Mark 12: 28-34

Illustrated New Resources

  • Take the Wheel and Drive

    by Jim Chern
    Do you remember Drivers Education? For some of you, it was probably just a couple of years ago… Not sure how much has changed, because for me it’s now 31 years ago (and wow that is really not a fun revelation to stumble upon) but back then, there were two parts of it in one semester. The first marking period we would be in a classroom talking about driving. We had a book from the NJ Department of Motor Vehicles (that looked like it had been written in the 60’s) with all kinds of rules, laws about driving. We had videos, – oh those videos! About how to drive. Again, mostly looked like they were produced in the 60’s: women in beehives and these poodle skirts, guys in shirts and ties demonstrating how to drive. The one exception was a much more current film showing the effects of drunk driving (I think it was called “Death Highway” or something… I just remember it was pretty horrific – making the point of how horrific drunk driving was). This part of drivers ed was designed to give you the theories behind the practice. I remember them giving us “the rule of thumb” for highway driveway (or as they called it “on the speedway” or “the Motor-highway”) for every 10 mph you drove, you should be 1 car length away from the car in front of you (so at 40 MPH, you should be back 4 car lengths – that you’d measure by thumb in front of you…) One guy in my class raised his hand and said “Mrs. Ratched, I thought we were supposed to keep both hands on the wheel, how are we supposed to use our thumbs to count car lengths.” She threw him out of our class. Anyway...
  • The Two Great Commandments

    by Craig Condon
    There are ten ways to love other people: Listen without interrupting. Speak without accusing. Give without sparing. Pray without ceasing. Answer without arguing. Honour others above yourself. Enjoy without complaint. Trust without wavering. Forgive without punishing Live and love as a child of God...
  • Sermon Starters (Proper 26B)(2021)

    by Chelsey Harmon
    According to Morgan Cutolo from Reader’s Digest, “Close, but no cigar!” appears to have originated at 1920s carnivals, where games were for the adults, and the prize was a cigar. If you missed the target, the person running the game would declare, “Close, but no cigar!” Consider another idiom: “Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.” Both of these sayings help us remember the metanarrative message about discipleship in the gospel of Mark: we can’t just know things, we have to know them by doing them. Further, the agenda of what we are to do is set by Christ, not ourselves (think of the rich man or when Peter is rebuked). Jesus says that the scribe is not far from the Kingdom, but he hasn’t said a thing about the scribe’s faith, nor do we read that the scribe became a follower (like Bartimaeus did). It turns out that discipleship is meant to be a bit more like gambling, we have to go “all in”: heart, soul, mind, and strength...
  • Love Your Neighbor

    by David Russell
    On Wednesday evenings we have been discussing the book, The Simple Faith of Mr. Rogers. Fred Rogers told about when he was a boy and would see scary things on the news. His mother would say to him, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” In times of trouble, look for the helpers. God’s call to each of us this morning is to be a helper. We can all find ways to be a helper. We can all find ways to love our neighbor. We can all find ways to practice compassion...

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!!]
  • *Appreciating Others

    Illustrations from the Archives
  • Love of Others

    Illustrations from the Archives
  • The Law Prioritized and Relativized

    by D. Mark Davis
    includes lots of Greek exegesis!!
  • *Jesus' Great Commandment

    by Jerry Fuller, OMI
    ("Actress Julie Andrews has someone she can call friend. According to Glenn Plashin in his book, Turning Point, Julie Andrews did not have an easy time of it growing up. Her enormous success on Broadway in My Fair Lady and in movies like The Sound of Music did not change the fact there was a real void in Andrews' life..." and several other good illustrations)
  • The One Thing

    by Sil Galvan
    In the movie City Slickers, Billy Crystal plays Mitch, a middle aged big-city radio ads salesman who is having a birthday and a mid-life crisis. And, as in all mid-life crises, Mitch is wondering about the meaning of his life, about what matters in his life and whether or not this is all that he will ever have and all that he's ever going to be. He gets himself into such a deep depression that his friends, Ed and Phil, decide the best birthday gift they can give him is for all three of them to go on a vacation driving cattle from New Mexico to Colorado. Once there, they meet Curly who not only teaches them how to become real cowboys, but also one or two other things about life. In one scene, Curly and Mitch are riding alone to round up some stray cattle. Curly explains to Mitch that all the stuff in life "don't mean nothing" if you know the one thing. When Mitch asks Curly what that one thing is, Curly tells him he has to find that out for himself...
  • Proper 26B

    by Bill Loader
    always good insights!
  • Exegetical Notes (Mark 12:28-34)

    by Brian Stoffregen
    (excellent exegesis)

Illustrated Resources (and Other Resources of Merit) from 2018 to 2020

  • Jesus, Take the Wheel?

    by Jim Chern
    How many of you remember learning how to drive? For some of you it was probably just a couple of years ago… I hate to admit that it’s now been 29 years ago so I’m sure things have changed in those decades. But back in the day – we had it as part of our physical education and health classes. So our health teacher, Mrs. Ratched had us in a classroom setting going though a book from the NJ Department of Motor Vehicles (that looked like it had been written in the 60’s) that had all kinds of rules, laws about driving. We would have videos about how to drive that also looked like they came from the 1960’s since most of the women had beehives and poodle skirts, guys in shirts and ties demonstrating how to drive. The one exception was a much more current film showing the effects of drunk driving (I think it was called “Death Highway” or something… I just remember it was pretty horrific – making the point of how horrific drunk driving was). Mrs. Ratched was responsible to teach us the theories behind the practice of driving. I remember her teaching us“the rule of thumb” for highway driveway (or as they called it “on the speedway” or “the Motor-highway”) for every 10 mph you drove, you should be 1 car length away from the car in front of you so at 40 MPH, you should be back 4 car lengths – that you’d measure by thumb in front of you… (Can you imagine?) I remember one guy in my class raised his hand and said “Mrs. Ratched, I thought we were supposed to keep both hands on the wheel, how are we supposed to use our thumbs to count car lengths.” She threw him out of our class...
  • Ordinary 31B (2018)

    by Gary Neal Hansen
    Saturday morning, at a synagogue maybe a mile from my home in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood, a man armed with an assault rifle and several handguns came in and murdered eleven worshippers, shouting anti-Semitic statements. He too was shot. He had his wounds treated by Jewish physicians at a local hospital, apparently continuing with his insults all the while. I’m not getting a ton of work done. Walking down the street I’m prone to bursting into tears. I have no idea whether the murderer professed my faith or not but, God knows, countless anti-Semitic murders and other atrocities have been done ostensibly in the name of Jesus.
  • Lose the Cape

    by Charles Reeb
    I like the movie The Incredibles. It's about a family of superheroes who try to save the world from destruction. In Bob Goff's book "Love Does," he writes about the superhero dad in the movie. He is an insurance claims adjustor, but he really wants to use his superhero powers. He begins drawing pictures of the superhero suits he wants to wear. Of course, all the suits he draws include capes. The dad has a friend named Edna who makes superhero suits and she keeps telling him that he needs to lose the cape. She mentions how capes cause big problems for super heroes. They get caught on things like fences or jet engines. Edna is famous for saying, "No capes!" You get a lot more stuff done if you lose the cape. Bob Goff thinks Jesus agrees and so do I! You know what I think will draw the world to Christ? When Christians lose the cape...
  • Honoring Talent and Grace

    by Ron Rolheiser, OMI
    The renowned Polish psychiatrist, Kasmir Dabrowski, had a thought-provoking theory about human maturity and what it takes to get here. For him, we grow by breaking down, by being driven to our knees through various crises which force us to move beyond our mediocre habits and immaturities. Richard Rohr calls this falling upwards: We mature through failure, grow arrogant through success. Mostly that’s true. Success, more than failure, destroys lives. But is that logical? Isn’t it more logical to grow through success? Shouldn’t success induce gratitude within us and make us more generous and big-hearted? Someone asked Dabrowski that question in class one day. This was his answer: “You’re right, success should make us more grateful and big-hearted; that’s the ideal way to grow … except, in more than 40 years of clinical experience, I have never seen it work that way. It only works that way in rare, exceptional cases … and that, I believe, is what makes for a great person.” A great person is someone in whom success enlarges the soul rather than swells the ego...
  • Doing Good

    by David Russell
    Daniel Grossman is an ER doctor at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. A year ago, he was a terrible accident on a mountain bike that left him paralyzed from his mid-abdomen down. Today, he is back at work, although his life has changed drastically. A lot of what he now does is physically difficult and draining – he has had to learn to do things in new ways. Many patients are shocked to see this man in a wheelchair as their doctor. But it has made it easier for patients to open up to him. When he tells them they will be facing a difficult road, they know that he has traveled that road himself. His parents, in their 70’s, are both recently retired college professors. They spend a considerable amount of time and effort helping their son. On a recent broadcast of NPR’s Here and Now, Grossman told about the moment that he apologized to his father. His parents had been traveling in Europe. They came to Minnesota to stay with him for six months. He said to his dad that he was sorry, that he knew this is not what his parents had in mind for their retirement. For the first time, his father teared up and then became almost angry. “Don’t ever apologize to me again,” he said. “This is what I signed up for on the day you were born. This is my role as a father.”...
  • The Great Lover

    by David Sellery
    Fulton Sheen gave us this insight: “God does not love us because we are valuable. We are valuable because God loves us.” This is the bridge from love of God to love of neighbor. God created and Christ died for the least attractive, least accomplished, most annoying neighbor we have...
  • A Cross-Shaped Life

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    To share about her ministry in Japan, one mission worker often wears a kimono -- a beautiful floor-length robe with wide sleeves that's tied at the waist with a sash called an "obi." Her outfit is both an example of Japanese culture and an object lesson that she uses to explain Colossians 3:14: "Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony." In the Japanese Bible she says, this verse is translated as "put on the 'obi' of love, which ties everything together in perfect harmony." Just as the obi ties the kimono together so beautifully, so love ties everything together...
  • Movies/Scenes Representing Covenant

    Compiled by Jenee Woodard
  • Movies/Scenes Representing Love

    Compiled by Jenee Woodard

Illustrated Resources (and Other Resources of Merit) from 2012 to 2017

  • Proper 26B (2012)

    by Rosalind Brown
    ("THE film Of Gods and Men tells the true story of a small group of Trappist monks in Tibhirine, Algeria. We see them living and working alongside their Muslim neighbours, and the elderly Brother Luc providing medical care. The Algerian Civil War intervenes in their lives; there are tense moments when the monastic compound is invaded by extremist militia on Christmas Eve...")
  • Love the Lord, Your God

    by Denis Hanly, MM
    Many people, women and men, have recommended, in the past, falling in love with God. Falling in love with God. And nothing is more practical, says Father Pedro Arrupe. Father Pedro Arrupe was one of the great Jesuit Superior Generals of the past and he has gone home to God. Why does he say this? Why is it so practical? And then he says, “Because when we are in love, when we are in love, we know what our priorities are, we know each day how we will devote our time and our talents. And when we are in love we find time to nourish our relationships.”...
  • What's So Golden About the Golden Rule?

    by Ron Hansen
    ("Rabbi Hillel felt that love of others was the core principle of Jewish teaching, and in a collection of his maxims there is an account of him being approached by a heathen who was considering becoming a Jew, and who asked the rabbi for a concise summation of the religion. Hillel told him: 'That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Law; the rest is commentary.'...")
  • *Ordinary 31B (2012)

    by Paul O'Reilly, SJ
    ("And so, when I hear these words of Jesus 'Love your neighbour as yourself', I think of the worst day in British football in my lifetime; worse, far worse, than losing on penalties in the world cup quarter finals.You are all too young to remember it, but your parents will. It was the 15th April 1989....")
  • The Interpretation of Love

    by Andrew Prior
    includes several quotes and interesting observations on the text!
  • Open Source

    by Nancy Rockwell
    Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the man who created the World Wide Web, spoke on a TED talk on NPR about Open Sourcing, the freedom from copyright, royalties, and all intellectual property rights into which Berners-Lee has dedicated the Web. Open Source makes available to the world all the codes and design language used in the Web project. The principle in doing this is that creating things freely and openly will lead to possibilities never imagined by the original author...
  • God's Unconditional Love

    by Ron Rolheiser, OMI
    ("A number of years ago, a young man came to me because he was in crisis: He had been having an affair with his girlfriend and she had become pregnant. For a variety of reasons, marriage was impossible. The pregnancy would have an irrevocable impact on a series of lives...")
  • Squeaky Wheels

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    ("Have you seen any of those video-tapes that chronicle the tireless, sometimes hilarious, often balletic attempts of the wily squirrel to beat all the safety devices humans install to keep them away from the birdseed?...")
  • The Great Commandment

    by Martin Thielen
    ("Steve and Lisa met and fell in love while earning their MBAs at a leading university. Young, sharp, and highly motivated, they shared a common goal to succeed in business, make a lot of money, and live the American dream. Immediately after receiving their MBA degrees, Steve and Lisa married. Soon thereafter they accepted business positions in a large city...")
  • Faith on Target

    by Keith Wagner
    "One time there was a nine-year-old kid sitting at his desk and all of a sudden, there was a puddle between his feet and the front of his pants are wet. He thought his heart would stop. It never happened before, and he knew that when the boys found out he would never hear the end of it. As the teacher was walking toward him, a classmate named Susie was carrying a goldfish bowl that was filled with water. Susie tripped in front of the teacher and inexplicably dumped the bowl of water in the boy's lap..." and other short illustrations

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

  • A Brain, A Heart, A Home, The Nerve

    by Mickey Anders
    "One of my favorite songs in The Wizard of Oz is the one where the scarecrow, the tin man and the lion take turns singing, If I Only Had…. It's a game that many of us still play today. If I Only Had… In the movie, each character had a different need..."
  • Love, the Keystone

    by Peter Blackburn
    ("It is said that the arch is the greatest Roman contribution to building technology. A wooden frame was built so that the wedge-shaped stones could be laid. They were made to fit together, to lean on one another. Finally, a larger stone wedge was dropped into place at the top...")
  • Men Have Forgotten God

    by Phil Bloom
    ("Last week I mentioned the great Russian author Alexander Solzhenitsyn. As a youth he was a fervent Communist, but his loyal service did not prevent him from becoming one of the many victims of that brutal regime. Solzhenitsyn exposed some of the brutality in his novels...")
  • Kingdom Built by Love

    by Gemechis Desta Buba
    ("Ethiopia has never seen a single day without war until today. War has been the national trademark, part of the national news, and it is always included in daily talks on the streets of the nation...")
  • Proper 26B (2006)

    from the Center for Excellence in Preaching
    ("Today as much as ever, people need to know that this kingdom is real and available. They need to see the joy and the possibilities of that kingdom in us. Because often people are too easily satisfied just to make do with what is quick and easy and cheap. People settle for sex or liquor or a rock band or the distractions provided by entertainment...")
  • Amo Ergo Sum: I Love, Therefore I Am

    by Daniel Clendenin
    ("From the time he was seven years old Will Campbell wanted to be a preacher. After ordination at the age of seventeen, for twenty years he devoted himself to the civil rights movement based upon his understanding of the Gospel. He had few peers...")
  • Study Scripture

    by George Cushman
    ("I love the thought of Karl Rahner, a spiritual theologian. He talks about God and mystery, and how so many people say we simply must believe what we are told about God and if it doesn’t make sense to us we simply say it is part of the mystery of God...")
  • Come, Follow Me

    by Patricia de Jong
    ("There is a little Sufi story about a stream of water working itself across the country, experiencing little difficulty. It ran around the rocks and through the mountains. Then it arrived at the desert. Just as it had crossed every other barrier, the stream tried to cross this one, but found that as fast as it ran into the sand, its waters disappeared...")
  • Ordinary 31B (2000)

    by Mary G. Durkin
    ("Once upon a time not so very long ago, a new pastor was assigned to a parish that was quite divided over the issue of what it means to be a good Christian...")
  • Be an Example

    by Rob Elder
    The second story is from the 1960’s. It is a briefer but no less powerful story, about the wife of a pastor. The minister had just retired from his position as the Executive for the Presbyterian Synod of New Jersey the day before he became a widower. While his wife, Dora, sat in a rocking chair on their porch, a man ran by and grabbed her purse. As he did so, Dora was thrown off balance and fell, breaking her neck. There had been $2.75 in her purse. But, as with the story of the widow’s two pennies, amounts are irrelevant in more circumstances than we might think. Hetty Green had long since lost any sense of scale, any sense of proportion when it came to spending her fortune, whether it was for a 5¢ bottle to hold medicine or a million dollars to buy a failing business. Dora also set aside proportion and scale in her commitment in her dying act. It is a sorry thing, an absurd thing to lose your life over $2.75. But Dora’s faith was judged by a different measure than dollars and cents. Her determination was to make even her death resound with the meaning of the Creator’s intention for her life.* As her husband, her pastor, and the chief of police gathered around her, her dying words to them were, “I knew the man, his family is hungry. Each of you promise to let the pastor have the church session take care of this man and his family, and see that the children get Presbyterian scholarships and go to college.” She was adamant, and lingered on the porch until all three agreed to her wish. Then, apparently satisfied, she died...
  • Love Over Law

    by Ernest Munachi Ezeogu, CSSP
    ("Here are some laws that are said to have existed or still exist in parts of the United States of America: 'In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania it is against the law to sleep in a refrigerator. There was once a law in Iowa against women wearing corsets, and an official job of corset inspector who went around poking women in the ribs to make sure they weren't wearing one...")
  • The Law and the Kingdom of God

    by Richard Fairchild
    In the days of the circuit riders a minister was out riding one afternoon and came upon a man out working in his field. "Fine day isn't it?", the minister called out. "Its fine for you", the man replied, "All you have to do is ride around on that horse thinking about God all day long, while I have to sweat here in this field and then walk home afterward. I don't think its right you should have things so easy while I have to work so hard." "On the contrary", the minister answered, "thinking about God is one of the most difficult things you can do. And to prove it, I'll give you this horse if you can think about God and nothing else for one minute." "You're on.", said the man and immediately he sat down in silence. Thirty seconds later he looked up at the minister. "Does that include the saddle?", he asked.
  • Not Far From The Kingdom of God

    by Richard Fairchild
    A thoughtful, curious young man went to the desert to visit an elderly man, a monk, who had lived in the desert for many years. Arriving at the holy man's cave, the young man encountered the monk, who was sitting out enjoying the sun, his dog lying lazily at his side. This spiritual seeker asked, "Why is it, teacher, that some who seek God come to the desert and are zealous in prayer, but leave after a year or so, while others, like you, remain faithful to the quest for a lifetime?"...
  • *Insight

    by George Griffin
    ("Back to the Future stars Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd and Lea Thompson, and tells the humorous story of Dr. Emmett Brown who has perfected a device for time travel. Marty McFly (Fox) inadvertently activates the device and finds that he has traveled back to 1955...")
  • Proper 26B (1997)

    by Bunker Hill
    Once there were two neighbors who farmed together. They shared equally in all of the work and split the profits exactly. Each had his own granary. One of the neighbors was married and had a large family; the other neighbor was single. One day the single neighbor thought to himself, “It is not fair that we divide the grain evenly. My neighbor has many mouths to feed, while I have but one. I know what I’ll do, I will take a sack of grain from my granary each evening and put in my neighbor’s granary.” So, each night when it was dark, he carefully carried a sack of grain, placing it in his neighbor’s barn. Now the married neighbor thought to himself, “It is not fair that we divide the grain evenly. I have many children to care for me in my old age, and my neighbor has none. I know what I’ll do, I will take a sack of grain from my granary each evening and put it in my neighbor’s granary.” And he did. Each morning the two neighbors were amazed to discover that though they had removed a sack of grain the night before, they had just as many. One night they met each other halfway between their barns, each carrying a sack of grain. Then they understood the mystery, and embraced with joy. And as God looked down from heaven, he saw the two neighbors embracing and said, “I declare this to be a holy place, for I have witnessed extraordinary love here.” It is said that God chose that spot for Solomon’s Temple...
  • Proper 26B (2009)

    by Scott Hoezee
    ("Writer and poet Kathleen Norris sometimes gets asked to come into schools to help students learn a little bit about writing poetry. One day Norris was in a 5th grade classroom where she asked the kids to write a poem using some similes. To Norris's surprise, one little boy wrote a strikingly good poem entitled, 'My Very First Dad.'...")
  • On Not Giving Up on Life

    by Rex Hunt
    ("A reporter was covering the conflict in Sarajevo when he saw a small girl shot by a sniper. He rushed to a man who had picked up the child, and helped them both into his car. Racing to the hospital, the man holding the bleeding child said: Hurry, my friend, my child is still alive...")
  • A Rock Solid Foundation for Living

    by John Jewell
    Jim was a 35 year old semi-successful mid-level manager in a larger corporation in Chicago. His father was on the board of directors. When he came to my office, he had the anxious look of someone who was about to undergo major surgery or be audited by the IRS. 'I get the feeling sometimes,' he said, 'That I somehow happened to be born on the wrong planet...
  • For All the Saints

    by Peter Laarman
    ("Let it be said that I have a remarkable neighbor in Upstate New York. A former schoolteacher, ageless, who does endless favors and yet is never intrusive. She saved my house from certain death on the coldest night of last winter..." and other illustrations)
  • No Holding Back

    by David Leininger
    ("Tom Troeger, who teaches preaching at Iliff Seminary in Denver, has a poem about this passage: 'If all you want, Lord, is my heart, my heart is yours alone -- providing I may set apart my mind to be my own..." and another poem)
  • *Ordinary 31B (2006)

    by David Lindmeier
    ("Historians refer to the year 1905, as Annus Mirabilis a Latin term meaning 'the miracle year'. They do so because in that year human understanding of the physical nature of the universe was radically and fundamentally changed. It was changed due to a series of scientific articles published by Albert Einstein...)
  • *Siesmic Shifts: Leading in Times of Change

    by Charles Love
    ("In his latest book entitled Seismic Shifts: Leading in Times of Change, the United Church minister, Christopher White, talks about leading with “ambiguity” through the muddle of emerging days: knowing that yesterday’s answers won’t do and sharing the struggle to do the best that we might do, in every new today...")
  • The Hinge: the Two Greatest Commandments

    by Edward Markquart
    ("Today, you will notice a door, a doorframe, and doorknob, leaning against the church altar, and immediately some of you think that you know what this sermon is all about. Some of you have already guessed that this sermon is based on the Bible verse in Revelation: “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone opens that door, I will come in and live in him and he in me....")
  • Proper 26B (2006)

    by Susanna Metz
    ("Barbara Keener Shenk in her lovely book The God of Sarah, Rebekah and Rachel puts words in poetic form to Ruth's decision to stay with Naomi. Ruth says to Naomi: 'Your inner flame warmed me and helped me see That loyalty and truth form bonds and last eternally. I came to share your bitter dregs with you And found the cup was filled with joy for two.')
  • Searching For Saints

    by Stephen K. Nash
    "Back in the 1920’s a divorced female journalist worked for a series of leftist periodicals and lived a bohemian life in New York’s Greenwich Village. In 1927 she became a Catholic, and then led a quiet rebellion within the church to reach out to the poor, the needy and the desperate. She was a pacifist, something of an anarchist and a crusader for social justice—not your standard-issue saint..." and other illustrations
  • Love that Won't Let Go

    by William Oleweiler
    ("A few years ago, a radio station ran a contest. Disc jockeys invited their listeners to tune in their clock radios. 'Just for fun,' they said, 'when you wake up to the sound of FM-106, call and tell us the first words you spoke when you rolled out of bed. If you're the third caller, you'll win $106.'...")
  • *Breaking the Rules to Follow God

    by Michael Phillips
    ("Michael Davis of the Baltimore Jewish Times teaches religious education at his Reformed synagogue and has witnessed with sadness the level of indifference religious education gets in the lives of his students and their parents. Contrasting the intensive, rigorous scrutiny and concern these parents direct towards their children's secular education and extra-curricular activities...")
  • Love Yourself So That You Can Love Your Neighbor

    by Gerry Pierse, CSsR
    ("In The Road Less Traveled, M. Scott Peck has a lot of wise things to say about love, what it is not, what it is. He says that love is not something that you 'fall into'. We do not fall in love. We fall into a crush. What happens when boy meets girl is basically a sexual reaction or attraction and is of its nature temporary...")
  • Who Wrote the Book of Love?

    by Beth Quick
    ("Probably, we all have that individual who we still miss dearly, who we hold up in our hearts and minds. For me, this person has been my grandfather, Millard Mudge. Grandpa wasn't a leader. He didn't start any great movements, he didn't make headlines very often. But when he died five years ago, and over 500 people showed up for his calling hours...")
  • The Shema

    by Charles Royden
    ("I was waiting at a car park the other day and it was full. So I was waiting there for a car to go out so that I could be let in and there was a young man who was at the barrier allowing the cars in and out. He looked at me and I looked at him and then said so what do you do for a living?...")
  • Acts of Mercy: Copy and Paste

    by James Standiford
    "I spent all of last week in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, in the heart of Amish country. Let me remind you of some of the recent events there. On the day after the killings at the school in West Nickel Mines, the Amish and the larger community supported the families of the victims..." and another illustration
  • Connections

    by James Standiford
    "There is a United Methodist local pastor by the name of Rose Simms. She's written a marvelous little book about her life experience in the church. One of the things she says in it is that making connections is hard work. She gives an illustration..." and another illustration
  • Is That All?

    by Billy D. Strayhorn
    ("A particular church was having Vacation Bible School and the five year olds were outside playing Red Rover. You know 'Red Rover, Red Rover send Jimmy right over'. Then if you break the chain, you get someone for your team. If they catch you, you join their team..." and another illustration)
  • The Act of Love

    by Alex Thomas
    ("In a little book by Margaret Craven, I Heard The Owl Call My Name there is a sentence spoken by the bishop that stands out for me. The story is about a young Anglican priest who goes up to Kingcome up on the northern coast of B.C. to the Indian village there...")
  • Almost Heaven

    by Keith Wagner
    Secondly, Jesus wants us to love God and others with our soul. The soul is that part of us that denies logic. It is a mystery. Loving with our souls goes beyond what people would consider as normal. We give forth our love because we want to and it probably makes no sense to outsiders. During the course of earning her master's degree, a woman found it necessary to commute several times a week from Victory, Vermont to the state university in Burlington, a good hundred miles away. Coming home late at night, she would see an old man sitting by the side of her road. He was always there, in sub zero temperatures, in stormy weather, no matter how late she returned. He made no acknowledgment of her passing. The snow settled on his cap and shoulders as if he were merely another gnarled old tree. She often wondered what brought him to that same spot every evening. Perhaps it was a stubborn habit, private grief or a mental disorder. Finally, she asked a neighbor of hers, "Have you ever seen an old man who sits by the road late at night?" "Oh, yes," said her neighbor, "many times." "Is he a little touched upstairs? Does he ever go home?" The neighbor laughed and said, "He's no more touched than you or me. And he goes home right after you do. You see, he doesn't like the idea of you driving by yourself out late all alone on these back roads, so every night he walks out to wait for you. When he sees your taillights disappear around the bend, and he knows you're okay, he goes home to bed."...
  • Getting It Right!

    by Keith Wagner
    ("During the course of earning her master's degree, a woman found it necessary to commute several times a week from Victory, Vermont, to the state university in Burlington, a good hundred miles away. Coming home late at night, she would see an old man sitting by the side of her road. He was always there, in subzero temperatures, in stormy weather, no matter how late she returned...")
  • So Close But Yet So Far

    by Keith Wagner
    ("One time there was an Israeli soldier by the name of Yosef. He was in the Six-Day War of 1967 and the Yom Kippur War of 1973. He later became a tour guide in Israel. He was known as a kind and selfless person. Kelly Mustian was a tour guide in Egypt and the two became friends..." and another illustration)
  • Staying Fit

    by Keith Wagner
    ("There was a young man named Johnny, who worked at a super market. He was inspired at a company meeting to add a 'personal signature' to his work. Johnny was a bagger, a boy with Down’s syndrome. He decided he wanted to give more to his job and had an idea...")
  • Loving God with a Broken Heart

    by William Wigmore
    "Last week, Willam Cope Moyers came to town to speak at Riverbend Church. But since he's also a long-time friend of Austin Recovery, he came and did a little fund-raiser for us too. William is the son of the famous journalist Bill Moyers who served as press secretary to Lyndon Johnson in the 1960's."...

Other Resources from 2018 to 2020

Other Resources from 2012 to 2014

Other Resources from 2006 to 2011

Other Resources from the Archives

Children's Resources and Dramas

The Classics

Recursos en Español

Currently Unavailable

  • Children's Activity Sheets

    by Dorothy DeBisschop
  • Domingo 31

    por Joseph J. Madera, M.Sp.S.
  • Ordinary 31

    by Alex McAllister
  • God's Unconditional Love

    by Ron Rolheiser, OMI
    ("A number of years ago, a young man came to me because he was in crisis: He had been having an affair with his girlfriend and she had become pregnant. For a variety of reasons, marriage was impossible. The pregnancy would have an irrevocable impact on a series of lives...")
  • *Ordinary 31

    by James Gilhooley
    ("Fyodor Dostoyevsky in The Brothers Karamazov tells the story of a selfish person who was almost spared hell because of an onion. She had already been dispatched to Hades. An angel advocate pleaded to God on her behalf. 'But, Lord, she once gave an onion to a beggar.'...")
  • *Preaching the Text

    by Richard Boyce
  • Domingo 31

    by Pablo Manuel Ferrer
  • Domingo 31B (2006)

    por Regina McCarthy, OP
  • Domingo 31

    por Daniel Meynen
  • Domingo 31

    por Jose Maria Garbayo Solana
  • Domingo 31B y la Semana Siguente (2018)

    de Servicio Biblico Latinoamericano
  • *Not Far from the Kingdom

    by Karen Pollan
    ("Alcoholics Anonymous is founded on the principle of love your neighbor. Every successful recovering alcoholic learns that their precious sobriety and serenity is dependent on finding another alcoholic to help...")
  • Proper 26B (2000)

    by Tom Pardy
  • Ordinary 31

    by James Schmitmeyer
  • Ordinary 31

    by Wayne Weinlader