Luke 16: 19-31

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!!]
  • Being Poor in Spirit

    Illustrations from the Archives
  • Heaven

    Illustrations from the Archives
  • Justice

    Illustrations from the Archives
  • Love of Others

    Illustrations from the Archives
  • Seeing Jesus in Others

    Illustrations from the Archives
  • Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet

    by Mickey Anders
    (Story of a mantra sung by a homeless man in the days before his death. Could be used as illustration to support the protection of Lazarus in this parable. Very moving.)

    (You can hear the song here: Tramp with Tom Waits and Orchestra.)(See also a discussion with Tom Waits and Gavin Bryars talking about this song.)

  • Another Day in Paradise

    Music and Lyrics by Phil Collins
    ("She calls out to the man on the street, 'Sir, can you help me? It's cold and I've nowhere to sleep. Is there somewhere you can tell me?'...") (Song was written by Collins to bring attention to the problem of homelessness. You can view the video and listen to the song here.)
  • Mercy Withheld

    by D. Mark Davis
    (lots of Greek exegesis)
  • Dives and Lazarus (2001)

    by Jerry Fuller, OMI
    ("Barbara Ehrenreich wanted to find out how four million women, most with children, manage to survive in a labor market that pays them $6 or $7 an hour. She went undercover for two years, working as a waitress in Key West, Florida, as a maid in Portland, Maine, and as a sales clerk in a Minneapolis department store. She wanted to see if she could match income to expenses as the truly poor struggle to do everyday..." and several other illustrations)
  • Dives and Lazarus (1998)

    by Jerry Fuller, OMI
    ("The children of a woman who had just died went to gather her things and close her home. One of the children found her mother's checkbook and began to thumb through it. After every recorded deposit of her Social Security check, the first check she wrote was to her church--exactly ten per cent of the deposit. Then came checks for utilities, food, medicine and other necessities..." and other illustrations)
  • Are There No Prisons?

    by Sil Galvan
    I've never made a fortune, and it's probably too late now. But I don't worry about that much, I'm happy anyhow. And as I go along life's journey, I'm reaping better than I sowed, And I'm drinking from my saucer, 'cause my cup has overflowed. I ain't got a lot of riches, and sometimes the going's tough, But I've got three kids that love me, and that makes me rich enough. I just thank God for His Blessings, and the mercies He's bestowed, I'm drinking from my saucer 'cause my cup has overflowed.
  • There But for Fortune

    by Sil Galvan
    Father Henry has a way of getting people to sign up for projects they don't want to do. And I really didn't want to do this one. Reluctantly, I agreed to work the temporary shelter in our church hall. Pictures of dirty derelicts with filthy fingernails flashed in my head. Visions of jittery drug addicts danced before me. Images of drunks drinking from brown paper bags entered my mind. However, what I found at the homeless shelter was much more unsettling. Before I even entered the shelter, the glowing tip of a cigarette caught my attention in the darkness near the entrance. A man was hunched over against the cold, smoking. He took a deep drag, threw the butt on the sidewalk, and crushed it with his grimy tennis shoe.
  • Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution

    by Martin Luther King, Jr.
    ("Dives went to hell because he was passed by Lazarus every day and he never really saw him. He went to hell because he allowed his brother to become invisible. Dives went to hell because he maximized the minimum and minimized the maximum. Indeed, Dives went to hell because he sought to be a conscientious objector in the war against poverty...")
  • Forbes' Richest in U.S. Are Still Feeling Recession

    by Luisa Kroll
    [" The Forbes 400 regained lost ground in 2010, while most were still smarting from the recession. It has been a year of reclamation for America's richest. The total worth of the Forbes 400 was up 8 percent to $1.37 trillion, well out-earning the 1 percent rise in the S&P over the same period of time. More than half (217) are richer than they were a year ago..."]
  • Proper 20C

    by Bill Loader
    (Always good insights!!)
  • Exegetical Notes (Luke 16:19-31)

    by Brian Stoffregen
    (always excellent exegesis)
  • Humor on the Pearly Gates

    from Various Sources
    ("A woman dies suddenly in her sleep and finds herself at the Pearly Gates. She is understandably nervous when St. Peter tells her she must pass a test to enter. 'What kind of test?' she asks, wringing her hands. 'A spelling test,' St. Peter replies. 'Oh dear, I'm not very good at spelling.' St. Peter smiles kindly and says, 'Spell LOVE.'..." and many others)
  • What We Choose to See

    by Carl Wilton
    "Back in March, the Pope gave a homily on this very parable. Listen to what he says about the rich man: 'When he went about town, we might imagine his car with tinted windows so as not [to be] seen from without — who knows — but definitely, yes, his soul, the eyes of his soul were darkened so that he could not see out. He saw only into his life, and did not realize what had happened to [himself]. He was not bad: he was sick, sick with worldliness — and worldliness transforms souls.'..."

Illustrated Resources (and Other Resources of Merit) from 2019 to 2021

[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 (https://www.loom.com/share/afe3352a69f44bff814af8b695701c5e) and paste it into your favorite browser.]
  • Clean Your Glasses: Seeing Others As God Sees Them

    by W. Rian Adams
    There was a man in the early 1900's who held three doctoral degrees; The first in medicine, the second in theology, and the third in philosophy. People also recognized him as one of the best organists in Europe and held a prestigious professorship in Vienna, Austria. But that man had eyes to see. Something persuaded him to give up the culture, amenities, and comforts, of a sophisticated life, and go to Africa to build hospitals and preach the Gospel of mercy. The man was Dr. Albert Schweitzer. What convinced him to go to Africa? This parable. It changed his life and focused his eyes on the needs of a continent and not European amenities. When he thought about the message behind the rich man and Lazarus, he realized that Africa was the beggar at the gate of Europe. The results were that millions received medical care and their eyes opened to the compassion of Christ...
  • Know the Name

    by Andrew Chappell
    At Yad Vashem—the Israeli Holocaust Museum and Memorial, there is a separate memorial to the children who were killed in the holocaust. The memorial is simple. The room is filled with darkness and lights that look like stars on a clear night. And every few seconds, a voice comes through hidden speakers for a few seconds and then disappears, and then reappears and disappears again. Over and over, every few seconds. All the voice says are the names of the children killed in the holocaust. One at a time. Again and again. There is power in a name. When you know the name, the 6 million+ killed in the holocaust becomes tangible...
  • What Would You Do?

    by Jim Chern
    What would you do? is one of those documentary, hidden camera, reality show that has been on television from time to time over the last decade. The show presents different scenarios and monitors how people react or respond to different issues, like: An older man needing to fill a prescription at a pharmacy, doesn’t have enough money to pay for it… Some teenagers beating up a homeless person in front of passers by… A waitress is sexually harassed by her boss in front of customers… The host asks what would you do if you were in that scenario as they roll film to show various reactions and responses. Part of the show’s popularity is that it highlights the “empathy crisis” we hear about that our nation (or maybe better said, our world) is facing. Empathy being the ability to understand what someone else is feeling, to put ourselves in other persons shoes – and then being motivated to do something about it. The program shows the wide range of reactions: There’s the heart-warming examples of the stranger runs up and pays for the person’s prescription. There’s the sad examples of the homeless person being beaten up and no one doing anything. There’s the awkward and uncomfortable reactions people have watching the boss demean, being rude and obnoxious to the waitress...
  • Who's There?

    by Jim Eaton
    Last night, all over Albany, at Beth-Emeth, Temple Israel, Beth Abraham-Jacob, Shomray Torah, Ohave Shalom, and all the other synagogues, a ram’s horn was blown to signal the start of Rosh Hahsanah. It’s called a shofar and it has a deep link to the faith of Jews in every time, every place. The shofar was sounded when the people of God accepted God’s covenant at Sinai, and it was used to usher in the Jubilee year in which the land was to lie fallow, debts were forgiven, and slaves were freed and able to return home to their families. One particular shofar will be installed in the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park, New York. It’s about ten inches long, small and compact. And it is significant because it was blown in the extermination camp at Auschwitz for Rosh Hashanah 1944. How was it smuggled into the camp, whose entire purpose was to exterminate the Jewish celebration of God by exterminating Jewish people? It may seem that in a place controlled by the violence of white nationalists called Nazis, no such act of resistance would have been possible. Yet there are many accounts of shofars sounding in the camps. And “if it’s one thing I know from all the thousands of survivors I interviewed, it’s that the impossible was possible, both to the bad and the good,” Dr. Judith Tydor Schwartz, an expert on Holocaust studies, said this week. The shofar is as deeply a part of the Jewish soul as Easter is for Christians. Its loud call asks, “Who’s there? Come to God, Come to God’s feast of deliverance.”...
  • You Can't Get There from Here

    by Joe Gunby
    Once upon a time there was a rich man who dressed in fine linen and feasted sumptuously every day. Though, to be fair, he wouldn’t have called himself rich. If you were to press him, yes, he would admit that he had done well for himself. Were you to point out that he had just bought a house in the best neighborhood in town, he’d shrug and say, well, ‘every dog has his day.’ And as for fine linen, his shirt was actually a more wearable linen/cotton blend and while yes, it did cost $120, that was nothing considering how hard it is to find shirts that are made in factories that pay a fair wage...
  • Sermon Starters (Proper 21C)(2019)

    by Scott Hoezee
    “Jesus told upwards of 40 parables in the New Testament. Each had a small cast of characters: waiting fathers and prodigal sons, women baking bread and laborers in a vineyard. But only once did Jesus assign a character a name: it was the poor man, Lazarus. Jesus knew that if we treat people only by categories like “the poor,” it is too easy to mistreat them, to forget who they really are But Jesus knew that each such person has a name, a family, a story. Giving Lazarus a name brought forward the humanity of “the poor.” For decades Nicholas Kristof has been doing exactly this for victims of war, poverty, and genocide. The ethnic cleansing in Darfur was not about nameless groups of victims. It was about 2-year-old Zahra Adbullah beaten to death in front of her mother Fatima Omar Adam. The U.S.-backed, Saudi-led war in Yemen is starving not faceless millions of children but specifically 12-year-old Abrar Ibrahim—the photo of her emaciated body was so searing, it basically was the entirety of Mr. Kristof’s column a couple weeks ago.
  • Live and Let Die

    by Scott Jones
    David Brooks identifies the five biggest lies our culture tells, the ones he sees at the heart of our culture's shared spiritual sickness. He lists them: 1. Career success is fulfilling; 2. I can make myself happy; 3. Life is an individual journey; 4. You have to find your own truth, and 5. Rich and successful people are worth more than poorer and less successful people. His brief exposition of the Fifth Lie is penetrating and really identifies a central thread that runs through all of the aforementioned ones...
  • Why Steve Jobs Called Death "the Single Best Invention of Life"

    by Terrance Klein
    If you follow Facebook or read inspirational blogs, you may have come across the last words of the billionaire co-founder of Apple, Steve Jobs: At this moment, lying on a sick bed and recalling my whole life, I realize that all the recognition and wealth that I took so much pride in, have paled and become meaningless in the face of impending death.... You can employ someone to drive the car for you, make money for you but you cannot have someone to bear the sickness for you. Material things lost can be found. But there is one thing that can never be found when it is lost—Life.... Whichever stage in life we are at right now, with time, we will face the day when the curtain comes down. Treasure Love for your family, love for your spouse, love for your friends. Treat yourself well. Cherish others. Inspirational thoughts, aren’t they? Too bad he did not actually say or write them...
  • We Are the Rest of the Story

    by Jim McCrea
    •“When I was studying psychology, a friend brought in a case study of a client of hers, a young man whose wife worked twelve hour shifts as a trauma surgery nurse. “The wife’s job was exhausting. People bleeding and broken in all sorts of places from all sorts of injuries would be brought by screaming ambulance into the emergency room. They would be stabilized and then whisked into the OR, where the wife and her colleagues would spend hours feverishly trying to save their lives. “Not surprisingly, the wife was exhausted when her long day was done. Did her husband appreciate the heroic sacrifices his wife made? No. All he could do was complain about the fact that she came home too tired to tend to his needs. “We were outraged. We wanted the man’s therapist to chew him out for his insensitivity. But our instructor, an experienced psychologist, pointed out that we were wasting our time. The young man, a classic narcissist, was blind to anything that was not directly related to himself. If we were to scold him, we would scold in vain.”...
  • Bah, Humbug!

    by Beth Quick
    Dickens’ short work, A Christmas Carol, begins by announcing, “Marley was dead: to begin with.” Jacob Marley was the business partner of one Ebenezer Scrooge, and he’s been dead for some time. Jacob Marley seems to be as close as Scrooge had to a “friend,” but even still Dickens makes sure to tell us that Scrooge wasn’t particularly broken-hearted over Marley’s death. In fact, Dickens doesn’t mince words in describing Scrooge. He says of Scrooge, “Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge! a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner!” Dickens continues, “Nobody ever stopped him in the street to say, with gladsome looks, “My dear Scrooge, how are you? When will you come to see me?” No beggars implored him to bestow a trifle, no children asked him what it was o’clock, no man or woman ever once in all his life inquired the way to such and such a place, of Scrooge.” “But what did Scrooge care! It was the very thing he liked. To edge his way along the crowded paths of life, warning all human sympathy to keep its distance.” Scrooge is alone, and he seems to like it that way. His nephew tries to reach out to him, to close the distance between them, but Scrooge rebuffs his efforts. When Scrooge expresses his typical “Bah, humbug” about Christmas, and his nephew tries to coax him out of his bad attitude, Scrooge responds: “What else can I be [but cross],” returned the uncle, “when I live in such a world of fools as this? Merry Christmas! Out upon merry Christmas! What’s Christmas time to you but a time for paying bills without money; a time for finding yourself a year older, but not an hour richer … “Nephew!” says Scrooge. “Keep Christmas in your own way, and let me keep it in mine.”...

Illustrated Resources (and Other Resources of Merit) from 2016 to 2018

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)
  • Proper 20C (2016)

    by Delmer Chilton
    There is a scene in the comic movie My Cousin Vinny in which Brooklyn lawyer Vinny is instructed by a very serious small-town judge in Alabama “Do not appear in my court without appropriate attire.” The next day Vinny shows up dressed in his usual black leather jacket. When the judge reminds him that he was ordered to wear a suit and fines him for being in contempt of court, Vinny is astonished and says, “You were serious about that?”
  • What Separates Us from Each Other and from God?

    by Anthony Clavier
    Elizabeth Gaskell wrote a novel about a rich cotton mill owner in Victorian England, or more precisely the north of England. The name given to the ‘fictional’ city where the mill operates is a disguise for Manchester, perhaps the center of industrial growth and the exploitation of cheap labor before laws were introduced to protect working class people and banning child labor. The book was adapted for television by the BBC and shown in America on PBS. At the heart of the story is the inability of the young mill owner and his hard mother to see beyond profit. The workers are a commodity. Their suffering is irrelevant. They are only visible when they make a nuisance of themselves: when they strike.
  • Reversal of Fortune

    by Bob Cornwall
    Back in 1983 Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy starred in a movie titled Trading Places. It’s been a few years, but maybe you remember the movie in which a snobbish rich man played by Dan Aykroyd gets switched with a street con artist played Eddie Murphy. They find themselves in the other’s shoes, trying to make sense of their differing situations. This proves especially difficult for Aykroyd’s character because he’s not used to having to deal with life on the streets. While his previous life had been relatively easy, now it was much more difficult! While the plotline for Trading Places doesn’t exactly parallel that of Lazarus and the Rich Man, there is in this parable a reversal of fortunes. In a real way they traded places.
  • Hugged to God's Bosom

    by Owen Griffiths
    To be “in the bosom” evokes a lot of images. Most likely, it referred to the tradition of the ancient world of having formal dinners where you ate while reclining on your left elbow. If Abraham is the host, than the guy on his right hand—the side that he’s facing where his chest would be—is the guest of honor. Lazarus, the poor, sick slob locked on the outside of the gate, is now the recipient of all of the hospitality and honor of heaven.
  • Proper 21C (2016)

    by Peggy Hoppes
    In the story of “The Hunger Games,” the people in the Capitol have no idea what life is like in the districts. They eat, drink and act merry all the time, encouraged by the comforts of life in the safety of the city. Meanwhile, the rest of the people are dying from hunger and are oppressed by powers above. The people of the Capitol see the games as an exciting time meant to bring unity to the nation, even though the districts are losing a beloved child in a cruel and tragic way. They don’t experience the suffering; they have no compassion because they ignore the suffering of others; they are happy to be living well, sleeping on ivory couches, even though they are doing so on the misery of the poor. It is easy to close our eyes to suffering when our own life is going well...
  • "God Is My Help": Seeing Lazarus

    by Janet Hunt
    it was more than a decade ago now. I was at the airport --- although time has erased for me my memory of which one. I do remember that I was on my way home and the journey which I was on the last leg of had been a long one. Jet lag had caught up with me and I was walking bleary eyed, just trying to put one foot in front of the other as I made my way to my connecting gate. My carry on bag was rolling behind me. I did not see her, truly I did not. In fact, I had no idea that my carry on bag had rolled over her foot until with eyes flashing she loudly (and rightly so) called my attention to it.
  • Glimpsing the Kingdom in the Other

    by Marshall Jolly
    The American author and playwright Tennessee Williams said it best: “The world is violent and mercurial. It will have its way with you. We are saved only by love—love for each other and the love that we pour into the art we feel compelled to share: being a parent, being a writer, being a painter, being a friend. We live in a perpetually burning building, and what we must save from it, all the time, is love.”...
  • An Antidote to Sin's Narcotic Slumbers

    by Oliver Keenan, OP
    But there’s an antidote to opium: it’s called Narcan, and it features from time-to-time on hospital dramas. The one who’s overdosed wakes up with a jolt, within minutes of its administration. Christianity is more like Narcan than opium. The Eucharist is our weekly shot. By its power we are awakened to live more fully in reality, to see its resplendent beauty without denying the darkness caused by sin. And sometimes we’re awoken with a jolt.
  • Utter, Unimaginable Novelty

    by Terrance Klein
    Her comment reminded me of a passage from Story of a Soul, the autobiography of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux. Here’s how, in her journal, the young Carmelite nun described the relationship of this world to the next. I imagine I was born in a country which is covered in thick fog. I never had the experience of contemplating the joyful appearance of nature flooded and transformed by the brilliance of the sun. It is true that from childhood, I have heard people speak of these marvels, and I know the country in which I am living is not really my true fatherland, and there is another I must long for without ceasing.
  • It's Getting Hot in Here

    by Angie Larson
    The World Health Organization (WHO) recently released a study looking at global warming and its effects on people in Sub-Saharan Africa. By the year 2020 over 200 million people will fall further into water scarcity and poverty. In some countries, yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by up to 50%. This means that people living in already impoverished countries with poor incomes will fall even further into poverty. By United States standards that means people living on less than $1.00 a day will end up living on less than $0.50 a day at the same time the cost of living is increasing.
  • Life That Really Is Life

    by Anne Le Bas
    “Sumptuously” - now there’s a wonderful, evocative word. It’s an interesting word too, with a long history. It comes from the Latin word - “sumptus” - expense . Throughout history nations have passed what are called “sumptuary laws”, laws which govern what people of different classes are allowed to wear. In Ancient Rome, only the Emperor was allowed to wear purple, dyed with the fantastically expensive Tyrian purple dye made from the tiny murex shell . Senators were allowed a purple stripe on their togas, but that was all. There were sumptuary laws in Medieval England too, laying down what kinds of fabrics and furs different ranks were allowed. Again, purple was a restricted colour. Only the royal family could wear it on outer garments. Lower ranks of the aristocracy could have it in the lining of their clothes, but ordinary people couldn’t wear it at all. The whole complicated business was designed to reinforce the pecking order. Just by looking at someone you could tell how important they were.
  • Rock-a My Soul (Luke)

    Art and Faith by Lynn Miller
    Over time, the bosom of Abraham became synonymous with Heaven itself. In the picture above, it is the infant Jesus who sits on the lap (in the bosom) of Abraham and both child and patriarch find themselves in Paradise. Clusters of dates are so plentiful that the branch bends down with the weight.
  • She Knew I Knew

    by Larry Patten
    Bright lights flashed. I steered to the shoulder and stopped. In my rearview mirror I watched the Kings Canyon National Park ranger open the door, alight from her seat, and purposefully stride toward me. My wife sat in the passenger seat, still and silent. Our Minnesota-born niece and nephew, in California to attend college, occupied the back seat. All were witnesses to my foolishness. This was in 2010. I still recall my embarrassment.
  • A Monster at the End of This Sermon

    by Nate Phillips
    I remember the time I tried to introduce my daughter Lily, then two years old, to one of my favorite children's books, "There is a Monster at the End of this Book" starring lovable, furry, old Grover. To begin with, Lily was excited about Grover--even if she thought he was Elmo--and allowed me to read her the book. About halfway through the book, though, she grabbed it out of my hands and slammed it shut. "That's a scary monster," she told me. "I don't want it." As disappointed as I was, I said, "Ok, we don't have to read it," and I put the book back on the shelf. The next day I found the scary monster book in the refrigerator freezer--at Lily level.
  • Our Need to Share Our Riches with the Poor

    by Ron Rolheiser, OMI
    From Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum in 1891, to Pope Francis’ recent, Evangelii Gaudium, we hear the same refrain: while we have a moral right to own private property, that right is not absolute and is mitigated by a number of things, namely, we only have a right to surplus when everyone else has the necessities for life. Hence, we must always be looking towards the poor in terms of dealing with our surplus. Moreover, Catholic social doctrine tells us too that the earth was given by God for everyone and that truth too limits how we define what is really ours as a possession. Properly speaking, we are stewards of our possessions rather than owners of them.
  • Rich Man versus Lazarus

    by David Russell
    I watched a panel discussion on an alarming and disturbing trend in American culture: the growing gap between the rich and the super-rich. While the super-rich are becoming phenomenally, absurdly wealthy, the mere rich are being left behind. One panelist noted that the average investment banker can only afford one boat, while the super-rich might have 6 or 7 boats. You’ve got to have a decent yacht to live comfortably, he said. Another person on the panel personalized the discussion by disclosing that he himself was from a rich background. He said that it was difficult growing up -- his family had to share a tennis court with some other rich families, and they did not have a waterfall in their swimming pool like the super-rich kids did. He felt locked in behind the gates of his gated community, safely out of sight of the super-rich.
  • Keep Things Flowing

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    There was a beautiful lake that lost its zesty freshness. The water formerly had been clear. It was alluring to animals and people alike. But it became covered with a green scum. The farm animals became ill from drinking the water. Finally someone came by the lake who understood the problem. Debris collecting from the hard spring rains had stopped up the dam and prevented the free flow of water, not into the lake, but out of the lake. The spillway was cleared, and soon the lake was fresh and clean again. The flow in and out was necessary to keep the water pure! Doesn't the same principle apply to you and me as human beings? The blessings of life flow to you and me, but we fail to realize that most of these blessings are not meant just to flow to us, but through us, for the good of others around us, especially for those in need.
  • Images of the Rich Man and Lazarus

    Compiled by Jenee Woodard
  • Movies/Scenes Representing Greed

    Compiled by Jenee Woodard
  • The Truett Pulpit (Proper 21C)(2016)

    by Brett Younger
    The gap between the rich and the hungry is increasing. Most of us are in the group studying the menu while children starve. We are picking our favorite drink at Starbucks while mothers lose their five-year-olds. We are looking for the best barbecue place while five-year-olds lose their mothers. We are complaining about the choices at the cafeteria while fathers choose between eating enough to keep working and feeding their daughters. We are working through the microwave lean cuisines trying to find the ones that taste like food while women walk two miles for clean water every day. We are arguing the merits of Moe’s versus Chipotle while two-year-olds suffer brain damage from a lack of protein. We are saving room for dessert while God’s children struggle to survive. We do not talk about it much because they are on the other side of the chasm, but 21,000 people die every day from hunger-related diseases. Three-fourths of the deaths are children under the age of five. Bono said, “Where you live in the world should not determine whether you live.” But it does...

Illustrated Resources (and Other Resources of Merit) from 2013 to 2015

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)
  • What Mesmerizes

    by Christopher Burkett
    ("I don't know who told this story, but it gets to the heart of the matter: It concerns the children of an elderly lady who had recently died. They had gathered at her home to set about closing it up and disposing of her things. One of the children found several of her old cheque books and began to thumb through them. After each recorded deposit of her pension the first cheque recorded was to her church....")
  • Proper 21C (2013)

    by Delmer Chilton
    Scroll down the page for this resource.

    "One weekday noon I went into a church member's place of business for lunch: Alvis Brigg's Bar-B-Q. As I walked in, a Briggs grandchild, a boy about 4 years old, spotted me. He stood up in the booth where he was sitting and yelled out, 'Hello . . . ' and then he was silent, because he couldn't remember where he knew me from. He tried a couple more times, 'HELLO . . . ' then silence and meditation,... "

  • Poverty Reduction...Of the Soul

    by Daniel Clendenin
    ("Hardly a month goes by without some mention of the growing gap between the rich and poor. There are important disagreements about the causes, consequences, and solutions of radical inequality, but the reality of it is undeniable. Consider two recent studies...")
  • Hell: What It Is, What It Isn't.

    by Anne Emry
    ("It is said that Rabbi Haim of Romshishok was transported to the afterlife. He found himself in Hell, and saw people gathered at a table around a magnificent banquet. The people seated at the table were starving and moaning with hunger. As the Rabbi drew closer he saw that each person's arms were tied to a splint so they couldn't bend them. They were holding long spoons, and could reach the food but couldn't feed themselves...")
  • Being People of Hope

    by Beth Johnston
    "Upstairs Downstairs, which is now back in reruns, is a 1970's tv series, set in the early 19th century in England. It is the story of the Bellamy family of London. They are wealthy and have many servants and a fine house, but their wealth does not make them happy, and it does not prevent tragic events..."
  • The Hell of Loneliness

    by Debra Dean Murphy
    ("Last Sunday, in a speech to unemployed workers on the island of Sardinia, Pope Francis went off-script in response to Francesco Mattana, a 45-year-old married father of three who lost his job with an alternative energy company four years ago. Mattana, his voice trembling, told the pope that unemployment 'oppresses you and wears you out to the depths of your soul'. 'I find suffering here,' said the pope.'...")
  • Who Wants to Be Your Brother?

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    ("We are all about family. The truth is, the problem is, we are all about OTHER people's families. The most popular show on television today? Duck Dynasty. After that there are the programs about The Kardashians, Housewives of various zip codes, and Hoarders. We like to spy-glass at the inner-workings of family relationships that we can keep at arm's length...")
  • The Overlook

    by Carlos Wilton
    ("Wandering around the Albuquerque Airport Terminal, after learning my flight had been delayed for four hours, I heard an announcement: 'If anyone in the vicinity of Gate A-4 understands any Arabic, please come to the gate immediately.' Well — one pauses these days. Gate A-4 was my own gate. I went there. An older woman in full traditional Palestinian embroidered dress, just like my grandma wore, was crumpled to the floor, wailing loudly....")

Illustrated Resources (and Other Resources of Merit) from 2010 to 2012

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)
  • Pig Farmer Theology

    by K. Jason Coker
    ("There once were two pig farmers who were having a tough year. One said to the other, 'If you had 1,000 pigs, would you give me 500 to help me out?' With real honesty, the other pig farmer replied, 'Absolutely! I know how hard it is these days and you know I'd help you out.' A few minutes later, the pig farmer asked his friend again...")
  • Road to Riches Could Be the Ruination of All

    by Gwynne Dyer
    ("It may have been Ella Fitzgerald or maybe Sophie Tucker who first said: 'I've been rich and I've been poor. Rich is better.' Doesn't matter. It's true, other things being equal - but 'other things' are not equal. The United Nations General Assembly is now holding its annual meeting in New York...")
  • Paying Attention

    by George Hermanson
    ("A Grade 9 student arrived for the first day of school and was set upon by a group of six to ten older students who mocked him, called him a homosexual for wearing pink and threatened to beat him up. The next day, grade 12 students David Shepherd and Travis Price decided something had to be done about bullying...")
  • Proper 21C (2010)

    by Scott Hoezee
    ("In her gripping book, Enrique's Journey, journalist Sonia Nazario paints vignette after vignette of the abject poverty that exists just south of the U.S. border in lands like Mexico and Honduras. The poverty in these countries is staggering as is the extremes of behavior to which that impoverished state drives people....")
  • What Would It Take to Get Your Attention?

    by Beth Johnston
    "Every Christmas since I can remember I have watched (or had the opportunity to watch) the movie, A Christmas Carol starring Alistair Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge. Mr Scrooge has become synonymous with wealthy and uncaring skinflints and even has a counterpart as Scrooge MacDuck in the LooneyTunes cartoon series..."
  • Closing the Great Chasm: Faith & Global Hunger (Part 2)

    by Barbara Lundblad
    ("A few years ago a woman named Sara Miles walked into a church, and she has never been the same since. She talks about that day in her book Take This Bread: 'One early, cloudy mourning when I was forty-six, I walked into a church, ate a piece of bread, and took a sip of wine. A routine Sunday activity for tens of millions of Americans--except that up until that moment I'd led a thoroughly secular life...")
  • Still Too Ugly

    by Leon Pereira, OP
    ("In 1892 the French writer Émile Zola went to Lourdes in search of a miracle. Zola, a dogmatic atheist, declared, 'I only want to see a cut finger dipped in water and come out healed'. In Lourdes he met a young woman called Marie Lemarchand, who was in an advanced and terminal stage of tuberculosis. Zola himself described how the 'ulceration had spread and was hourly spreading and devouring the membrane in its progress...")
  • Proper 21C (2010)

    by Amy Richter
    ("A man told this story of his experience just before his father died. The man and his sister were taking care of their father who was in the last stages of cancer, the man staying with their bed-ridden father during the day and his sister staying with their father through the night. It had been a hard day...")
  • Jesus the Toxicologist

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    ("In late August of this year 67 year old Billie Jean James, who had been missing for four months, was finally found. Her husband found her dead in their own home, buried under one of the mountains of trash that filled their house from top to bottom. Billie Jean had been a 'hoarder', compulsively stuffing more and more 'stuff' into her home, filling up every room with strange collections of this and that, incapable of throwing anything, even garbage, away....")
  • The Gift of Enough

    by Kristen Swenson
    ("Before my Great Aunt Esther died, she lived in downtown Minneapolis in poverty. Oddly, this is not embarrassing to my proper, upper-middle-class, Christian family. Esther simply continued to live as she had when her husband, my grandmother's brother Ludwig, was alive...")
  • A Parable of Judgment and Grace

    by Garth Wehrfritz-Hanson
    ("Recently I read the newsletter from my seminary in Saskatoon. In it there was an interesting article written by a bright, young seminary student, Melissa Hoehn. She shares her reflections on a life-challenging trip that she and other seminary students made to Ethiopia. Her experiences in Ethiopia are similar to what is happening in today's gospel parable. Listen to what she says...")
  • Dives' Sin of Omission

    by Tobias Winwright
    ("In my Poverty, Wealth, and Justice course, students still read Jonathan Kozol's 1995 bestseller, Amazing Grace: The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation, which includes the author's interviews with children in Mott Haven, one of the poorest neighborhoods in the South Bronx. It is striking how many of these kids bring up theology in their reflections...")

Illustrated Resources (and Other Resources of Merit) from 2007 to 2009

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)
  • The Rich Man and Lazarus

    by Mickey Anders
    ("'One billion dollars is no longer enough.' So begins the 25th anniversary edition of the Forbes 400, a listing of the richest Americans...")
  • Happiness

    by Christina Berry
    ("Years ago I was invited to the first birthday party of the only child of a very well-off young couple I know. I arrived just as the gifts were being opened, and for two hours, I watched the young mother unwrap gifts. The baby, after an hour of opening present after present, was exhausted and crying and near hysteria..." and other illustrations)
  • Why Was the Rich Man Condemned?

    by Phil Bloom
    ("When Pope John Paul II visited New York City in 1979, he gave a powerful reflection on the rich man and Lazarus. He said: 'The rich man was condemned because he did not pay attention to the other man...Nowhere does Christ condemn the mere possession of earthly goods as such...")
  • Remember Who You Are

    by Tom Cox
    ("Fr. Colm Kilcoyne once memorably recalled how he and probably most of his generation were sent off to school, sports or socials with a good douse of holy water from the huge hallway font and the maternal greeting/warning ringing in your ears; 'now remember who you are'. It wasn't really a reference to social standing. It was more of a call back to live your life worthily, with the dignity it deserved...")
  • Slouching Towards Utopia

    by J. Bradford DeLong
    ("Let us begin with how poor the world was in the last generation of the nineteenth century. In some ways the world economy at the start of the twentieth century was still remarkably preindustrial. Most human beings still earned their bread out of the earth by the sweat of their brow. Most human beings could not read...")
  • The Chasm

    by Gary L. Lake Dillensnyder
    ("Like the story of King Lear who finds vulnerability in his inability to command his daughter's love, he finds the reality of vulnerability out in the wiles beyond the order and false security of the palace walls. Falling to the among the common street people and beggars of his day, Lear finds his refection in the water of a puddle. And in that reflection he sees himself as he really is for perhaps the first time...")
  • The Sin of Indifference

    by Donna Downs
    In Charles Dickens’s well-known classic, The Christmas Carol, the ghost of Bob Marley appears to Scrooge on Christmas Eve at the stroke of midnight. Scrooge alone, in front of the fire, at first believes that his imagination is playing tricks on him. The rattling of chains and the ghostly moans get louder and louder and suddenly the ghost of his old friend and business partner appears before him. Scrooge tries to dismiss his presence but is unsuccessful. Marley beseeches Scrooge to change his selfish ways before its too late and he to suffers eternal damnation. Marley in hopes of convincing Scrooge tells him that 3 ghosts will appear; ghosts of the past, present and future. Marley and the ghosts who walked with Scrooge before daybreak were trying to help him transform his life and recognize the suffering of others because he was indifferent to the needs of others. Scrooge lacked compassion.
  • Ordinary 26C (2007)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time two girls joined Molly Whoopy's girl's basketball team at Mother Mary High School. They were very good players, but they didn't like to practice hard....")
  • Radical Generosity

    by Nicholas Lang
    In American Beauty, a darkly comic film about suburbia, Lester Burnam is a man who has lived a meaningless, almost trite life...
  • Lazarus and the Rich Guy

    by David Martyn
    ("Ronald Frump was a rich tycoon, who profited from hostile corporate takeovers, often evicted hundreds of people at once from their Manhattan apartments to make way for his building projects, and he was known for his ruthless firing policies. He also cheated on his income taxes, and had little concern for the safety and welfare of his employees, as long as his profit margin was maximized...")
  • Ordinary 26C (2007)

    by Paul O'Reilly, SJ
    ("I have a very good friend who is a drug addict. He hasn't used any "stuff" for about four years now, but he still calls himself a drug addict. And his story is the usual one. At about age 12 he started smoking cigarettes, not because he really liked them, but because it was fashionable and also because it was a way of rebelling against his parents. About age 15, he began using a little marijuana...")
  • Charles Dickens Meets the Rich Man and Lazarus

    by Jim Somerville
    ("Jesus' story ends where Charles Dickens' best-known story begins. There someone does come back from the dead--the ghost of Jacob Marley--to beg his tight-fisted former partner, Ebenezer Scrooge, to repent of his miserliness. But he won't! As Marley's ghost leaves the room, dragging his long chains behind him, Scrooge tries to convince himself that he has imagined the whole thing...")
  • God's Support Staff

    by James Standiford
    ("perhaps you heard the story of the Lutheran, Baptist, and Methodist missionaries who went to serve a cannibal tribe...")
  • Why We Can’t Wait

    by Keith Wagner
    "In the late '80s, Wendie Malick had moved to L.A., after working as a fashion model in Europe. Although her career as an actress was starting to take off, she was still unhappy. One day her best friend, the actress, Mary Kay Place, called her and said, 'I'm going on this trip. We're building houses in Tijuana. Why don't you come and work with us?'..."

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

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)
  • The Clothes Horse and the Beggar

    by Kenneth Bailey
    (No illustrations but worth the read from a respected author!!)
  • Close That Gap!

    by Peter Blackburn
    ("Aunt Emma was married to a tight-fisted man who was also a little strange. He made a good salary, but they lived frugally because he insisted on putting 20 percent of his pay-cheque under the mattress. The money, he said, was going to come in handy in their old age. 'When Uncle Ollie was 60, he was stricken with cancer...")
  • An Eternally Unbridgeable Chasm

    by Phil Bloom
    ("In A Severe Mercy, Sheldon Vanauken tells about his conversion to Christianity and the death of his wife Davy. He wrote to a fellow Christian, C.S. Lewis, who had also lost a much loved spouse. He confided he yearned so much to see his wife that he was considering suicide. Lewis wrote back giving reasons why suicide was out of the question...")
  • Proper 21C (2004)

    by Sarah Dylan Breuer
    (a good read)
  • The Rich Man and Lazarus

    by William Byron, SJ
    ("One of the great jazz pianists of the 20th Century was Mary Lou Williams. She had a mid-life spiritual conversion in response to personal and career problems in the 1950s....")
  • Thinking a Minute About Eternity

    by John Christianson
    ("It seems that a King once had four wives.He loved the fourth wife most of all. He showed his love by dressing her in the finest clothes and feeding her the very best food. He loved the third wife also. She was a real trophy and he liked to show her off in the neighboring kingdoms, but he always feared that she would leave him for somebody else...")
  • Reversal of Fortune

    by Tom Cox
    ("In the story, the situations of the rich man and Lazarus are ultimately fixed. Old attitudes die hard, even in hell the rich man sees Lazarus as his servant. There is no possibility of change for either of them. Our own situation, however, is not fixed. Thus we can identify with the rich man's five living brothers. Their future possibilities are open. So are ours...")
  • Where Are the Dead?

    by James R. Davis
    ("Raymond Moody wrote a book The Light Beyond, a research done with those who have had near-death experiences. His research led him to conclude that something leaves the body at death, and that something continues to exist. Moody through his research discovered that nine traits of the near death experiences are common...")
  • Slouching Towards Utopia

    by J. Bradford DeLong
    ("Let us begin with how poor the world was in the last generation of the nineteenth century. In some ways the world economy at the start of the twentieth century was still remarkably preindustrial. Most human beings still earned their bread out of the earth by the sweat of their brow. Most human beings could not read...")
  • Ordinary 26C (1998)

    by Mary Durkin
    ("Once upon a time, about thirty years ago, two young men, friends fresh out of college, began working for the same company. Tom, a real go-getter, was determined he was going to be an important person in the company, even if he had to step on a few toes to achieve his goal...")
  • A Good Foundation for the Future

    by Richard Fairchild
    "There is a story told about a Texan who, after a lifetime of frustrated striving finally struck it rich in oil. The first thing he did was go to Dallas and buy himself his dream outfit - boots, spurs, a 10 gallon hat, and all the trimmings..."
  • Proper 21C (2004)

    by Grant Gallup
    ("Hilaire Belloc wrote a poem to Dives, the traditional name for the rich man: 'Dives, when you and I go down to Hell, Where scribblers end and millionaires as well, We shall be carrying on our separate backs Two very large but very different packs...")
  • A Word for Losers

    by Vince Gerhardy
    ("Like the young woman sitting in the first class section on a plane, heading for Sydney. The flight attendant approached her and requested that she move to economy since she didn't have a first class ticket. The young woman replied firmly, 'That's too bad. I'm here now, I'm going to Sydney and I'm not moving.'...")
  • Dancing Camels?

    Narrative Sermon by Patricia Gillespie
  • Ordinary 26C (2004)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time, not so very long ago, a new girl came to the seventh grade at St. Mary's school. Annie had come to live with her aunt and uncle after her parents, brother and sister had been killed in an auto accident, Annie had managed to roll out from under the car and was not physically damaged...")
  • Ordinary 26C (2004)

    by Thomas J. Gumbleton
    ("Mother Teresa was walking with a visitor taking supplies of rice to the poorest of the poor families in Calcutta. They went into a home where there was a mother with two or three children. They poured rice into the family's rice container. The mother took it and poured half into another container. They asked her why. She said, 'Well there's a neighbor family and they are without food also, so I am sharing half of my rice with them.'...")
  • Proper 21C (2004)

    by Roger Haugen
    ("The story is told of a television interview with former President Jimmy Carter about his involvement with Habitat for Humanity. He said he had been long a member of a church made up of people who sincerely cared about helping the poor. Among the many projects they did each year was to collect money to provide a special Thanksgiving dinner for a poor family..." and another illustration)
  • Do The Right Thing

    by Mark Haverland
    ("A few years ago I watched a tape of President Lyndon Johnson as he introduced the Civil Rights Act in congress., 'I know,' said Johnson, 'that you do not want to do this. I know how hard it is for many of us. I am a southern white male whose whole world revolves around the inferiority of the Negro. But,' the president told a reluctant Congress, 'you're going to pass this bill because it is the right thing to do.'...." and other quotes - recommended!!)
  • Dying into Life

    by Charles Hoffacker
    ("Mitch Albom recalls an unusual class from his college days. The professor has the students participate in this same trust exercise. There too the result is hesitation, embarrassment, and laughter. One student redeems the situation. A thin, quiet, dark-haired girl who almost always wears bulky white fisherman sweaters, she crosses her arms across the chest, closes her eyes, leans back, and does not flinch...")
  • Redeem the Present, Insure the Future

    by Charles Hoffacker
    ("Rabbi Joshua, the son of Levi, traveled to Rome in the third century. He was astonished at the magnificent buildings he saw. He was especially struck to see how the statues were cared for, because they were covered with fine cloth to protect them from summer heat and winter cold. As he admired these statues, a beggar pulled at his sleeve and asked for a crust of bread...")
  • Learning to "Look" like Christians

    by Don Hoffman
    ("Once upon a time there was a person who was building a castle. He piled the bricks high into walls and battlements and towers. She dug a moat both deep and wide. As the work progressed a poor beggar came along. 'Please,' said the beggar, 'give me something to eat, and I'll help you build.'..." and other quotes)
  • Why Lazarus Has a Name

    by Don Hoffman
    ("A Christmas Carol is a story of someone who comes back from the dead to warn Ebenezer Scrooge, and the story of how Scrooge, guided by three Christmas ghosts, learns to really see and hear the rest of his world, the Lazaruses of his world, the Tiny Tims of his world....")
  • You Can't Get There from Here

    by John Jewell
    ("What is it that makes for abundance? The answers to this question will fall on either side of another chasm. One answer is: 'Abundance is to have what will satisfy me.' That's the view of the world and the view of the rich man in Jesus' story. Another answer is: 'Abundance is to be satisfied with what I have.'...")
  • A Message from Hades

    by Beth Johnston
    "At the beginning of every episode of the television show Twice in A Lifetime, a recently deceased person is brought before a heavenly judge and is on the verge of being condemned. However, upon the intervention of a celestial advocate, the person is given three days to change their life. They are transported back in time to be able to interact with and influence a younger version of themselves..."
  • A Sign of Hope

    by Beth Johnston
    "In the billion dollar box office hit Titanic, the well off and very arrogant cad Caledon Hockley tries to use his wealth as a ticket to a place in the lifeboat. Indeed he regarded his wealth as a ticket to absolutely everything, including happiness. During the voyage he discovers that his wealth can not make his beautiful socialite fiancee Rose DeWitt Bukater love him..."
  • True Peace

    by Linda Kraft
    ("Stephen J. Gould is a professor of Zoology at Harvard University. A few days after the attack on the World Trade Center, he and others went to New York City to offer their assistance in any way they could. He writes: 'As we left a local restaurant to make a delivery to ground zero late one evening, the cook gave us a shopping bag'..." and another illustration)
  • Mind The Gap

    by Kirk Alan Kubicek
    ("August 10th was the feast day of Laurence, Deacon of Rome. His ministry was to the poor and abandoned people of the streets of Rome. He administered the diocesan treasury to feed and clothe and help the poor. When the church was under persecution by the Roman Empire, Laurence was ordered by a magistrate to round up the treasures of the church and turn them over to the government...")
  • Ordinary 26C (2004)

    by Paul Larsen
    ("In the book, Real Friends: Becoming the Friend You'd Like to Have, there is a story about a woman named Erma. Erma, who was looking forward to some alone time on her flight home, sat down in the airport waiting area. She opened up a book and began to read. It felt so good just to sit there with no one to bother her..." and other illustrations)
  • Reach Out and Touch

    by Edward Markquart
    ("There are many books that I have enjoyed about Mother Teresa, but the one I have enjoyed the most is by Malcolm Muggeridge, entitled Something Beautiful for God. In his book about her, he says when she was interviewed by journalists who came to sit at her feet; when anybody came to talk with her, at the end of the conversation, she always asked in her rough, coarse, peasant voice, in English, with a twinkle in her eye, 'You want to do something beautiful for God?...")
  • What Are You Doing for Lazarus?

    by Edward Markquart
    ("Albert Schweitzer was a man from England and he was enormously gifted. He had degrees in music, medicine, and theology; he could do almost everything and anything. One day, Albert Schweitzer came to church and heard a sermon preached about the parable, the rich man and Lazarus, and his life was changed...")
  • Bridging the Gap

    by David Martyn
    ("You don't have to believe in heaven or hell to go see Robin William's latest movie What Dreams May Come. The movie is a metaphysical romance that takes literally the notion that life after death is what each individual imagines it to be. Williams plays a character, Chris Nelson, whose children are killed in a traffic accident two years before he meets a similar fate...")
  • A Great Chasm

    by David Martyn
    ("'Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner....")
  • Seeing Lazarus

    by David Martyn
    "There was a king of Iran who said to a dervish, an Islamic holy man, 'Tell me a story.' The dervish said: 'Your Majesty, I will tell you the tale of Hatim Tai, the Arabian King and the most generous man of all time; for if you could be like him, you would indeed be the greatest king alive.’ ‘Speak on,’ said the king..."
  • Have You Heard About These Two Guys?

    by Steven Molin
    ("Have you heard the one about the 80 year old husband and wife, who both died at the very same time? When they got to heaven, they were astounded by the spectacular beauty they saw there. It was spectacular! With disgust, he looked at his wife, and said to her with disdain in his voice 'You! If it weren't for you and all those bran muffins, we could have been here 20 years ago!'...")
  • The Gifts of God for the People of God

    by Eric Muirhead
    ("In January of 1988, I received a phone call from a friend in Medicine Hat. 'Would you like a kitten?' the familiar voice asked. Seems my friend's wife had found a kitten cowering in the parking lot of the Medicine Hat Mall, shivering and dirty. She'd taken the poor little thing out to their home in the country and were now canvassing their friends and neighbors....")
  • Separation, Humility and Grace

    by William Oldland
    It was Confirmation Sunday at the suburban Episcopal Church. Everyone is smiling and happy. Everyone except the old man sitting on the far right side of the front steps. The clothing he wears is old, patched and worn. He has on a hat to keep the sun out of his eyes. He does not appear to have any money. In fact, he appears homeless and there is a bulge in his jacket pocket. Perhaps it is a bottle? He is seated where the steps and the path from the parking lot intersect. Everyone coming from the parking lot must walk by him. As they approach and see him they move to the far side of the path, look away, and walk around him. It is as if he is not even there. No one stops. No one hesitates. No one speaks. The procession lines up. The first chords of the pipe organ sound and the procession of acolytes, choir and servers moves into the church. As the priest crosses the threshold the old man stands up, brushes himself off, and joins the procession. The congregation is in shock!! No one moves but they all stare as the old man silently processes behind the priest to the front of the church and stops in front of the altar. People wonder what to do and when the music stops it is deathly quiet. Standing there in the silence the old man takes the bulge out of his pocket. It is a stole. He removes his hat, puts on the stole and turns to face the congregation. The congregation recognizes their newly elected bishop as he begins to celebrate the Eucharist...
  • A Changing Church for a Changing World

    by Raymond Osborne
    ("In his book City Reaching: On the Road to Community Transformation, Jack Dennison, the founder and president of CitiReach International says something is afoot throughout most of the world that North America is missing. Christianity is experiencing a worldwide explosion in growth, unparalleled in its history...")
  • Bridging the Gap

    by John Pavelko
    ("Like so many of his stories, Jesus tells a parable of reversal. Someone low is going up; someone high is being brought low. Bob Dylan captured the thought in his song The Times They are a Changin'. The ballad came out of the turbulent 60's; an era of dramatic social change. In poetic rhyme, Dylan warned that 'The line it is drawn The curse it is cast'...")
  • The Doors We Never Open

    by Michael Phillips
    ("C.S. Lewis portrayed hell, not as a flaming inferno, but as a dark, shady, chilly, and boring place. Its proud citizens may depart whenever they choose. But just as they did on earth, people choose separation from God and others over community..." and other illustrations)
  • Easy Targets

    by Stephen Portner
    ("A Peanuts cartoon shows Snoopy shivering in the cold, snowflakes falling all around. Linus and Charlie Brown are shown walking towards him. Their heads and bodies are almost entirely covered with long, warm coats and oversized hats with ear flaps. Charlie Brown says to Linus, 'Snoopy looks kind of cold, doesn’t he?'...")
  • Invest In People

    by Stephen Portner
    ("Bill Hybels, pastor of Willow Creek Community church, writes in his book Becoming A Contagious Christian: "I remember ...thinking, What am I going to do with my life? What's important enough for me to invest my whole future in? ...As it turned out, that was a thought I was never able to shake, inspite of all the allurements and opportunities that could pull me in other directions...")
  • Have You Heard the Real Story of the Rich Man, Poor Man?

    by Ron Ritchie
    ("Every January, a special section in Life magazine reminds us that many rich, famous and creative writers, musicians, scientists, sport figures and movie actors have been removed from this earth by death in the year just past. The magazine prints their pictures and makes admiring comments about them...")
  • Eye of the Needle

    by John Rollefson
    ("Next to the window in my study, where I can't but see it every day, there's a framed cartoon from an old edition of the National Lampoon. It's a spoof of a Medici rose window from the cathedral in Florence...")
  • Neighbor-Numbed

    by Byron Shafer
    "For years homeless persons had lain on the steps of the 5th Avenue Presbyterian Church while those inside remained unmindful of them—neighbor-numbed, stepping over and around them, perhaps overwhelmed by just how massive the size and scale of the whole problem of homelessness really is. My wife Margaret was one of those inside that church, serving on its staff. And she tells this story..."
  • Stewards Of The Gate

    by Martin Singley
    ("For fifty-years, Eddie was the guy who maintained the rides at Ruby Pier, an amusement park. But then one day, actually on his 83rd birthday, Eddie died attempting to save an 8-year old girl from a runaway cart high atop a ride called Freddie's Freefall. The last thing he remembers is holding two soft little hands in his. And there begins Mitch Album's tale in his popular novel The Five People You Meet in Heaven....")
  • Donald Trump

    by Lee Strobel
    "Early in 1989, when Trump’s bank account was still bulging, a writer asked Trump the inevitable question about what horizons were left to conquer. 'Right now, I’m genuinely enjoying myself,' Trump replied. 'I work and I don’t worry.' 'What about death?' the writer asked..."
  • Keeping a Distance

    by Alex Thomas
    ("I have recently read Mark Pinsky's book The Gospel According to The Simpsons. Pinsky looks at the characters in this popular TV series and in a witty fashion shows how they portray the nature of our culture and the character of popular religious beliefs and practices that exist today..." and another illustration)
  • Locked Outside the Gates

    Narrative Sermon by Pamela Tinnin
    "My granddaughter’s gettin’ married come Saturday. I think she invited everybody in the county to the weddin’. Me and my daughter-in-law Ellie been bakin’ for days—there’s fourteen fruit pies in the cooler—peach, strawberry, French apple, and Fannie Johnson’s gooseberry with that fancy criss-cross crust a hers..."
  • It's Not Too Late

    by Keith Wagner
    ("If you have watched the television program Touched By An Angel, you know that in every episode the angel of death makes an appearance. He is a good looking man who comes in a light colored suit to bring the news to someone that their time is very short...." and another illustration)
  • Eat, Drink and Be Sorry

    by Tim Zingale
    ("A pastor tells the following story about a man in his parish who also had a problem with his eyesight. 'Years ago a woman in Brooklyn, New York, bequeathed her eyes to the eye bank. Upon her death, her eyes were flown to Philadelphia where the corneas were transplanted into the eyes of a man I had known for many years', said the pastor...." and other illustrations)

Other Resources from 2019 to 2021

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Other Resources from 2016 to 2018

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Other Resources from 2013 to 2015

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Other Resources from 2010 to 2012

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)

Other Resources from 2007 to 2009

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)

Other Resources from 2004 to 2006

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)

Other Resources from 2001 to 2003

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)

Other Resources from the Archives

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)

Children's Resources and Dramas

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)

The Classics

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)

Recursos en Español

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)

Currently Unavailable