Trust in the Lord

Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany, Year C, Old Testament
Scripture:  Jeremiah 17:5-10

This reading is a standard, blessing and curse type saying, an oracle of judgment against Judah. Although it reads like other wisdom literature, it is written after King Josiah’s reform has failed and before the Exile. Jeremiah is warning the people to put their trust back in the Lord, and to stop thinking anything or anyone else can save them. Our approach for this class will be to build trust among the students and to explore the concept of placing our trust in God.

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LPTW Epiphany 6, Year C, Younger Children, Old Testament
LPTW Epiphany 6, Year C, Older Children, Old Testament

The Call of Isaiah

Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany, Year C, Old Testament
Scripture:  Isaiah 6:1-8

Two themes weave together in today’s reading: an experience of God and a commissioning to ministry. Isaiah has a mystical experience and is in a state of awe. In this state, he is called to be a prophet to God’s people, to speak on behalf of the Lord. He answers with the famous phrase, “Here I am.” Too often these themes are examined separately, losing the power of one leading directly to the other. We first experience God, then we serve God. Divorcing the two leads to empty worship without service or empty service without worship.

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LPTW Epiphany 5, Year C, Younger Children, Old Testament
LPTW Epiphany 5, Year C, Younger Children, Old Testament

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 is With Us

Seventh Sunday of Easter, Year C, Acts Lesson Plan
Scripture: Acts 16:16-34

Today we hear how Saint Paul gets arrested with his friend Silas for healing a slave girl. The owners did not like this healing because it meant she could no longer make them money by telling fortunes. Paul and Silas pray and sing hymns while in prison reminding themselves that God is with them and they are not alone.

Download the lesson plan for the Seventh Sunday of Easter

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