For Proper 25 | OT 30 | Pentecost 23
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The Immediate Word
Mary Austin


Luke 18:9-14
African-American doctors have taken to social media this past week, posting pictures of themselves with the hashtag #WhatADoctorLooksLike. They’re responding to a complaint from Dr. Tamika Cross, a black physician on a Delta Airlines flight who tried to respond when a flight attendant called for help for a fellow passenger who had become unresponsive. Cross described how the attendant initially refused to believe that she actually was a doctor, then asked to see her credentials -- but when a white man offered to help, the flight attendant took him at his word. To this flight attendant, a white man looked more like a doctor than a young African-American woman did.
     Like the Pharisee and the tax collector, we look each other over and make judgments. Appearance, gender, race, style of dress, and lately political leanings are all fodder for judgment. After the second Clinton-Trump debate, CNN declared that the true winner of the night was Ken Bone, a member of the town hall-style audience. Bone caught the nation’s eye with a red sweater and a savvy question, and became an instant celebrity. Ken Bone memes popped up, along with suggestions about how to dress as Ken for Halloween (red sweater, white shirt, black moustache, and handheld microphone). Now the nation apparently needs to know how Ken Bone will vote on November 8.
     Twitter, Facebook, Tinder, Snapchat, and other platforms allow us to make quick judgments about each other. The Pharisee and the tax collector are at least in the same room with each other, but we can have an opinion before we ever get that close....
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Proper 25 | OT 30

Seasonal Theme
Jesus' acts of compassion and teaching ministry.

Theme For The Day
Saint Paul's legacy and farewell which calls for keeping the faith and finishing the race.

Old Testament Lesson
Joel 2:23-32
The Blessings Of God

The passage begins with a glorious promise of early and late rain and the blessing derived from it. Verses 24-27 list out some of the blessings when the land has ample rain, contrasted with locust and drought. We are told that Israel can count on Yahweh's action toward her. Verses 28-32 continue the blessings of God with the pouring out of the spirit upon the people -- there is a new power for them. The spirit will bless everyone. Moses had asked for it (Numbers 11:29). We have the signs in verses 30 and 31 of the day of Yahweh. To "call upon the name of the Lord" (v. 32) is to serve him in the temple liturgy.
     According to Charles F. Kraft in The Interpreter's One Volume Commentary on the Bible: "Acts 2:17-21, the Pentecost speech of Peter, verses 28-32 are quotes as found in the LXX. The events of Pentecost were seen as part of the pattern proclaimed by the prophet." Verse 28 gives us the outpouring afterward. Romans 10:13 also quotes verse 32a....
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Frank Ramirez

Spoiler alert!

Nowadays movie reviewers, and let’s hope good friends, warn us with the term “spoiler alert” if they’re going to tell us important information about a movie we’re anxious to see. After all, we don’t want to know what happens before we get to see it.
     We probably should shout “spoiler alert” in conjunction with the coming attractions that await us with these scriptures. Here’s the deal -- it’s going to be okay.
     God’s people are reeling in the wake of a natural disaster, an invasion of insects that destroyed the crops. Even though Joel uses this as an image of what the Day of the Lord will look like, he lets us know that lost years will be restored and God’s Spirit will be poured out on all the people....
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Frank Ramirez

More Than One Winner

2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18
The ancient Olympics were held every four years, as close as can be told, from 776 BC to 393 AD. That works out to one thousand, one hundred, and sixty-nine years. That’s almost five times as long as the age of the United States.
     Greek city-states rose and fell, the Roman Empire conquered the Western World, and Christianity arose and finally became legal, during that time. And for over a millennium athletes gathered every four years to see who could run the fastest, jump the farthest, and out-wrassle everyone else....
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The Village Shepherd

Janice Scott

Praxis Is Apple Green

We don't always spot other people's inner motivation because we're so dazzled by their outer appearance. But Jesus made it clear that it's our inner being which is most important and an inner being which is loves only itself is not right before God. In this story, Praxis the pixie whose skin changes colour according to his moods is dazzled by a newcomer to the pixie village....
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CSSPlus (Children's Sermon Service...Plus

Mary Kay Eichelman

Pretty Package

Object: 2 boxes -- one wrapped very beautifully and the other wrapped with plastic bags. Inside the beautiful one have dirt. Inside the one wrapped in plastice bags have a beautiful watch or piece of jewelry.
Does anyone have a birthday today or this coming week or month? I want you to have one of my presents. Which one would you like? (Encourage them to take the beautiful one.) Can you open it and let us see what is in it. (Let them open it.)...
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Gospel Grams 1 (Ages 5-7)

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Gospel Grams 2 (Ages 8-10)

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