David and Goliath

Season after Pentecost, Proper 7, Year B, Old Testament
Scripture: I Samuel 17 (1a, 4-11, 19-23) 32-49

 This story shows David’s courage but also his faith in God. It is not his ability as a warrior that defeats the enemy, it is his faith in and service to God. Goliath is made out to be some sort of beast – almost a monster. He then represents all our fears and needs for a powerful God. No mere mortal can defeat such a beast with their own power. We must call upon God to help us.

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LPTW Proper 7, Year B, Younger Children, Old Testament
LPTW Proper 7, Year B, Older Children, Old Testament

God Speaks in the Silence

Ordinary Time, Proper 7, Year C, Old Testament Lesson
Scripture: 1 Kings 19:1-4, (5-7), 8-15a

Our lectionary this week is a bit of a “back to the future” trip with this section of Kings coming before the lesson we heard last week about Jezebel having Raboth killed to give Ahab the vineyard. Here we encounter Elijah just as he is run out of the kingdom by Jezebel who is murderously angry after Elijah has banished the gods of Baal by having “fire rain down” upon them resulting in the death of all of the false prophets. Elijah is afraid that Jezebel will kill him and while in the wilderness even wonders if he will survive this trial. God sends angels to wait on Elijah before calling him to Mt. Horeb to meet God. In this passage we hear about a time when God got quiet to say something really important. This passage reminds us that God will speak to us – if we are open to waiting for the quiet times.

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LPTW Proper 7, Year C, Old Testament, Younger Children
LPTW Proper 7, Year C, Old Testament, Older Children

Jesus in the Storm

Season after Pentecost, Ordinary Time, Proper 7, Year B
Scripture: Mark 4:35-41

Amid the storms that toss our boats is the assurance that Jesus sleeps on a pillow in our boat! Are we comfortable enough to look at the question Jesus poses? “Why are you afraid?”

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LPTW Proper 7, Year B, Younger Children
LPTW Proper 7, Year B, Older Children
LPTW Proper 7, Year B, Adults
LPTW Proper 7, Year B, All

Where is God?

Proper 7, Year A, Old Testament Lesson

Scripture: Genesis 21:8-21

There are many difficult stories in the Bible that are the stories of the relationship with God and a growing self understanding as God’s people. And we read this one with the perception and understanding of the faithful who remembered and told the story throughout the ages. These Biblical truths are not unlike the hard lessons we sometimes learn in fables or morality plays: Life is not always fair. Adults can often use metaphor to see the lesson for ourselves.  For children this is harder.   Be sensitive to these issues and shape the lesson for your own context.

The Book of Genesis provides foundational stories of our faith, God’s calling of a people, their often failed responses to God, and God’s steadfast love throughout. The Abraham saga tells of the formation of Israel, beginning with the faithfulness of its patriarch Abraham. Although disillusioned with the wickedness of human beings, God separates out one family line to bring divine blessing to all subsequent families of the world. Abraham, the model of absolute faithfulness, trust and obedience, is symbolic of Israel’s idealized self. At the request of God Abraham has left his homeland to travel to a promised land. He has entertained angels unaware and trusted God’s promise of an heir even at an advanced age. Today’s story is a prelude to the sacrifice of Isaac, with the sacrifice of Ishmael, the son of Hagar.

Download the Old Testament Lesson Plan for Proper 7

LPTW Proper 7, Year A, Younger Children, Old Testament
LPTW Proper 7, Year A, Older Children, Old Testament

 

God Knows Us

Season After Pentecost, Ordinary Time, Proper 7, Year A
Scripture: Matthew 10:24-39

The reading for today can be a difficult one if we do not look at what lies beneath the word. Jesus tells us that what we instinctively do or don’t do, we should be doing the opposite. Jesus talks about setting family members against one another and turning things upside down. These are challenging words for us because it means that all those relationships, all the things we think are important, all those cultural norms we try so hard to abide by are turned on their head. The central message in all this upendedness is that God comes first before anything else we think might be important AND God knows all of those things in our hearts and minds. The good news is that because God knows all, it means that we do not need to keep anything hidden, we do not need to fear, we do not need to keep secrets. All is known by God and nothing comes before God. Nothing.

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LPTW Proper 7, Year A, Younger Children
LPTW Proper 7, Year A, Older Children
LPTW Pentecost 7, Year A, Adult
LPTW Proper 7, Year A, All

Demons Blown Away

Ordinary Time, Proper 7, Year C
Scripture: Luke 8:26-39

Demons. Not a likely topic for a meeting of psychiatric medical professionals. And the prescription — tossing demons onto the back of pigs and subsequently driving the pigs off a cliff — is equally unlikely. Yet who among us has not been taunted by a demon in some other disguise? (“I am not qualified, I can’t do it, it is too hard.” etc.) And, oh, the delicious relief when the wind blows the demons away.

Download the Lesson Plans for Proper 7

LPTW Proper 7, Year C, Younger Children
LPTW Proper 7, Year C, Older Children
LPTW Proper 7, Year C, Adult
LPTW Proper 7, Year C, All