Luke 1: 26-38

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 favorite resources. FWIW!!]
  • Call and Response

    by Kenneth Carter
    ("Four children put on a Christmas play for their father. Joseph came in with a mop handle. Mary came in with a pillowcase under her pajamas; another child was an angel, flapping her arms as wings. Finally the last child, the eight year old, came out, with all of the jewelry on that she could find in the house. 'I am all three wise men,' she said. 'I bring three precious gifts: gold, circumstance, and mud.'..." and other illustrations)
  • The God of Impossible Pregnancies

    by D. Mark Davis
    (includes lots of Greek exegesis.)
  • *Hail, Mary, Full of Grace

    by Jerry Fuller, OMI
    ("They had been married for seven years and had a four-year-old son. He was busy with work and pursuing his MBA., she was consumed with the work of motherhood and running the household. Their relationship was becoming one of 'yawning' at each other. But one Christmas they received a gift that transformed their lives..." and other illustrations)
  • An Angel Sent by God

    by Sil Galvan
    Gretchen and her husband, Fred, had had a long and happy marriage, but Fred had recently died. And although Gretchen had a son and four grandchildren who loved her very much, one does not easily recover from such a momentous loss. During the first few months, she had been numb with grief and unable to cry. But she had progressed beyond the initial shock stage, and now, it seemed, crying was all she did. "I was beginning to dread meeting anyone," she recalls, "because I was so afraid that I would burst into tears in the middle of an ordinary conversation." People had been very kind, but she didn't want anyone pitying her and she didn't want her sorrow to make others uncomfortable. On this particular Sunday, Gretchen went to church by herself and selected an empty pew. She was relieved when she saw no familiar faces around her. At least if her anguish threatened to overwhelm her, she could slip out quietly. As she sat in the pew, she thought again of Fred, and desolation and grief swept in waves over her spirit. It was all she could do to keep from crying out. Would the mourning ever end, she wondered? In another moment, she would break down once again
  • Be It Done Unto Me

    by Sil Galvan
    In the December 1995 issue of Guideposts, Elizabeth King English tells of a very special Christmas that she once experienced. The year was 1949. She and her husband Herman owned an appliance store that sold just about everything a person could need in their home. They also sold a number of smaller things, such as toys. That particular Christmas, they had practically sold out of their toys. Elizabeth had been uneasy about leaving the shop that Christmas Eve because one package on layaway had not been claimed yet. It might not have been anything important, but on the other hand, it might be some child's only gift. So Elizabeth and Herman stayed open as long as they could, but finally they decided to close the store and head home. The next day, Christmas day, Elizabeth couldn't seem to get into the Christmas spirit. She cleaned a little around the house, but she felt restless. Strangely enough, she began to get the urge to go to the store that morning. Now Herman and Elizabeth never opened the store on Christmas, and the weather outside was a freezing mix of snow and sleet, but still Elizabeth felt drawn to go to the store.
  • Mary, Did You Know?

    by Vince Gerhardy
    ("The writer of is Mark Lowry. He is described like this. 'Mark never stops moving. He seems to have the energy of three fifth graders and the curiosity of a dozen four-year-old-children. Probably because the Lord knows the world couldn't handle more than one Mark Lowry at a time, there is no one like him...")
  • Advent 4B

    by Bill Loader
    (always good insights!)
  • What Sort of Greeting?

    by Jim McCoy
    ("There is a crucial turning point in Tolkein's The Hobbit. Bilbo Baggins has been made a part of a fellowship undertaking a mysterious journey. But on the last week of autumn, right before winter begins, the group comes to a mountain. The dwarves announce to Bilbo that at the heart of that mountain lay a chamber containing countless piles of precious things, gold wrought and unwrought, gems and jewels, silver red-stained in the ruddy light. The catch is that the treasure is guarded by Smaug the dragon..." and discussion of the murder of Peter Kassig)
  • Hail Mary

    by David Russell
    ("Peter Gomes told a story about Dean William Ralph Inge, whom he said was known as the 'gloomy dean' of St. Paul's Cathedral in London. Anyway, according to the story, when Inge died, he was ushered into the presence of God. Jesus came down from God's right hand and said, 'Ah, Mr. Dean, welcome to heaven. I know you have met my Father, but I don't believe you have met my mother.'..." and discussion of Nelson Mandela)
  • Exegetical Notes (Luke 1:26-38)

    by Brian Stoffregen
    (excellent exegesis)

Narrative Sermons

Illustrated Resources from 2020

  • What God Wants to Conceive in You

    by Jim Chern
    In this incredible 90 minute documentary, a group of brothers set out on a journey to get to the burning questions that humanity asks – Who Am I – Who is Man? Why do we search for meaning to life? One scene that re-emerges in my memory was about Doctor Anthony Lazzara who we meet in one of the several experiences shown in the film. Dr. Tony had held a tenured post at Emory University, in Atlanta, Georgia, where he supervised these high-tech children’s wards at two of the university’s hospitals. He had this cutting edge career there where had built a stellar reputation. He had job security. A nice home. Financially, he was doing well. He had friends, a nice social life. He knew he was helping people. It was a comfortable existence. And no doubt, he could’ve continued on his life this way and been considered “one of the good guys.” One day on a trip to India, for a medical conference, everything for Dr. Tony changed. He said that as he came out of a restaurant with a colleague he saw something under a filthy blanket – was this an animal, a child? He didn’t know, because he and his friend felt there was nothing they could do, so they left “it” there. But that memory stayed with him and he couldn’t get the pictures out of his mind of the incredible suffering he witnessed of children, people literally dying in the streets because they lacked just some very basic medical care. It shocked him out of his comfort...
  • Sermon Starters (Advent 4B)(2020)

    by Scott Hoezee
    The late night host Jimmy Kimmel had actress Emma Watson on his show some time back and during the interview played an audition tape from the first Harry Potter movie in which Watson plays the whip-smart Hermione Granger. In real life Emma Watson is plenty smart too and so knew not only her lines but the lines of her co-stars. In the scene you can see here, Watson inadvertently mouths the lines of the actors playing Ron and Harry while they speak their lines. It is quite funny! Watson admitted this remained a problem and they had to do quite a few re-takes because she kept doing this when others were speaking!...
  • Stepping Aside

    by Kate Moorehead
    The year was 1940. A young black boy was walking through the street holding his mother's hand. They were living in South Africa under the Apartheid regime. It was the law that a black person who passed a white person on the street should step aside and let the white person pass. The boy and his mother saw a white man approaching them. They prepared to step aside, when, to their surprise, the white man stepped off the sidewalk and tipped his hat to the boy's mother in a sign of respect and honor. The boy was shocked. He and his mother walked down the center of the sidewalk and smiled at the man. "Mother," he asked, "Why did that man stand aside for us and tip his hat? I thought that white men didn't do that? Why didn't he want us to step aside?" "Because, my son, that man is a man of God," his mother answered. "That man is a priest." It was then and there that the little boy decided what he would do with his life. He too would become a priest. His name was Desmond Tutu...

Illustrated Resources from 2017 to 2019

[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.]
  • Chosen and Perplexed

    by Delmer Chilton
    A few years ago, I saw a little story in Reader’s Digest. I clipped it out and filed it under the title: “Perplexed.” The writer was a clerk in the admitting office of a hospital. One very busy day, there was a parade of people coming to her desk. She perfunctorily handed them all clipboards with pens and admission forms. There was a crowd filling out forms, being interviewed or being escorted to their rooms. One very timid woman tentatively entered the clerk’s office. She handed over her completed admission forms, her insurance card and her driver’s license. Without looking up, the clerk took the material and began entering the information into the computer. Suddenly she asked, “What is your reason for coming to the hospital?” There was such a long pause without an answer that she looked up. The woman was looking at her watch. Finally, she said, “Well, I came to visit my sister, but this has taken so long, I’ll have to come back tomorrow.”...
  • Carrying the Angel's Words

    by Joanna Harader
    My oldest two children came into our family as a foster-to-adopt placement. We were told that their biological dad was not in the picture and mom would not be able to get custody. They were foster children that would be available for adoption soon. James was three and a half. Jasmine had just turned two. We welcomed them into our family and took them into our hearts. They quickly became our children. Then their bio dad came back into the picture...
  • God Steps Down Amid Sexual Assault Allegations

    by Dawn Hutchings
    There is a meme doing the rounds on the internet that points an accusing finger at today’s readings: It’s a joke of sorts, that begins with the headline: “God Steps Down Amid Sexual Assault Allegations” The joke continues: “God the Father, Creator of Heaven and Earth will be stepping down as Supreme Lord of the Universe amid allegations of sexual assault from Mary, the mother of his son. In a guest column of the Jerusalem Times, Mary detailed God’s grooming tactics, exploitation of power dynamics, and physical coercion that ultimately resulted in the birth of their son, Jesus.”...
  • How Can This Be?

    by Bryan Jaster
    Recently youth from our community met two men in Washington D.C. who help lead an organization called Teens Opposing Poverty. They told stories of living on streets for 10-12 years each. A small number of teenagers chose not to ignore them. The teens fed them, brought clean, white socks, and got to know them as human beings. They blessed them and the new homeless friends blessed back. One day the teens asked “How can this be that you have to live on the streets and under benches?” Hearing answers, these youth continued to stick around, offering hope and small steps toward living fuller lives. As a result of the blessing from teenagers who loved them, these two men are both off the streets. They are employed and have families...
  • Annunciation

    Poem by Denise Levertov
    We know the scene: the room, variously furnished, almost always a lectern, a book; always the tall lily. Arrived on solemn grandeur of great wings, the angelic ambassador, standing or hovering, whom she acknowledges, a guest. But we are told of meek obedience. No one mentions courage. The engendering Spirit did not enter her without consent. God waited. She was free to accept or to refuse, choice integral to humanness...
  • Immaculate Conception (A)(2019)

    by Kyle Lierk
    Sr. Ita Ford was one of three Religious Sisters who, along with a lay partner named Jean Donovan, were martyred in 1980. Her words in a letter to her niece Jennifer on her 16th birthday are words for us too: “What I’m saying is, I hope you come to find that which gives life a deep meaning for you...something worth living for, maybe even worth dying for...something that energizes you, enthuses you, enables you to keep moving ahead. I can’t tell you what it might be ‐‐ that’s for you to find, to choose, to love. I can just encourage you to start looking, and support you in the search. “Maybe this sounds weird and off‐the‐wall, and maybe, no one else will talk to you like this, but then, too, I’m seeing and living things that others around you aren’t... I want to say to you: don’t waste the gifts and opportunities you have to make yourself and other people happy…”
  • God's Will: Adapted by Mary

    by Mike Massar
    On November 18, 1995 Itzhak Perlman went on stage to give a concert at Lincoln Center in New York City. But that night something went wrong. Just as he finished the first few bars, there was a loud pop. One of the strings on his violin broke! You could hear it snap all across the concert hall. Everybody in the room realized what had happened and they wondered, “What on earth is he going to do?” Most thought he would put back on his braces and amble out for another violin or at least a new string. But Perlman didn’t do that. He sat there for a moment, closed his eyes, and then, amazingly, nodded to the conductor to begin again. The orchestra began, and Itzhak Perlman re-composed the piece in his head and played the entire piece with incredible power, passion and purity on just three strings. Now, that would seem impossible. It simply can’t be done. But that night Itzhak Perlman refused to believe that. Re-thinking, re-modulating, he re-arranged in his mind the playing pattern and performed the piece perfectly on just three strings. When he finished there was an awesome silence in the room, and then a standing ovation unlike any other. Itzhak Perlman smiled, wiped the sweat from his brow, raised his violin bow to quiet the crowd, and then, not boasting, but in a quiet, pensive, reverent tone, he said these words: “You know, sometimes it is our task to find out how much music we can still make with what we have left.”
  • Christmas: Its Checkered Origins and Its Checkered Sequence

    by Ron Rolheiser, OMI
    Christmas has a checkered origin and a checkered sequence: Jacob did steal his brother’s birthright; Judah did sleep with his daughter-in-law; David did commit adultery and did commit murder to cover it up; the church did set up the Inquisition and kill more of its own than were martyred in the early church; the church did give us popes who sold ecclesial favors and were sexually licentious; the churches, despite their catholicity and holiness, have perennially been narrow and elitist and never been fully free of self-interest; and the sexual abuse scandal did happen.
  • Cooperating with the God Who Acts

    by Timothy Ross
    Frederick Buechner ponders the possibilities in Secrets in the Dark: We all want to be certain, we all want proof, but the kind of proof we tend to want… proof that would silence all doubts once and for all-would not in the long run, I think, answer the fearful depths of our need at all. For what we need to know, of course, is not just that God exists, not just that beyond the steely brightness of the stars there is a cosmic intelligence of some kind that keeps the whole show going, but that there is a God right here in the thick of our day-by-day lives who may not be writing messages about himself in the stars but who in one way or another is trying to get messages through our blindness as we move around down here knee-deep in the fragrant muck and misery and marvel of the world. It is not objective proof of God’s existence that we want but, whether we use religious language for it or not, the experience of God’s presence. That is the miracle that we are really after...
  • Called to Greatness

    by David Sellery
    In putting these thoughts together, I was reminded of our family friend, Fern Hill, whose young son Timothy was run down and killed delivering newspapers. In her torment, the grieving mother remembered that she was God’s servant… first, last and always, come what may. She and her husband Jerry went on to found The Timothy Hill Children’s Ranch, which for over forty years has given new life to hundreds and hundreds of abused, abandoned and troubled children. In crushing pain, Fern answered God’s call to greatness… just as she is answering his call today… protecting, caring, nurturing…witnessing Christ’s love where it is needed most...
  • Everyday Annunciations

    by Chana Tetzlaff
    Several years ago I came across Denise Levertov’s stunning poem, Annunciation. Her portrayal of Mary struck a deep chord in me, mostly because the vision of Mary that I was raised with was very different. In the circles I grew up in, Mary’s name was synonymous with the “ideal woman”—one who was soft-spoken, submissive, meek. In all the Sunday school lessons on the Nativity or studies about women of the Bible, never did I resonate with Mary as a model for my own womanhood, perhaps because I tend to be headstrong, opinionated, independent. Far from the “ideal,” I had little hope of ever being like Mary. Meek obedience wasn’t for me...
  • Images of the Annunciation

    Compiled by Jenee Woodard
  • Movies/Scenes Representing Call

    Compiled by Jenee Woodard
  • How Dancing in the Nutcracker Has Shaped My Sense of Advent

    by Amy Ziettlow
    In 1979, the Tulsa Ballet’s production cast two baby angels, Kelsey and me. Although our choreography was quite simple—we were five years old—the baby angels were entrusted with the important task of carrying the light of hope and serving as divine companions to Clara, the ballet’s main character, through her coming-of-age journey...

Illustrated Resources from 2014 to 2016

[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.]
  • Advent 4B (2014)

    by Delmer Chilton
    "Caroline was active in her church. A few years ago she was asked her to do something more, something extra. The churches in the area were opening a Homeless shelter and they needed a director – would she help? Although she was already quite busy Caroline agreed. She went into it with great enthusiasm and high commitment; she wanted to help, she wanted to make a difference in people's lives..."
  • Advent 4B (2014)

    by Gregory Fryer
    "Here in America, a fascinating statement about Mary has been published by a group called Evangelicals and Catholics Together. n the part of the statement about where Catholics and Evangelicals agree, there is the following statement: 'We picture her [Mary] nursing him at her breast, teaching him his first words, kissing his bruises when he fell, introducing him to Israel's understanding of the ways of the Lord-the mother who helped him memorize the psalms and say his prayers..."
  • God's Time

    by Charles Hoffacker
    Back in the 1920’s, a young girl named Lois Secrist felt a call to the mission field. However, she did not follow that call. Instead, she got married and stayed home. Many years passed. Her husband died, and Lois again felt the call, but she was hesitant. “Lord,” Lois said, “I’m too old to go now. I can’t do this.” But God kept calling her, and finally Lois answered. She left in her eighties, moved to the Philippines, and established an orphanage, a home for 35 children who otherwise would not have a home...
  • God With Us/Great Reversals

    by Kate Huey
    includes several quotes
  • Do Not Be Afraid

    by Janet Hunt
    ("I spent two hours sitting on a hard bench at the DeKalb County Courthouse on Wednesday morning. Oh yes, that time and place seemed as far away as it could possibly be from Angel's Announcement to Mary. In fact, it seemed like exactly the sort of time and place where such urging to not be afraid would be so every welcome. For fear was all over that time as I sat together with a family, extended family and friends. They came and sat and waited for something that would take but a few minutes: the appearance of the man who had sold their son, brother, grandson, nephew, neighbor, friend the heroin which took his life...")
  • Keeping Christmas Well: a Christmas Resurrection Story

    by Dawn Hutchings
    ("there’s one Christmas tradition that I’ve been enjoying since I was a child that requires little or no preparation save for the effort to carve out the time, when time seems to be in short supply. Somehow over the years, I’ve never missed the opportunity to watch the old black and white version of Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol. There is of course only one portrayal of Ebenezer Scrooge that will do. Alistair Sim. If it’s not Alistair Sim, it’s just not Scrooge...")
  • The Mystical Rose

    by Terrance Klein
    ("A hobgoblin, one of the very worse, once made 'a looking-glass which had the power of making everything good or beautiful that was reflected in it almost shrink to nothing, while everything that was worthless and bad looked increased in size and worse than ever'. So begins Hans Christian Anderson's fable, The Snow Queen. Like the Fourth Sunday of Advent, it tells a story of redemption and a woman is its hero...")
  • She Gave All She Had

    from Lectionary Tales
    "Several years ago, Fulton Oursier told a story in Reader's Digest about a man named Pete Richards who owned a little antique shop that he inherited from his grandfather. The shop displayed an unorganized mess of bracelets, lockets, mandolins, dueling pistols, clocks, and lamps. Even though Pete was barely thirty, his hair was already graying. Gray would also describe his disposition..."
  • God With Us/Great Reversals

    by Kate Matthews
    (includes several quotes)
  • Gabriel Shuffles In

    by Larry Patten
    ("I'm completely convinced a 'Mary'—young, old, or in between—and a 'Gabriel'—with or without wings—will visit when we least expect it. A 'Mary' will arrive at your church on Christmas Eve, or maybe on the sparsely attended Sunday a week after Christmas. This 'Mary' will blend into the crowd. She looks familiar, or she doesn't. She's poor, or poor in spirit. But, if you notice her, she seems to be waiting...")
  • Homiletical Directions

    from Preaching Luke's Gospel
    "The first choice suggested here for preaching is a narrative sermon that tells the parallel annunciation stories. Story One would tell the story of Zechariah the priest from the point of view of his lack of faith. Story Two would tell the Mary story from the point of view of her faithfulness..."
  • Grim Joy or Glorious Hope?

    by Andrew Prior
    (includes several quotes)
  • The Light of the World

    by Nancy Rockwell
    ("Luke, raised in Greece and educated in Greek culture, knew the iconography for divine heroes that ran through the related Greek. Celtic, and Hindu cultures, knew that the mothers of divine heroes all experienced a 'triple birth', which is to say, three possible fathers: one mystical, one a magical creature, and one human. As Luke tells the story, Mary's pregnancy involved all these: the Spirit of God, an archangel, and Joseph. As well, divine heroes in these cultures are often born among animals, and poor shepherds or fishermen offer the endangered mother shelter. Mary's baby had these blessings and protections, too.....")
  • Virgin Birth

    by Ron Rolheiser, OMI
    "Why a virgin's womb for a Messiah's birth? Why an obsession with purity within the Christian tradition? Because, as we all know only too well, our lives are full of most everything that is not virginal or pure: impatience, disrespect, irreverence, manipulation, cynicism, grandiosity; and, as we all know too, within this matrix no messiah can be gestated..."
  • Angels

    by David Russell
    "The great preacher Fred Craddock told a story that happened when he was a young preacher in a small town in Tennessee. There was a little girl who attended church faithfully. Her parents sent her to church but never came with her. They would pull in the church's circle drive, drop her off, and go out for Sunday breakfast. The father was an executive for a big chemical company, very ambitious, upwardly mobile. The whole town knew about their Saturday night parties, given not so much for entertainment or out of friendship, but as a part of his career advancement program..."
  • Perceiving the Presence of God

    from Sermons on the Gospel Readings
    "Three sisters lived in the forest. The oldest was named Bean Plant, the middle sister was named Marigold, and the youngest was called Lily. It was summer; the weather was beautiful and all who lived in the forest were happy and gay. The two older sisters thought themselves to be rather important. Bean Plant attracted lots of attention through the lush and rich beans which she produced so abundantly..."
  • Why Christmas Is So Dangerous

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    ("There is no doubt about it. Christmas is a dangerous time of year. Why is Christmas dangerous? It could go to your head. It's hard on your heart. It callouses your hands and feet.,..")
  • The Pause Before Yes

    by Debie Thomas
    ("At this stage in my faith journey, nothing about Mary feels straightforward or easy. Despite my familiarity with her story, the mother of Jesus strikes me as a woman shrouded in mystery, a woman whose 'yes' raises as many questions as it answers. Part of the problem is that we've buried her under so many layers of theology, piety, and politics, she's nearly impossible to excavate...")
  • Let It Be

    by Keith Wagner
    "Gladyce, a widow, attended church faithfully every Sunday. She would get there about 20 minutes early to sit and pray. This was her ritual. She had been doing this for years. Then one Sunday a new family sat behind her. This was disturbing. She thought to herself, 'Oh, well, they're visitors and they may not be back next week anyway.' She thought she could put up with the small feet kicking at her back and the toy cars being driven on the top of her pew and loud whispers for lifesavers and trips to the bathroom that interrupted her prayer for one Sunday..." and other illustration

Illustrated Resources from 2011 to 2013

[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.]
  • From Despair to Joy

    by Phil Bloom
    ("About sixteen years ago a priest received a very unusual request: A young woman asked him if he would help her get rid of her unborn child. The priest was obviously surprised, but he tried not to react negatively...")
  • And It Was Sufficient

    by Kyle Childress
    ("An old rabbinical story says that when there was a crisis in the life of God's people, the great rabbi, Baal Shem Tov, would go to a particular place in the forest, build a great fire, say a particular prayer, cry to God for salvation, and the story says, 'It was sufficient. for God saw the fire in the place, heard the prayer and heard the cry, and God saved his people.'...")
  • Spirit-Shadowed

    by Kathy Donley
    The story is told that one day in heaven Jesus approached Peter who was sitting at the pearly gates in his usual role as admissions officer. Jesus complained about the quality of people Peter was admitting into heaven, noting how many of them were of significantly questionable reputation. Peter responded, "I know Lord. But what am I to do? They come to me here and I turn them away. So they go around to the backdoor, talk to your mother, and she lets them in."...
  • Advent 4B (2011)

    by Gregory Fryer
    "My dear old pastor Raymond Shaheen, of blessed memory, once mentioned that the older he got, the more affection he had for Mary, the Mother of Our Lord. I think many of us could say the same thing, for we admire that "handmaid of the Lord." Her faith seems more innocent and steadier than ours. I wish my faith were more like hers..."
  • Nothing Is Too Wonderful with God

    by Ron Hansen
    ("In the musical comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, David Yazbek composed a lovely waltz of a ballad with the lyrics: 'Look at the way the moon behaves. Look at the way she paints A silver ribbon on the waves. One thing I've learned and I'll share with you – Nothing is too wonderful to be true...")
  • Discipleship as Dwelling

    by Terrance Klein
    ("As celebrity memoirs go, Diane Keaton's Then Again is unique for three reasons. It's reflective; it was actually written by her; and it gives voice to, not one but, two women, Diane and her mother Dorothy. Keaton explains how it is that we hear two voices in her biography. While Diane was appearing on Broadway in the musical Hair, Mom switched from letters to journals. It was 1969...")
  • Feet Must Be Shod

    by Terrance Klein
    ("Last month, on a cold November night in Times Square, Police Officer Lawrence DePrimo, who had been assigned there as part of a counter terrorism unit, noticed an old man. He was clearly homeless and even more obviously barefoot. Officer DePrimo asked the man his shoe size. He then went into a nearby Skechers Shoe Store and bought the man a pair of all-weather boots...")
  • Harry's Scar, Mary's Mark

    by Terrance Klein
    ("Mentioning Harry Potter inflames those who worry that the great danger threatening our youth today is a temptation to practice witchcraft, but J. K. Rowling found something archetypal in Harry's scar. It suggests something that most of us, and our ancestors, believe instinctively: what happens to us in this life is part of a larger struggle...")
  • The Annunciation and You

    by James Martin
    ("Peter-Hans Kolvenbach was reminded of the story of a very holy abbot who used to speak frequently to his monks of finding God, searching for God and encountering God. One day one of the monks asked if he had ever encountered God himself. After a bit of embarrassed silence, the abbot admitted that he had never had a vision or a direct experience of God...")
  • Open to God's Love Growing in Us

    by Paul Nuechterlein
    I’m reading a book right now by Leymah Gbowee,1 the recipient of last year’s Nobel Peace Prize. She is from that backwater place that our sons [names] are from, Liberia, Africa. It was a place torn apart and destroyed by human beings passing on the hurt to one another in a fourteen year civil war. Leymah herself was almost destroyed by it. The war broke out when she was seventeen. She had just graduated with a good high school education and was looking forward to being a doctor at the university. But the outbreak of the war changed all that, causing her to live in survival mode. So nine years later she found herself trapped in a relationship with an abusive man with four young children. It was several angels who came to her at that time in acts of love that helped her begin to turn things around. Bottom for her came with the birth of her fourth child. The hospital wouldn’t let her leave without paying, and the father of her children had basically abandoned her. But a kind doctor paid her bill, and that act of kindness was the first angel that helped get her back on her feet. She went back to her parent’s home, and it was her mother’s unconditional love that gave her the boost she needed to start getting back her life. She enrolled in a social work program and began working for the Lutheran World Federation relief programs in Liberia. It was a time of relative peace, but the war began to revive with new rebel forces vying to oust the last rebel, Charles Taylor. So five years after beginning to get her life back this ordinary woman received a visit from an angel who called her to play an instrumental role for peace coming back into Liberia. She had a dream. She didn’t know where she was; everything was dark. She couldn’t even see a face, but she heard a voice talking to her, commanding her: “Gather the women to pray for peace.”...
  • An Awful and Wondrous Yes (Luke)

    Image for Worship by Jan Richardson
  • Virgin Birth

    by Ron Rolheiser, OMI
    ("Thirty years ago, trying to express this, I wrote poem entitled, . 'The perennial paradox, peculiar to this Father and Son Specialists in confounding human wisdom withdrawn from wonder. A virgin gives birth, not to sterility, but to a Messiah...")
  • The Unwanted Christmas Gift: The Gift that Keeps on Giving

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    ("Survivor is a reality tv game show that has proven to be one of the most successful franchises in television history. Starting in 1992 as the brainchild of a British tv producer, Survivor has spread throughout the world to play in over 50 countries as diverse as Chile and China. If you've watched CBS' Survivor with its $1,000,000 prize, you notice how quickly the sixteen to twenty strangers separate out into two groups,..")

Illustrated Resources from 2008 to 2010

[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.]
  • It's Not About Mary

    by Fred Anderson
    ("The story is told that one day in heaven Jesus approached Peter who, acting in his roll as admissions officer, was sitting at the pearly gates. Jesus complained about the quality of people Peter was admitting into heaven, noting how many of them were of significantly questionable reputation...")
  • *Epiphany Rap

    by Christina Berry
    ("Three magi looked up and saw a big ol' star They followed its light and they went pretty far 'I want to see that baby,' the king there said But the wise men knew the king wanted Jesus dead!...")
  • Under Her Motherly Care

    by Phil Bloom
    ("One night Dominic was praying alone in the chapel of his monastery. He saw the heavens open with Christ in the center and the Blessed Virgin Mary next to him. As St. Dominic looked around, he began to weep bitterly. The Lord asked him why he was so sad...")
  • Touched by an Angel

    by C. Edward Bowen
    ("One night a huge tanker ship was out in the Atlantic Ocean, making its way north along the coastline. All of a sudden, though, the ship's mate noticed a dim light dead ahead, and so he assumed that another ship was in their path...")
  • Who Wants to Be Mary?

    by Christian Coon
    ("'Who wants to be Mary?' Our music director asked a group of seven-, eight- and nine-year-old girls this question a couple weeks ago, as children from the church gathered for their first Christmas pageant rehearsal. A handful of would-be Marys eagerly raised their hands...")
  • Advent 4B (2008)

    by Ann Fontaine
    ["Blue homespun and the bend of my breast keep warm this small hot naked star fallen to my arms. (Rest …you who have had so far to come.)..."]
  • Advent 4B (2008)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time there were two kids who were fed up with Christmas. They began an anti-Christmas campaign among their friends. 'Look, they said, everyone is tense and worn out, moms are tired from cooking, dads from putting up trees and decorations, kids from wrapping presents...")
  • The Possible Impossible

    by Dwight Gunter
    "I sat in my office that day leaning back in my chair and staring at the ceiling of an old, old building, trying to see through it into the very throne room of God. I was desperate. How could a church that only raised $22,695 for the year buy land, relocate, build a building, and expand ministry? Impossible! No way! Won't happen!..."
  • A Startling Announcement to a Girl from Nazareth

    by Ron Hansen
    (includes several references)
  • Advent 4B (2014)

    by Scott Hoezee
    ("When children are small and are just learning how to eat from a spoon, parents involuntarily open their mouths even as the baby opens his or her mouth. It's quite comical to see....")
  • Birthing a Promise

    by Kate Matthews
    (includes several quotes)
  • Getting the Message

    by Jan Richardson
    ("In many medieval and Renaissance depictions of the Annunciation—that moment when the archangel Gabriel comes to Mary to ask her to become the mother of Jesus—Mary is depicted reading...")
  • Freedom of Choice

    by Amy Richter
    ("Of today's gospel lesson, Frederick Buechner, in his book Peculiar Treaures, wrote: "She struck the angel Gabriel as hardly old enough to have a child at all, let alone this child, but he'd been entrusted with a message to give her and he gave it...")
  • Searching for Bethlehem in the Soul

    by Ron Rolheiser, OMI
    ("Nearly twenty years ago, the renowned educator, Allan Bloom, wrote a very provocative book entitled The Closing of the American Mind. As its title suggests, this isn't a book that flatters contemporary culture. Part of our mind is darkening, he suggests...")
  • *Advent 4B (2008)

    by David Shea
    ("If she was going to be a girl, we wanted to call her Jennifer. And from the first moment we set eyes upon her, we knew that life would never be the same again. We had this vision that she'd frolic like a dancer wherever she went; she'd chase after raindrops during a summer shower trying to catch them in the palms of her hands...")
  • Out of the Box Gifts

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    ("Three days before the first big winter storm hit, the phone rang. It was "Odie", the local plumber, volunteering to come over and do some work. He offered to drain out the hot water tanks and outside pipes ahead of the blast of arctic air headed our way. "Odie" wasn't trying to drum up any business for himself...")
  • Let Go, Let God

    by Keith Wagner
    ("One time a young mother, who was also a family physician, was on her way to pick up her daughter from daycare. She was late because a patient at the office needed additional attention. She was in a hurry and on her way she got stuck behind a slow-moving truck. The daycare did not tolerate parental tardiness...")
  • Illustrations (Advent 1C)

    by Timothy Zingale
  • Advent - Hope

    by Timothy Zingale
    ("In late 18th century Poland, the Kaiser's forces were burning all the Jewish villages. One village had been burned and nothing was left standing. As the sun came up the next morning an old Jewish gentlemen pounded a few boards together, made a sellers stall and opened it up for business...")
  • Whose Baby Is This?

    by Tim Zingale
    ("There was a man who didn't wan to go to Christmas Eve services with his wife. He had decided not to go because he couldn't believe the whole jest of the gospel story. It just didn't make much sense to him. As he settled into his comfortable chair, and picked up the evening newspaper, he noticed that it was beginning to snow...)

Illustrated Resources from the Archives

[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.]
  • Fear Not

    by Joanna Adams
    (includes several quotes)
  • Possible Impossibilities

    by Robert Allred
    ("Last year, The Associated Press broke the news that the most famous atheist in the academic world over the last half-century, Professor Antony Flew of England's University of Reading, now accepts the existence of God...")
  • How Can This Be?

    by Craig Barnes
    ("Luke tells us that the angel Gabriel came to a virgin named Mary and said to her, 'Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.' But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Mary was just an ordinary young Jewish woman with ordinary dreams like getting married to the carpenter Joseph...")
  • The New Eve

    by Phil Bloom
    ("If you saw The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, you know that it is about some children from our world who enter a parallel world called Narnia. The creatures of Narnia don’t quite know what to make of the children so they try to find out what they are...")
  • Comments, Illustration Ideas, Etc. (Advent 2B)(2005)

    from the Center for Excellence in Preaching
    ("Mary was just an ordinary young Jewish woman with ordinary dreams like getting married to the carpenter Joseph. When you feel ordinary, you don't expect to one day be talking to the angel Gabriel, especially if he is telling you that God is about to do you a favor. At first she was perplexed by his announcement...")
  • Mary, the Lord's Servant: Availability

    by Daniel Clendenin
    ("John Donne plumbs the depths of this profound mystery, as only poetry might, in his sonnet Annunciation: Salvation to all that will is nigh; That All, which always is all everywhere...")
  • The Annunciation

    Painting by John Collier
  • *There IS Something About Mary

    by Tom Cox
    ("In Aesop's fable The Lioness the animals in the forest discuss who can produce the largest litter. They thought that greatness lay in quantity not quality. The lioness was eventually asked how many cubs she bore at a time...")
  • And the Greatest of These Is Hope

    by Joan Delaplane
    ("Scott Hahn in his book A Father Who Keeps His Promises, tells how on December 7, 1998, in Northwest Armenia, 25,000 people died in an earthquake. A distressed father ran frantically through the streets to the school where his son was...")
  • *Perplexing Promises

    by Rob Elder
    ("Madeleine L'Engle once wrote a prayer in contemplation of Mary's response: March 25th, the Annunciation To the impossible: Yes Enter and penetrate, O Spirit, Come and bless This hour. The star is late...")
  • Giving Birth to Love

    by Beth Ann Estock
    "A while ago I listened to an interview on the radio of a poet and playwright in New York City who had undergone a kidney transplant. What is unique about this story is that even though he had to get dialysis for a year before receiving his transplant he never asked anyone to donate a kidney to him..."
  • Mothers of Christ

    by Ernest Munachi Ezeogu, CSSP
    ("Some nursery school kids were preparing a Christmas play. Little Cynthia did not like the part she was assigned to play. She wanted to change parts with her friend Monica. When the teacher asked her why, she answered, 'Because it is easier to be an angel than to be the mother of Christ.'...")
  • Beyond the Manger

    by Richard Fairchild
    "On Sunday afternoon, June 1st 1975, Darrel Dore was on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Suddenly it wobbled, tipped to one side, and crashed into the sea. Darrell was trapped inside a room on the rig..."
  • How Can This Be?

    by Richard Fairchild
    "According to a report, FBI agents conducted a raid of a psychiatric hospital in San Diego that was under investigation for medical insurance fraud. After hours of reviewing thousands of medical records, the dozens of agents had worked up quite an appetite..."
  • *Open Your Heart's Door: Is There Anybody There?

    by Justin Fisher
    ("Ever seen a Where’s Waldo book? This year marks the fifteenth anniversary of the very first Where’s Waldo book rolling off the press. Waldo books are not books you read. There are no words in Waldo books. They are to be searched. Waldo books are picture books...")
  • Blessed Is She Who Believed

    by Jill Friebel
    Sometime after the family had come and removed the body the on duty nurse was passing the empty bed when she noticed some rags on the concrete floor beside the bed. As she picked them up she realized they had left the baby behind. The bundle seemed lifeless just like her mother, but as she held her she became aware that this 10-day-old baby was still alive. Had she been forgotten in the grief of the moment, or did they think she was dead too or did they not want the child of a dead wife…. Jeannie wondered what she was going to do with her? She was only just alive so she decided to take her to the mid department of the hospital and at least see if she could be placed in a humidicrib to die more comfortably. Life and death in this country of Niger were ever present and one could not hide from that reality or stop to bemoan the situation or even ask why. There was always the clamouring of those still alive that needed all ones energy and focus. The mid staff cared for her and Zouera pulled through and over the next few months grew stronger, and bigger and became much loved by all the staff. At the same time there was a search going on for the family because she couldn’t stay in the hospital. By the time she was 3 months old she was a healthy well nourished and delightful baby and finally there had been success in locating her father...
  • Advent 4B (2004)

    by Grant Gallup
    ("In Studs Terkel's American Dreams Lost and Found, there is the recurring wish, in the testimony of so many of the people interviewed, for 'a house of their own'. The American dream was that every American should have a home of their own...")
  • Mary's Child

    by Vince Gerhardy
    ("During the darkest hours of World War II in England, a gloom swept over the nation as the Luftwaffa dropped tons and tons of bombs on London. There was a legitimate fear felt for the safety of the King, George VI, and his family. His staff, therefore, made secret arrangements to transport the king and his family to safety in Canada, for the duration of the war...")
  • Visited

    by Vince Gerhardy
    ("Once upon a time a very young angel was being shown round the splendours and glories of the universes by a senior and experienced angel. To tell the truth, the little angel was beginning to be tired and a little bored. He had been shown whirling galaxies and blazing suns, infinite distances in the deathly cold of inter-stellar space, and to his mind there seemed to be an awful lot of it all...")
  • Born of a What??

    by Bruce Goettsche
    (includes extensive discussion of virgin birth)
  • Christmas Surprises

    by Bruce Goettsche
    ("Late one evening a professor sat at his desk working on the next day's lectures. He shuffled through the papers and mail placed there by his housekeeper. He began to throw them in the wastebasket when one magazine - not even addressed to him but delivered to his office by mistake - caught his attention...")
  • Listening for the Master's Voice

    by Bruce Goettsche
    ("Schia begged her mommy and daddy to let her stay alone for a little while with her new baby brother. Her parents at first refused--young children are not known for treating new siblings gently--but after a time, they saw that Schia didn't seem jealous or impatient with the baby...")
  • Trying To Enjoy the Season

    by Bruce Goettsche
    ("In her book Celebrate with Joy: Transform Your Christmas Season, Sondra Burnett uses a pint jar, seven walnuts, and a cup of shelled sunflower seeds to illustrate why the Christmas you've always longed for doesn't happen for most of us...")
  • Advent 4B (2005)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time there was a woman who hated children. She had been raised in a large family where there were constant fights between the parents, between parents and children, and among the children. She did not want to be any part of a family like that ever again in her life...")
  • Advent 4B (2002)

    by Roger Haugen
    ("There was a woman who suffered terrible abuse as a child. Every year she is invited to her local high school, the high school from which she graduated, to speak to the health classes about her experiences...")
  • *Be Born In Us Today

    by Mark Haverland
    ("Meister Eckhart, a medieval mystic and theologian, said it best: 'What good is it to me,' he said, 'if this eternal birth of the divine Son takes place unceasingly but does not take place within me?...")
  • Good News???

    by Beth Johnston
    "A tourist came close to the edge of the Grand Canyon, lost his footing and plunged over the side, clawing and clutching to save himself. After he went out of sight and just before he fell into space he encountered a bush which he held onto for dear life. Filled with terror he called out toward heaven, 'Is there anybody up there?..."
  • The Topsy-Turvy Story of Jesus

    by Beth Johnston
    ("A family had company over for dinner one evening. Before they began the meal the mother asked her young daughter to say grace. 'Oh, Mom, I don't know what to say,' the youngster replied...")
  • *Surprising Gifts

    by Linda Kraft
    ("Several years ago one could not make it through the pre-Christmas season without hearing at least once O Henry's touching story called The Gift or some people call it the Gift of the Magi. You'll remember it's about a young newly-wed couple who are living in extreme poverty...")
  • How Great It Is to Be So Small

    by Ben Manning
    ("The Associated Press carried a story about a disturbance that broke out at the 'Cutest Kid in the World' pageant. That's where all our children belong, isn't it? The 'Cutest Kid in the World' pageant. It seems that, due to technical difficulties, the pageant ran some four hours behind schedule on its first day...")
  • Characters in the Nativity: Mary

    by John Manzo
    ("A little boy came home from Sunday School class one day and his mom asked him what they had learned, and he told his mother that they learned about the Israelites escape from Egypt. She asked her son what the Sunday School teacher had told them...")
  • *Christmas Memories

    by Jim McCrea
    ("I read a very interesting explanation of the way modern scientists are coming to understand the creation of the universe. For some time, cosmologists - scientists who study the cosmos, that is, all of material existence - have believed that all matter was once contained in a single sphere of incredible size and density...")
  • *Favor With God

    by Jim McCrea
    ("David Klutterman writes, 'Mary and Joseph made a loving home for Jesus. Will we? Will we invite the person of Jesus into our lives? Will we care for that presence, listen to him crying, love him as our brother?..." and other illustrations)
  • Open Paths

    by Kathleen Norris
    ("Denise Levertov begins her poem Annunciation with a line from the Agathistos hymn, 'Hail, space for the uncontained god,' reminding us of the great mystery that is enacted in Mary. But Levertov disconcertingly puts us in sharp contrast with the young woman of scripture...")
  • Now What Do I Do?

    by John Pavelko
    ("The bell rang for the Council of Elrond to begin. Representatives from all the races were summoned by the High Elf to attend. Glorfindel and Erestor from Elrond's household, Glador from the Gray Havens, and Legolas offered the wisdom of the elves...")
  • Through the Lens of the Magnificat

    by Katherine Pershey
    "Last week, Bill shared during our time of joys and concerns that four members of the Christian Peacemakers Team were abducted in Iraq. The Peacemakers are in Iraq because they believe that the mandate to proclaim the Gospel of repentance, salvation and reconciliation includes a strengthened Biblical peace witness..."
  • *Letting God In

    by Michael Phillips
    ("A wise man and his disciples took up residence in a town. Soon thereafter, a wicked person began to circulate false stories about them. This made it very difficult for the wise man and his disciples to earn a living or to teach, as others soon joined the fray and began to heap on abuse after abuse..." and another illustration and quote)
  • *Wallace Purling

    by Michael Phillips
    ("Wallace Purling was nine years old and only in second grade. Most people in town knew he had difficulty keeping up. He was big and clumsy - slow in movement and mind. Still, Wally was well liked by the other children in his class, though the boys had trouble hiding their irritation when Wally asked to play ball with them...")
  • The Love That Is Christmas

    by Gerry Pierse, C.Ss.R
    ("Teddy was wealthy, handsome and unhappy. He could afford to buy whatever he wanted - including women to sleep with. He could put on his act and charm the gals, he drank everything from tuba to whiskey and smoked everything from cigarettes to pot. But deep inside he was empty. Then he met Heriot...")
  • *Waiting for the Impossible

    by Patricia Raube-Wilson
    (review of the Mary's female ancestors)
  • Have I God News for You!

    by William Self
    ("Ernest Gordon, theologian and preacher, later to become chaplain at Yale, wrote a book called Through the River of the Kwai, which told another side of the story of degradation and desolation experienced by those impoverished prisoners. This book tells how those in the camp interacted with one another..." and other illustrations)
  • Mary, Servant of the Lord

    by Byron Shafer
    ("There's an old legend in Christianity that suggests this: Mary was not the first fourteen-year-old to whom the angel Gabriel had come, presenting God's offer of quite a unique pregnancy prior to her marriage. No, Mary was not the first fourteen-year-old to be approached by Gabriel...")
  • Do You Believe in Angels?

    by Martin Singley
    "Disciples of Christ pastor Lea Slaton tells the story of her parishioner Cathy who died after a heroic struggle with cancer. Cathy’s obituary partly describes her this way: 'Cathy loved to travel and to share new experiences with her many friends and family. She traveled extensively throughout the U.S. and the Caribbean..."
  • How Can You Recognize An Angel?

    by Martin Singley
    ("We all know about George. The unsung, beloved hero of Bedford Falls. As a child, George was selfless, once even risking his own life to save his brother from drowning. Losing his hearing in one ear as a result of that selfless act..." and other illustrations)
  • May It Be to Me...

    by Martin Singley
    "Bob Puckett is reading Matthew Fox’s controversial book Original Blessing. Before it was published in 1983, Fox was a Dominican priest. After it was published, he wasn’t a Dominican priest anymore! Why? Because Fox challenged the Church’s teaching on original sin, demonstrating among other things, that such a doctrine did not exist in the Church until 400 years after the life of Jesus..."
  • *Born of the Virgin Mary

    Humor from Source Unknown
    ("A priest of my acquaintance had decided that printed service booklets were much more "user friendly" than juggling prayer books and hymnals, for the numerous wedding attendees not familiar with the liturgy. Ever one to be efficient, he refined this process with every new wedding he performed...")
  • Unexpected Invitation

    by John Standiford
    ("In C. S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, Lucy is called by her curiosity into the wardrobe and then into Narnia. Later after Edmund had been in Narnia, but denied it and made Lucy appear to be a liar; the children talk to the professor. He gives credence to Lucy’s idea that there may be a different world and another time frame..." and another illustration)
  • Christmas, The Perfect Gift

    by Billy D. Strayhorn
    ("But the truth is that 'Impossible' is not in God's vocabulary. A teacher asked her class what each wanted to be when they grew up. She got all the usual answers: 'President,' 'a fireman,' 'a teacher'. One by one they answered until it she came to little Billy...")
  • The Gift of Purpose

    by Billy D. Strayhorn
    ("George Mason's life centered on his business. He lived alone, and on this particular Christmas refused all invitations. On Christmas Eve, after his employees left, he went into the office vault to get a little extra cash. Soundlessly, on the newly oiled hinges, the great door swung shut behind him..." and other illustrations)
  • How Can This Be?

    by Billy D. Strayhorn
    ("In the Philippines, in Manila, tens of thousands of people make their homes on the city garbage dump. They live in shanties constructed of things others have thrown away. They scavenge the garbage for their food. Many of them are born, live, and die without ever leaving this massive garbage dump...")
  • Lovely Lady

    by Phyllis Tickle
    ("I have one son-in-law whose own mother died not too many months ago. As one would expect, he and our daughter made two or three trips back to his home after that death, and they did with sorrow and peace all the things that human passing requires of those of us who love and have been loved. Several weeks after that most painful week of rending and leave-taking, our daughter came into my office one day and laid on my desk a piece of paper...")
  • What Kind of Name Is That?

    by Mark Trotter
    ("I heard a wonderful story about Joseph Haroutunian, who was a Presbyterian theologian at McCormick Seminary in Chicago for many years. He was an Armenian immigrant to this country. When he arrived people sometimes told him that he ought to change his name to an English sounding name..." and another illustration)
  • Just Let It Be

    by Keith Wagner
    ("Mary resolved that the word given to her from Gabriel was good enough. She said, 'Let it be'. No matter what era we grew up in we have all been impacted by the music of that era. For us Baby Boomers it was the Beatles. One of their greatest hits was the song, Let it Be...")
  • Letting God Be God

    by Keith Wagner
    ("Beverly Bartlett tells about the time she was Christmas shopping in San Francisco. She was in the midst of the crowds waiting impatiently for slow-moving buses and streetcars. Everyone was loaded with packages and she was having second thoughts as to whether or not all her relatives really deserved so many gifts. She finally found a streetcar but there were no seats..." and another ilustration)
  • Advent 4B (2005)

    by Todd Weir
    ("As Barbara Brown Taylor puts it, all this talk about the Virgin Birth limits our understanding of Mary role and importance. Taylor says, 'Mary is the perpetual virgin. How absurd. The Holy Spirit enters Mary, apparently through her ear, Jesus is born without any screams of agony, utters not a cry, wails not a tear...")
  • The Real Way to Take Back Christmas?

    by Todd Weir
    ("But today I became a downright prickly cactus over an article in the New York Times about mega-churches deciding not to hold services on Sunday, December 25 because they are sparsely attended...")
  • The Call of Mary

    by O'Kelley Whitaker
    ("A dear colleague, now departed, closed an Advent poem with these words: in this time of darkness, surprising moments of light [appear]. As if from out of nowhere, we are startled. Jennifer says, 'I'm coming to your house'. Grandpa's heart skips a beat...")
  • The Lord Is with You

    by William Willimon
    ("One of my most favorite stories of call was the student who wrote that during his teenage years, 'I was the teenager from hell'. He made his parents’ lives utterly miserable. He was so irresponsible in college that he flunked out and spent a couple of years working. While working, he met a woman and married...")
  • The Faithful Hand Maiden?

    by Tim Zingale
    ("Eugene Burdicks wrote a book entitled The 480 which is the story of a young American engineer named Thatch. He was assigned to India for 4 years to help construct a bridge across the river that separated India from Pakistan. The 2 countries were always on the edge or war..." and another illustration)

Other Resources from 2020

Other Resources from 2017 to 2019

[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.]

Other Resources from 2014 to 2016

[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.]

Other Resources from 2011 to 2013

[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.]

Other Resources from 2008 to 2010

[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.]

Other Resources from 2005 to 2007

[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.]

Other Resources from 2002 to 2004

[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.]

Other Resources from 1999 to 2001

[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.]

Other Resources from the Archives

[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.]

Children's Resources and Dramas

The Classics

Recursos en Español

Currently Unavailable

  • The Possible Impossible

    by Dwight Gunter
    ("I sat in my office that day leaning back in my chair and staring at the ceiling of an old, old building, trying to see through it into the very throne room of God. I was desperate. How could a church that only raised $22,695 for the year buy land, relocate, build a building, and expand ministry? Impossible! No way! Won't happen!...")
  • El Dios Sorprendente

    por Carmen Gray
  • Mary's Practice

    by Anne Howard
  • Advent 4

    by Kate Huey
    ("I was driving around in my car this week, listening to NPR and thinking about this sermon, when I heard a most extraordinary interview of three women who had written a book together. One of the women is Jewish, one is Muslim, and one is Christian. After September 11, the Muslim woman, Ranya, was struggling with questions about her faith and her identity as a Palestinian American...")
  • The Virgin Mary

    by St. Iranaeus
  • The Dynamic Duo

    (Poetic Homily by Michael Kennedy)
  • An Attitude of Discipleship: Trusting

    by John and Robin McCullough-Bade
  • Commentario

    por J. Manny Santiago
  • Children's Literature

    from Union Presbyterian Seminary
  • Ayudas Sermonarias para Adviento 4

    por Julio R. Vargas-Vidal
  • Advent 4

    by Martin Warner
    ("There is something fascinating and unnerving about such intimacy in the midst of disturbingly momentous events. It reminds me of the way in which Alfred Hitchcock leads us unsuspectingly into scenes that terrify because of their association with safe, normal life...")
  • Templed in Flesh

    by Carlos Wilton
    ("The people of the largest of the Orkney Islands, the one called Mainland, had long known about an earthen mound that sat on its west coast, not far from the beach. Anyone who took a moment to compare it to the countryside round about would have figured out that human beings had a hand in its construction. Yet, it was not until the year 1850, when a fierce winter storm attacked the coast and stripped the top off that earthen mound, that the Orcadian people learned what lay beneath it...")
  • *Response and Gift

    by John R. Donohue
  • Coloring Page (Advent 4B)

    from Catholic Mom
  • One Person Can Make a Difference

    by Dennis Sepper
    ("Every Saturday or Sunday Robby Elmers loads up the family minivan. Since he is only 12 years old, Robby cannot drive so his grandmother does the honors. They drive from their small city outside of Detroit to the center core of Motown. Once there Robby sets up a table filled with hot dogs, potato salad and other treats and begins to serve the homeless of Detroit...")
  • God Came for Justice

    from Faith Element
  • A Place for God

    by David Martyn
  • *Adviento 4B

    por Álvaro Michelin Salomón
  • Advent 4

    by Garth Wehrfritz-Hanson
    ("One grim winter day in 1754, Horace Walpole was reading a Persian fairy tale called The Three Princes of Serendip. The story touched him, and writing to his friend Horace Mann, he told of the thrilling approach to life he had discovered from the tale...")