Luke 10: 25-37

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!!]
  • Love of Others

    Illustrations from the Archives
  • Illegal Immigrant Is Boy's Guardian Angel

    from the Associated Press
    ("A 9-year-old boy looking for help after his mother crashed their van in the southern Arizona desert was rescued by a man entering the U.S. illegally, who stayed with him until help arrived the next day, an official said...")
  • A Neighbor Is One Who Nurtures the Wounded Enemy

    by D. Mark Davis
    (Includes lots of Greek exegesis!!)
  • Good Samaritan Left for Dead on a City Sidewalk

    by Linsey Davis, Michael Milberger and Kate Santichen
    ("Why did passersby leave a Good Samaritan bleeding to death on a New York sidewalk last week, with one even pausing to snap a photo of the dying man who had been stabbed after thwarting a mugging? A psychologist believes there could be several reasons why people didn't offer to help Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax, 31 -- whose fate was captured on a grainy surveillance video...")
  • The Good Samaritan

    by Jerry Fuller, OMI
    ("Engelmar Unzeitig was born in a German district of Czechoslovakia in 1911. As a boy, he dreamed of becoming a missionary priest--to travel to foreign lands, to dedicate his life to the conversion of pagans and perhaps to offer his life for the salvation of souls. Ordained on August 15, 1939, he was arrested within two years by the Gestapo and sent to Dachau charged with making insidious expressions and defending the Jews in his sermons..." and other illustrations)
  • Groundhog Day

    Illustration Summary by Sil Galvan
    "In the movie Groundhog Day, Bill Murray encounters a homeless man on his 'deja vu' journey through the same day over and over again. At first he avoids him like the plague. Then, on one of his reruns of the day as he is becoming more compassionate, he pulls out a wad of bills and flips through it, trying to decide on how much he should give him..."
  • Have I Told You Yet Today That I Love You?

    by Sil Galvan
    When my father spoke to me, he always began the conversation with "Have I told you yet today how much I love you?" The expression of love was reciprocated and, in his later years, as his life began to visibly ebb, we grew even closer...if that were possible. At 82 he was ready to die, and I was ready to let him go so that his suffering would end. We laughed and cried and held hands and told each other of our love and agreed that it was time. I said, "Dad, after you've gone I want a sign from you that you're fine." He laughed at the absurdity of that; Dad didn't believe in reincarnation. I wasn't positive I did either, but I had had many experiences that convinced me I could get some signal "from the other side".
  • The Time Is Now

    by Nancy Johnson
    Miguel De La Torre writes of a trip he and other church members took in the desert near the Mexican border. They were bringing lifesaving supplies of water and food for people attempting to cross the border. Migrants are usually fearful and hide, afraid of border patrols or of vigilante groups. So the church members will call out in Spanish, “We have food and water. We have medicine. We are with the church. Do not be afraid.” On this occasion, one of the church groups on patrol saw migrants running away. The group was not very fluent in Spanish and their words were misunderstood. Suddenly the migrants stopped running, came back to the church group. And they said, “We don’t have much food or water, but what we do have, we’ll share with you.” The migrants had misheard the announcement of assistance as a cry for help. Yet, they were willing to share from their own meager resources, with those who had much. De La Torre writes, “We went into the desert to be like the Good Samaritan only to be humbled when we actually came across Jesús.”
  • Of Saints and Good Samaritans

    by Terrance Klein
    ("The Good Samaritan loves others because they are human, not because they deserve love or can return love. Our popes have loved the poor, but the Petrine Office isn't much of an illustration of how to do that in our own lives. The Good Samaritan to imitate is Dorothy Day, the cofounder of the Catholic Worker Movement...")
  • Proper 11C

    by Bill Loader
  • 50 Years On, 'Mockingbird' Still Sings America's Song

    by Lynn Neary
    consider Boo Radley as the Good Samaritan
  • The Neighborhood

    by David Russell
    ("Samuel Wells, a pastor in England, vicar of St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London, went to visit a woman who had left the church many years ago and wanted to come back. As it turned out, this woman was in her 90's and had left the church as a teenager. She had decided to give the church a second chance and was finally coming back after all these years. The vicar tried to do the pastoral thing, asking what it was that had kept her away from church for so long..." and another illustration about Habitat for Humanity)
  • Exegetical Notes (Proper 10C)

    by Brian Stoffregen
    (always excellent exegesis)
  • A Neighbor Is One Who Nurtures the Wounded Enemy

    by D. Mark Davis
    (Includes lots of Greek exegesis!!)
  • Illustrations, Quotes and Lectionary Reflections (Ordinary 15C)

    by Various Authors
    (lots of good stuff here!!)
  • Hope for Tomorrow

    by Keith Wagner
    ("On the morning of May 26, 2006, Daniel Mazur, a mountain climber, was less than 1,000 feet from the summit of Mt. Everest. He abandoned his own climb to the top in order to save another climber, Australian, Lincoln Hall, who had been left for dead by his own team. Mazur's decision to aid the fallen climber meant that none of his group could press on..." and other illustrations)
  • A Yellow Stripe and A Dead Armadillo

    by Eugene Winkler
    ("Jim Hightower is fond of satirizing those of us who try to stay in the middle of the road concerning matters of politics, religion and morality. 'The only thing you find in the middle of the road,' he says, 'is a yellow stripe and a dead armadillo.'..." and other quotes and illustrations)

Illustrated Resources from 2019 to 2021

  • The Law of Love: How Compassion Can Change Your Life

    by Rian Adams
    A few decades ago, social scientists at Princeton did a test to see if students were compassionate. So, they chose seminarians as the test subjects. They gave the seminarians an assignment, go across campus to a lecture hall and preach an extemporaneous sermon. They gave the future priests the scripture text and the subject. Then they told them to hurry because they were already late. When the seminarians walked across campus, they faced a man in raggedy clothes bent over and coughing, as he fell to the ground and apparently passed out. The sick man was an actor. They wanted to know if the seminarians would stop to help him. Only 10% of the students stopped. 90% did not because they were too worried about God’s work to take time to help the man passed beside the sidewalk. I think it’s safe to say they met the rules, but they missed the Law of Love...
  • Getting to a Sweeter Layer

    by Jim Chern
    I’m not sure how many college’s and universities require it anymore, but one of the biggest pains in the neck in the whole application process was trying to write those personal statement essays. That’s where you had to try to describe yourself in a creative, succinct way that would catch the admissions officers attention. It was your opportunity to rattle off your achievements and successes and make your case why you should be able to attend whatever school it was you were applying to. For the life of me, I can’t tell you what it was I came up with. But over 30 years later, I can still remember my brother Craig’s essay. He saw a box of candy I had and used it as a metaphor for himself: Wonka’s Everlasting Gobstoppers. That’s the hard candy ball that, the more you suck on, it would change flavors and colors. So the candy starts out Orange flavor and then the next layer was grape and the layer after that was strawberry. So Craig very cleverly used that to describe himself… That there were many different layers to him and how it took time to get to the core of who he was and was most important. The admissions office at Boston College were impressed. Obviously it was memorable– just seeing that box of candy at the store – triggered this memory for me the other night. And stayed with me when I started looking at this scripture...
  • Love Verses the Law

    by Craig Condon
    We have a tendency to justify ourselves whenever we do wrong or fail to do what we know we should. For example, the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company received the following list of explanations for car accidents: “The pedestrian had no idea which way to go, so I ran over him.” “The other car collided with mine without warning me of its intention.” “I had been driving my car for 40 years when I fell asleep at the wheel and had the accident.” “As I reached an intersection, a hedge sprang up, obscuring my vision.” “I pulled away from the side of the road, glanced at my mother-in-law, and headed over the embankment.” “The telephone pole was approaching fast. I attempted to swerve out of its path when it struck my front end.” “The guy was all over the road. He had to swerve a number of times before I hit him.” “The indirect cause of this accident was a little guy in a small car with a big mouth.” “An invisible car came out of nowhere, struck my car, and vanished.”...
  • Sermon Starters (Proper 10C)(2019)

    by Scott Hoezee
    President Franklin Roosevelt spent a good deal of his life concealing the fact that polio had rendered his legs useless. FDR developed a battery of techniques to keep people from seeing him as physically helpless. He always wore dark pants cut long to conceal his leg braces–steel braces painted black so they’d blend in with his pants. Sometimes for a speech in a stadium the Secret Service would build a large ramp so that FDR’s entire car could drive up to the level of the lectern. For press conferences Roosevelt invited reporters into the Oval Office so FDR could remain casually seated at his stately desk. Above all Roosevelt perfected the illusion of walking. He would lock his steel braces at the knee and then, with a cane in one hand and his other hand holding onto the arm of a Secret Service agent, Roosevelt would swing his legs from side to side, propelling him forward. This was tremendously difficult work which typically resulted in FDR’s shirt and suit coat being soaked with sweat. Yet all the while FDR smiled, bantered casually, and gave that characteristic toss of his head as though he were just taking a casual stroll. Yet one day FDR compassionately did the exact opposite of hiding his disability...
  • The Samaritan: Where is God at Work in the World?

    by Janet Hunt
    Trying to hear this familiar parable in new ways this week, I spent some time with Amy-Jill Levine’s interpretation in her book, Short Stories by Jesus. I would recommend her treatment of the parable especially for her take on the ways in which for thousands of years it has suffered from inaccurate understandings which are rooted in antisemitism. Even more than that, she brings to it a point of view which perhaps only one deeply seeped in Jewish scholarship can bring. If nothing else, reading her perspective will surely slow you down enough that a new angle on this familiar parable might just emerge. In the end, though, I Dr. Levine puts forth an understanding of the parable which I have always carried. To be a neighbor is to show mercy. It is to act in love, not only to feel compassion for the suffering of another. And in the explosive-for-the-time example Jesus offers, this way of being comes alive through the actions of a Samaritan...
  • Imagining Donald J. Trump as the Good Samaritan

    by Dawn Hutchings
    Like all parables this didn’t actually happen but then again it is always happening. Last week on my way back from Chautauqua, let’s say somewhere near Buffalo, I was attacked by a band of thieves. They stole my car and left me lying by the side of the road. A bishop happened to be passing on her way to Toronto, she saw me lying there bruised and battered, but she had people waiting for her, meetings to attend, and she could not be late, after all she is a bishop and people are counting on her. So, she put her foot down on the accelerator and hurried past me. Later, a bunch of pastors who were car-pooling home from a spirituality retreat came tooling down the highway. They saw me lying by the side of the road and they considered stopping to lend a hand but they had congregations to return to, members to visit, and sermons to consider. So after much consideration the pastors decided to hurry past lest they be waylaid by my problems. Suddenly, travelling from the opposite direction came a sleek, decked out bus with the words “TRUMP Make America Great Again!” in bold letters along the side. Lo and behold it was the orange fellow himself, Donald J. Trump heading up to Buffalo to appear before a “huuuge crowd” of adoring fans...
  • What Will Happen to Him?

    by Ada Wong Ngata
    Today we hear a very familiar parable, the parable of the Good Samaritan. Many great preachers have preached on this story; one of these great preachers was the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The day before Dr. King was assassinated, he gave his last speech in Memphis, Tennessee. In this address, he talked about this parable. Towards the end, he reflected on why the priest and the Levite did not stop for the traveler. He imagined that those men were simply afraid. The road from Jerusalem to Jericho was indeed dangerous. Dr. King said, “And so the first question that the priest asked, the first question that the Levite asked was, ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ But then the Good Samaritan came by, and he reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?’”...
  • Surprised by Love

    by David Sellery
    My mother-in-law is one of my heroes. For thirty-six years she has been the principal caregiver for my brother-in-law John, who has quadriplegic cerebral palsy. That means thirty-six years of therapy and specialists, thirty-six years of lifting and shifting, thirty-six years of wiping butts and blowing noses, thirty-six years of bathing and shaving, thirty-six years of struggle and heartbreak … but most of all… thirty-six years of love. And that’s not just giving love. As she tells it, Good Samaritans spring up all the time from so many unexpected places. She is constantly surprised by love. There was the homeless man who stopped at the supermarket to lovingly engage John and then shows her his special technique for feeding bottles into the deposit machine. There was the car-wash worker dressed in rags, who dropped his bucket and ran to help lift John from his chair into her car. There was the double-amputee wounded warrior who swam with John and helped lift him from the pool. There are the teenage street kids, decked out in hip-hop finery, who interrupt trying to look cool to come over, smile and say hello. There are the scores and scores of African-American and Hispanic aides and assistants, working at minimum wage, who are so generous with their time, their care and their love. Over the years, my mother-in-law has developed a “Samaritan Theory.” She says that people who are struggling, are rejected, who are not respected, have an immediate empathy for someone they see as a kindred spirit. John’s vulnerability is a portal for their goodness...
  • Being Neighborly

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    As a campus pastor in Kalamazoo, Michigan, I served on a committee that supports the local Lutheran Social Services Ministry foster care program. One Thursday, we heard about a young girl who had run away from home at age fourteen. By the time we heard about her, she was sixteen, and LSSM was trying to get her some help by putting her into an independent care program. She'd lived on her own for two years, so it seemed too late to put her into a foster care family. She would receive money for living expenses and get life skills training from a case worker. Unfortunately, she wouldn't receive her first check until the end of the month, and she'd already moved into her apartment. She needed immediate help: pots and pans, soap, toilet paper, and food. The case worker wondered if we could help set her up. I offered to go to the food pantry at a local Lutheran church and get some groceries to tide her over. But when I got to the church on Friday, the food pantry was closed. Fortunately, the pastor was there, and he offered to help me load up a bunch of bags that I could take back to LSSM. I said, "Well, I don't know. We're both pretty busy writing sermons on the 'Good Samaritan.' Do you think we have time to help out a stranger?" God has a way of preparing pastors for their sermons - and a very good sense of humor! ...
  • Afflicting the Comfortable

    by Debie Thomas
    In her 2015 book, The Short Stories of Jesus, New Testament and Jewish Studies professor Amy-Jill Levine argues that religion is meant "to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable." She further suggests that we would do well to think of the parables of Jesus as doing this afflicting: “If we hear a parable and think, 'I really like that' or, worse, fail to take any challenge, we are not listening well enough." The difficulty for me (and I assume, for many Christians) is that Jesus's parables are so familiar and beloved, I don’t tend to read them as “afflictions.” I’ve heard these “short stories” a zillion times, I believe I know them inside out and backwards, and therein lies the great danger. They don’t challenge me. I read, I nod, and I walk away, unafflicted and unchanged...

Illustrated Resources from 2016 to 2018

  • Double Compassion

    by Phil Bloom
    Edith Stein was brought up in a pious Jewish household but as a teenager she abandoned her faith and became an atheist. An outstanding philosophy student, one evening she came across the Autobiography of St. Theresa of Avila. She spent all night absorbed in the book. When she reached the conclusion, she closed the book and said, "This is the truth." By converting to Catholicism in 1922 she rediscovered her Jewish faith and identity. In Holy Week of 1933, after Hitler had taken control of Germany, she spoke to Christ that "I know it was His Cross that was now being placed on the Jewish people."
  • Jesus Was a Migrant

    by Bob Cornwall
    Europe and the Middle East are dealing with major migration issues, largely due to refugees that have been forced from their homes due to the violence that has been visited on places like Iraq and Syria due to the nihilistic vision of ISIS. Many are Christian and other religious minorities, but many are Muslim. Volf and McAnnally-Linz note that in 2014 nearly 60 million people from across the globe lived as refugees. So how should we respond? What is the "Christian" response? Political answers are complicated -- and there is need to consider cultural and economic issues when determining how to respond. That said, we're not allowed to turn a blind eye to the needs of our neighbor.
  • Eternal Life in Neighborly Faithfulness

    by Rick Fry
    On one of my vacation weeks last winter, I went to a predominately African-American church on the East side of Madison one Sunday. I admit, I felt awkward and out of place as I walked through those doors. I felt vulnerable. But during the service, the pastor talked about how their church hosted a meeting with the Madison police after Tony Robinson, an unarmed African-American teenager who was killed by police in Madison last year. And the pastor talked about the many African-American mothers stood up to speak, and admitted that they were scared to death for their sons. They were afraid of their sons being killed at the hands of the police.
  • Sermon Prep and Lectionary Prayers (Proper 10C)

    by Michael Anthony Howard
    The great liberation theologian Dominican Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez once made the point that the heart of the parable is the question of who we identify as our neighbor. The neighbor, he argued, is a person who is not already close to us, but someone that we must leave our own context, our own lives, our own paths in order to encounter. The wounded person in this story, Gutierrez argues, is not someone who is close. We do not know whether the person is good, or kind, or godly. We only know that the person is in need.
  • The Samaritan: Where Is God at Work in the World?

    by Janet Hunt
    Amy-Jill Levine puts forth an understanding of the parable which I have always carried. To be a neighbor is to show mercy. It is to act in love, not only to feel compassion for the suffering of another. And in the explosive-for-the-time example Jesus offers, this way of being comes alive through the actions of a Samaritan. Now it is so that I am given opportunities to emulate the Samaritan most every day --- although it is also so that usually the circumstances of the neighbors I am asked to help do not appear to be as immediately life threatening as the one described before us now.
  • Imagining Donald J. Trump as the Good Samaritan – Reflecting on the Bruised and Battered Church

    by Dawn Hutchings
    Suddenly, travelling from the opposite direction came a sleek, decked out bus with the words “TRUMP Make America Great Again!” in bold letters along the side. Lo and behold it was the orange fellow himself, Donald J. Trump heading up to Buffalo to appear before a “huuuge crowd” of adoring fans. Without hesitating for a moment, the Donald appears with a first-aid kit and begins to dress my wounds. I recognized him right away, and wanted to crawl away and die, but the Donald just loads me into the back of his bus and off we go to the nearest casino, which he just happens to own. At the casino the Donald puts me up in a room fit for a queen and instructs the staff to take very good care of me.
  • Just BE a Neighbor!

    by Beth Johnston
    In November of 2005 an Israeli soldier shot and fatally wounded a 12 year old Palestinian boy who was waving a toy gun. Hit in the back of his head and in his pelvis he was rushed to hospital where he later died. This was not at all unusual in the conflict between Israeli soldiers and those in the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank. Sadly it was, and is, still all too common. What happened next WAS unusual and made the news. The grief stricken parents donated the boy’s organs for transplant - fully realizing that since their son took his last breath in an Israeli hospital that at least some, of the recipients would be Israelis. His mother, Abla said "To give away his organs was a different kind of resistance. Violence against violence is worthless. Maybe this will reach the ears of the whole world so they can distinguish between just and unjust. Maybe the Israelis will think of us differently. Maybe just one Israeli will decide not to shoot." Ten years on the father of that boy still endures the injustice of being a Palestinian trying to get to work, - actually just a short distance away as the crow flies, but which takes hours because of the now infamous “wall” and the many checkpoints...
  • The Communion of the Suffering

    by Terrance Klein
    In Orlando, Leyda and Mane Hernandez have struggled to come to terms with her son’s identity since he came out about 10 years ago. “I grew up in Puerto Rico, in the city of Ponce,” said Mane Hernandez, 52, “making fun of gay, gay, gay.” Their son, Enakai Hernandez, is a 27-year-old artist who had partied at Pulse for years. On the weekend of the attack, he was staying at his parent’s home in a gated community here, sick in bed. When he woke and the depth of the tragedy revealed itself, his mother took him in her arms as he cried. “Sabes que te quiero mucho?” she has told him over and over in recent days. “Que tú eres el amor de mi vida?” Her message: that she loved her son and considered him the love of her life.
  • There Are No Bystanders

    by David Lovelace
    Long ago a traveler was walking through the jungles of Burma when he came upon a small village. As the sun was going down, he decided to just sleep along the roadside and enter the village in the morning. Taking his coin purse from around his neck, he found a stone nearby and hid his purse so no one would take it as he slept. As it turned out, a villager had spotted him hiding the purse. Late at night as the traveler slept, the villager returned and stole the purse. When the traveler awoke, the money was gone. The traveler sat down beside the road and began to weep. A crowd began to gather curious about this traveler weeping on the edge of the village. Before long the mayor joined the crowd and inquired about the situation. He listened to the traveler and then asked to see the stone. The traveler walked a short distance to a round stone about the size of a man's head.
  • Sharing Our Toys

    by Jim McCrea
    Some years back, the Trenton Times ran an editorial that asked, “Does your use of money reflect the values to hold, the desires you have for the world, the kind of person you wish to become?” The writer then suggested this alternative to consider:
    “Let’s give our treasure to the spiritual priorities we affirm, knowing our heart will follow like a dog runs after a stick. This may be the time to hold possessions loosely, […] being generous toward others as God is generous. This, in fact, may be the best way if not the only way, to experience freedom from the fear of wondering if you have enough.
    “Investing in God’s economy allows us to look to money for what money can provide (a way to express our values) and to God for what God can provide ([that is] life, salvation and abundant life). Such economics is an exercise in imagination and a practice in priorities whose time has have come.”
  • The Good Samaritan

    Art and Faith by Lynn Miller
    Victorian painting is often dismissed as sentimental, and certainly there is sentiment here, but the painter has engaged the story in a way that still speaks to us and to the text. In this work it is not a traveller who is in need of care but a child. The child stands, but is held in a way that calls to mind Mary holding the Christ child on her lap or even the deposition of Jesus from the cross.
  • Exposing, And Working to Heal, the Sin of Racism

    by Paul Nuechterlein
    Let’s close on a word of hope that comes from a book that’s essential reading for problems we face: Michelle Alexander’s, The New Jim Crow. Notice how the dominant image in this quote is learning to see and respond in a way that leads to healing, the same image in today’s parable (where the priest and Levite see and pass by, while the Samaritan sees and responds with compassion): Seeing race is not the problem. Refusing to care for the people we see is the problem. …We should hope not for a colorblind society but instead for a world in which we can see each other fully, learn from each other, and do what we can to respond to each other with love. That was King’s dream — a society that is capable of seeing each of us, as we are, with love. That is a goal worth fighting for.”
  • When a Samaritan Helped a Jerk

    by Larry Patten
    What if the man left near death wasn’t silent? What if he spoke to the Samaritan who’d come to his aid? [Warning: certain words below may disturb some readers.] “You sonuvabitch, lemme off your damn donkey.” The battered Jew spit blood, his breath more gasps. From atop the plodding beast, his left eye glared hatred at the Samaritan. With the right swollen shut, he was literally half blind. The man loosened his grip on the reins, scheming to fall to the ground. But the Samaritan had secured his waist to the animal’s middle.
  • The Good Samaritan

    by Ron Rolheiser, OMI
    One day a man was taking a walk in a city park when he was mugged, beaten up, and left for dead by a gang of thugs. It so happened that, as he lay there, the provincial superior of a major religious order walked by and saw him. He realized instantly that the man was in a desperate way and he felt that he should respond. However, he thought to himself: “If I help this man, I will set a dangerous precedent. Then what will I do? Having helped him, where will I draw the line? Will I have to stop and help everyone who is in need? Will I then have to give money to every panhandler, every beggar, every charity? If I give to this one, then on what basis am I justified in refusing any charity? Where will it stop? This would be dangerous precedent. I simply cannot help everyone I see in need and, thus, it is best not to help this one. This is ultimately a question of fairness.” And thus he passed him by.
  • Lawyer versus Jesus

    by Dave Russell
    On the day before he was assassinated, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave a speech in Memphis. In it, he talks about the Good Samaritan. He talks about how people have imagined the reasons why the priest and Levite did not stop. He talks about how dangerous the road is. And he winds up by saying, “the question that the priest asked, the question that the Levite asked was, ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’” “But then the Good Samaritan came by, and he reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?'”
  • Surprised by Love

    by David Sellery
    My mother-in-law is one of my heroes. For thirty years she has been the principle care-giver for my brother-in-law John, who has quadriplegic cerebral palsy. That means thirty years of therapy and specialists, thirty years of lifting and shifting, thirty years of wiping butts and blowing noses, thirty years of bathing and shaving, thirty years of struggle and heartbreak … but most of all… thirty years of love. And that’s not just giving love. As she tells it, Good Samaritans spring up all the time from so many unexpected places. She is constantly surprised by love. There was the homeless man who stopped at the supermarket to lovingly engage John and then show her his special technique for feeding bottles into the deposit machine.
  • The Third Kind of Love

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    "Is it OK to love yourself? How do you love yourself without being selfish or arrogant or getting caught up in the epidemic of "Me-ism"? As a backdrop for our thinking along these lines, remember that verse in Luke 10: "Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength... and love your neighbor as you love yourself." Jesus follows this up by saying: "Do this and you will live."
  • Images of the Good Samaritan

    Compiled by Jenee Woodard
  • Movies/Scenes Representing Redemption

    Compiled by Jenee Woodard

Illustrated Resources from 2013 to 2015

  • Paying the Price of Mercy

    by Danáe Ashley
    ("There once was a run-down coffee shop in a neighborhood that was known for being dangerous. One day, an Episcopal priest came in to get some coffee on his way to somewhere else. He sat down to wait, busying himself with the paper, not paying attention to a man in the opposite corner who was clearly the worse for wear and crying silently. Just as the priest's order was ready, in walked the church warden...")
  • Who Is My Neighbor and Why the Answer Matters

    by David Baak
    ("In the middle of the aftermath of the Boston bombing, you may also remember the struggle of the authorities to find a burial place for the suspected bomber who was killed in a shootout. Massachusetts cemeteries, and others across the country, refused to accept his remains. Then Martha Mullen, a Christian, in Doswell, Virginia, quietly worked with a Muslim-owned cemetery to accept the body...")
  • Who Is My Neighbor?

    by Stephen Brown
    ("The drive up I-71 was taking longer then Habib had planned. He would be late for the unit's meeting at the Mosque. The notice to gather had been in his Inbox for a week and he had known when the meeting would happen. But the days had been busy and full and he had walked out of his office door at the university intending to go home… when his cell phone had gone off with a reminder...")
  • So We All Go and Do Likewise?

    by Christopher Burkett
    ("The storyteller said, 'There was a man going down town on a suburban line. Standing on a secluded platform, a man in a filthy coat approached him and hit him hard with something he had hidden under the coat. Then he stripped him of his coat, his wallet and his phone and went off on the next train leaving him half dead with the dirty coat thrown on top of him..." and another quote)
  • When Bad Things Happen to the Good and the Bad

    by Jim Chern
    ("Kathleen Norris wrote about a memorable plane trip she took. She recalls that it was an early morning flight and that she had gotten little sleep the night before so she was looking forward to some during the trip. Well as soon as she sat down on the plane, the passenger sitting right next to her, a young man about 18 or so, immediately began talking. His conversation was somewhat nervous and very excessive that she realized it wasn't just an anxious teenager. She quickly surmised that he suffered from some form of autism, that he was alone and indeed nervous...")
  • Radical Neighborliness

    by Michael Coffey
    (" If you're the news-watching type like me, you've been watching the trial of George Zimmerman and heard the verdict last night acquitting him of all charges related to the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. There are going to be all kinds of reactions to and disagreement about the verdict and the trial and our justice system and its capacity to reach justice for all people. But it seems to me that regardless of the verdict, we have in this real story an American parable of the end of the neighbor...")
  • "Yeah, I Know, I'm Just a Drunk!"

    by Jonathan Currier
    ("One hot September afternoon I happened to find myself seated across from a grimy, homeless drunk. He would nod off, tip over to the left, bang his head on the seat, and immediately spring back to life, only to nod off again. At 72nd Street three muscular teenagers came strutting into the subway. Two of them flopped down on the seat next to the drunk. As the train began to move, the drunk began to tip....")
  • The Deployment of Good Samaritans

    by John Jewell
    ("Cameron Lyle was a Division I college athlete in New Hampshire who decided to shorten his athletic career for a chance to save a life. He was told that he was a perfect match for a 28-year-old suffering from acute lymphoblastic leukemia and had only 6 months to live without it. Asked about giving up his career when he had a shot at national honors Lyle said, 'It's just a sport. Just because it's Division I college level doesn't make it any more important...")
  • Church Isn't Meant to Be Non-Prophet

    by Jim McCrea
    A recent multi-national study of altruism in children ages 5–12 came up with what I believe are very surprising results. According to this study, the more religious a child’s family is, the more likely that that child will behave in a harsher and less generous manner than those children who are raised in non-religious families. The children in the study live in the USA, Canada, Jordan, Turkey, South Africa and China. They also came from eight different religious backgrounds, although the largest three groups represented were Muslim, non-religious and Christian in that descending order. Those three categories combined for 94.5 percent of the children sampled. The study noted that Christian children did not differ significantly in their levels of altruism from Muslims; however, both of those groups were significantly less altruistic than non-religious children. That was true regardless of the frequency of the family’s religious practice or their level of household spirituality. In addition, these unexpected results were more pronounced in older children than in younger ones. That would imply that the longer children are exposed to their family’s religious teachings, the more selfish they became.
  • Who Is Our Neighbor?

    by Jim McCrea
    ("Cynthia Huling Hummel tells of a time when she and her husband were first married and didn't have a lot of money. They were on a long camping trip and they ran into problems on a highway in Elkhart, Indiana, hundreds of miles away from their home and family. Suddenly as they were driving along, the car began to shriek and shutter. Something began dragging on the pavement and whatever it was, it sounded expensive..." and other illustrations)
  • Do This and Live

    by Rick Miles
    V.P. Menon was a significant political figure in India during its struggle for independence from Britain after World War II. Menon had a splendid reputation for personal charity. His daughter explained the background of this trait after he died. When Menon arrived in Delhi to seek a job in government, all his possessions, including his money and I.D., were stolen at the railroad station. He would have to return home, though he didn’t know how, and in defeat. In desperation, he turned to an elderly Sikh, explained his troubles, and asked for a temporary loan of fifteen rupees to tide him over until he could get a job. The Sikh gave him the money. When Menon asked the man for his address so that he could repay him, the Sikh said that Menon didn’t owe him the debt, but that he could pay it to any stranger who came to him in need, as long as he lived. The help came from a stranger and was to be repaid to a stranger. Menon never forgot that debt. His daughter said that the day before Menon died, a beggar came to the family home in Bangalore asking for help to buy new sandals, as his feet were covered with sores. Menon asked his daughter to take fifteen rupees out of his wallet to give to the man. It was Menon’s last conscious act. Menon ministered to strangers because a stranger had ministered to him...
  • Making and Unmaking Nobodies

    by Nathan Nettleton
    Paul Kelly, in his song “Everything’s Turning to White”, tells the story of four men who set up camp beside a mountain stream for a weekend of fishing and drinking, and then find the body of a young woman dead in the stream. They face a dilemma. Do they give up their cherished weekend to report the body immediately, or do they stow her body safely behind some rocks and report it at the end of the weekend. Figuring that it is not going to help the girl one way or the other, they decide to have their weekend of fishing and drinking first. If you don’t know the song, the story is told through the eyes of the wife of one of the men as she finds herself increasingly repulsed and distanced from him as she comes to terms with his decision to put his blokey weekend ahead of reporting the girl’s body. The particular perspective is what gives the song its raw emotional power. It is only possible to do what those men did if you stop yourself from recognising the humanity of the dead woman and thinking about the needs and feelings of those who are frantically waiting for some news of her fate. Only by turning the young woman and her family into nobodies can you decide to just pass by on the other side of the stream and worry about them later...
  • A Hit Close to Home

    by Larry Patten
    ("I googled ten words/phrases/names, wondering which one would get the most 'hits'. And by the way, let me be the first to acknowledge this methodology was as non-scientific as it was self-serving. Here are my ten searches in alphabetical order. Beatles, God, Golden Rule, Good Samaritan, Jesus....")
  • The Test

    by Nancy Rockwell
    ("The Letter to the Hebrews urges us to be kind to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. And there is an ancient Scots Celtic prayer: 'I saw a stranger yesterday. I put food in the eating place, drink in the drinking place, music in the listening place. And the stranger blessed me, my house, my cattle and my dear ones. Ah, as the lark says in her song, often, often, often, goes the Christ in a stranger's guise...")
  • The Good Samaritan

    by Ron Rolheiser, OMI
    ("One day a man was taking a walk in a city park when he was mugged, beaten up, and left for dead by a gang of thugs. It so happened that, as he lay there, the provincial superior of a major religious order walked by and saw him. He realized instantly that the man was in a desperate way and he felt that he should respond. However, he thought to himself: .If I help this man, I will set a dangerous precedent...")
  • Won't You Be My Neighbor?

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    ["'Mister Rogers' anyone? With his zippered cardigans, canvas sneakers, and handmade puppets, 'Mister Rogers' was a pioneer in the early days of educational television for young children. Fred Rogers, a Presbyterian minister from Pittsburgh, started developing the characters and themes of his program in the mid-1950's. But it wasn't until 1967 that Mister Roger's Neighborhood took its final form and appeared on PBS stations across the country...."]
  • Proper 13C (2013)

    by Karen Thompson
    ("A would-be robber in Washington walked into a group of people having a backyard barbecue. He pointed a gun at the head of one of the women. Everyone remained very calm. One woman said, 'Why don't you point that gun at me instead of her?' He did. They asked him, calmly, what his mother would think of what he was doing. He said, 'I don't have a mother.'...")

Illustrated Resources from 2010 to 2012

  • Compassion on the Jericho Road

    by Kathy Donley
    The story takes place on the Jericho Road, that dangerous stretch of 17 miles between Jerusalem and Jericho. In that 17 miles, the road drops 3,600 feet. It is a steep, winding road. It was one long day’s journey to travel this road between Jerusalem and Jericho. You set out early to be sure you were off the road before nightfall, and even in daylight you were on your guard because it was well known for bandits. It was 17 miles of watchfulness, 17 miles of potential violence. The Jericho Road is the 17 blocks of any major city in the United States, where poverty and violence rule, including some of the blocks right around here from where people come to get food at the pantry and breakfast across the street. The Jericho Road is the 17 miles that goes right through the heart of Calcutta. The Jericho Road is the 17 rooms on a corridor in a nursing home for people with Alzheimer’s disease or the 17 beds on the oncology floor of the hospital. The Jericho Road is 17 miles of border between hostile nations; Pakistan and India, Iran and Iraq, South Korea and North Korea, where thousand upon thousands of people have been killed. And lately, the Jericho Road follows the path of the rivers that have overflowed their banks and destroyed homes and taken lives...
  • Seeing Our Neighbors

    by Daniel Brettell
    The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King once said: "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. The true neighbor will risk his position, his prestige, and even his life for the welfare of others. In dangerous valleys and hazardous pathways, he will lift some bruised and beaten brother to a higher and more noble life."...
  • Who Is My Neighbor? Faith & Global Hunger (Part 1)

    by W. Hodding Carter III
    ("Forty-three years ago, Robert Kennedy came to the Mississippi Delta--my home--on a fact-finding mission, probing the reality of hunger in America. He had done it elsewhere and he would do it again in other places, but his arrival infuriated a number of Mississippians who felt they were being held up to national scorn. More than one local politician bitterly complained...")
  • Ordinary 15C (2010)

    by Demetrius Dumm, OSB
  • Tell Me a Story

    by Christopher Henry
    ("When I was a senior in college, as part of a fascinating and very practical course on Death and Dying, I served as a chaplain intern at a local hospital. My only responsibility was to shadow the chaplain during the late-night hours each Thursday. One Thursday, I arrived to find the chaplain standing in the office doorway, coat on and bag in her hand--a family emergency, She would be back as soon as she could. In the meantime, here's the pager...")
  • Proper 10C (2010)

    by Scott Hoezee
    ("President Franklin Roosevelt spent a good deal of his life concealing the fact that polio had rendered his legs useless. FDR developed a battery of techniques to keep people from seeing him as physically helpless. He always wore dark pants cut long to conceal his leg braces--steel braces painted black so they'd blend in with his pants...")
  • Eye Contact

    by Mike Kinman
    ("'Just look preoccupied. And don't make eye contact, and you'll be just fine.' It was 11 PM on a July night. I was 20-years old and arriving in New York City for the first time as my train pulled into Grand Central Station. Ahead of me was a walk west on 42nd Street to Times Square to catch the 3 Train to South Harlem where my friend Wells lived...")
  • Giving and Receiving

    by Jim McCrea
    ("Her name is Rhonda, and she is beautiful. She is a single parent whose ex-husband is $65,000 behind in child support which he promised beginning 15 years ago. She works two jobs to make ends meet for her and her two daughters. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, her heart became overwhelmed by the plight of the many victims and she decided to volunteer at a local Red Cross shelter in Houston...")
  • A Willingness Within

    by Anna Murdock
    ("Last Friday, we saw a fairly large puppy running across our parking lot. Well, let's say trying to run. She had her front paw caught in her 'collar'. One of our salesmen brought the puppy into our reception area. She collapsed and closed her eyes. The collar was for a huge dog, not for a puppy. It had been cinched in with a twist-tie. That left a loop in which her foot became entangled...")
  • Inside Out

    by Chris Repp
  • It All Depends on How You Look at It

    by Sylvia Sandeman
    Andrew Denton interviewed 2 people who spoke of their victim experience. Gill Hicks - lost both her legs in the London bombings and Ishmael Beah – a young African victim of war – his family slaughtered and forced to be a boy soldier. Both told stories of people who were “neighbour” to them Gill Hicks – was identified as “one nobody” – she spoke of those who kept resuscitating her long after was reasonable, of the policeman who managed to identify her by asking he to blink when he came to letters in her name. She spoke of all the people along the way who went to extortionary lengths for “one nobody” even though they thought she must die – but she lived and walked again in 7 months and now works for a Peace Movement.
  • A Couple of Thoughts

    by Stephen Schuette
    ("Henry Nouwen in Sabbatical Journey says 'Our faithfulness will depend on our willingness to go where there is brokenness, loneliness and human need. If the church has a future, it is a future with the poor in whatever form.'...")
  • Half-Dead in the Ditch

    by Thom Shuman
    ("One of my favorite illustrations from the marvelous TV show The West Wing had to do with young Josh Lyman dealing with the emotional/spiritual aftereffects of being shot. His boss, Leo McGarry, wants to help him and so Leo tells Josh the following story: 'A guy was walking along the street and fell into a hole...")

Illustrated Resources from 2007 to 2009

  • Who Is My Samaritan?

    by Mickey Anders
    ("A minister riding the subway noticed that an old woman shuffled into the subway wearing only ragged clothes to protect her from the bitter Chicago winter wind...")
  • Sanctuary Along the Road

    by Adam Blons
    ("Did you read the story in Friday's San Francisco Chronicle about Hazelle Roa? She is 17 months old and has been in the hospital most of her life because of a heart defect....")
  • Proper 10C (2007)

    from the Center for Excellence in Preaching
    ("It was almost exactly 9:00 am on the morning of September the 11th in the year 2001 when Melanie Belkin emerged from the Brooklyn-Battery tunnel onto a street in Lower Manhattan. Her two children were in the backseat. Ava was 22 months old and Noah just over four years of age. Noah was only four but he had already endured thirteen surgeries to repair a welter of birth defects...")
  • Won't You Be My Neighbor?

    by John Christianson
    ("If Fred hadn’t died he’d be celebrating his eightieth birthday next spring. Fred was a creative, imaginative young man. He received his college degree in music composition. He dabbled for a while in television because he said he hated it so much. He thought it needed help. Then he went to the Seminary and was ordained a Presbyterian minister in 1962...")
  • What Kind of Mini-World Are You Creating?

    by Dennis Clark
    ("A young mother was having one of the worst days of her life. Her husband lost his job; the water heater exploded; the postman brought a stack of bills she couldn't pay; her hair was a mess, and she felt fat and ugly. She was almost at the breaking point as she lifted her little one-year-old into his highchair, leaned her head against the tray and began to cry...")
  • Transfiguring Plumb-lines

    by Allison Cline
    ("In 1921, Lewis Lawes became the warden at Sing Sing Prison. No prison was tougher than Sing Sing during that time. But when Warden Lawes retired some 20 years later, that prison had become a humanitarian institution. Those who studied the system said credit for the change belonged to Lawes. But when he was asked about the transformation, he said: 'I owe it all to my wonderful wife, Catherine...")
  • Parable of the Good Samaritan

    by Craig Condon
    I'm sure that at least a few of you were fans of the Seinfeld show. If so, you may remember the episode that aired at the end of the 1998 TV season. It received a lot of flak for being disappointing. Perhaps the reason so many were disappointed in the show is because it wasn't funny––in fact, it was self-deprecating. All of the characters receive a one year jail sentence for failing to help someone in need...
  • Reordering Priorities

    by Tom Cox
    ("how many of your most rewarding experiences came from unexpected circumstances and people? In many ways our journey is like that of the scriptures set before people. It is to take the law of God from the pages out onto the streets. Are we here to see through people or to see each other through?...")
  • The Gospel In Disney: The Fox and the Hound

    by George Cushman
    ("This Disney movie The Fox and The Hound is probably not one of Disney’s best known films, but it has a lot to say about who we are created to be, and how the world can cause us to lose it if we are not careful. The movie is about two characters, obviously a fox named Todd and a hunting dog named Copper. They meet as pups...")
  • Who?

    by Lane Denson
    ("When a friend of mine was a student at Yale, he and another guy were on the road in a 'college student' car the middle of the night the south Bronx. They had a flat....")
  • Ordinary 15C (2007)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time a Cub fan and a Sox fan got in an argument during a game at the Cell. The argument was of course the fault of the sox fan. He shouted the first epithet, he knocked the Cubs cap from the other man’s head, he threw a beer can at Cub fan and hit his wife my mistake...")
  • The Good Samaritan

    by Mike Hays
    I was leaving a meeting at the Petroleum Club in downtown Oklahoma City one day when a man, dressed in a navy business suit with a perfectly tied Windsor knot holding his red and navy stripped tie in place came up to me and introduced himself. I learned that we have a mutual friend. He told me that he had heard about Britton Christian Church through his friend.
  • The Parable of the Good ____

    by Donald Hoffman
    ("In January 1996 in Tasmania (Australia’s southerly, island state), the capital city Hobart was having a lot of trouble with skate boarders. Not unlike other towns and cities in the world. There was nowhere for them to ride, so they were riding wherever they liked. And one of those places was the city mall...")
  • The Good Samaritan

    Interesting links from Mark Hoffman
  • The Neighbor We Will Allow Is the Challenge

    by Rex Hunt
    ("Biblical scholar Robert Funk spent many years studying this parable. He askes this question: 'Who in the audience wanted to let himself or herself be helped by a Samaritan? This is the primary challenge because the appearance of the Samaritan makes sense on no other basis'. Funk then goes on to suggest that had the victim in the ditch been a Samaritan and the hero an ordinary Judean, a different question would had to have been asked..." and several other quotes)
  • The One About the Guy Who Got Beat Up and Left For Dead

    by Fred Kane
    ("I was so excited to start the sixth grade in a new town and in a new school. Of course it was a hard thing to leave behind my circle of friends in the little town of Alsea and my best friend in the world Donny Davis in order to go to Washington Grade School in the big city of Corvallis...")
  • Where Is Your Jericho Road?

    by Fred Kane
    ("I was visiting a woman with Alzheimer's in a nursing home and the nurse there and I were chatting when she said, 'Pastor, I can't handle it anymore. I can't handle taking care of these people.' This woman, this nurse, had this enormously big heart to do what she was doing. I said to her, .Your problem is that your heart is too big.'....")
  • Watching the Cattle

    by Anne Le Bas
    ("I went to my daughter’s graduation earlier this week. Of course the most important moment for me was when she walked across the stage to receive her hard-earned Philosophy degree, but an added bonus at this particular ceremony was the special guest at the ceremony. As you may know, it is the usual custom at university graduations to confer an honorary degree on someone who has achieved notable success in some field or other...")
  • Bowling with Our Own

    by John Leo
    ("Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam, author of Bowling Alone, is very nervous about releasing his new research, and understandably so. His five-year study shows that immigration and ethnic diversity have a devastating short- and medium-term influence on the social capital....")
  • The View from the Ditch

    by Richard Lischer
    ("Why does so much violence occur in our country, whence this anger, and what can we do about it? We have been schooled in our rights, but what are our responsibilities to one another? And who are we as a church, the community of Christians who live in North America? What vision of the kingdom do our words and lives proclaim? Forty-three years ago, on the night before he was assassinated, Martin Luther King Jr. was wrestling with the same questions...")
  • Meeting the Good Samaritan

    by Thomas Long
    [''A construction worker named Wesley Autrey was standing on a subway platform with his two young daughters, ages four and six, waiting on a train. Suddenly another man on the platform, apparently suffering from a seizure, stumbled and fell off the platform down onto the subway tracks. Just at that moment the headlights of a rapidly approaching train appeared in the subway tunnel...."]
  • The Secret of Eternal Life

    by David Martyn
    ("Tolstoy says he was greatly influenced by his older brother who was a storyteller. One day his brother Nikolai solemnly announced to his siblings that he possessed a wonderful secret that could make all people happy. Once revealed to the world, a golden age would exist on earth: there would be no more disease, no human misery, and no more anger...")
  • Seeing Straight in a Bent World

    by Jim McCrea
    ("Apparently a similar incident took place within the past few weeks in the Kansas City area. A woman was stabbed at a convenience store and, as she lay on the floor bleeding, people stepped over her to continue their shopping; some even took pictures of her on their cell phones. Eventually someone called 911, but, as a result of the lengthy delay, she died from a loss of blood...")
  • There Are Other Ways

    by Anna Murdock
    ("I know the story. After all, To Kill A Mockingbird is one of my favorite movies. No matter how many times I watch this film, you can be assured that I will cry in the same scene! For some reason, I have never picked up the book, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee to read until this weekend...")
  • Ordinary 15C

    by Paul O'Reilly, SJ
    ["About 15 years ago, there was a terrible famine in Africa. One of those few (who wanted to do something) was a failed Irish rock star, who also happened to be an ex-alcoholic and drug user. His name is Bob Geldof...."]
  • Between God and Me

    by Beth Quick
    ("In the first week of our movie study, we watched the 2004 film Hotel Rwanda, which chronicles the genocide that took place in Rwanda, Africa, in 1994. Three months of bloodshed in Rwanda resulted in over one million deaths in the small country, and the rest of the world hardly took notice...")
  • Being Present to God and Neighbor

    by Paul Rooney
    ("There is a story about the young 7-year old farm boy who accidentally overturned his wagonload of wheat on the road. The farmer who lived nearby came to investigate. 'Hey, Johnny,' he called out, 'forget your troubles for a while and come and have supper with us. Then I’ll help you overturn the wagon.' 'That’s very nice of you,' Johnny answered, 'but I don't think Grandpa would like me to...")
  • Unlikely Heroes: A Certain Man

    by Jim Standiford
    ("How about a little test? It is a test of how well we know the neighbor's of famous people on TV...")
  • The Parable of the Good Samaritan

    by Laird Stuart
    ("July 3, 1863 was the third and final day of the Battle of Gettysburg. Many people believe it was the decisive battle of the Civil War. The battle had begun on July 1. The third and final day was the decisive day. 75,000 Confederate soldiers faced 95,000 Union soldiers. Amid all the battles and encounters of the third day, the best known was Pickett's Charge...")
  • Merciful Neighbors

    by Keith Wagner
    ("On the morning of May 26, 2006, Daniel Mazur, a mountain climber, was less than 1,000 feet from the summit of Mt. Everest. He abandoned his own climb to the top in order to save another climber, Australian, Lincoln Hall, who had been left for dead by his own team. Mazur’s decision to aid the fallen climber meant that none of his group could press on...")

Illustrated Resources from the Archives

  • The Good Samaritan

    from Biblical Studies
    ("One semester, a seminary professor set up his preaching class in an unusual way. He scheduled his students to preach on the Parable of the Good Samaritan and on the day of class, he choreographed his experiment so that each student would go, one at a time, from one classroom to another where he or she would preach a sermon...")
  • Illustrations

    from Biblical Studies
  • Loving God

    from Biblical Studies
  • Weeping with One Eye

    by Thomas Lane Butts
    ("In the slums of Calcutta, India, thousands live on the streets. If they own a ragged blanket to spread over the place where they sleep, they feel lucky. Early each morning trucks come by to pick up the bodies of those who die in the night. Babies are born on the sidewalk and left in cardboard boxes....")
  • Doing What Counts

    by Tom Cox
    ("Whatever the method, life and it’s people can round up on us and leave us half-dead along the road. Robbed of our self-worth, stripped of our inherent dignity. Disappointment can come as expected sources of help walk by. Good Samaritans do the little 'two denarii' things. A word of praise, a compliment, treating everyone respectfully..." - a good short reflection)
  • Love in Action

    by Tom Cox
    ("On the road of life, not just Jerusalem to Jericho like our unfortunate traveller you meet three types of people: users, avoiders and lovers. Give some time today to trying to figure out which one you are...")
  • My Good Samaritan

    by Barbara Crafton
    ("It's more than thirty years ago now, and I haven't thought about it in ages. My baby didn't know we were poor, but I sure did: it was a terrible January day, down in the teens, and we were making the trip home from the doctor's office by bus. She was bundled in her stroller, a rickety affair that I had gotten with S&H Green Stamps. They didn't have those clear plastic enclosures to keep out the cold...")
  • The Stranger on the Road

    by Sara Olson Dean
    ("In the fall of 1997, Alex and I were beginning our senior year at St. Olaf College. During our fall break, we went with three of our good friends on a short road trip. We didn't really have any particular destination in mind. We looked at a map, and arbitrarily decided on a small town in eastern South Dakota, just over the Minnesota state line....")
  • Neighbours Without Borders

    by Ernest Munachi Ezeogu, CSSP
    ("Catherine Booth, co-founder with her husband William Booth of the Salvation Army, was an electrifying preacher. Wherever she went, crowds of people went to hear her message of hope: princes and nobles, beggars and homeless people. One night, after preaching in a certain city, a certain well-placed lady invited Mrs. Booth to dinner...")
  • Adding It All Up!

    by Justin Fisher
    ("Fred and Marlene Nichols stopped at a service station near Mobile, Alabama. Suddenly a truck without brakes hit the car and Marlene was terribly injured. Fred needed to go to the hospital with his wife. What about the car and all their belongings? Suddenly he heard a reassuring voice behind him....")
  • The Parable of the Samaritan and the Injured Man

    by Maki Fushii
    ("One day, when I was serving as a university chaplain in Tokyo, a young man appeared at the office saying, 'I’m here from Africa for some short term work'. He was well dressed and told me about how he hoped one day to work as a missionary. When I asked what I could do for him, he said, 'I had $2000 stolen at the youth hostel where I was staying. Could you lend me enough money to get home to my country?'...")
  • Proper 10C (2004)

    by Grant Gallup
    ("So e. e. cummings hung onto his Bible, and by the gospel for today was inspired to write 'a man who had fallen among thieves'. If it is read aloud, you can't tell that he doesn't use capital letters and doesn't punctuate at all. . a man who had fallen among thieves lay by the roadside on his back dressed in fifteenthrate ideas wearing a round jeer for a hat...")
  • To Whom Am I a Neighbor?

    by Vince Gerhardy
    ("On her way to work a woman passed what appeared to be a street kid, not very old, clothes all wrinkled, hair unbrushed, carrying a McDonalds cup of steaming coffee. 'Obviously bought with money he had scammed from someone on the street', the woman thought to herself. 'Hey, lady, you want some coffee', he said to the woman as she walked past...")
  • Ordinary 15 (2004)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time a Cub fan and a Sox fan got in an argument during a game at the Cell. The argument was of course the fault of the sox fan. He shouted the first epithet, he knocked the Cubs cap from the other man’s head, he threw a beer can at Cub fan and hit his wife my mistake...")
  • Ordinary 15 (2001)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time a certain woman went on a vacation with her husband and children. She didn't want to go on a vacation because she had been on them before and she knew they meant more work for her. A vacation was like being home, only you had your husband and your kids under your feet all the time and not just part of the day...")
  • Proper 10C

    by Roger Haugen
    "A woman was working in her garden when she was approached by another. The first woman greeted the newcomer, 'You’re new in town aren’t you?' 'Yes, we just moved into town. Tell me, what kind of neighbours do we have around here?' Without any pause the gardener asked, What kind of neighbours did you have in your last town?..."
  • Begin Life Anew

    by Mark Haverland
    ("Kay was walking the streets of New York City one day with lunch in hand, when she passed a woman rummaging in the trash can on the corner. She paused and asked the woman, 'Would you like my lunch?' The woman said, 'No thank you, I've already eaten.'...")
  • Erasing Boundaries

    by Mark Haverland
    ("I watched a delightful movie last evening, Pay It Forward. It was a delightful retelling of the Good Samaritan story, full of complications and apparent setbacks. A young boy is the hero who brings the adult world to an idea which changes the world: If each person would repay a kind deed by helping three other people, in a sort of Amway-like distributed sales gimmick, the world could be transformed...")
  • The Samaritan Spends the Night

    by Peter Hawkins
    "Twenty years ago in New York, a friend and I were walking uptown along Madison Avenue after a performance of Alec McGowan’s one-man Gospel According to Mark. For two hours we had watched McGowan bring the story to vivid life with no sound of music, nary a prop and only the scripture itself as a script. The effect was stunning..."
  • Nothing More to Say

    by Randy Hyde
    ("Barbara Brown Taylor tells of the time when she was a seminary student that she spent four straight hours in the library with a ten-pound book written by the Swiss theologian Karl Barth. All I can say is that she was a more dedicated student than I, or she had a greater appreciation of Barth than I did. Or, perhaps, she was just following the professor's orders....")
  • Crossing the Road

    by Peter Haynes
    ("Long ago, when I wore a green uniform with a rolled-up bandana around the neck, and all sorts of merit badges on a sash, I learned that a boy scout is supposed to be someone who is: trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. I also memorized the scout motto: 'Do a good deed daily'...")
  • On Not Getting It!

    by John Jewell
    "Tonight Show host, Jay Leno from time to time sends people out to ask questions about the bible of people on the street. One question was, 'Do you know who the Good Samaritan is?' The answer was, 'He was some guy who did a good deed'..."
  • Proper 10C (2004)

    by Anthony H. Jewiss
    ("The Myers Briggs 'Inventory' is a way of answering those questions we ask ourselves about our reactions to others, and why others sometimes seem incomprehensible to us. The term 'A Different Drummer' may resonate, when thinking of ourselves, or of someone else...")
  • Go and Do Likewise

    by Beth Johnston
    "One day a friend of mine was driving along the highway somewhere in Nova Scotia. Her car broke down and she pulled over to the side of the road. It was before the days of cell-phones. She decided to flag down a passing car and ask the driver to call the auto club..."
  • The Reading Lesson

    by Scott Black Johnston
    ("In Anne Tyler's novel Saint Maybe, the main character, Ian Bedloe, takes on the responsibility of raising three children after their parents-his brother and sister-in-law-die. It is a big job, an all-consuming responsibility. He is a Good Samaritan, and it changes the path of his life....")
  • The Good Samaritan

    by Mimi Lacy
    ("When I was in seminary, I was making the long trip home from Evanston, in rush hour traffic, when suddenly I heard that awful noise that told me my tire had gone flat. I was in the far left lane, angling to get through the I-Pass at the upcoming tollbooth, so I pulled over to that side of the road. Sure enough, my tire was a goner...")
  • The Good Samaritan

    by Dodd Lamberton
    ("In Ivan Tolstoy’s brief novel, The Death of Ivan Ilych, we see how very easily someone who is dying can become more and more isolated from the people around him as death draws near. Ivan Ilych’s wife refuses to face the fact that he is dying, so she maintains an air of false cheerfulness, saying that he would get well if he would just take his medicine at the appointed time...")
  • The Good Samaritan

    by Anne Le Bas
    ("Wali Dad was an old man, who had no family and lived by himself in a little hut in the forest. He earned his living by cutting grass for fodder. Each day he earned twopence halfpenny for his labours – not a lot. But actually his life was so simple that he only needed twopence to live on...")
  • Jericho Road (The Good Samaritan)

    by Edward Markquart
    ("Recently, I was visiting a neighboring nursing home, where Myrtle lives and she, as many of you know, has Alzheimer’s. I went there to visit Myrtle. There at the desk was the charge nurse who is a member of our parish. We chatted for a moment and she said: 'Pastor, I can’t handle it anymore. I can’t handle taking care of these people.'...")
  • The Trouble with Neighbors

    by David Martyn
    One night, at 11:30 PM, an older African American woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rainstorm. Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride. Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car. A young white man stopped to help her, generally unheard of in those conflict-filled 1960s. The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance and put her into a taxicab. She seemed to be in a big hurry. She wrote down his address, thanked him, and drove away. Seven days went by and a knock came on the man’s door. To his surprise, a giant console colour TV was delivered to his home. A special note was attached. It read: Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes but also my spirits. Then you came along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband’s bedside just before he passed away. God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others. Sincerely, Mrs. Nat King Cole...
  • Won't You Be My Neighbor?

    by James McCrea
    ("Dick Thornburgh is a former governor of Pennsylvania and former Attorney General of the United States. But long before he appeared on the national political scene, his wife was killed in a car accident that also caused significant brain damage to his young son Peter..." and another illustration)
  • Parable of the Good Samaritan

    by Philip McLarty
    Frank and Cindy (not their real names, of course) were the odd couple at a church I once served. It all started in the way they first came to our church. They ran a small custodial business out of their home. And so, they showed up one day, mid-week, hoping to get a job cleaning the church. I told them we couldn't afford a janitor, but we could sure use a couple more members. Sure enough, they joined. But they never quite blended in. They drove an old car, dressed in work clothes and reeked of cigarette smoke. If that weren't enough, Frank stood five feet, five inches tall and weighed about four hundred pounds. It was in the fall of the year, and the church had decided to sponsor a Cuban refugee. We had his name and a picture. All we needed was a family to take him under their wing. The Missions Committee made the appeal. No one responded. Lots of questions were asked, though: "What would it entail?" "Do we know anything about this young man?" "Has anyone done a criminal background check?" "What about the liabilities? We don't want to get sued." Lots of opinions were offered as well, such as, "If you ask me, we should've sunk the boat off Miami." One day, after church, Frank and Cindy asked to speak with me in my study. I invited them in and closed the door. As they were leaving, one of the elders asked me, "What did they want? Were they hitting you up for money?" "No," I said, "They wanted to tell me, if no one had any objection, they'd like to invite the Cuban refugee to live in their home until he got on his feet."...
  • Who Is My Neighbor?

    by Nathan Nettleton
    ("I've got an extended quote here from Robert McAfee Brown, which I'll read because it is a brilliant expose of the lawyers second question, 'Who is my neighbour?' He says, 'By asking the question that way, the lawyer gets the discussion back onto safe territory. The discussion need not involve being a neighbour but only defining a neighbour....")
  • The Despised Ones Are the Lord

    by Gerry Pierse, CSsR
    ("'A student took the boat from Iligan to study in Cebu,' the preacher told the students. Soon after the boat pulled out from the shore she found that her bag with her money and all of her belongings were gone. Obviously, some one had stolen them and taken them ashore at the very moment they were leaving. She felt totally abandoned and powerless and began to cry....")
  • What Shall I Do to Inherit Eternal Life?

    by Ron Ritchie
    ("For 25 years, Santa Claus has been delivering mail in the San Francisco hills. On Christmas Eve morning, he gets up at quarter to 4 and puts on his red suit...he shoulders his pack...and starts on his rounds. He visits San Francisco General Hospital's AIDS Ward... Once when he walked into the AIDS Ward he saw a young man in a kimono...talking on the phone...")
  • Only Those Who Cry and Those Who Pass By

    by Barry Robinson
    ("I now had nothing, so nothing came to me. Even through my blood I could see he was a Samaritan. But in his eyes were my tears. The damnable thing about it was that it took so long. If only he would have cursed, thrown me on his animal, dropped me in a heap at an inn and went on his way with a slur, 'More than you would have done for me'. But he cleaned me like a mother bathes a child...")
  • So Much to Love!

    by Gary Roth
    ("It had been such a long, long day. She hadn't gotten nearly enough sleep last night - the baby was colicky, and had kept her up most of the night with her crying. Too soon the alarm went off, and it was time to get off the next youngest, Sarah, to school. First grade wasn't going down easy. Sarah couldn't quite understand that she had to go EVERY DAY...")
  • What? Who? Which? Do!

    by Martin Singley
    ("I submit to you today that the story of the Good Samaritan is deeper than the simple account of that now-famous Samaritan man who took care of a stranger along the treacherous Jericho road. That’s a great story, to be sure, but its not the only one in that passage. In fact, the story-behind-the-story here is not about the Samaritan at all, but about another person – a young man who has lost his faith...")
  • Being the Victim

    by Alex Thomas
    ("A friend of Watchman Nee, an engineer, had been away for awhile, and when he arrived back discovered that his wife had been unfaithful to him and had left with one of his friends. He lost his wife, his children, and his best friend. He was opening up to Watchman Nee, admitting his hatred, but no matter how hard he tried he could not forgive them...")
  • The Accident

    from Today in the World
    ("Fred and Marlene Nichols stopped at a service station near Mobile, Alabama to ask directions. Suddenly, a truck without brakes flew across the highway and crashed into their car. Mrs. Nichols was severely injured. Needing to go with his wife to the hospital, but unsure what to do about their car and belongings, Mr. Nichols heard a stranger’s reassuring words...")
  • Help from Unlikely Sources

    by Keith Wagner
    ("When I was in seminary a friend of mine had received a call to ministry in North Carolina. I agreed to help move my friend to her new location. We hitched a trailer to my car and we both packed our cars to full capacity. While we were making our journey in the mountains of Western North Carolina, my car broke down. The transmission had failed, most likely due to the excess weight..." and another illustration)
  • More Than Passers-By

    by Keith Wagner
    ("There is a wonderful fable about a young orphan girl who had no family and no one to love her. One day, feeling exceptionally sad and lonely, she was walking through a meadow when she noticed a small butterfly caught unmercifully in a thorn bush. The more the butterfly struggled to free itself, the deeper the thorns cut into its fragile body...")
  • No Simple Task

    by Keith Wagner
    ("One time there was a man who drove a cab for a living. He tells this particular story about a customer. 'When I arrived at 2:30 a.m., the building was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window. Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait a minute, then drive away. But, I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation...")
  • Our Neighbour is Who?

    by Garth Wehrfritz-Hanson
    ("Some of you may be fans of the popular cat, Garfield. In a one Garfield cartoon, Garfield, seated in a comfortable chair, sees his friend Odie at the window peering in eagerly. Garfield says to himself, 'Poor Odie. Locked outside in the cold. I just can’t bear to see him like this. I gotta do something.'...")
  • The Jericho Affair

    by Samuel Wells
    ("Imagine that congress has set up a committee to report on the disquieting events on the Jerusalem-Jericho road and their aftermath. Here are some excerpts from its findings. 'The Inquiry is satisfied that the priest acted in a thoroughly professional manner. We are aware that he is a man of high profile in Jerusalem society, and that his first priority is to conduct his temple duties in a proper manner...")
  • Who Is My Neighbor?

    by Steve Yamaguchi
    ("Last week I met a woman who shared with me her own childhood story about being a neighbor. As we were making plans for her husband's funeral, this Japanese-American woman told me this story about what had happened in the days following Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor. She said, "We were neighbors before the war, before that day. I was just the kid next door....")
  • Narrative Sermon (Proper 10C)(2004)

    by David Zersen
    ("My name is Elazar, and I am a Samaritan. You may be surprised to hear that because many people think we live only on the pages of the Bible. However, there are still several hundred of us living today near Mount Gerizim, our holy mountain in the region still bearing the name of our forefathers, Samaria...")

Other Resources from 2019 to 2021

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Other Resources from 2010 to 2012

Other Resources from 2007 to 2009

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Resources from the Bookstore

  • Alive through Love

    by King Duncan, from Positive Messages for Dynamic Living
    ("The psychologist Kinch in 1967 described an amusing experiment conducted by a group of five male graduate students. They chose as their subject, or shall we say 'victim', a very plain-looking girl who was a fellow graduate student. The boys' plan was to begin in concert to respond to the girl as if she were the best-looking girl on campus...")
  • The Moon Above, the Earth Below

    by Robert Waznak, from Like Fresh Bread; Sunday Homilies in the Parish
    ("The other night, CBS documented the historic landing on the moon with a special entitled, . The title described the mingling of two worlds. While we witnessed our dramatic first flight to the moon, we also heard Charles Kuralt narrate old clips of what Americans were doing back on earth on July 20, 1969...")

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