Pentecost

Pentecost, Year B, Acts Lesson

Scripture: Acts 2: 1 – 11

The focal scripture for Pentecost is Acts 2: 1-21. Jesus had told them to wait. Wait until the “advocate” appeared. They had no clue who this advocate would be, but they trusted Jesus.

They were probably together to celebrate Shavu’ot, which was also called Pentecost because it occurred 50 days after Passover. Passover has brought physical freedom. At Shavu’ot people gratefully celebrated the “giving” of the Torah (the first five books found in our Bible), which brought freedom from idolatry.

On the Feast of Pentecost, “it” happened. The only account we have is provided by Luke in this Acts passage. We can probably identify with Luke’s reaching for the right words to describe what happened: “It was like …” Yes. Wind. Fire. Now the disciples are not just speaking – they are communicating. Each person there understands. Now the disciples are ready to do the work Jesus gave them to do.

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LPTW Pentecost, Year B, Acts, Younger ChildrenLPTW Pentecost, Year B, Acts, Older Children

Here I Am

Trinity Sunday, Year B, Old Testament Lesson

Scripture: Isaiah 6:1-8

Today, we hear the story of Isaiah’s vision as he attends worship service. The country was in great turmoil and God came to Isaiah with a message. Isaiah is overwhelmed by seeing who he truly is and who those around him are in this vision. God reminds him that those things we do wrong do not prevent us from serving God and that we are forgiven.

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LPTW Trinity Sunday, Year B, Old Testament, Younger Children
LPTW Trinity Sunday, Year B, Old Testament, Older Children

Called and Counted

Seventh Sunday of Easter, Year B, Acts Lesson Plan

Scripture: Acts 1:15-17, 21-26

As we come towards the end of the season of Easter we go back to the beginning of the book of Acts. There is a very good reason for that! Ascension day, or the day Jesus ascended to heaven after his resurrected time on earth, was celebrated earlier this week. Because of that, our lectionary preparers have taken us to the passage in Acts immediately following the story of Jesus’ Ascension. Our scripture for today finds Peter standing up among the crowd of all the believers, both men and women (though only men were counted), who had been with Jesus during his teaching ministry, trial, crucifixion, death, and resurrection. Now, to fulfill the scripture, they must elect another disciple to fill the place of Judas, who betrayed Jesus. We hear this week, for the first time in strict numerical fashion, of the dozens of followers in addition to the disciples. This marks the beginning of the church and introduces us to Peter as that church leader.

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LPTW Easter 7, Year B, Acts, Younger Children
LPTW Easter 7, Year B, Acts, Older Children

Baptism is for All

Sixth Sunday of Easter, Year B, Acts Lesson Plan

Scripture: Acts 10:44-48

Today our scripture passage is a continuation of the preaching we heard from Peter in the lesson from Acts on Easter Day. You’ll remember that on Easter we heard the story of Peter preaching the Good News to the Gentiles at Cornelius’ home. (For more detailed background read Acts 10:34-43 and/or the “Notation for This Week’s Scripture from the Easter Day Acts lesson on LPTW.) Today’s passage picks up from where we left off. Peter has preached the birth, baptism, teaching, miracles, death, and resurrection of our Lord when, suddenly, the Holy Spirit interrupts him by giving the gift of belief to all who were hearing the Word. As Peter and his followers who accompanied him witness this beautiful exchange of the Spirit they are taken aback, because they have witnessed the Spirit giving of itself freely to Gentiles, just as with the Jews. At this realization, Peter asks the key question: “Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” Thus, the people at Cornelius’ home are baptized on the spot.

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LPTW Easter 6, Year B, Acts, Younger Children
LPTW Easter 6, Year B, Acts, Older Children

Called to Teach

Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year B, Acts Lesson Plan

Scripture: Acts 8:26-40

 

During Eastertide, the Old Testament readings are replaced in the lectionary with passages from the book of Acts. This week we encounter a familiar story: that of Philip teaching the Ethiopian Eunuch. In today’s passage Philip, one of the original deacons of the church, is told by an angel to go down to a particular road. On the road Philip encounters an Ethiopian court official who is reading scripture but struggling to understand. Philip answered the angel’s prompting and because of that is able to share his knowledge and faith leading to the baptism of the Ethiopian. What would happen if more of us felt able and willing to instruct others in the faith?

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LPTW Easter 5, Year B, Acts, Younger Children
LPTW Easter 5, Year B, Acts, Older Children

What’s in a Name?

Fourth Sunday of Easter, Year B, Acts Lesson Plan

Scripture: Acts 4:5-12

During Eastertide, the Old Testament readings are replaced in the lectionary with passages from the book of Acts. This week we hear from Peter once again! Last week we heard as Peter preached repentance after he and John healed the crippled beggar. This week we learn that there were further consequences for that miracle and for the increased membership in this fledgling religion. As the church has grown drastically in membership in just a short time, the temple authorities are weary of the apostles and their actions. This week’s scripture finds Peter and John speaking testimony to the Authorities the morning after their arrest.

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LPTW Easter 4, Year B, Acts, Younger Children
LPTW Easter 4, Year B, Acts, Older Children

I Believe

Third Sunday of Easter, Year B, Acts Lesson Plan

Scripture: Acts 3: (1-11)*, 12-19

During Eastertide, the Old Testament readings are replaced in the lectionary with passages from the book of Acts. This week Peter calls on the people to repent and turn their hearts to Jesus. Peter is addressing a crowd of people who did not believe Jesus was the Son of God when he was sent to the cross to die; however, after the resurrection, many people heard rumors of this miraculous event and questioned their own disbelief. Immediately before today’s story, Peter and John offer the name of Christ to a crippled beggar on the road. At the name of Jesus the beggar is healed and jumps up and down in celebration. The people who witnessed that healing are amazed and confused. Peter’s monologue from today’s story is aimed at those people and at inviting them to believe in the One in whose name miraculous healing takes place.

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LPTW Easter 3, Year B, Acts, Younger Children
LPTW Easter 3, Year B, Acts, Older Children

One Heart and Soul

Second Sunday in Easter, Year B, Acts Lesson Plan

Scripture: Acts 4:32-35

 

During Eastertide, the Old Testament readings are replaced in the lectionary with passages from the book of Acts. Today’s passage is a short recollection of the unity of the new church. The church in this post-resurrection time period faces persecution and their unity as a body of faith will ensure their survival. This passage tells us a lot about the mission and ministry of the early church. We learn that the mission of the church was living into Christ’s call to ‘…love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.’ (Luke 10:27) In doing these things, we hear that no member of the early church was in need despite not claiming private ownership of land or goods – this sounds in keeping with Jesus’ frequent call to leave ones possessions and follow him. This passage invites us to trust in God and to follow the Truth as we learned in and from Christ Jesus.

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LPTW Easter 2, Year B, Acts, Younger Children
LPTW Easter 2, Year B, Acts, Older Children

Alleluia, Christ is Risen!

Easter, Year B, Acts Lesson Plan

Scripture: Acts 10:34-43

 

During Eastertide, the Old Testament readings are replaced in the lectionary with passages from the book of Acts. Today’s passage is obvious and straightforward. Peter, who has been invited to the home of a Roman Centurion, named Cornelius, to proclaim the Good News. Before our excerpt for today begins, Peter arrives at Cornelius’ home and Cornelius falls to the ground, worshipping Peter. Peter tell him to get up and explains that he is only a human. Peter then asks why Cornelius has sent for him. Peter says that in the past he would not have come to speak to Cornelius and his compatriots because he would have considered Gentiles to be unclean. But God has opened Peter’s eyes to see that the Gospel of Jesus is for all people in all the world. Cornelius explains that he say in a dream that he should invite Peter to preach the Good News, so he has gathered his friends and is anxious to hear the story of Jesus. In this passage Peter literally tells the Good News of Christ Jesus from the baptism of John to the resurrection and forgiveness of sin.

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LPTW Easter, Year B, Acts, Younger Children
LPTW Easter, Year B, Acts, Older Children

God gives; God opens; and God helps

Palm Sunday, Year B, Old Testament Lesson Plan

Scripture: Isaiah 50:4-9a

In this section of Isaiah we hear what is sometimes called the third servant song. Isaiah 40-55 are passages that talk about the image of a suffering servant. The lectionary preparers likely chose this reading for Palm Sunday as a foreshadowing of the suffering Jesus was going to endure in Jerusalem. The servant illustrated in the servant songs is a wise and loyal follower of God who will have a gentle heart, a trained tongue, a listening ear, and the courage to love with sacrificial love. The way the passages are written invites the reader to imagine him/herself as the servant just as we so often try to insert the image of Christ into this servant role.

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LPTW Palm Sunday, Year B, Younger Children, Old Testament
LPTW Palm Sunday, Year B, Older Children, Old Testament