Texts: Deuteronomy 30:9-14; Colossians 1:1-14; Luke 10:25-37
We all know the game twenty questions, right? People have been playing it since the 1800s. Someone gets to think of an object and the other players get to ask twenty questions for clues to figure out what the object might be. There are variations of course, but this is the basic idea.
Texts: Isaiah 66:10-14; Galatians 6:[1-6] 7-16; Luke 10:1-111, 16-20
The mission field. It’s a big place. Jesus sent out seventy of his followers two by two. Seventy is a lot. After all, Jesus wasn’t very far into his own good news mission, so it seems likely that though the level of enthusiasm among his followers was high, maybe their talent for mission work was variable at best. You have to wonder what the standard deviation was. Maybe that explains why Jesus gave such a flurry of last minute instructions.
Texts: 1 Kings 19:15-16, 19-21; Galatians 5:1, 13-25; Luke 9:51-62
Raymundo was a skinny little kid, maybe seven years old when I first laid eyes on him. His grandmother brought him to church because he lived in her home with his sister and dad. Raymundo’s mom wasn’t in the picture consistently. She was in and out of prison because of drug addiction and lived mostly in halfway houses.
Texts: Isaiah 65:1-9; Galatians 3:23-29; Luke 8:26-39
The first sign that anything unusual had happened was the cry of the swineherds running by shouting, “The pigs! The pigs! What? The pigs all drowned!” And from there the story unfolded. It was about that crazy demon-infested man who lived in the tombs and wore no clothes, and a visiting Jewish teacher who sent the demons into the pigs. What a crazy day!
Texts: Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31; Psalm 8; Romans 5:1-5; John 16:12-15
Imagine for a few moments that you are at a party. It’s a summer party on a warm evening with many guests: a diverse crowd spread out in a generous space. There are people in the garden, people by the pool, a few others standing near a well-laid table, precariously balancing laden plates and cups. Everyone seems engaged in earnest discussion and as you make your way further into the party snatches of conversation reach your ears.
Texts: Acts 16:16-34; Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21; John 17:20-26
It’s all fun and games until someone has to wear an eyepatch.
I saw that on a t-shirt recently.
Texts: Acts 16:9-15; Revelation 21:10 & 22 - 22:5 John 14:23-29
Back when it all began, Memorial Day was not yet called Memorial Day. It was called Decoration Day. This holiday is generally thought to have begun on the first anniversary of the end of the Civil War, when people decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers, wreaths, and bows of bunting as an expression of anguish, grief, and loss.
Texts: Acts 9:36-43; Revelation 7:9-17; John 10:22-30
Jesus is walking in the Temple portico in winter, around the time of a religious festival that today is called Hanukah. He is approached by Temple officials for an identity check. Are you the Messiah or not? The question wasn’t friendly. They wanted to kill Jesus; they only needed to catch him calling himself God’s Son.
Texts: Acts 9:1-6 [7-20]; Revelation 5:11-14; John 21:1-19
We’ve got some very detailed stories from the bible today. Way too much to begin with a story or illustration that brings together all the loose ends and ends on a clever note. No, today it’s best to get right into things. Hang on, this will be a ride!
Texts: Acts 5:27-32; Revelation 1:4-8; John 20:19-31
Many years ago I gathered the children on Easter Sunday to talk with them about Jesus and his resurrection. Leave it to adults to come up with a word like resurrection. As if we really know what it means anyway. And how are you going to make sense of that with children?
The Rev. Beth Purdum Eden is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church. She has served in more than 00 parishes in the Western United States for 20 years.