sign of the cross on their own forehead, but even better if you can encourage them to make the sign of the cross on each other’s heads!  Invite them to use the baptismal blessing that you put on the sign.

Children’s Sermon – 3rd Sunday after Epiphany, year C – Luke 4:14-21 (and Isaiah 61:1-2)

Prepare: You will need a bandage of some kind, like an ACE bandage, for the children’s sermon.  And bring a Bible with Isaiah 61:1-2 marked.

For the worship station you will need the mission statement of your congregation.  If you do not have one you can use the mission statement of your wider church organization.  Here is a link the ELCA Mission Statement page.

20130822-223520.jpg Gather the children and show them the bandage, asking them if they know what it is for. Once they answer ask if any of them have ever had to have a bandage?

20130822-223633.jpg  We will get back to the bandage in just a minute, but first I wanted to talk a little about what Jesus says in the Gospel story we hear today. Jesus is in his hometown synagogue (you might want to take a minute to explain that word – for most the children, equating it to a church will be enough!) and he decides that he is going to read from the scriptures. He chooses a couple of passages from a book called Isaiah and reads them. My favorite of the two passages he reads is Isaiah 61:1-2, which says this – (read)

Then he does a crazy thing, he says, “That person that Isaiah is describing? That’s me!”

Well, this makes the people who are there a little uncomfortable and upset, but we are going to save that part for next week! This week we are going to look at what Jesus said – remember that bandage?

One of the things that is in Isaiah, but not in the Gospel reading is that Jesus will, “Bind up the brokenhearted.” I love that phrase! It’s such a wonderful image of comfort and care. If i hurt my wrist I can use a bandage to bind it up and support it until it heals and is strong again. If I cut my finger I can bind it up with a bandage until the skin grows back and it can protect me again. But if my heart is broken what can I do? Jesus says that He is here to bind up our broken hearts so that they can heal and be strong again. He wraps them up and protects and comforts our hearts when we are brokenhearted! I love it!

20130822-223908.jpg Jesus comforts and protects your heart.

20130822-223749.jpg Loving God, bind up our brokenness with you love and care. Help our hearts to heal and be strong so that we can help bind up other hearts that are broken. Amen.

FaithCross_Worship Sometimes this passage in John is called “Jesus’ Mission Statement.” Invite your congregation to read it again, and then read your church’s mission statement. Open up a little time for interactive discussion about what is important in each statement. How is your church’s mission similar or different from Jesus? Should they be the same? Should they be different?

If your congregation is using the Weekly Devotion Inserts (here is a link to the one for this week!) ask them to get them out and work through the exercise on the back – make a mission statement for the week and post it somewhere it will be seen!

Children’s Sermon – September 6, 2015, Mark 7:24-37

Prepare: For the worship station you will need some way to vote, like a large piece of paper and post-it notes, or some large jars and some beans or beans.

20130822-223520.jpg As the children’s sermon time approaches find some place in the worship space where you can “hide,” but where everyone can see you.  Work with the other worship leaders to set up a time for the children to search for you. When they find you gather in your usual place.

20130822-223633.jpg OK, maybe I was being a little silly.  I mean, you all know that I was here!  That kind of reminds me of Jesus in our story today. He keeps trying to stay out of the spotlight, but everyone knows where he is! A woman who is not really accepted in the community finds him and asks him to heal her daughter. Anther group of people bring their friend to Jesus so that Jesus can open his ears and let him hear. All this happens when Jesus is trying to have a little quiet time, but everyone know where he is!

People seem to be coming to Jesus for several different reasons, but they all have one thing in common – they have faith that Jesus can do something about it – whatever “it” is. People come who are sick, or who need guidance, or food, or just need to be loved. This story is interesting because the two people that Jesus heals didn’t even bring themselves to Jesus – in fact, one person doesn’t even show up! Family and friends are showing up at Jesus’ feet to get help for the people that they love.

Sometimes we need to show up for our friends and family, sometimes we need to be the ones who have faith when other people cannot. So, I am going to start a prayer and I want you to think of someone who could use a little more Jesus in their life. You are welcome to share that name out loud, our you can just say it silently in your heart when we get there.

20130822-224425.jpgLoving God, sometimes having faith is really hard. Sometimes we want to show up and be with you and we just can’t find the way. Today we offer prayers for our friends who could use your love in their lives, hear us as we pray for _______________ . Amen

20130822-223908.jpgGod’s love shines through you.

FaithCross_WorshipSet up your jars for a game of “Would you rather?” If you don’t know this game, it usually involves having to choose between to disgusting things that no one would ever want to do, but we are going to Baptize it!  You can have as many “would you rathers” as you want. The idea is to ask some hard questions and get people thinking about sharing their faith with the people that they love, and inviting those people to come to church with them. IT should be two options that are both good ideas, not, “would you rather eat a doughnut or invite a friend.”

You should come up with ideas that speak to the needs of your community, but here are some ideas –

Would you rather:

  1. Invite that friend from school, work, or the gym to come check out what you do every Sunday?
  2.  Stand on the corner on Sunday morning and invite complete strangers into the building? or
  1. Would you rather volunteer to visit people in the hospital? or
  2. Work at the homeless shelter for a day?
  1. Make phone calls to new members and visitors? or
  2. Take communion to a homebound member?