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Second Sunday after the Epiphany
with resources for Martin Luther King Day

Sermon and Worship Resources

Third Sunday after Epiphany


Martin Luther King Jr Remembrance:

See our tribute page for a time line and resources for worship

Free Preaching/Teaching Web Resources:
"Love Your Enemy"--One of Martin Luther King's most powerful sermons
"I Have a Dream" Address--His most famous speech; read it for the first time or once again.
"The Word that Moves: The Preaching of Martin Luther King, Jr.," article by Richard Lischer in Theology Today, 1989

Prayer of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Everlasting God, you gave us the faith of Christ for a light to our feet amid the darkness of this world. Grant us grace to fulfill and mercy when we fail these words of our brother in Christ, Martin Luther King, which we lift to you in prayer:

"If I can help somebody as I pass along; If I can cheer somebody with a word or song; If I can show somebody heís traveling wrong; then my living will not be in vain. If I can do my duty as a Christian ought; If I can bring salvation to a world once wrought; If I can spread the message as the Master taught; then my living will not be in vain.

Yes, Jesus, I want to be on your right or your left side, not for any selfish reason. I want to be on your right or your left side, not in terms of some political kingdom or ambition. But I just want to be there in love and in justice and in truth and in commitment to others, so that we can make of this old world a new world." Amen.

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A Tribute to Dr. King
in pictures and quotes



Martin Luther King Day (by DPS):


Children's sermons:     

Sermon Excerpt:

Giving a Fig
1Sam 3:1-10, Jn 1:43-51
by Rev. Karen Goltz

think a lot of times we miss out on what the Bibleís trying to tell us because our context is so different. It was written so long ago, the Word of God, yes, but also a product of its culture and environment, neither of which we share. We miss a lot of the references that would have been so obvious to the first readers and hearers of the stories. For example, whatís that business about the fig tree in todayís Gospel lesson, anyway? It seems to play an important role: itís where Nathanael was sitting before Philip called him, and the fact that Jesus had seen him there seems to be a huge deal, causing Nathanael to recognize Jesus as the Son of God and King of Israel.

Huh? I donít get it. So I looked it up. I read one scholar who claims that fig trees were places of contemplation, where deep thinkers went to think deep thoughts, and Jesus recognized Nathanael as being a serious scholar and learned man. Iíve heard another account that mothers in ancient times sent their children to play under fig trees, and that Jesusí having seen Nathanael under one was an indication that Nathanael had been called since his youth. Iíve also read that the fig tree was representative of Israel as a whole, and that Jesus was being sarcastic when he called Nathanael an Israelite in whom there is no deceit. Israel himself, the patriarch Jacob, became patriarch through deceit and extortion, so an Israelite without deceit is a contradiction in terms. According to this understanding, Nathanael appreciated Jesusí quick comeback to his own insult about nothing good coming out of Jesusí hometown of Nazareth, and that caused their relationship to grow.

Any one of these interpretations can be correct, or none of them, and whatever we choose to believe about the fig tree will color how we interpret the call of Nathanael. The original context of that exchange has been lost to us, and we may never know what was really meant by it.

The reading from first Samuel, while also a product of its culture and environment, at least begins on a note we can relate to: The word of the Lord was rare in those days; visions were not widespread.

I think itís safe to say that the word of the Lord is rare in these days, too, . . .

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