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June 2021
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Cheating in the Temple

The temple, or the place where people came to worship God, should have been the one place where everyone knew they would be loved and accepted and treated fairly. Our churches should be the same way, shouldn’t they? But when Jesus visited the temple in Jerusalem, he found that a lot of cheating was going on.

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King and Shepherd

Ezekiel 34 tells us what kind of shepherd our Lord is: “I myself will search for my sheep. . . . I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak” (Ez. 34:11, 16 NRSV). Even when the sheep are scattered all over the place, the shepherd will gather them up and bring them back. God always looks for us when we’ve turned away from him and have taken the wrong and dangerous path. Our Lord never gives us up for lost.

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The Greatest Commandment

For the 20th Sunday after Pentecost or Proper 25 (Lectionary 30) From “Saving the Ants” Artwork by Elsa Ingulsrud

Scripture Reference: Matt. 22:34 – 40 “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the other commandments are based on these two…”

Preparation (Optional): Bring heart-shaped stickers to distribute at the end of the message.

Some of you

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Seventy Times Seven

For the 14th Sunday after Pentecost or Proper 19 (Lectionary 24) From “Saving the Ants”

Artwork by Elsa Ingulsrud

Matt. 18:21-22 “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No!” Jesus replied to Peter, “Seventy times seven!” (NLT)

Preparation: Bring a large pad of paper and a fat marker.

Have you ever hurt another person? If you’ve either accidentally or purposefully stepped on someone’s foot, or pushed someone, or called your sister or brother a mean name, or made someone

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What a Dog Teaches Us About God

This past summer, one of the members of our congregation at West Tokyo Union Church passed away. He was an unusual member, but he ran to church every Sunday and waited outside in the courtyard next to his water bowl until the service was over. Snack time often spilled over into the courtyard and Bjorn was always there to opportunistically clean up any leftover treats. He knew the value of a vigorous post-prandial roll in the grass and he was often joined by the children

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Bjorn

Dear Kidsermons Readers,

Sorry that I have been remiss in posting timely sermons recently, but I am taking some time to deal with the death of our beloved Golden Retriever, Bjorn, who passed away while we were at the family cabin. Bjorn was an outgoing and exuberant example of unconditional love. It is no accident, I think, that the word “dog” is so close to “God.” Bjorn welcomed everyone and went out of his way to meet and greet all who would come within range

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What Goes Up… (Ascension Sunday)

When Jesus went up into heaven, his disciples were watching. They watched him disappear into a cloud and then they all just stood there, looking up, staring at the sky, until two angels appeared and told them that Jesus would come back some day. The disciples were probably very sad to see Jesus go, and I’m sure they couldn’t help standing there, staring for a while. Do you think they were supposed to just stay there, looking up, waiting for Jesus to come back? No, there was plenty to do while they waited for Jesus to return. The world was waiting to hear the good news, that Jesus was alive!

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Meanie in the Quicksand

We’re all sinners. We all do things that we shouldn’t do. In a way, we’re all like that meanie, stuck in the quicksand. But even before we say, “Please, help me,” God has already thrown us the rope and pulled us out. (As you speak, you can throw one end of the rope out, or do the action of throwing a rope.) God loves all of us and he sent Jesus to save us.

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An Eye for an Eye

Seventh Sunday after Epiphany From “Saving the Ants” (Download book at left!)

Scripture Reference: Matt. 5:38-48 and 1 Cor. 3:18-19

Preparation: Bring an organ donation card with you; your own or one from a member of the congregation.

Can anyone tell me what the word revenge means? (Discuss meaning and examples of revenge with children.) Revenge is getting back at someone who hurt you. In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus talks about revenge. The people that Jesus was talking to knew about the old

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Barefoot in the Snow

For the First Sunday after New Year’s Day From “Barefoot in the Snow” (download book at left)

Scripture Reference: Luke 3:21-22 “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

It’s a new year, isn’t it? Happy New Year! Did any of you stay up until midnight to greet the New Year? (Let children respond. You may share how your family celebrated the New Year. You may have your own traditions that would work as an illustration, or use this

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