John 2: 13-25

Illustrated New Resources

  • A Fight Worth Having

    by Jim Chern
    Bishop Clemens August who lived in Munich Germany during the rise of the Nazi regime under Adolf Hitler has an answer that remains courageous and inspirational decades later. He would speak openly and boldly against Nazism, and their racist, totalitarian ideologies. He was even more direct writing to Hitler himself. When Hitler didn’t write back, he began preaching on these things. First over the fact that the government was ordering the removal of crucifixes from their schools. He was so impassioned that it brought about massive protests which actually resulted in the Nazis blinking and not following through on that proposed mandate. Following that, Bishop Clemens started preaching against an even worse atrocity that was beginning to gain momentum – the Nazis euthanasia program, which was intended to take individuals with disabilities into custody and put them to death. People at Mass would take notes of the Bishop’s sermons, and the anti-Nazi resistance smuggled them abroad. They were later broadcast to Germany on radio by the German service of the BBC. Hitler hated the Bishop so much that he wanted him hanged, but his propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels warned that this could make him a martyr and cause more protests among the local Catholic population. So he convinced Hitler to “settle the score” with this Bishop after the war...
  • Braid the Whip

    by Joe Evans
    I saw a video where Mister Rogers walks towards the camera and he says, "I'm angry." Of course, he doesn't look angry. It's hard to look angry in a cardigan. Then he starts singing, What do you do with the mad that you feel, when you feel so mad you could bite? When the whole wide world seems oh so wrong, and nothing you do seems very right? That's life, isn't it? We get mad, but what do we do with the mad that we feel? Mister Rogers has this other song where he plays the piano because he's angry, and he sings this very un-angry sounding song. "I'm angry. I'm angry." He doesn't sound very angry singing this song. It's hard to sound angry when you sing, but then he sings, "I'm angry. I'm angry. And I can tell you why."...
  • Zeal for the House

    by Owen Griffiths
    Try to imagine we’re all in church on a post-COVID Easter Sunday morning. We’re all just as happy as a poodle with a pork chop. No more masks or social distancing. We have a full church. Here we are: singing our favorite Easter hymns, smelling the flowers, dressed in our finest spring fashions, and delightfully full from the annual Easter pancake breakfast. Just as we get to the second verse of “Jesus Christ is Risen Today,” Jesus suddenly bursts in and starts yelling at us. “Just what the freak do you people think you’re doing?! Is this really what’s important to you? Seriously..??!!” Before we can stop him, he begins to kick over the pots of Easter lilies. He throws the candelabras and the communion chalice off the altar and starts tossing the paraments around the room. He knocks over our electric piano and chases the musician and the Praise Team out the side door with a whip he’s made out of the cincture of his robe...
  • Sermon Starters (Lent 3B)(2021)

    by Scott Hoezee
    My colleague John Rottman once called my attention to a story from a few years back. It seems that one day in a busy Washington D.C. Metro station, a man with an open violin case in front of him played his fiddle for the passersby. Quite a few children and young people stopped and stared but were soon enough hustled off by their parents. About half a dozen people stayed for a minute or two before moving on to catch their train. A couple of dozen people threw money into the open violin case. After a while the violinist had collected a total of $32.17. But the musician in question was no less than Joshua Bell...

Other New Resources

Recommended Resources

{Based on requests from several members (although I am reluctant to do so since my favorites may not be those of others), I am listing here some of my own favorite resources. FWIW!!]
  • Liberating the Temple

    by D. Mark Davis
    (includes lots of Greek exegesis)
  • The Significance of Signifying Signs

    by D. Mark Davis
    (includes lots of Greek exegesis)
  • *Zeal for God's House

    by Jerry Fuller, OMI
    ("There is a powerful scene in the movie The Godfather, Part III. Perhaps some of you remember when the Godfather, Mr. Corleone, is forced to visit the distinguished Cardinal Lamberto to tell him the bad news that a legitimate business deal involving the Vatican Bank has gone bad..." and other good illustrations)
  • To Do Justice

    by Sil Galvan
    With what shall I come before the Lord and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, shall I come before him with yearling calves? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I give him my first-born for my transgressions, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?...
  • A Voice for the Victims

    by Sil Galvan
    A frightened woman speaks haltingly to Julie Alban, a thirty-one-year-old deputy prosecutor. Julie nods sympathetically as Lisa describes the night her boyfriend punched her in the eye. It was one blow too many in their turbulent relationship: For the first time, Lisa called the police. Now she must decide whether to speak out against the father of her baby -- a man she says she still loves -- or go home and forgive him once again. Julie's advice is firm. "You don't want to stay with your boyfriend unless he gets counseling," she says, leaning forward in her wheelchair. "I'm very familiar with domestic violence. I'm in this chair because my ex-boyfriend tried to kill me." Jarred out of her own dilemma, Lisa asks, "Oh my God, what happened?" "I was breaking up with him," Julie answers, "and he shot me in the back."...
  • Lent 3B

    by Bill Loader
    (always good insights!)
  • Exegetical Notes (John 2:13-22)

    by Brian Stoffregen
    (excellent exegesis)
  • *Illustrations, Quotes and Lectionary Reflections (Lent 3B)

    by Various Authors
    ("Years ago Bruce Barton, in a very popular book, The Man Nobody Knows, used the story to demonstrate how virile the Lord Jesus was. He surmised that the Lord Jesus was capable of Herculean strength and prowess because of his outdoorsy lifestyle and vigorous walking missionary tours..." and other reflections)
  • Lent 3B (2015)

    by Bill Loader
    Scroll down to page 3 for this resource.

Illustrated Resources from 2018 to 2020

[If you have any questions about navigating through the site (and for some helpful tips even if you do!), please check out our video guide. Just copy this link ( and paste it into your favorite browser.]
  • The True Temple

    by Phil Bloom
    What happens to the blood of all the lambs sacrificed in the Jewish Temple? Well, it turns out the Temple had a drainage system that merged the lambs' blood with water from the spring on Mount Zion. Blood and water literally flowed from the side of the Temple.
  • The Antidote to Anger (SS)

    by Mariann Edgar Budde
    The Academy Award winning film for Best Picture of 2005, Crash, tells the complicated story of race relations in America, with a car crash on the streets of Los Angeles as its central metaphor. Crash is also a story about anger. Nearly every character in the film is angry -- legitimately angry -- about something. The tragedy lies in the way their anger spills over from one realm of life to another, setting off ripple effects of violence that spread far beyond their awareness or intention. There is a brilliant young African-American man who is angry at all things associated with white privilege. In response, he chooses a life of crime that he convinces himself is principled, even ethical, because he only steals from white people...
  • The Anger of Jesus: Cleansing the Temple

    by Janet Hunt
    While anger may well be rooted in fear, it might also find its origins in guilt. It might also rise out of grief. Indeed, I saw this close at hand in just these last days. One of our precious elders is suddenly, irretrievably ill. Her children brought her home on hospice care. When I stopped by the other day, his son told me he had been awakened at 4 am to Dad’s shouts of anger. This grieving husband of 70 years sheepishly looked at me later and told me he had been arguing with God. All of his fear. All of his grief. All of it found an outlet in anger. And who can blame him? And yet, the passage we read this week does not exactly describe Jesus as angry. At least not in so many words...
  • “I Am Woman” Angry!

    by Dawn Hutchings
    In 1972, I was fifteen years old and the number one song on the radio was “I Am Woman” by Helen Reddy. We sang it with such power and conviction because “I Am Woman” had become our anthem; the anthem for a generation of women. So, we sang determined to blaze trails for ourselves that would ensure that women all over the world would be counted as equal. The year that I graduated from high school (1975) the United Nations declared as “The Year of the Woman” and they chose our anthem, “I Am Woman” as the theme song and once again “I Am Woman” rose to the top of the charts...
  • Where are the Angry Women? Where are the Angry Christians? Where are the Angry Humans?

    by Dawn Hutchings
    Leymah Gbowee is a powerful woman from Liberia. Leymah Gbowee is also a Lutheran. She is responsible for leading a women’s peace movement that brought an end to the second Liberian civil war in 2003. The Liberian civil war, which lasted from 1989 to 2003 with only brief interruptions, was the result of economic inequality, a struggle to control natural resources, and deep-rooted rivalries among various ethnic groups, including the descendants of the freed American slaves who founded the country in 1847. The war involved the cynical use of child soldiers, armed with lightweight Kalashnikovs, against the country’s civilian population. At the center of it all was Charles Taylor, a ruthless warlord who initiated the first fighting and would eventually serve as Liberian president until he was forced into exile in 2003...
  • Rules Have Their Place in Religion, But We Need Zeal to Be Fully Human

    by Terrance Klein
    Our world is like a school cafeteria. It needs rules. You want an extra milk? We have got to write it down. If you are coming from the kitchen, you use that door; if you going to the kitchen, you use the other. Rules protect life, but they do not enhance it. And the very nature of human life is its constant need to be enhanced, to expand and to become more of itself each day, with each generation. For that, we need zeal. So if someone hands you a clipboard, don’t just stand there.
  • The Day the Tables Turned

    by Jim McCrea
    On June 18, 1815, the French forces of Napoleon Bonaparte engaged the Allied armies of the combined British, Dutch and German armies under the command of the Duke of Wellington near the town of Waterloo in present-day Belgium. It was a battle that would determine the fate of western Europe and the people of England were very anxious to hear results. In those days, it was really hard to get a wifi signal, given that wifi and the internet hadn’t been invented yet. So the people of England depended on a system of semaphore signals to find out how the battle was going. One of these signal stations was on the tower of Winchester Cathedral. Late in the day it flashed the signal: ‘W-E-L-L-I-N-G-T-O-N- — -D-E-F-E-A-T-E-D- -.’ Then, at exactly that moment, a fog rolled in, making it impossible to read the message. News of defeat spread throughout the region, plunging the whole countryside into sadness and gloom. Suddenly the fog lifted, and the remainder of the message could be read. The message had actually had four words, not just two. The complete massage was: ‘W-E-L-L-I-N-G-T-O-N- — -D-E-F-E-A-T-E-D- — -T-H-E- — -E-N-E-M-Y!’ It only took a few minutes for the good news to spread. Sorrow was turned into joy and defeat was turned into victory. Like most — and quite possibly all — of the stories in John, our gospel lesson has multiple layers. But, sadly, like the story of the partial semaphore signal, it seems to me that that most readers stop searching for meaning in our gospel lesson when they get only halfway to the truth...
  • Lenten Anger About Anger

    by Larry Patten
    Anger is a tornado in the human soul. Roiling within us, like warm moist air, are memories of past mistakes and a host of personal beliefs and biases. On the outside, from the imagined thoughts or real injuries from another person or situation, flows the cool, dry air. Over years, or in a splintered second, the dry wind swirls with that inner moist air and . . . Anger! Police and civil rights activists clash, fire hoses spraying, dogs lunging at the end of leashes. The national guard, all young, grasping weapons, form lines on a college campus. They face the rebellious students, all young, their clenched fists raised in the air. A storm of bullets is released...
  • Zeal!

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    Have you ever had one of those times when you had just had enough? One of those times that you have held your breath, you have turned away, maybe many times, because you just don't like what you see going on, but then finally come to the point that you just can't turn away one more time? You've had enough and you decide you just can't be silent any longer? So you do something fairly dramatic. Looking back on it, it may not have been all that smart, but you had had enough and you did it. Can you remember one of those times? Take just a moment and search your memory, and maybe this story about Jesus cleansing the temple will make a little more sense...
  • The Temple of His Body

    by Debie Thomas
    Not long ago, I came across a hymn that stopped me in my tracks. Composed by Brian Wren, it’s entitled “Good is the Flesh,” and its lyrics are as follows: Good is the flesh that the Word has become, good is the birthing, the milk in the breast, good is the feeding, caressing and rest, good is the body for knowing the world, Good is the flesh that the Word has become. Good is the body for knowing the world, sensing the sunlight, the tug of the ground, feeling, perceiving, within and around, good is the body, from cradle to grave, Good is the flesh that the Word has become.

Illustrated Resources from 2014 to 2017

  • What's Trending?

    by Jim Chern
    ("more than likely when 2014 comes to a close, a list of things that trended for the year will be like Ebola and Robin William's suicide. ISIS will rank a bit more newsworthy. These things affected us culturally, socially - they were part of our history. They will likely be a part of the story people will tell future generations about what life was like around here at this point in time. This idea of 'trending' seemed a good way of explaining why we're celebrating what we're celebrating today...")
  • Feeling Nervous About Meeting Jesus

    by Dan Clendenin
    ["In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis reminds us that the divine-human struggle is neither tidy nor tame, but it is nonetheless one that we can live with confidence. Susan and Lucy ask Mr. and Mrs. Beaver to describe Aslan (Lewis's representation of Jesus). They ask if Aslan is a man. Mr. Beaver replies. 'Aslan a man? Certainly not. I tell you he is the King of the wood and the son of the great Emperor-beyond-the Sea..."]
  • Inspired by Love and Anger

    by Tom Cox
    ["Sometimes there are situations and people in our life who take away our dignity. Maybe you're called to speak up for others whose lives have been disfigured and who can't glimpse their dignity as children of God. The point is: not to do it alone. Find someone to help you, to encourage you or a group that fights that good fight for a world where God and good can be readily recognised and everyone sees they are a loved and beloved son and daughter of God, with absolutely no barriers..."]
  • Disruptions of Grace

    by Gracia Grindal
    ["One (of many) Flannery O'Connor stories that comes to mind here is The Displaced Person. The American Short Story adapted it for TV in the 1970's. The priest character (John Houseman), a representative of the incarnate one, keeps muttering about Purgatory, to the great irritation of landowner Mrs. McIntyre (Irene Worth), whose feet are firmly planted on her land..."]
  • Lent 3B (2015)

    by Scott Hoezee
    ("My colleague John Rottman recently called my attention to a story from 2007. It seems that one day in a busy Washington D.C. Metro station, a man with an open violin case in front of him played his fiddle for the passersby. Quite a few children and young people stopped and stared but were soon enough hustled off by their parents...")
  • American Sniper: American Religion?

    by Terrance Klein
    ("Here is how Chris Kyle introduces himself in the opening of his autobiography, American Sniper. 'I was raised with, and still believe in, the Christian faith. If I had to order my priorities, they would be God, Country, Family. There might be some debate on where those last two fall—these days I've come around to believing that Family, may, under some circumstances, outrank Country. But it's a close race.'...")
  • Ben Trovato: Dedication of the Lateran Basilica

    by Terrance Klein
    ("Gerbert d'Aurillac, the man who became Pope Sylvester II, is said to have practiced black magic. Gerbert is said to have gained the papacy through dark sorcery. He was promised that the papal throne would be his, "until he died in Jerusalem. That seemed a sweet deal, given that the city, where our Lord had suffered and died, had been under Muslim control for several centuries. Small chance of a pope visiting Palestine...")
  • My Father's House

    by Anne Le Bas
    ("'Stop making my Father's house a market place' says Jesus, but the Greek word for house which he uses here isn't a word that simply refers to a physical building. It is the word oikos, and it would perhaps better be translated household than house. It encompassed not just the bricks and mortar, but the people who lived in the building, family members, servants, hangers-on. The word oikos gives us a wealth of words in English, basically anything that starts with eco-. Economics, ecology, ecosystems; they all derive from oikos...")
  • Jesus of Montreal

    Visual Parables by Ed McNulty
    ("Daniel, angry at the way the TV beer commercial producer treats his friend, upsets the tables in the studio...")
  • Not in Front of the Children! (John)

    Art and Faith by Lynn Miller
  • Power

    by Dave Risendal
    "As Hollywood has recently reminded us, on 'Bloody Sunday' — March 7, 1965 — state troopers showed up on the Edmund Pettus Bridge outside Selma, Alabama, armed with billy clubs and tear gas. Their intent was for the power of the state to be on full display that day. But what the world remembers is the power of those who stood up against racism and injustice. Willing to give their lives if necessary, bloodied and beaten by law enforcement officers, their non-violent stand became a rallying cry for the civil rights movement..."
  • Rebuilding Detroit

    by Ellen Rothweiller
    ("The city of Detroit, MI is being rebuilt. Many new businesses are popping up in the downtown area and there are plans for a new streetcar line that will transport people from Downtown to Midtown. Some who fled the city are returning to be a part of the rebuilding of this great American city. There are signs of new life in Downtown Detroit, but areas outside the city center are still in decline...")
  • Remembered Wellness

    by Jim Sinclair
    I remember the exchange vividly. American theologian Mary Hunt had been outlining her thoughts about social justice to 20 theological field educators. It was an engaging, inspiring and energizing session. But not for a more conservative participant who was offended by her liberal sentiments. Suddenly, he was on his feet, red in the face, loudly demanding, 'Madam. What. Are. Your. Theological. Presuppositions?' Immediately, Mary Hunt answered: 'Forgiveness is possible. Hope is warranted, Justice is demanded.'...
  • Righteous Wrath

    Poem by Henry Van Dyke
    ("There are many kinds of hatred, as many kinds of fire; And some are fierce and fatal with murderous desire; And some are mean and craven, revengeful, sullen, slow, They hurt the man that holds them more than they hurt his foe. And yet there is a hatred that purifies the heart: The anger of the better against the baser part, Against the false and wicked, against the tyrant's sword, Against the enemies of love, and all that hate the Lord...")
  • Not for Sale

    by Carlos Wilton
    ("One of my favorite movies of all time is an out-of-the-way South African comedy from 1980 called The Gods Must Be Crazy. What happens in the film is that an airplane is flying over Africa’s Kalahari desert, and the pilot has just finished drinking a bottle of Coca-Cola — you know, one of those old-fashioned, curvy green bottles you don’t see anymore. In an act of high-tech littering, he opens the window of the cockpit and just drops the empty bottle out..." and other illustrations)

Illustrated Resources from 2009 to 2013

  • *Lesson and the Arts

    by Paula Carlson
    ("In her novel The Distinguished Guest, the contemporary American novelist Sue Miller explores the challenges and the costs of reforming religious institutions in 20th century America...")
  • Lent 3B (2012)

    by Delmer Chilton
    "Samuel Wells, now the Dean of the Duke Chapel and minister to Duke University, writes of something that happened 20 years ago in Romania. The Iron curtain was falling all over Europe, Communism was collapsing. On Christmas day of 1989 Romania's President was arrested, tried and executed. The country was in turmoil. No one seemed to be in charge..."
  • *The Dark Side of the Good Lord

    by John Christianson
    ("One of our Lord's twelve disciples was Simon the Zealot – a real radical – probably a terrorist. The poet Ezra Pound imagines Simon, describing the dark, but maybe just as admirable side of the Good Lord. First, you need to know that, in this dialect, the word fere means Mate or Companion. Now, listen to the Ballad of the Goodly Fere...")
  • *Clutter Busting

    by Tom Cox
    ["In what condition is your 'temple'? This is not about waistline, it's spirit space. Is it a place where God, Jesus and the Spirit can reside? Is your body and mind 'a place of prayer' (Gospel), one that brings glory to God? How would you feel if Jesus came in and surveyed it?..."]
  • The Dove Seller

    Narrative Sermon by Sarah Foulger
  • Lent 3B (2009)

    by Scott Hoezee
    ("Fred Rogers, or 'Mister Rogers' as we all knew and loved him, made a name for himself and became famous over the years because of his gentle spirit, warm smile, and quiet effectiveness. When he died, many glowing obituary tributes to him made clear that there was no distinction between the Mister Rogers on the PBS television show and the real-life Fred Rogers...")
  • The Art of Fielding

    by Terrance Klein
    ("Critics can't decide if Chad Harbach's is really a book about baseball. There's a lot of 'other stuff' going on in the novel. But certainly in the character of Henry Skrimshander, it offers a wonderful description of what it means to be consumed by America's pastime. 'When he came home from Little League games, his mother would ask how many errors he'd made..")
  • Asleep at the Wheel

    by Jessie Larkins
    ("I am reminded by W. Hulitt Gloer in his commentary on this passage that 'the trappings of the temple were still in place but the place had no heart for its raison d'etre. It has been taken over by buyers and sellers, consumers and marketers who knew how to fill pews and meet campaign goals...")
  • God Cares About Justice

    by David Leininger
    ("The Gallup organization regularly conducts polls to determine the religious beliefs and practices of modern Americans. Despite new attitudes about morality, fluctuations in church membership, higher levels of education, and so on, there have been remarkably few changes in responses in recent years...")
  • *The Day the Tables Turned

    by Jim McCrea
    ("When Jesus cleansed the Temple and declared that he would destroy the Temple and in three days rebuild it, he did not mean that things sacred are to be abolished. Rather, Jesus […] advocates that God has decided to move from residency in the Temple of Zion to another place. What is that other place? The place that is more sacred than the Temple is you...")
  • Predatory Lending

    from the Nationall Council of Churches
    ("In a neighborhood like ours, where you don't have a bank within walking distance, you will see within a three-block radius four payday lenders. I've noticed the check cashers have turned over to payday lending because they get more regular business...")
  • Whistleblowing

    by Kristin Ofstad
    ("The most famous whistleblower of all must surely be the little child in Hans Christian Anderson's story The Emperor's New Clothes, who cried out, "But he has nothing on at all!" when he saw the Emperor parading stark naked through the streets in a great procession to celebrate his wonderful new suit...")
  • Believing and Living the Promise

    by Fran Ota
    (includes several quotes)
  • Living the Promise

    by Fran Ota
    ("Enrico Morricone wrote a piece of music for the movie The Mission, about a Jesuit priest in 18C Brasil; that music was turned into a song called Nella Fantasia. The words offer a broad hope, even for life today. The piece speaks to our promises of justice, and a spiritual world where that justice is the foundation. 'In my fantasy, I see a just world. Where everyone lives in peace and honesty...")
  • Speaking of the Gody

    by Jan Richardson
    ("This blessing takes one look at you and all it can say is holy. Holy hands. Holy face. Holy feet. Holy everything in between. Holy even in pain. Holy even when weary. In brokenness, holy. In shame, holy still. Holy in delight. Holy in distress. Holy when being born. Holy when we lay it down at the hour of our death....")
  • The Temple in His Bones

    by Jan Richardson
    ("The Roman churches that most linger in my memory are those that possessed a clear congruence between the physical environment and its purpose—those places of worship that were not primarily tourist destinations but true sanctuaries...")
  • Reflections from the Woodshed

    by Peter Samuelson
    ("I entitled this sermon because the woodshed is where the Ten Commandments send me, at least metaphorically. Because the woodshed is the proverbial place of discipline--where your grandfather supposedly took your father to teach him a thing or two...")
  • Rambo Jesus

    by Bethany Hull Somers
    "One of my favorite prayer books is written by Ted Loder and entitled Guerrillas of Grace: Prayers for the Battle. The following prayer speaks to letting go and is entitled What Can I believe?..."
  • No Cleansing, No Refreshment

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    ["Do you realize how much you pay to get 'roughed up'? You heard me right. You even pay big bucks to get roughed up on a daily basis. To be sure, you don't think about this activity as getting 'roughed up'. You probably think of it as your morning shower or your evening bath. But consider what you do as you go about your daily cleansing rituals..."]
  • Images of the Cleansing of the Temple

    Compiled by Jenee Woodard

Illustrated Resources (and Other Resources of Merit) from the Archives

  • Endangered Worship

    by Mickey Anders
    ("Here is a test. See if you can tell me what the following items have in common: the gray bat, the duskytail darter, the bald eagle, the oyster mussel, the rough pigtoe, the piping plover, the puma, and the least tern...")
  • God's Weakness and Foolishness

    by Fred Anderson
    ("'What kind of God would go out and get himself crucified? What kind of God could allow that?' The question came from a fellow passenger sitting next to me in a plane, about eighteen months ago...")
  • God, Our Rock, Our Strength

    by Cardinal Paulo Evaristo Arns
    In the United States and in Europe, there have been massacres in schools, serial killers and suicides. In Erfurt, Germany, in April 2002, a 19-year-old youth killed 16 people, including most of his teachers, and then shot himself...
  • Contemplaction: In Jesus the Walls Come Tumbling Down

    by John Auer
    ("William Willimon offers a prayer on these texts that puts to us the challenge of our Lenten theme -- The Walls in Our Way: 'Lord Jesus, come to our church this day. If our front door is locked, kick it open. If we are too cold or aloof, set us on fire...")
  • Focus Your Anger

    by Phil Bloom
    ("Like the Grand Coulee Dam, we need to control a reservoir of anger and put it to work for us. An example of this is the British politician, William Wilberforce. You may have heard of Wilberforce, the man who led the movement to abolish the slave trade...")
  • Responsible for Their Own Demise

    by Phil Bloom
    ("Bernard Goldberg gives a contemporary example in the book Bias. He describes his effort to get the major media to recognize that by blatantly slanting the news they are, in the long run, bringing about their own demise...")
  • Staying Out of Trouble Isn't Enough

    by Dennis Clark
    ("A man was driving without his seatbelt when he spotted a patrol car right behind him. He grabbed for the belt and put it on. But it was too late, and the red lights began to flash...")
  • Subtle as a Sledge Hammer: Jesus "Cleanses" the Temple

    by Dan Clendenin
    ("Think about your earliest memories and images of Jesus. If you are white, American, and Protestant, you might visualize a painting by Warner Sallman, The Head of Christ — Jesus with flowing blond hair and saccharine blue eyes...")
  • *Housecleaning

    by Tom Cox
    ("Ever notice how our life seems to be about gathering stuff? We start off with little, accumulate bits and pieces over the years, marry someone and merge our respective stuff. Then you have children and gather more and more, until eventually we die…. and leave our stuff to someone who already has enough stuff!...")
  • *Spring Cleaning

    by Tom Cox
    ("We find it hard to take correction from another person. We foolishly like to think that admonition is something we left behind in childhood. Yet if the police were to stop us for some breach of the law, the intelligent person would politely listen, admit wrong and take the ticket or a ticking-off graciously...")
  • Great Rage

    by Patricia de Jong
    ("In the 1980s I worked at Riverside Church in New York City. One of the most powerful events of my time in that place came on the evening of a visit by Desmond Tutu, the Episcopal Bishop of South Africa and one of the leaders in the fight against apartheid. He spoke of the oppression of the black South Africans by the Afrikaners...")
  • *House Cleaning

    by Rob Elder
    ("A few years ago I read about a woman in Galveston, Texas, who was cleaning some of the loose debris out of a birdcage with her vacuum cleaner when the phone rang. In reaching for the phone with one hand, while the other hand held the vacuum, the hose slipped a bit...")
  • Lent 3B (2006)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time a high school principal discovered that someone had stolen the exam questions from her office. It had to have been the sophomores because they were the only ones whose grades shot up...")
  • Lateran Basilica (B)(2003)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("One upon a time there was this lovely old parish church which the people downtown decided to close it and tear it down. It would cost more money to insure the church and maintain it then it brought in from its collections...")
  • The Cleansing

    Poem by Harry Guest
  • Wisdom to Know the Difference

    by Peter Haynes
    ("Anyone remember Transactional Analysis, which was all the rage 30 years ago? This pop-psychology method identified many of the unhealthy games we play with one another. Like NIGY, an acronym which stands for now I got you, a game where we wait for the target of our anger to do something that gives us an excuse to vent our rage upon them...")
  • House Zeal

    by Scott Hoezee
    ("Fred Rogers, or 'Mister Rogers' as we all knew and loved him, made a name for himself and became famous over the years because of his gentle spirit, warm smile, and quiet effectiveness...")
  • Housecleaning

    by John Jewell
    ("Stan and Jan Berenstain have written a series of children's books called the Berenstain Bears. The stories are all wonderful lessons of life for young children as Mama and Papa Berenstain Bear along with Brother Bear and Sister Bear encounter things like a bad dream, trouble at school and going to the dentist...")
  • A Passion for the Law

    by Beth Johnston
    An elderly couple were sitting on their porch watching the setting sun. It had been silent for some time and then the woman turned to her husband and said, 'I can't take it anymore. How come you never tell me that you love me?'...
  • Where There Is Injury, Pardon

    by Fred Kane
    ("James Jones tells the story of war as it was fought between Japanese and United States soldiers in World War II on the Pacific island of Guadalcanal. His novel The Thin Red Line is arguably among the greatest novels ever written about the experience of war and its inevitable tragic dimensions...")
  • Far More Than Bingo

    by Barbara Lundblad
    ("It's not about bingo. Maybe that never occurred to you, but when I was growing up, this Gospel reading often brought bingo to mind. Oh, it wasn't the game itself--it was the notion of playing bingo to raise money for the church...")
  • The Cleansing of the Temple

    by Edward Markquart
    ("One day, after Grandma and Grandpa had been gone for almost a week, it was time to drive over to the house and make sure that everything was OK. As the Dunham family drove up to Grandma and Grandpa’s house, they sensed that something was wrong. It just didn’t feel right. It was eerie. A strange sensation made the family feel uneasy...")
  • Shock and Awe

    by David Martyn
    (". I would like to suggest that this phrase makes a better sermon title than a title for a military campaign. In essence it outlines the gospel reading for today. The shock is that Jesus would come into a place of worship, turn over tables, and use a whip to drive out some of God's creatures...")
  • Turning the Tables

    by David Martyn
    Mother Teresa was a holy person. In the middle of the poverty, illness, and hopelessness of Calcutta, she exuded joy. Here is something she wrote called ‘Anyway’ that illustrates what holiness lived would be. People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered; Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway. If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; Succeed anyway. If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway. What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, others may be jealous; Be happy anyway. Th e good you do today, people often forget tomor- row; Do good anyway. If you give the world the best you have, it may never be enough; Give the world the best you have anyway. You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; It was never between you and other people anyway.”..
  • Zeal for Thy House

    by Philip McLarty
    ("One of my most treasured Christmas gifts this year was the book 1776, by David McCullough. It's a brilliant historical account of George Washington and the key role he played in defeating the British and establishing the Declaration of Independence...")
  • Lent 3B (2003)

    by Tod Mundo
    ("If Haydn's Creation deals with the sublime, the Grateful Dead's Truckin' deals with the mundane, but one stanza captures a sense of wonder, and even confusion, that everyone feels from time to time. In fact, if Jesus had been familiar with the lyrics, they might have been running through his mind as he stumbled along the Via Dolorosa carrying the cross...")
  • The Law, A Chalice

    by Anneke Oppewal
    ("The foot of the chalice represents the basis of a life with God. They are the commandments that refer to living our life with others. No false witness, no lying, no coveting. What is of another is sacred and should not be touched, not even in our minds...")
  • *Lent 3B (2003)

    by Paul O'Reilly, SJ
    ("I think I told you one time that when I was a deacon, there was a brief period during which I was in charge of the altar servers. It was not a success, so they took the job away from me and gave it to a lay-man called Adrian. It was the right decision. Adrian is one of those people who is just naturally very good with young people...")
  • Mama Bear's Rage

    by John Pavelko
    When my girls were young, I enjoyed reading children's books to them. I had two favorite series--Dr Seuss and the Berenstain Bears. I believe that these times of reading out loud helped the girls learn grammar and made me a better preacher. One of the books that I particularly enjoyed was The Berenstain Bears and the Messy Room. The story begins by telling the reader that the Bear family lived in a very orderly and neat home. There was a place for everything and everything was in its place. The entire family contributed to maintaining a neat and clean little tree house. Every room was a picture of orderliness except one room. Brother and Sister Bear's room. “It was a mess.” Jigsaw puzzles gather dust in a corner. Stuffed animals were everywhere and the closet was so full of toys that they could barely close the door. Brother's and Sister's room was not messy because they did not try to keep their room straight. They made their beds, most of the time. They would pick up, occasionally but the mess just seemed to build up until one day something happened. Perhaps it was the airplane cement on the floor, perhaps it was the clothes strewn all over the house, perhaps Mama's back was a little stiff, but whatever it was, Mama lost her temper and stormed into the cubs room with a big box to get rid of all the junk. Mama Bear started cleaning that messy room by throwing everything away...
  • What's It Going to Take?

    by John Pavelko
    C. S. Lewis illustrated the contrasting qualities of Jesus in his character of Aslan the Lion. In the Voyage of the Dawn Treader, two children, Lucy and Edmund come to a grassy area. The field covers an area almost as far as the eye can see in greenery, except for one small white spot. The children cannot determine the nature of the white spot from a distance so they hike down to its location and discover that it is a lamb. The white wooly creature is not just any lamb but a lamb that can cook breakfast and have a conversation with them. The children want to know how to get to the land of Aslan. While the lamb is giving them directions a marvelous thing happens: “His snowy white wool flushed into tawny gold and his size changed and he was Aslan himself towering above them and scattering light from his mane.”...
  • With the Crack of a Whip

    by John Pavelko
    ("J. B. Phillips laments that the word child has so few words that rhyme with it. He believes that if there had been a greater selection of words from which to choose we would have been spared the childhood rhyme of Gentle Jesus meek and mild Look upon a little child...")
  • *Spring Cleaning

    by Karen Pollan
    ("Soon after our move from seminary to the pastorate, Katherine and I were driving around the town of Sulphur Springs taking in the sights. Seven year old Kat had been uncharacteristically quiet. She seemed to be thinking hard about something and then she turned in the seat...")
  • *The Temple and Oscar Romero

    by Gordon Ramsay
    (weaving of sermon and song)
  • *Lent 3B (2003)

    by Benjamin Sim, SJ
    ("Fr. Nil Guillemette, S.J. has a parable about a lamb. This lamb, like all lambs, was naturally gentle. But his gentleness was super. It went far beyond the ordinary gentleness of a lamb. You could say that he was the very prototype of meekness...")
  • Cross Eyed: Anger

    by Billy D. Strayhorn
    ("Pet Peeves, we all have them don't we? Those things that just set us off. Some of my pet peeves are: People who don't use their turn signals or turn them on when they're turning. Road maps that aren't folded back up correctly...")
  • On The Threshold of a New Era

    by Alex Thomas
    ("Frederick Buechner has a beautiful description of the death of our gods in one of his books. The gods are dying. The gods of this world are sick unto death. If someone does not believe this, the next time he happens to wake up in the great silence of the night or of the day, just listen...")
  • Spring Housecleaning Our Faith

    by Keith Wagner
    "Recently my son bought a house. I have been helping him paint, making repairs and preparing the house for him to move in. Since I don’t do construction on a regular basis the work has been tiring. It’s a real challenge, but I must admit it’s also rewarding to freshen up an older house and bring it up to date..."
  • The Wall Street Syndrome

    by Keith Wagner
    ("We live, in what I like to call . Some channels even include the daily change of the price of gas. If you notice the price of crude oil has increased you might want to head to the nearest gasoline station before they hike the price...")

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