The Power of Words

Proper 29, Year B, Old Testament
Scripture: 2 Samuel 23:1-3

Final words carry power. Think back over your life and see if you can call to mind the last thing someone important said to you before they were no longer a part of your life. You remember, don’t you? Last words are important because they are our last opportunity to shape things or make an impression. It’s only human to wish that we could know when we were going to speak our last words, so we could make sure to say something profound. We could make sure someone was there to record and share our words with others. David uses his last words to make sure that we are reminded of the promises of God. If you could choose, what would you want to say with your last words?

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LPTW Proper 29, Year B, Younger Children, Old Testament
LPTW Proper 29, Year B, Older Children, Old Testament

Kingdom

Season after Pentecost, Ordinary Time, Proper 29, Year B
Scripture: Mark 12:38-44

My kingdom is not of this world. My kingdom is not won in a battle. Clearly, the kingdom Jesus offers comes a very different way than we expected. Jesus refuses violence. Instead, he speaks the truth and waits for ordinary people to hear his voice and choose to follow him. The ordinary gathers energy for the extra-ordinary to come.

Download the lesson plans for Proper 29

LPTW Proper 29, Year B, Younger Children
LPTW Proper 29, Year B, Older Children
LPTW Proper 29, Year B, Adults
LPTW Proper 29, Year B, All

Shepherds and Giving Thanks

Last Sunday after Pentecost, Year A, Old Testament Lesson
Scripture: Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24

The prophet Ezekiel’s ministry happened during a time of great upheaval, beginning in 593 BCE (just before the fall of Jerusalem) through 571 BCE (into the Babylonian exile). Throughout the Book of Ezekiel, we hear a message of judgment, destruction and restoration. Ezekiel is warning of the judgment of the leaders and others who have only worried about themselves or have forgotten the ways of God. Our lesson today is a ray of hope from Ezekiel to those who were in the Babylonian exile, telling them of God’s promise to look for them, gather them, care for them, and bring them home as a shepherd bring the sheep home and tends to them after they have been lost.

Note: This is also the last day in the church year, so Option 2 of the lesson focuses a bit more on that if you wish to help the children prepare for the New Year we begin next Sunday on the First Sunday in Advent.

Download the Old Testament Lesson Plan for the Last Sunday in Pentecost

LPTW Last Pentecost, Year A, Younger Children, Old Testament
LPTW Last Pentecost, Year A, Older Children, Old Testament

Service and Giving Thanks

Last Pentecost, Year A
Scripture: Matthew 25:31-46

This is the culmination of Jesus’ teaching in Matthew, (and for us it is also the finale of the church year) and Jesus does not mince words telling those gathered around him about what we are all called to do and what we all can do each and everyday. This is not rocket science. It’s about treating each person we meet as if they were Jesus, because they are and therefore should be given all the same respect and honor as our Lord.

Note: This is also the last day in the church year, so Option 2 of the lesson focuses a bit more on that if you wish to help the children prepare for the New Year we begin next Sunday on the First Sunday in Advent.

Download the Lesson Plan for Year A

LPTW Last Pentecost, Year A, Younger Children
LPTW Last Pentecost, Year A, Older Children
LPTW Last Pentecost, Year A, Adults
LPTW Last Pentecost, Year A, All

Christ the King of Love and Grace

Ordinary Time, Proper 29, Year C

Scripture: Luke 23:33-43

This Sunday we celebrate Christ the King. We also close the third year of the three-year lectionary cycle. Today we hear a portion of the passion story in which Jesus is hanging on the cross in between two criminals. One is encouraging him to save himself. The other names that Jesus has done nothing wrong and asks that Jesus remember him. Jesus tells him, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” Jesus’ life on earth challenged those in power because it created a new way of life as Jesus talks about liberation from what we normally know as power. Jesus came to “to spread a revolution of love and grace, which entailed identifying and embodying a new kind of power and priority.” (William Loader)

Download the Lesson Plans for Proper 29, Year C

LPTW Proper 29, Year C, Younger Children
LPTW Proper 29, Year C, Older Children
LPTW Proper 29, Year C, Adults
LPTW Proper 29, Year C, All