Login / Signup

Free Access

Advent Sale Save $131

Amanda's Special Party

Children's Story
Amanda Squirrel hummed as she put the finishing touches to the icing on the huge cake she had made earlier that day. "Will this do?" she asked her friend Hetty Hedgehog.

"Do?" gasped Hetty. "Why, it's the best and biggest cake I've ever seen!"

Amanda had been planning this party for months. All the invitations had been sent out weeks ago, and Amanda and Hetty had been hard at it for several days, preparing the food and sweeping and cleaning and decorating the animal hall.

"I do so hope everybody enjoys themselves," sighed Amanda anxiously.

"Of course they'll enjoy themselves," responded Hetty. "After all, you've spent your life savings on this party, Amanda. You've engaged the weasel band at vast expense to provide music, the food is terrific, and I know you have some wonderful surprise entertainment in store. How could anybody fail to enjoy themselves?"

But Amanda was looking at her watch. "It's so late," she said. "I thought they would all be here by now."

Hetty Hedgehog straightened her prickles. "It was a long time ago that we sent out the invitations," she said. "I'll go and remind our guests. You'll see, I'll be back in a trice and the hall will be full in no time."

But Hetty wasn't back in a trice. In fact, a she didn't return at all. After a couple of hours Amanda began to feel very worried. She called little Derrick Dormouse. "Derrick," she said. "Will you go and collect my guests? My party is all ready, but I can't celebrate alone."

Derrick scampered off. Amanda waited and waited, but he didn't return. Amanda felt very forlorn. The hall with all its decorations and with the tables groaning under the weight of all the food, looked desolate and empty. In the end Amanda herself went out into the hedgerows and gathered in every tiny animal she could find. There were dormice and wood lice, ants and spiders, two worms and an elderly cockroach. There were wood pigeons and starlings (who made a terrible noise between them), and an old rat with one eye. They all came to the party, and had a whale of a time. None of them had ever been to such a wonderful party before, and it went on and on.

But there was a terrible sadness for Amanda, for she discovered that those guests she had originally invited had hurt poor Hetty and poor Derrick. Those big important animals that Amanda had invited to her celebration just couldn't believe that anybody would throw such a wonderful party for free, and they had attacked Hetty and Derrick for telling them lies.

Amanda was furious. She looked after Hetty and Derrick very carefully, and took them back to enjoy the rest of the party. When the big, important animals suddenly discovered what a wonderful celebration the tiny woodland creatures were enjoying, they all wanted to come to the party after all.

But Amanda slammed the door in their faces and they were left outside in the cold. "You had your chance," said Amanda, "and you didn't want to come. And worse, you were so very unkind to Hetty and Derrick. Now you must stay outside and watch while we all enjoy ourselves and have fun together. It's your own fault - you should have believed I spoke the truth when I promised you the party of a lifetime." And she went back inside without a backwards glance, to continue the party with her new friends.
In addition to the lectionary resources there are thousands of non-lectionary, scripture based resources...
Signup for FREE!
(No credit card needed.)
Advent 2, C
29 – Sermons
100+ – Illustrations / Stories
25 – Children's Sermons / Resources
27 – Worship Resources
22 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Advent 3, C
27 – Sermons
100+ – Illustrations / Stories
26 – Children's Sermons / Resources
29 – Worship Resources
17 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Advent 4, C
29 – Sermons
100+ – Illustrations / Stories
24 – Children's Sermons / Resources
26 – Worship Resources
20 – 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

Dean Feldmeyer
Thomas Willadsen
Katy Stenta
Mary Austin
Christopher Keating
George Reed
For December 12, 2021:


John Jamison
The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah. John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. (vv. 15-16)

* * *

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Bill Thomas
Mark Ellingsen
Bonnie Bates
Frank Ramirez
Zephaniah 3:14-20
Sandra Herrmann
Note: This was originally published in 2012.


Peter Andrew Smith
Harry looked out the window and sighed as he watched the snow falling outside. He looked over his shoulder and noticed Agnes wasn’t paying attention to him, so he sighed louder.

“Something the matter?” Agnes asked looking up from the computer screen.

“Nothing in particular.” He turned his attention back to the snowfall. “Sorry to bother you.”

“Oh, okay.” she went back to reading the screen in front of her.

He watched outside for a few more minutes. “I listened to the news.”

“Oh?” she looked up again. “And?”

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
The three children were racing through the woods, and Roly was keeping up as best he could with his short legs. He was a reluctant participant in this escapade, for even though he loved nothing better than the woods, he had an inkling of what the children were about.

There was a battered old caravan standing in a glade deep in the woods. The children had come across it one day, and had amused themselves peering in the gloomy windows and scrawling rude words on the dirty paintwork.


Schuyler Rhodes
After a long and grueling foot race, a runner reached for a glass of water puffing out the words, "This water is my salvation!" A worker who had a family crisis gushed to a friend who agreed to cover his shift, "You are my salvation!" The drunk at the end of the bar lifts the shot glass to his lips and sighs into the drink, "You are my salvation."
Richard A. Jensen
This week's text presents us with the preaching of John the Baptist. John is a preacher in the tradition of the Old Testament prophets, so the narrative connections with respect to the content of his preaching are primarily Old Testament connections. This sermon begins with a call to repentance (3:8) which is part of John's fundamental message as we explored in Chapter 4. John's call for repentance would brook no simple answers. The people of Israel would be tempted to say to John, "We are the children of Abraham." This would not do! A new age is dawning.
John T. Ball
We are always touched by newspaper or media stories of people who have come through some terrible experience and yet seem unhinged by it all. Some people find their health slipping away, yet exhibit courage and trust in both the provisional and ultimate goodness of life. Others witness the death of a child, or spouse, or partner, and do not give in to the despair that invites them into its darkness.
Mary S. Lautensleger
Stan Freberg has written a musical farce parodying the commercialization of the Advent season, appropriately naming it Green Chri$tma$. That is green as in money, with dollar signs in place of the letter "S" in Christmas. In starring roles are two of our old seasonal favorites, Bob Cratchet and Ebenezer Scrooge. You may as well spell Scrooge with a dollar sign, too, because he is typecast as a greedy, unscrupulous Madison Avenue advertising executive who is out to exploit Christmas in every way imaginable.1

Special Occasion