Follow Me

Third Sunday after the Epiphany
Scripture: Mark 1:14-20

Jesus is putting together his team. He seems to understand that people learn best when they can see – in action – what is being taught. So Jesus takes these men with him when he teaches and when he heals. And most importantly, they are there with Jesus, day by day, as he gently reveals who he is. In today’s passage, Simon and Andrew leap out of their fishing boats to follow this man who has told them he will make them fishers of men. James and John are next. Jesus is demonstrating the fellowship he invites us to accept.

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LPTW Epiphany 3, Year B, Younger Children
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Come and See

Second Sunday after the Epiphany
Scripture: John 1:43-51

Jesus has begun to put together his team. In this passage, Philip hears Jesus say, “Come with me.” And he does. As it is dawning on Philip who this Jesus really is, he goes and finds his slightly skeptical friend, Nathanael, to tell him that they have found the one they had heard about. Nathanael remains dubious—how could anything good come out of Nazareth? Philip, confident that Nathanael will see what he has seen, insists, “Come with me.” Jesus sees Nathanael as he really is and calls him forth. Nathanael knows, now, that Jesus is the “Son of God.”

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LPTW Epiphany 2, Year B, Younger Children
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Receiving the Gift and Offering the Gift

First Sunday after the Epiphany
Scripture: Mark 1:4-11

The baby Jesus is now a man; a man beginning his ministry. Perhaps he is still trying to sort out in his mind what he is being called to do. He looks for validation and turns to his cousin, John. John, meanwhile, has been faithfully calling people to prepare, turn around, start over. He is pretty sure he will recognize Jesus, but he has not yet met him. When Jesus shows up, John goes into the water with him to baptize him, and both of them hear a voice from heaven. Jesus now knows he will be able to figure out what it is that he is being called to do.

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LPTW Epiphany 1, Year B, Younger Children
LPTW Epiphany 1, Year B, Older Children
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LPTW Epiphany 1, Year B, All

Where is the Child

Second Sunday after Christmas
Scripture: Matthew 2:1-12

Those in power are often threatened by those who might be even more powerful. So it was with King Herod. The wise often have to go home by a different way. So it was with the three kings. In this passage, Matthew invites us to see that the gift of baby Christ will find little acceptance among those he came to – and the gift given is for those who continue to share it. This passage provides the transition from gazing in wonder at the gift to empowering us to go out into the world and share it with those who have not yet noticed the gift.

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LPTW Christmas 2, Year B, Younger Children
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Celebration – A Child Among Us

First Sunday After Christmas
Scripture: John 1:1-18

Hovering over all of history – the parts we have recorded and all that came before – is the Word. The Word was with God and the Word was God. This Jesus, whom we can begin to grasp as the baby born on Christmas, is obviously something infinitely beyond our understanding. This is light no darkness can blot out. This true light is now loose in the world. John had proclaimed this coming, yet those Jesus came to did not accept him. But the choice is still there: accept him and become the children of God.

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LPTW Christmas 1, Year B, Younger Children
LPTW Christmas 1, Year B, Older Children
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Do Not Be Afraid

Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year B
Scripture: Luke 1:26-38

A message, directly from God, sent by an angel! No wonder the angel had to begin with “Do not be afraid.” And for whom is this message? A very young girl, engaged but not yet married. The message: “You are to bear a child, the Son of the Most High.” The angel makes a compelling case, the young girl chooses to risk accepting, and God is choosing to come among us as a human being – the word made flesh.

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LPTW Advent 4, Year B, Younger Children
LPTW Advent 4, Year B, Older Children
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Who are You?

Third Sunday in Advent, Year B
Scripture: John 1:6-8, 19-28

The Gospel of John tells the story of John the Baptist from a slightly different perspective. Who is this John? John understands he is a messenger of the light – not the light itself. Those in charge of keeping the faith are confused. Who is this man? Is this the long-awaited Messiah – or Elijah – or a prophet? John sees his mission as baptizing, and pointing to the one who is coming after him.

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LPTW Advent 3, Year B, Younger Children
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Prepare the Way

Second Sunday of Advent, Year B
Scripture: Mark 1: 1-8

John the Baptist, cousin of Jesus, dressed in camel’s hair and lived off the land, driven by the message he has heard from the prophet Isaiah, “Prepare the way of the Lord.” “Stop,” John is saying. “Look at yourself and your life. Make a fresh start. Begin again. Come, be baptized. Someone is coming to lead the way. My job is to point to that someone.”

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LPTW Advent 2, Year B, Younger Children
LPTW Advent 2, Year B, Older Children
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Keep Alert!

First Sunday in Advent, Year B
Scripture: Mark 13: 24-37

Ominous warnings of end times: These warnings and words of hope heard in a community that was pretty sure the world was coming to an end. The message: Keep alert! Stay awake! Pay attention! Jesus just might come this very night. Implicit is the invitation to make some changes in our priorities and to notice what really matters.

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LPTW Advent 1, Year B, Younger Children
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Advent Intergenerational Lesson Plan

Advent, Year B, Intergenerational Lesson Plan
Scripture: Mark 13: 24-37

Today we begin Cycle B, the second year of the three-year cycle from the Revised Common Lectionary. This cycle features the Gospel of Mark. It’s succinct, no frills, and no extra data. Just the facts as Mark perceived them. Jesus will come back – no matter how long it takes. The truth Jesus came to show us will not go away. When will Jesus come back? Who knows? “When” didn’t seem to matter to Jesus – just that we be ready.

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LPTW Advent, Year B, Intergenerational
Jesse Tree