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Commentary

Emphasis Preaching Journal

A mountaintop experience -- Exodus 24:12-18, 2 Peter 1:16-21, Matthew 17:1-9, Psalm 2 -- Wayne Brouwer, Schuyler Rhodes -- Transfiguration Sunday - A -- 2011
One of the cable networks has created a strange hit series.
God's gift of time -- Ecclesiastes 3:1-13, Revelation 21:1-6a, Matthew 25:31-46, Psalm 8 -- Mark J. Molldrem, Schuyler Rhodes -- New Year's Day - A, New Year's Day - B, New Year's Day - C -- 2011
Every January 1 there is a sense of freshness.
Who do you work for? -- Joel 2:1-2, 12-17, 2 Corinthians 5:20b--6:10, Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21, Psalm 51:1-17 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- Ash Wednesday - A -- 2011
The following story begins the first chapter of Jeffrey K.
The rise and fall of sin -- Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7, Romans 5:12-19, Matthew 4:1-11, Psalm 32 -- David Kalas, Schuyler Rhodes -- First Sunday in Lent - A -- 2011
Lent is traditionally a season of spiritual contemplation.
Are you thirsty? -- Exodus 17:1-7, Romans 5:1-11, John 4:5-42, Psalm 95 -- Wayne Brouwer, Schuyler Rhodes -- Third Sunday in Lent - A -- 2011
Here's a parable by a cartoonist named Saxon. It's about a fellow who has just reached retirement.
Question me an answer -- Genesis 12:1-4a, Romans 4:1-5, 13-17, John 3:1-17, Psalm 121 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- Second Sunday in Lent - A -- 2011
There is an old show tune, made popular by Bobby Van, whose chorus goes like this:
Believing is seeing -- 1 Samuel 16:1-13, Ephesians 5:8-14, John 9:1-41, Psalm 23 -- Wayne Brouwer, Schuyler Rhodes -- Fourth Sunday in Lent - A -- 2011
Sometimes we see people who are wide-eyed with wonder.
Matters of life and death -- Ezekiel 37:1-14, Romans 8:6-11, John 11:1-45, Psalm 130 -- David Kalas, Schuyler Rhodes -- Fifth Sunday in Lent - A -- 2011
As I look out on my congregation on any given Sunday, I recognize that a significant percentage of t
The wrong anthem -- Isaiah 50:4-9a, Philippians 2:5-11, Matthew 26:14--27:66, Psalm 31:9-16 -- William H. Shepherd, Schuyler Rhodes -- Passion Sunday - A -- 2011
The choir director was aghast. "I just didn't realize," she said. "It was totally inappropriate.
A good meal -- Exodus 12:1-4 (5-10) 11-14, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, John 13:1-17, 31b-35, Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19 -- Wayne Brouwer, Schuyler Rhodes -- Maundy Thursday - A -- 2011
When traveling through a strange town many years ago, we stopped a pedestrian and asked her, "Where
A day of surprises -- Acts 10:34-43, Colossians 3:1-4, John 20:1-18, Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24 -- David Kalas, Schuyler Rhodes -- Easter Day - A -- 2011
Every so often, I have been unable to watch a sports event that I am interested in when it has been
Loving, sight unseen -- Acts 2:14a, 22-32, 1 Peter 1:3-9, John 20:19-31, Psalm 16 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- Second Sunday of Easter - A -- 2011
Recently a friend told me the story of his move to our community.
What's so good about Good Friday? -- Isaiah 52:13--53:12, Hebrews 10:16-25, John 18:1--19:42, Psalm 22 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- Good Friday - A -- 2011
One of my favorite movies of all time is the 1956 classic titled Twelve Angry Men featuring a
Homecoming -- Acts 2:14a, 36-41, 1 Peter 1:17-23, Luke 24:13-35, Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19 -- Wayne Brouwer, Schuyler Rhodes -- Third Sunday of Easter - A -- 2011
Ian Maclaren tells the story of a young woman in his book Beside the Bonnie Briar Bush.
Live it and they will come -- Acts 2:42-47, 1 Peter 2:19-25, John 10:1-10, Psalm 23 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- Fourth Sunday of Easter - A -- 2011
Remember the movie, Field of Dreams?
A new us-them mentality -- Acts 7:55-60, 1 Peter 2:2-10, John 14:1-14, Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16 -- David Kalas, Schuyler Rhodes -- Fifth Sunday of Easter - A -- 2011
You see it in every area of life. It's abundantly true in politics and sports.
Idol-rife -- Acts 17:22-31, 1 Peter 3:13-22, John 14:15-21, Psalm 66:8-20 -- William H. Shepherd, Schuyler Rhodes -- Sixth Sunday of Easter - A -- 2011
In Garret Kreizer's novel, God of Beer (2002), the high school social studies teacher tells t
Game plan -- Acts 1:1-11, Ephesians 1:15-23, Luke 24:44-53, Psalm 47 -- Wayne Brouwer, Schuyler Rhodes -- Ascension of the Lord - A -- 2011
During the 1978 British firefighters strike, the army was enlisted to cover emergency services.
Glory in the cross -- Acts 1:6-14, 1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11, John 17:1-11, Psalm 68:1-10, 32-35 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- Seventh Sunday of Easter - A -- 2011
Constantine Caesar was advancing his legions through the northern Italian mountains toward Rome.
What's the good word? -- Acts 2:1-21, 1 Corinthians 12:3b-13, John 20:19-23, Psalm 104:24-34, 35b -- David Kalas, Schuyler Rhodes -- Day of Pentecost - A -- 2011
I expect that our culture has become a rather cynical audience for speech.

It was good -- Genesis 1:1--2:4a, 2 Corinthians 13:11-13, Matthew 28:16-20, Psalm 8 -- William H. Shepherd, Schuyler Rhodes -- Trinity Sunday | 1st Sunday after Pentecost - A -- 2011
The more I listened, the more I heard desperation.
Defined by choices -- Genesis 22:1-14, Romans 6:12-23, Matthew 10:40-42, Psalm 13 -- Wayne Brouwer, Schuyler Rhodes -- Proper 8 | Ordinary Time 13 - A -- 2011
Robert Maynard once told how he became a writer.
A journey of a thousand miles -- Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67, Romans 7:15-25a, Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30, Psalm 45:10-17 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- Proper 9 | Ordinary Time 14 - A -- 2011
There are many books describing amazing journeys, but one of the most fascinating for me was Endu
Devil's advocate -- Genesis 25:19-34, Romans 8:1-11, Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23, Psalm 119:105-112 -- David Kalas, Schuyler Rhodes -- Proper 10 | Ordinary Time 15 - A -- 2011
It's an awful phrase, you know, when you stop to think about it: "Devil's advocate." Yet how often h
Tuning in -- Genesis 28:10-19a, Romans 8:12-25, Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43, Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- Proper 11 | Ordinary Time 16 - A -- 2011
It has gotten very crowded out there in the last century.

Preaching

SermonStudio

Psalm 50:1-8, 22-23 -- Psalm 50:1-8, 22-23 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- 2009
Ask someone who doesn't go to church what it is that they don't like about church. Ask anyone.
Psalm 126 -- Psalm 126 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- 2009
Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday.
Psalm 26 -- Psalm 26 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- 2009
Integrity is a precious thing indeed.
Psalm 104:24-34, 35b -- Psalm 104:24-34, 35b -- Schuyler Rhodes -- 2009
"Yonder is the sea, great and wide!" The beach is the perfect place to get in touch with the grandeu
Psalm 51:1-12 -- Psalm 51:1-12 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- 2009
Once in a while, it occurs to us that we can be real stinkers.
Psalm 126 -- Psalm 126 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- 2009
There's nothing quite as wonderful as looking at an old car that's been restored to its former luste
Psalm 27 -- Psalm 27 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- 2009
Little children love to walk on the edge.
Psalm 104:24-34, 35b -- Psalm 104:24-34, 35b -- Schuyler Rhodes -- 2009
In Christian tradition, we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit as a partner on the journey (John 14:
Psalm 1 -- Psalm 1 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- 2009
It would be an easy thing to read through this psalm and nod in assent before moving on to the next.
Psalm 148 -- Psalm 148 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- 2009
Into everyone's life comes a moment of complete abandonment of all the careful boundaries and filter
Psalm 77:1-2, 11-20 -- Psalm 77:1-2, 11-20 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- 2009
It's one thing to talk the talk. Everyone knows people who are good at rhetoric.
Psalm 51:1-12 -- Psalm 51:1-12 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- 2009
Forgiveness -- it's the Christian buzzword. We talk about it a lot.
Psalm 127 -- Psalm 127 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- 2009
There is a story about a pastor who worked for years to revive and grow a failing downtown church.
Psalm 27:1, 4-9 -- Psalm 27:1, 4-9 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- 2009
German playwright, Bertolt Brecht, writes in one of his immortal tunes that "magic fear puts the wor
Psalm 104:24-34, 35b -- Psalm 104:24-34, 35b -- Schuyler Rhodes -- 2009
Today is Pentecost. The creative power of God's Spirit (v. 30) flows today like no other day.
Psalm 1 -- Psalm 1 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- 2009
This psalm could have been written yesterday! It is striking in its contemporaneous feel.
Psalm 148 -- Psalm 148 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- 2009
Enthusiasm is not in vogue these days.
Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16 -- Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- 2009
What are the stories we pass on to our children? Every family has them.
Psalm 51:1-17 -- Psalm 51:1-17 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- 2009
It may not seem like a big deal, but has anyone noticed that confession has fallen out of favor in a
Psalm 130 -- Psalm 130 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- 2009
Forgiveness is a concept common to most everyone. It covers a vast landscape, to be sure.
Psalm 29 -- Psalm 29 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- 2009
Anyone who has ever worked with other people knows that it's important to give credit where it's due
Psalm 105:1-6, 16-22, 45b -- Psalm 105:1-6, 16-22, 45b -- Schuyler Rhodes -- 2009
Sometimes it's hard to keep the big picture in mind.
Psalm 2 -- Psalm 2 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- 2009
There is an old preacher's joke that asks the question, "How do you make God laugh?" The answer that
Psalm 148 -- Psalm 148 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- 2009
What better way to begin a new year than with unqualified praise for our God!
Psalm 78:1-7 -- Psalm 78:1-7 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- 2009
What are the things we teach our children?

Sermon

SermonStudio

Why Did You Bring Us Out Of Egypt? -- Exodus 17:1-7 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- Third Sunday in Lent - A -- 2009
I am a baby boomer. I am part of that generation that emerged following World War II.
Can These Bones Live? -- Ezekiel 37:1-14 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- Fifth Sunday in Lent - A -- 2007
I remember, not too long ago, I was reading some history about our nation and its westward expansion
I Love A Parade -- Isaiah 50:4-9a -- Schuyler Rhodes -- Passion Sunday - A -- 2007
I love Palm Sunday.
To Be Passed Over -- Exodus 12:1-4 (5-10) 11-14 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- Maundy Thursday - A -- 2007
This ancient story comes down the centuries to us with power.
Where The Rubber Meets The Road -- Isaiah 52:13--53:12 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- Good Friday - A -- 2007
I don't need to tell you that we belong to a portion of the Christian family called the "Protestant
Preaching Peace By Jesus Christ... -- Acts 10:34-43 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- Easter Day - A -- 2007
May the peace of Jesus Christ be with you!

Being A Witness -- Acts 2:14a, 22-32 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- Second Sunday of Easter - A -- 2007
The other day I was driving along when all of a sudden, out of the blue, this car went whizzing by m
Converting To Christianity -- Acts 2:14a, 36-41 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- Third Sunday of Easter - A -- 2007
"Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiv
This Is In The Bible? -- Acts 2:42-47 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- Fourth Sunday of Easter - A -- 2007
My mother saved everything from my childhood -- little clay sculptures I made in church school, draw
Martyrdom Chic -- Acts 7:55-60 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- Fifth Sunday of Easter - A -- 2007
This story about Stephen is a hard one to preach about these days.
To An Unknown God -- Acts 17:22-31 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- Sixth Sunday of Easter - A -- 2007
Are you one of those people who always has a backup plan?
Receiving The Power Of The Holy Spirit -- Acts 1:1-11 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- Ascension of the Lord - A -- 2007
I love this story.
Are We There Yet? -- Acts 1:6-14 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- Seventh Sunday of Easter - A -- 2007
On long family car trips, one of the favorite questions asked by children from the backseat is, "Are
Sleeping Through The Alarm -- Joel 2:1-2, 12-17 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- Ash Wednesday - A -- 2007
I might as well get this off my chest. I have an abiding dislike for alarm clocks.
Putting The Genie Back In The Bottle ... -- Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- First Sunday in Lent - A -- 2007
When our twins were quite young -- infants really -- I remember a scene that played out on our livin
Being A Blessing -- Genesis 12:1-4a -- Schuyler Rhodes -- Second Sunday in Lent - A -- 2007
Have you ever been blessed by someone?
Are All Your Sons Here? -- 1 Samuel 16:1-13 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- Fourth Sunday in Lent - A -- 2007
I remember sixth grade as though it were yesterday.
Denial Ain't A River In Egypt -- Isaiah 64:1-9 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- First Sunday of Advent - B -- 2005
Denial Ain't A River In Egypt



Claiming A Do-Over Faith -- Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- Third Sunday of Advent - B -- 2005
Claiming A Do-Over Faith



A Level Playing Field For God -- Isaiah 40:1-11 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- Second Sunday of Advent - B -- 2005
A Level Playing Field For God



No More Camping Out -- 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- Fourth Sunday of Advent - B -- 2005
I wanted to see if we could get a show of hands today.
Day One: A New Beginning -- Genesis 1:1-5 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- The Baptism of our Lord | Epiphany 1 | Ordinary Time 1 - B -- 2005
Day One: A New Beginning



Following A God Who Flip Flops ... -- Jonah 3:1-5, 10 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- Epiphany 3 | Ordinary Time 3 - B -- 2005
Following A God Who Flip Flops ...



False Prophets -- Deuteronomy 18:15-20 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- Epiphany 4 | Ordinary Time 4 - B -- 2005
False Prophets



A Sure-Fire Way To End Burn Out -- Isaiah 40:21-31 -- Schuyler Rhodes -- Epiphany 5 | Ordinary Time 5 - B -- 2005
A Sure-Fire Way To End Burn Out



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MAUNDY THURSDAY
13 – Sermons
140+ – Illustrations / Stories
15 – Children's Sermons / Resources
12 – Worship Resources
17 – Commentary / Exegesis
and more...
GOOD FRIDAY
19 – Sermons
120+ – Illustrations / Stories
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12 – Worship Resources
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EASTER!
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200+ – Illustrations / Stories
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28 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
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EASTER 2
28 – Sermons
150+ – Illustrations / Stories
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160+ – Illustrations / Stories
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New & Featured This Week

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Mark Ellingsen
Ron Love
Bonnie Bates
Bill Thomas
Frank Ramirez
Bob Ove
Acts 10:34-43, John 20:1-18
In many European countries, early on Easter Monday, the girls come out of their homes wearing traditional red, black and white folkloric dress. The young men walk down the streets, also in traditional dress of high black boots, black hats, white shirts and cream-colored trousers. The men follow the girls playing instruments and the older women of the village have prepared a cornucopia of food.
Bonnie Bates
Bob Ove
Frank Ramirez
Mark Ellingsen
Ron Love
Bill Thomas
Isaiah 52:13--53:12
Ron Love
Bonnie Bates
Bill Thomas
Bob Ove
Frank Ramirez
Mark Ellingsen
Exodus 12:1-4, (5-10), 11-14
The Pittsburgh Pirates had their last great baseball season in 1979. The Pirates had 98 wins and 64 losses that year and captured the National League East Division title by two games over the Montreal Expos. The Pirates then beat the Cincinnati Reds to win their ninth National League title, and they defeated the Baltimore Orioles to win their fifth World Series title.
David Kalas
From time to time, I’ll hear someone ask a speculative question that begins, “If a space alien showed up on earth, what would he think about...” The idea is to try to imagine what an outsider sees. If we could find someone without any familiarity or preconceived notions, what would he or she see and think.
Wayne Brouwer
In the blackness, in the bleakness, we need to sense God’s presence. We need to know that God is there, even if, like Job, we do not understand what is happening around us and inside of us. “The restless millions wait for the Light,” says George Bernanos, “Whose dawning maketh all things new.”

This is the dilemma of Israel in Egypt. This is the struggle of life in Corinth. This is the washing of waves surrounding Jesus and his disciples “on the night in which he was betrayed.”
Frank Ramirez
It can not only be hard, but in some cases not possible to say much at all on Easter morning, what with Easter Breakfast, perhaps a cantata, a children’s choir, and an Easter egg hunt swallowing up any space you might have for preaching. But this is the central message of our faith. Jesus is Risen. This changes everything.

Now do not despair. You can preach Easter every Sunday. For the earliest Christians every Sunday was Easter! Even so, if you’re feeling squeezed you can still take one of these passages and make an important point.

The Immediate Word

Dean Feldmeyer
Mary Austin
Christopher Keating
Ron Love
Thomas Willadsen
George Reed
Bethany Peerbolte
For April 21, 2019:
  • Why Are You Weeping? by Dean Feldmeyer — One of the reasons it’s so hard to visualize a risen Christ is that we’ve hidden him behind a mountain of hollow, milk chocolate bunnies and marshmallow chickens.

StoryShare

Keith Hewitt
David O. Bales
Contents
"Reflections of Grief" by Keith Hewitt
"Bearing Our Infirmities" by David O. Bales
"Abandoned?" by David O. Bales


Reflections of Grief
by Keith Hewitt
John 18:1--19:42

Keith Wagner
Contents
"Love Conquers All" by Keith Wagner
"Being together gives us Hope" by Keith Wagner



Love Conquers All
by Keith Wagner
Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19

For me, the heart of the psalmist’s message is his willingness to be a faithful servant, making commitments to God through sacrifice and love. It takes courage to live sacrificially, none the less our faith is strengthened and we become closer to God with our dedication and loyalty.
C. David Mckirachan
Frank Ramirez

This Doesn’t Make Sense

by C. David McKirachan
Acts 10:34-43

CSSPlus

Arley K. Fadness
“I have seen the Lord.” (v. 18)

Happy Easter morning boys and girls,

Today I have the best news ever to share with you. Are you ready to hear it? (children respond) First, notice I have a container (box or can) with a lid on it. Inside we will find ____________.  (for example: oreo cookies, legos etc.)

So let's see what is inside. (open lid) What do we see? Nothing. What? Aren't there supposed to be ___________ inside?? (children respond)
Arley K. Fadness
“When Jesus had received the wine, he said,'it is finished,' then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.'”

Good Friday morning (evening) children,

Today I am feeling very quiet. You know why? It is a holy day, a somber day.

How are you feeling? (children respond) We call it Good Friday. That's a strange name for a sad day isn't it? Perhaps today, the day we remember our Lord Jesus died, we might call Bad Friday or Dark Friday or Sad Friday. But no, it's Good Friday.
Arley K. Fadness
“So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet.” (v. 14)

Good morning beautiful children,

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
We Christians are often reckoned to be a sad bunch, at least in the opinion of non-Christian western society. And sometimes, I think they're right. We must seem a bit pathetic to normal red-blooded human beings as we go to church each Sunday, singing hymns and indulging in all kinds of odd rituals, when we could be cleaning the car or shopping or playing sport or otherwise enjoying ourselves.

SermonStudio

Carlos Wilton
Theme For The Day
Our culture still "seeks the living among the dead" as it pursues security, comfort, and pleasure.

First Lesson
Acts 10:34-43
Peter's Easter Testimony
Donald Charles Lacy
So much happening in so little time! We are left gasping for breath. We stagger under the weight of the mighty arm of historical occurrence. You and I praise God because we know the rest of the story. Those present did not know how things would turn out. They must have been like awestruck children nearing exasperation.

David Kalas
We have a table before us. It is a familiar table; we have gathered around it together countless times before. It features the cherished elements of bread and wine; and taken together, those elements on this table form a sacrament.

Across the many traditions within the Christian church, we call this sacrament by different names. The Roman Catholics refer to the Mass, while the Eastern Orthodox church uses the Divine Liturgy. A number of Protestant denominations call it the Eucharist, others holy communion, and still others the Lord's Supper.

Special Occasion