If You Want to Become My Followers

Season after Pentecost, Ordinary Time, Proper 19, Year B
Scripture: Mark 8:27-38

“Who do people say that I am?” Jesus asks his disciples. And they offer the various responses they have heard. “But who do YOU say that I am?” asks Jesus. Ah, the central question. Central for the relationship between Jesus and his disciples. Central for us. Who do WE say that Jesus is?

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LPTW Proper 19, Year B, Younger Children
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LPTW Proper 19, Year B, All

Prayers of Healing

Season after Pentecost, Ordinary Time, Proper 18, Year B
Scripture: Mark 7:24-37

Two healings. One may have come as a surprise even to Jesus. A woman, not of his flock and not of his tradition, begs Jesus to heal her daughter. Because of her persistence he agrees to heal her daughter. A man, deaf and unable to speak clearly, is brought to Jesus. Jesus takes him, gently, off to one side away from prying eyes and heals him. “Don’t tell anyone about this,” he cautions. But of course, people find out.

Download the lesson plans for Proper 18

LPTW Proper 18, Year B, Younger Children
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What Does Defile?

Season after Pentecost, Ordinary Time, Proper 17, Year B
Scripture: Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

 

Temple security guards, those responsible for guarding the purity of the religion, are getting hung up on rules that seem urgent to them but they are missing what is important. Jesus dismisses their concerns about who washed what and insists that these concerns are reducing the ability to hear and do God’s word. What is important is not what goes into the body, it is what comes out of our hearts.

Download the lesson plans for Proper 17

LPTW Proper 17, Year B, Younger Children
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What Will We Choose?

Season after Pentecost, Ordinary Time, Proper 16, Year B
Scripture: John 6:56-59

The fork in the road. The moment of truth. The choice. Will we do things the way we’ve always done it, or will we take a leap of faith? “This teaching is difficult!” say those who have trekked with Jesus. Will we risk the spirit that gives life or will we pin all our hopes on “the flesh”? Jesus invites us into the unfathomable joys of the kingdom of God. What will we choose?

Download the lesson plans for Proper 16

LPTW Proper 16, Year B, Younger Children
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We Become What We Eat

Season after Pentecost, Ordinary Time, Proper 15, Year B
Scripture: John 6:51-58

Nutritionists will assure us that we are what we eat. Jesus, long before nutritionists, told us that we become what we eat. And so Jesus invites us to become one with him by eating his flesh and by drinking his blood. Our task is to trust that “whoever eats this bread will live forever.”

Download the lesson plans for Proper 15

LPTW Proper 15, Year B, Younger Children
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Living Bread

Season after Pentecost, Ordinary Time, Proper 14, Year B
Scripture: John 6:35, 41-51

Those entrusted with keeping the faith are getting nervous. “Hold it,” they say. “Isn’t this Joseph and Mary’s kid? We know them well and have watched their child, Jesus, grow up. How can he say, ‘I have come down from heaven?’ How are we to understand this Jesus to be the ‘living bread’?” Each of us today is also on a journey into trusting this bread of life.

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LPTW Proper 14, Year B, Younger Children
LPTW Proper 14, Year B, Older Children
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Bread of Life

Season after Pentecost, Ordinary Time, Proper 13
Scripture: John 6:24-35

The crowd continued looking for Jesus. Maybe they were curious as to how Jesus got to the other side when his boat remained behind. Perhaps they were looking for more miracles. They were drawn to the gentle charisma of this man even though they were struggling to understand what he was saying. They were looking for a sign, missing the message. From our vantage point – 2,000 years later – we still struggle to grasp the message: “I am the bread of life.”

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LPTW Proper 13, Year B, Younger Children
LPTW Proper 13, Year B, Older Children
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LPTW Proper 13, Year B, All

Abundance

Season after Pentecost, Ordinary Time, Proper 12
Scripture: John 6:1-21

“There is a child here.” How interesting. The disciples do not see how a child could be much help, but Jesus does. The central aspect of our worship together – bread broken, bread shared –first happened when a little boy offered the little loaves in his picnic basket. When Jesus uses the little boy’s willingness to share, abundance is the outcome. Could we choose to risk noticing abundance?

Download the lesson plans for Proper 12

LPTW Proper 12, Year B, Younger Children
LPTW Proper 12, Year B, Older Children
LPTW Proper 12, Year B, Adults
LPTW Proper 12, Year B, All

 

Rest and Healing

Season after Pentecost, Ordinary Time, Proper 11
Scripture: Mark 6:30-34, 53-56

The passage from Mark that we have in this set of sessions seems to be telling us, amid all that shows up in our lives, to take time to breathe. Find space to just be. Perhaps it is a walk with a child, time puttering in a garden, or going fishing. We recharge our cell phones so they can keep serving us. Take a lesson from the cell phone: breathe and revitalize.

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LPTW Proper 11, Year B, Younger Children
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LPTW Proper 11, Year B, All

God is There in Good and Bad

Season after Pentecost, Ordinary Time, Proper 10, Year B
Scripture: Mark 6:14-29

 

A birthday party, a fancy banquet — Herod is having a grand time. A beautiful woman dances. Herod flamboyantly promises her whatever she wants in gratitude for her dance. She wants what? Herod is stuck with his promise; his decision has consequences. John the Baptist’s death casts a shadow across the hearts of the disciples of Jesus.

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LPTW Proper 10, Year B, Younger Children
LPTW Proper 10, Year B, Older Children
LPTW Proper 10, Year B, Adults
LPTW Proper 10, Year B, All