Mark 13: 24-37

Illustrated New Resources

  • Sermon Starters (Advent 1B)(2020)

    by Scott Hoezee
    In one of his sermons, Fred Craddock told a story about something that happened many years ago while he was driving by himself cross-country. He had stopped at a small diner somewhere in the South to refresh himself with an early breakfast and some coffee. He had been driving through the night and now it was getting close to dawn. So before he got too sleepy, he stopped for a while. As he waited for his breakfast order to come, Craddock spied a black man who had just come in and had sat down on a stool up by the lunch counter. The diner’s manager then began to treat the black man with a contempt that was clearly borne of deep-seated racism. The manager was rude, insulting, demeaning toward his black guest. As he sat in his booth a little ways away from the counter, Craddock wrestled with saying something to chide this manager for his shameful, racist conduct. Eventually the black man quickly slurped down some coffee and then fled the diner. Craddock meanwhile remained silent. “I didn’t say anything,” he confessed. “I quietly paid my bill, left the diner, and headed back to my car. But as I walked through the parking lot, somewhere in the distance, I heard a rooster crow.”...
  • Staying Awake

    by Ron Rolheiser, OMI
    In his autobiography, Report to Greco, Nikos Kazantzakis recounts a conversation he once had with an old monk. Kazantzakis, a young man at the time, was visiting a monastery and was very taken by a famed ascetic, Father Makarios, who lived there. But a series of visits with the old monk left him with some ambivalent feelings as well. The monk’s austere lifestyle stirred a certain religious romanticism in Kazantzakis, but it repelled him too; he wanted the romanticism, but in a more-palatable way. Here’s their conversation as Kazantzakis records it: “Yours is a hard life, Father. I too want to be saved. Is there no other way?” “More agreeable?” asked the ascetic, smiling compassionately. “More human, Father.” “One, only one.” “What is that?” “Ascent. To climb a series of steps. From the full stomach to hunger, from the slaked throat to thirst, from joy to suffering. God sits at the summit of hunger, thirst, and suffering; the devil sits at the summit of the comfortable life. Choose.” “I am still young. The world is nice. I have time to choose.” Reaching out, the old monk touched my knee and said: “Wake up, my child. Wake up before death wakes you up.” I shuddered and said: “I am still young.” “Death loves the young,” the old man replied. “The inferno loves the young. Life is like a lighted candle, easily extinguished. Take care—wake up!”...
  • Advent 1B (2020)

    by Julia Seymour
    There is a short detour called Firehole Lake Drive off the Grand Loop in Yellowstone. This three-mile winding road twists past small hot springs, bubbling mud pools, and steaming mineral streams. Here, out of the way, is one of my favorite sights in the park. Just to the side of a wooden walkway is a small geyser. Called Young Hopeful Geyser, it spits and shoots its hot stream of sulphury water constantly. Actually erupting on a very irregular schedule, Young Hope­ful keeps churning and responding to the conditions underneath and around it. I love Young Hopeful because it reminds me that not everything, nor everyone, has the capability of being Old Faithful Geyser. There are those among us whose work is predictable, powerful, and admired. Most of us, however, are Young Hopeful Geyser...
  • Keep Awake!

    by Anna Tew
    In The Matrix, the main character is offered a red pill and a blue pill by a character who has just revealed that humanity is actually enslaved by technology and that everything he has ever seen his whole life is a lie — an illusion of this complex computer system. If he takes the blue pill, he will wake up and everything will go back to normal and he can pretend that he doesn’t know. If he takes the red pill, everything will change, and he will begin to fight the technology that has enslaved humanity. These days, extremists with various pet causes have used “taking the red pill” or “red pilling” to describe “waking up” to a vast conspiracy to deceive them their whole lives by some target: the news media, the larger culture, whatever. Those who “take the red pill” feel liberated to spew their unfiltered anger all over the internet and even into the streets in violence. Frankly, I believe it to be quite childlike. It’s inventing a story, or imagining yourself in someone else’s invented story, in order to make yourself the hero. I’m here today to advocate for the Blue pill. The Advent Blue pill, specifically. Advent calls us to a different kind of waking up...

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!!]
  • Illustrations on Advent

    from the Archives
  • Lectionary Reflections (Advent 1B)

    Authors Unknown
    While on a South Pole expedition, British explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton left a few men on Elephant Island, promising that he would return. Later, when he tried to go back, huge icebergs blocked the way. But suddenly, as if by a miracle, an avenue opened in the ice and Shackleton was able to get through. His men, ready and waiting, quickly scrambled aboard. No sooner had the ship cleared the island than the ice crashed together behind them. Contemplating their narrow escape, the explorer said to his men, "It was fortunate you were all packed and ready to go!" They replied, "We never gave up hope. Whenever the sea was clear of ice, we rolled up our sleeping bags and reminded each other, 'He may come today.'"
  • Images of Hope, Suffering and Vigilance

    by D. Mark Davis
    (lots of Greek exegesis!)
  • *Be On Guard

    by Jerry Fuller, OMI
    ("In the movie Mrs. Brown, Queen Victoria is sunk in a deep depression after the death of her husband Albert when her advisers come up with an idea. They send for her pony to be brought to Balmoral, accompanied by a handsome Scot named John Brown..." and other illustrations)
  • *End Times

    by Jerry Fuller, OMI
    ("Years ago there was a fire at the Sailors' Home a Liverpool, and when the crowd assembled at the cry of "Fire!" they were appalled to see some men in the upper stories, crying for help. The fire escape was not nearly long enough to reach them..." and another illustration)
  • *It Ain't Easy Being Green

    by Jerry Fuller, OMI
    ("At one point in Antoine de Saint Exupery's classic tale The Little Prince, the young protagonist happens upon and befriends a fox. After the two agree to meet for a little while every day, the following conversation ensues..." and other illustrations)
  • Are You Ready? (Advent 1B)

    by Sil Galvan
    It's not too early to give some things away this Christmas. Not just on Christmas Day, but during all the days leading up to December 25. We could call these daily gifts 'our Christmas projects'. Maybe one per day from now 'til then. Here are a few suggestions..." and another humorous illustration
  • Forever and Forgiveness (Ordinary 33B)

    by Sil Galvan
    It was in a church in Munich that I saw him - a balding, heavyset man in a gray overcoat, a brown felt hat clutched between his hands. People were filing out of the basement room where I had just spoken. It was 1947 and I had come from Holland to a defeated Germany with the message that God forgives. “When we confess our sins,” I had said, “God casts them into the deepest ocean, gone forever.” One moment I saw the overcoat and the brown hat; the next, the blue uniform and a visored cap with its swastika. It came back with a rush: the huge room with its harsh overhead lights, the pile of dresses and shoes in the center of the floor, the shame of walking past this man naked. The place was Ravensbruck and the man walking toward me had been a guard - one of the most cruel of them all. Now he was standing in front of me, hand thrust out: “A fine message, Fraulein. How good it is to know that, as you say, our sins are at the bottom of the sea. You mentioned Ravensbruck in your talk; I was a guard there. But since that time, I have become a Christian. I know that God has forgiven me for the cruel things that I did there, but I would like to hear it from your lips as well. Fraulein,” again the hand came out, “will you forgive me?”...
  • Questioning Life

    by Terrance Klein
    ("A young man appeared at my office door. Already a sign that something was up, as today's students prefer to approach life electronically. Why talk when you can text? Even more ominously, he had lowered his headphones. Though I don't know him well, he wanted to ask about his grandfather, who is dying. He'd been giving that a lot of thought. What does his grandfather's death mean, if there is no afterlife?...")
  • Advent 1B

    by Bill Loader
    (always good insights!)
  • Live Like You Were Dying

    Sung by Tim McGraw
    Works well with the apocalyptic theme of the readings.
  • Exegetical Notes (Mark 13:24-37)

    by Brian Stoffregen
    (excellent exegesis)
  • Illustrations, Quotes and Lectionary Reflections (Advent 1B)

    by Various Authors
    ("While on a South Pole expedition, British explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton left a few men on Elephant Island, promising that he would return. Later, when he tried to go back, huge icebergs blocked the way. But suddenly, as if by a miracle, an avenue opened in the ice and Shackleton was able to get through. His men, ready and waiting, quickly scrambled aboard. No sooner had the ship cleared the island than the ice crashed together behind them..." and several more)

Illustrated Resources (and Other Resources of Merit)(2017 to 2019)

[If you have any questions about navigating through the site (and for some helpful tips even if you do!), please check out our video guide. Just copy this link (https://www.loom.com/share/afe3352a69f44bff814af8b695701c5e) and paste it into your favorite browser.]
  • Apocalypse: Not Now

    by Bob Baggott
    One of my favorite films of all time is the great epic, Ben Hur, perhaps it's because of its epic chariot race. When filming Ben Hur, an enormous set was constructed for this very special race and teams of stunt men were trained to drive four-horse chariots for the race sequence. Charlton Heston, the star of the film, was among the first to arrive for training, and was quick to grasp chariot-driving techniques. Nevertheless, Charlton Heston was concerned - concerned that in the actual filming of the race, he might not be able to pull off a victory. And so, he went to the director and he shared his concerns and the director responded to Charlton Heston, "Charlton, you just stay in the chariot and I'll guarantee you win the race."...
  • Pregnant with Possibility

    by Dawn Hutchings
    A university student named John was on the side of the road hitch hiking on a very dark night and in the midst of a storm. The night was rolling on and no car went by. The storm was so strong John could hardly see a few feet ahead of him. Suddenly he saw a car slowly coming towards him and slowly it stopped. John was desperate for shelter and without thinking about it; he got in the car and closed the door. It took only a moment for John to realize that there was nobody behind the wheel and the engine wasn’t on! But the car started moving slowly. John looked at the road and saw a curve approaching. John was so scared, that he started to pray, begging for his life. Then, just before he hit the curve, a hand appeared through the window and turned the wheel...
  • Asleep at the Wheel

    by Mike Massar
    the story which our Scripture brings to mind this morning is an American fairy tale, written by the imaginative author, Washington Irving. No, the story is not “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” which is a good one. No, the story is a story about a New York farmer of Dutch descent, who falls asleep one day while hunting and sleeps for twenty years. Have you ever thought what it would be like to go to sleep and wake up twenty years later? Just think if you would have fallen asleep in 1980 all the things you would have missed? Ronald Reagan, the Berlin Wall, Princess Diana, cell phones, lap-top computers . . . Or think about how people have changed . . . what they wear, how they look . . . You’re different than you were 20 years ago, aren’t you? This story is about a man who went to sleep and didn’t wake up for 20 years, and the world had changed. The man’s name was Van Winkle, Rip Van Winkle.
  • Advent 1B (2017)

    by David Mielke
    A missionary and his new wife were in a very primitive part of South America following seminary. He didn’t want to subject his wife to too primitive a way of life so they took with them an electric generator and fuel to run it. The natives had never seen a generator before and saw it only as a machine that made loud noises and threw out a lot of smoke. Some even thought it was inhabited by demons. A light was hung in the middle of the beautiful old church. On Christmas Eve as the people began gathering for worship he turned the light bulb on and heard the usual "oohs" and "aahs" from the people. As he stood at the door following the service one of the men who had the hardest time understanding electricity shook his head saying, "Now I see what Christmas is all about," he said. "We are light bulbs and Christmas sends the power to make us light up."...
  • Despair Should Serve as Wake-Up Call

    by Bob Morrison
    “‘From the very first note, music penetrates the soul and we no longer belong to this world.’“These words from the 110-year-old pianist Alice Herz-Sommer (introduce a) sensitively made documentary about musical life in Terezin, a garrison town in the Czech Republic which was turned into a transit concentration camp by the Nazis. Herz-Sommer describes most movingly how intense music-making … managed to thrive in this environment, bringing succour, consolation and even hope to those who realised that there was precious little prospect of their survival.”...
  • Peace: All Is Calm, All Is Bright

    by Beth Quick
    In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the four main characters, siblings Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy find themselves in the magical world of Narnia. They’re eating at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Beaver, and the beavers are telling them about their hope that Aslan will return soon. Aslan is the Christ-figure in the books. The children ask the beavers who Aslan is. The beavers answer, “Aslan is a lion – the Lion, the great Lion." "Ooh" said Susan. "I'd thought he was a man. Is he – quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.” "Safe?" said Mr. Beaver, "Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you.”...
  • God's Risk, Our Freedom

    by Ron Rolheiser, OMI
    Why doesn’t God make things easier? Perhaps the most vexing faith-question of all-time is the problem of God’s silence and his seeming indifference: why does God allow evil? Why do bad things happen to good people? If there is an all-powerful and all-loving God, how do you explain that millions of innocent people can suffer and die under Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, in massacres in Rwanda, Algeria, and the recent terrorist killings in the USA? Where is God in all of this?...
  • Staying Awake

    by Ron Rolheiser, OMI
    In his autobiography, Report to Greco, Nikos Kazantzakis recounts a conversation he once had with an old monk. Kazantzakis, a young man at the time, was visiting a monastery and was very taken by a famed ascetic, Father Makarios, who lived there. But a series of visits with the old monk left him with some ambivalent feelings as well. The monk’s austere lifestyle stirred a certain religious romanticism in Kazantzakis, but it repelled him too; he wanted the romanticism, but in a more-palatable way. Here’s their conversation as Kazantzakis records it:
  • Be Prepared, But for What?

    by Ellen Rothweiler
    In the Disney movie The Lion King, Scar lays out a hopeful future for the hyenas in the song “Be Prepared” If you have seen the film, you know that the temporary rise to power of Scar and the hyenas is short-lived. Scar’s dream of being king ends in death and disappointment. Simba, who is the heir to the throne, becomes a pawn in Scar’s plan and in the process denies his own future. In this story, and in many stories, a plan is not enough but a lack of planning does not always pan out either...
  • Thank You, Jimmy Kimmel

    by David Shearman
    This past week, late night TV host Jimmy Kimmel found himself in a Twitter debate with Judge Roy Moore. Moore said that "if Mr. Kimmel wanted "to mock our Christian values," he should go to Alabama to do it."

    In what I can only say is a marvelous example of standing up for what he believe, Kimmel responded on national TV by saying, "It doesn't fit your stereotype, but I happen to be a Christian too. I made my first holy communion, I was confirmed, I pray, I support my church, one of my closest friends is a priest, I baptized my children. Christian is actually my middle name. I know that's shocking, but it's true. So if you're open to, when we sit down, I will share with you what I learned at my church. At my church, forcing yourself on underaged girls is a no-no. Some even consider it to be a sin."...

  • Three Things You Can Count On

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    One of the things I decided to do during my time away was not to tell the people I met that I was a preacher. All kinds of baggage and transference surfaces when you do that. I wanted an honest perspective. For example, one Sunday morning I didn't go to worship. Instead, I went to that great American institution, the "Waffle House"! I got to know our waitress. I found out she had two kids and was working two jobs to make ends meet. Some of the hardest working people in America are waitresses at the "Waffle House." She told me how long she had been working there and explained what "scattered, smothered, and covered" meant. Then she told me that around 11 a.m. on Sundays they start to get real busy because that is when the church crowd comes in. I thought, "Here is my chance!" I asked, "What are the church people like?" She replied, "Most of them are terrible tippers." I don't know if she goes to church, but her impression of a church crowd is that they are not very generous. So I filed that away - "Impression of church folk: lack generosity."...
  • Keep Awake!

    by Anna Tew
    There’s a documentary called The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young. It’s a 100+ mile endurance race in the Tennessee mountains. It includes five loops of 20 miles, though the participants will tell you that the loop is actually closer to a marathon, or 26 miles. The race is 1/3 on trails and 2/3 off trails, and runners often get lost. The loop goes over mountains and through huge briars, and over the course of the race, runners gain and lose 60,000 feet of elevation, for a total of 120,000 feet of elevation change. Completing the race takes five loops, and almost no one finishes. Runners run day and night, and they have only sixty hours to complete the race. If they sleep at all, it’s only for an hour or two over the course of that sixty hours. Talk about keeping awake...
  • The World Begins Again

    by Peter Thompson
    In 1949, the then-Soviet Union successfully tested an atomic bomb. The United States, which, just four years earlier, had used nuclear technology to unleash immense death and destruction, now knew for certain that it could suffer from the same weapon it had detonated so boldly not too long before. The initial post-War euphoria quickly transitioned into Cold War fear. How long could peace last? Would Americans finally experience violence here at home? Would the world survive the threat of complete obliteration? A man named Lee V. McCullom responded to this anxiety by writing a song...It began and ended with this refrain: Everybody’s worried about that atom bomb; well, no one seems worried about the day my Lord shall come; you better set your house in order, for he may be coming soon, and he’ll hit like an atom bomb, when he comes, when he comes.
  • Attentive in Prayer

    by Robert Verrill, OP
    A few years ago, some cognitive scientists came up with an experiment called the invisible gorilla test. In the experiment, the test subject is shown a video in which there are 3 people dressed in white, 3 people dressed in black, and each group is passing a basketball among themselves. The objective for the test subject is to count how many times the people in white pass the ball to each other. Now most people are perfectly capable of doing this task and can come up with the correct answer of 15 passes. However, it turns out that around 50% of the people who watch the video fail to notice that halfway through it, a person dressed as a gorilla casually walks into center view, beats his chest a few times and then casually walks off. The point of the experiment is to demonstrate that there’s a lot going on around us which we fail to notice, especially if we’re engaged in some specific task...
  • Movies/Scenes Representing Advent

    Compiled by Jenee Woodard

Illustrated Resources (and Other Resources of Merit)(2014 to 2016)<span class="adminModeAdvanced" style="display: none;"> (#1,900)</span>

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  • Advent 1B (2014)

    by Chris Ayers
    Aunt Lillian, who lived in Blowing Rock, had a to die for view of Grandfather Mountain, lots of beautiful land, and a three story home with a big screened-in back porch. While Aunt Lillian had indoor plumbing, upstairs and downstairs, she maintained an outhouse. If you had to do the stinky, the number 2, you had to go to the outhouse. Now, the interesting thing about the outhouse was that it was a two seater AND it was wallpapered...

    Scroll down the page for this resource.

  • Advent 1B (2014)

    by Mike Banister
    (" varies according to the 'chef'. Different chefs have different recipes, but most contain at least a modicum of these basic ingredients: The sun will not shine. The stars will fall from the heavens. Earthquakes. Famine. Smoke. Apocalypse. Armageddon. Heaven. Hell. A great tribulation. The 'rapture'. Floods. Destruction. Book of Revelation. Left Behind. The Second Coming. The Son of Man coming in clouds. The 1000-year reign. Great pain and suffering. And to add a little spice - teeth gnashing")

    (Scroll down for these reflections.)

  • Learning to Squint

    by Kyle Childress
    ("in his novel Love in the Ruins and its sequel novel The Thanatos Syndrome, Walker Percy tells about a small, remnant church out in the woods of Louisiana. They are fragile and exiled from the mainstream, conventional and successful American church. They have a small AIDS clinic where they care for the sick and dying and care for each other. Their priest, Father Rinaldo Smith, is eccentric and helps pay the bills by hiring out as a fire-watcher. It is his job to climb the fire-tower by night and watch for forest fires below...")
  • Your One Wild and Precious Life

    by Charles Hoffacker
    He’s known as a master of the legal thriller, producing books at the rate of one a year, and they keep becoming best sellers. John Grisham’s success is due in part to how he is an attorney himself; he knows what it’s like to work inside a courtroom, inside a legal office. This, and his skill as a writer, help him produce legal thrillers that keep his readers fascinated. The books John Grisham writes are fiction. Here is a story he tells, a story about himself, which is not fiction, but fact. When he was a student at law school, a friend–another young man– called Grisham and invited him to lunch. At lunch, he told Grisham that he had cancer and that he did not have long to live. Grisham was stunned by this news. Then he asked, “What do you do when you realize that you are about to die?” His friend replied, “It’s real simple. You get things right with God, and you spend as much time with those you love as you can. Then you settle up with everybody else.” He added, “You know, really, you ought to live every day like you have only a few more days to live.” “You know, really, you ought to live every day like you have only a few more days to live.” Grisham’s dying friend gave him good advice, and he has never forgotten it...
  • Watching and Waiting

    by Janet Hunt
    ("It is late November. Every year at this time it is a challenge to get the leaves raked and bagged or pushed to the curb before the city's December 1st deadline for removing them. One year I simply waited too long and was left with a dozen bags of leaves still sitting at the end of my driveway the morning after I thought they would be taken away. While that year I had only my own procrastination to blame, it is so that I have one tree which always refuses to finish dropping its leaves until it's almost 'too late....")
  • A Better Picture of Heaven

    by Terrance Klein
    You cannot see what you do not picture. Meaning that, you need some idea of what you're looking for if you're going to find it. A great challenge of the Christian life is imagining the life to come. Our contemporaries, rightly, judge popular pictures of heaven to be silly. Why would anyone want to sit on clouds, play a harp, and eat Philadelphia Cream Cheese? The challenge of contemporary evangelization is providing a more adequate picture of eternal life, eternal damnation as well...
  • Doomsday Stew

    by Rosalie Mann
    ("Doomsday Stew varies according to the 'chef'. Different chefs have different recipes, but most contain at least a modicum of these basic ingredients: The sun will not shine. The stars will fall from the heavens. Earthquakes. Famine. Smoke. Apocalypse. Armageddon. Heaven. Hell. A great tribulation. The 'rapture'. Floods. Destruction. Book of Revelation. Left Behind. The Second Coming. The Son of Man coming in clouds. The 1000-year reign. Great pain and suffering. And to add a little spice - teeth gnashing")

    (Scroll down for these reflections.)

  • Look! Up in the Sky! (Mark)

    Art and Faith by Lynn Miller
    Stars had meaning for Van Gogh. He wrote to his brother Theo, '...the sight of the stars always makes me dream in as simple a way as the black spots on the map, representing towns and villages, make me dream. Why, I say to myself, should the spots of light in the firmament be less accessible to us than the black spots on the map of France?...
  • Advent After Ferguson

    by Debra Dean Murphy
    ("Human beings suffer, They torture one another, They get hurt and get hard. No poem or play or song Can fully right a wrong Inflicted and endured. The innocent in gaols Beat on their bars together. A hunger-striker's father Stands in the graveyard dumb. The police widow in veils Faints at the funeral home. History says, don't hope On this side of the grave. But then, once in a lifetime The longed-for tidal wave Of justice can rise up, And hope and history rhyme...")
  • A Dark, November Night

    by Larry Patten
    ("I weary of waiting to be healed. First, I'm talking about my body. Once, as a youth, I felt immortal. I did. Embarrassing confession: in my twenties and thirties, I didn't think I'd age like others. Even after a wrenching broken leg, even after a first and second knee surgery by my late forties, I thought I'd be . . . different. I'd never be the one with the cane or walker or the one whose doctor warned you have to count calories or reduce cholesterol...")
  • The End...Or Resurrection?

    by Andrew Prior
    (includes several quotes)
  • The Unexpected Time

    by Nancy Rockwell
    ("Sylvia Plath calls us into Advent in her poem, Black Rook in Rainy Weather: I do not expect a miracle Or an accident To set the sight on fire In my eye, nor seek Any more in the desultory weather some design, But let spotted leaves fall as they fall, Without ceremony, or portent.....")
  • Advent: A Time to Learn How to Wait

    by Ron Rolheiser, OMI
    ("Annie Dillard shares this story about proper waiting: She had been watching a butterfly emerge from its cocoon and was fascinated by the process until she grew impatient with how long it was taking and, to speed things up, took a candle and heated the cocoon, albeit very gently. The experiment worked, but it was a mistake in the long run. The butterfly emerged more quickly; however, because adding heat violated something within the natural process, the butterfly was born with wings too weak to fly...")
  • God's Risk, Our Freedom

    by Ron Rolheiser, OMI
    Why doesn't God make things easier? God doesn't make things easier because God can't make things easier, at least not without making us and the world into something far less than we are. When God made us he gave us as much freedom, creativity, and spunk as was possible. He didn't play it safe, but gave us as much godliness as he could without making us into gods ourselves...
  • I Am Waiting for a Rebirth of Wonder

    by Robert Stuhlmann
    ("On Thursday: I am with our granddaughter. She is seven months and full of wonder. Her excitement expressed with squeals of joy. "Wait and Watch" I read. I watch and wait for her to show me the new unveiling that has come to her. She chatters on, tries sounds. She speaks a magical language as she brings form and connection to the sounds that may, no will, I trust, become words...")
  • The Full Advent: Whoa! No Way? Wow!

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    ("the first gospel reading for the Season of Advent is not 'something new'. Instead it recalls a prediction from the old as recorded by the prophet Daniel. Daniel 7:13 evokes the vision of a 'son of man coming with the clouds of heaven'. It describes this heavenly figure as one who will 'gather his elect', a message that suggests that those not 'elected' are in fact 'rejected',..")
  • Hard Gifts

    by Debie Thomas
    ("Three weeks ago, a 16-year-old boy from my daughter's high school went down to the local train tracks shortly after midnight, waited for an arriving train, and ended his life. Since 2009, seven teenagers in this town have committed suicide on the tracks, and as a community, we are reeling. Fearing another cluster, the town has stationed police officers at the site, who scan the tracks each time a train approaches....")
  • Hope for Anxious People

    by Keith Wagner
    ("The only survivor of a shipwreck washed up on a small uninhabited island. He cried out to God to save him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a rough hut and put his few possessions in it. But then one day, after hunting for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had happened..." and other illustrations)

Illustrated Resources (and Other Resources of Merit)(2011 to 2013)

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  • Advent 1B (2011)

    by LeRoy Clementich, CSC
    ("The question in my mind is this: are there truly such realities as time and divisions of time, or are these simply a fabrication of our own imagination and construction? And surprisingly, I found a hint of an answer in several quotes from the pen of T. S. Eliot: 'Time present and time past are both perhaps present in time future and time future contained in time past....")
  • Left in Charge

    by Vince Gerhardy
    ("It is some time in the future. World War 3 had begun with a nuclear attack by Albania on Italy, and then escalated with Egypt bombing the United States and the United Kingdom. Russia and China become involved. The war ended with both sides being wiped out but now there was a huge nuclear cloud that was slowly moving southwards and would eventually engulf the whole world...")
  • Two Minute Warning

    by Russell Levenson, Jr.
    ("There are several wonderful stories about the great, yet incredibly humble, Ignace Yan Paderewski, the Russian composer-pianist who died in 1941. It seems one evening he was scheduled to perform at a great concert hall. In the audience of black tuxedos and long evening gowns was a mother with her fidgety nine-year old son...")
  • Advent 1A (2011)

    by Joseph Pagano
    ("Elam Davies, long-time pastor of Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago, tells of a time when he and his wife visited a spot on the coast of Wales called the Great Orme. The Great Orme is a giant rock, right at the seaside, and people gather on it to watch sunsets. On clear evenings, people watch the yellow sun drop into the sea...")
  • Long Fly Ball

    by Larry Patten
    ("Once I anticipated a fly ball. Now, with cranky knees and gray, thinning hair, I still claim that longing. My Advent prayer is to long to help another, to grow in my faith, to sense God's presence in the stranger, to race across the dew-laden grass of life and serve my neighbor. I will often fail. But I will, if I'm alert, sometimes succeed in bringing the beginning of time to another...")
  • When the Man Comes Around

    by Leon Pereira, OP
    ("About eighty years ago, an American author called Myles Connolly wrote a novel called Mr Blue. In it, the eponymous protagonist Mr Blue, begins to tell a story about someone he calls 'Prisoner 2757311'...")
  • Come, Advent Spirit and Enlighten Our Imaginations

    by Dave Perry
    ("As night falls in the centre of Nottingham a street performer entertains the crowds of shoppers with a hoop of fire, whilst her colleague takes a break from juggling flaming torches. Her dexterity with this whirling ring of six flames attracts a circle of fascinated onlookers and holds their rapt attention...")
  • When Is Jesus Coming Back? Does God Have a Plan?

    by Andrew Prior
    ("On the bike, you have to keep an eye on the traffic. Sometimes it doesn't see you. You have to watch for potholes. A pothole that would simply make a car bump, can throw you off, and break your shoulder. You have to watch out for kangaroos; one nearly hit me in the middle of the night. You have to keep alert to little numb places starting in your hands...")
  • Sun, Storms, Wilderness, Deserts, and Spirituality

    by Ron Rolheiser, OMI
    ("This is the major critique that Bill Plotkin, an important new voice in spirituality, makes of what he sees happening in much of Christian spirituality today. From our church programs, to what happens in our retreat centers, to the spiritual quests people more deliberately pursue, Plotkin sees too little connection to nature, to the sun, to storms, to the wilderness, and to the desert that Jesus himself sought out....")
  • Ordinary 33B (2012)

    by Jude Siciliano, OP
    ("I was in New York City during hurricane Sandy. The day after the hurricane the New York Daily News had a front-page spread picturing the hundred homes at Breezy Point destroyed by fire during the storm. The headline read, 'Apocalypse New York'. People may not be biblically literate, but when life throws disaster and distraction our way, we often call up such language from the Bible...")
  • The Four Sacred Chords of Home

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    ("Salmon do it. Hummingbirds do it. Butterflies do it. Turtles do it. All these creatures, and many more: they all . . . go home again. Salmon find their way from the vast ocean back to whatever tiny tributary in which they were hatched. Hummingbirds fly over 6000 miles to find their nesting sites. Butterflies congregate in the same trees,..")
  • Hopeful Waiting

    by Garth Wehrfritz-Hanson
    ("When work began on making the Ben Hur movie, Cecil B. DeMille talked to Charlton Heston about the chariot race at the end. Heston finally agreed to take chariot driving lessons rather than using a stunt double. Learning to drive a chariot drawn by four horses was not easy for Heston..." and other illustrations)
  • Being Present to God and Life

    by Ron Rolheiser, OMI
    ("The poet, Rainer Marie Rilke, at the height of his fame, was once contacted by a young man from a small, provincial town. The young man expressed his admiration for Rilke's poetry and told him that he envied him, envied his life in a big city, and envied a life so full of insight and richness...")

Illustrated Resources (and Other Resources of Merit)(2008 to 2010)

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  • The Diagnosis

    by Phil Bloom
    ("Dr. Louis Pasteur developed the rabies vaccine. In July of 1885 a family brought him a boy named Joseph Meister. A rabid dog had bitten Joseph and they begged Dr. Pasteur to help him...")
  • Advent 1B (2008)

    by John Colón
    ("There is a little-known fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm entitled "Der Mond," or in English, "The Moon." It is a short tale that was adapted by the German composer Carl Orff into an opera in one act. It involves four young rowdy misfits from a land where there is no light...")
  • Advent 1B (2008)

    by Joanna Harader
    My best friend in elementary school was Katrina White. We loved to have sleepovers. We would make up plays, sing our favorite songs, create art projects—there usually wasn’t much sleeping involved. But we did at least go through the motions by laying down for awhile. And one night, Katrina refused to lay on the floor by the bed. And she refused to lay on the floor by the closet. It seems that she had seen the movie Poltergeist in which, apparently, some scary something comes from under the bed and out of the closet. I distinctly remember thinking that if a scary movie could make someone too scared to sleep on the floor, I would just avoid scary movies... It seems that she had seen the movie Poltergeist in which, apparently, some scary something comes from under the bed and out of the closet. I distinctly remember thinking that if a scary movie could make someone too scared to sleep on the floor, I would just avoid scary movies...
  • Advent 1B (2008)

    by Scott Hoezee
    ("In one of his sermons, Fred Craddock told a story about something that happened many years ago while he was driving by himself cross-country. He had stopped at a small diner somewhere in the South to refresh himself with an early breakfast and some coffee...")
  • Waiting, Waiting and More Waiting

    by Beth Johnston
    ("I was looking for something on the internet the other night and because I am still waiting for Robert Ghiz, the Premier, and Aliant, the phone company, to come up with high speed at the same rate everyone else on PEI pays, I am still on dial-up...")
  • *What If...

    by Linda Kraft
    ("We've all done it; played the "what if" game. We worry about something we can't control and our imaginations take over and before we know it we're creating all kinds of dire outcomes...")
  • Preparing for His Coming

    by Philip McLarty
    ("I don't know about you, but I've been subjected to judgment before – times, say, when my work has been scrutinized and closely evaluated – and I found that to be an excruciating experience, anything but joyful. In music school, for example, we'd end each semester by playing a solo or an etude before a small panel of faculty members. We called them 'juries' and that was a pretty good name for it. We were on trial, and our semester grade depended on how well we played...." and other illustrations)
  • Knowing Where to Look for God

    by Paul Nuechterlein
    I’d like to share a brief passage about looking for and finding God. It’s from a book with a good Advent title, Night, for it describes one of the darkest places ever known on this earth: the Auschwitz death camp. There’s an earth-shattering event if there ever was one! Elie Wiesel is a Nobel Prize winning author who survived Auschwitz and recorded many of his experiences in this book. If ever there has been a place on earth where we are justified to cry out, “Where are you, God?!” Auschwitz is the place. One particularly well-known passage from this book asks just this question. It describes the Nazis hanging three of the Jewish inmates, one a young boy: The victims mounted together onto the chairs. The three necks were placed at the same moment within the nooses. “Long live Liberty!” cried the two adults. But the child was silent. “Where is God? Where is He?” someone behind me asked. At a sign from the head of the camp, the three chairs tipped over. What happens next is difficult to tell you. The two adults died rather quickly. But the young boy wasn’t heavy enough for his weight to mercifully kill him, so he hung there struggling for more than an hour, as his Jewish comrades were forced to stand and watch. Wiesel writes: Behind me I heard the same man asking: “Where is God now?” And I hear a voice within me answer him: “Where is he? Here He is – He is hanging here on this gallows...”
  • Advent 1B (2008)

    by Martin Warner
    ("In many ancient churches, fragments of medieval stained glass are incorporated into a new ensemble and replaced in a window that each piece might once have filled rather differently. Panels like this can portray to us a number of ways in which the themes of Advent illuminate our faith and our lives")

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

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  • Hope for the World

    by Joanna Adams
    (includes several quotes)
  • Prepare Yourself

    by Phil Bloom
    ("Down in Memphis, Tennessee, a man named Foster Walker accidentally strolled into a store during a robbery. The gunman pointed his pistol at Walker and ordered him to hand over his money...")
  • Purpose Driven

    by Phil Bloom
    ("A Holy Family parishioner who died last May vividly illustrated the drama of human life. I quoted him above: Life is an adventure or it is nothing at all. Steve was a bright man with many beautiful gifts...")
  • Sermon Starters (Advent 1B)(2005)

    from the Center for Excellence in Preaching
    ("Some years ago comedian Bill Murray starred in a movie that was one of the many, many take-offs from Charles Dickens' story A Christmas Carol. Murray was the Scrooge figure in the film as he played a hard-nosed television executive who disliked everything about Christmas except for the fact that his TV network could make a lot of money off the holidays...")
  • Let Every Heart Make Room for Promise

    by Daniel Chambers
    ("A loose comparison might be the day of October 19, 1989, 5:04 PM in San Francisco. When the Loma Prieta earthquake rumbled, my uncle was on the 32nd floor of a swaying high rise. Of course the phones went dead, so he couldn't call to make sure his daughter was safe...")
  • Jakob's Story and Our Story

    by James Christensen
    ("Not long ago I came across a movie with a story line that might help us view this text in a fresh way. The story set up a situation that parallels, in several ways, the theology pertinent to the text we have from Mark, and others like it. The name of the movie was Jakob the Liar. The story was about Jews living in a Ghetto in Poland in the waning days of the Second World War...")
  • Stay Awake or You'll Miss the Best Part

    by Dennis Clark
    ("It was Thanksgiving time in the first grade, and the teacher asked each of the students to draw a picture of something they were thankful for. Predictably, some of the children drew pictures of turkey dinner they were looking forward to...")
  • Will You Be Ready When the Future Comes?

    by Dennis Clark
    ("There was a mother mouse who was scurrying across the kitchen floor with her brood of six little mice in tow. All of a sudden she came eyeball-to-eyeball with a very large and very mean-looking cat...")
  • *Countdown

    by Tom Cox
    ("One Internet Website available offers to calculate the date of your demise. Tapping in your date of birth will give you your own personalise computer countdown timer called 'death clock'...")
  • *A Hope Secure

    by Tom Cox
    ("Investment advisors talk about future proofing, as if the uncertainties of our world were something you could “insulate” yourself against. Yet, today's television and other media bring into our homes the disasters and violence and suffering of the whole world...")
  • *The Long Watch

    by Tom Cox
    ("Passing by a school we attended in the past always brings back memories. The years fall away, the corridors of memory are prowled. There is a part of us forever a child. One common school experience was when a teacher left the room...")
  • Hope: Trusting in the Promises of God

    by George Cushman
    ("We have a friend who has started an orphanage in Ethiopia especially to house young girls. With AIDS taking the lives of so many in Africa, and leaving so many children to wander the streets his heart would not allow them to have no chance at all. His eyes always tear as his heart aches when he tells the story of seeing three year old children on the streets fending for themselves...")
  • Ordinary 33B (2003)

    by Mary Durkin
    ("Once upon a time years ago a teacher had a very difficult time controlling her class. The students were bright, and for the most part, not trouble makers. They had behaved well for their previous teacher and were prepared to do the same for this one...")
  • When the Lord Comes

    by Richard Fairchild
    ("The Rev. William Peake in Iowa once wondered HOW THE MEDIA WOULD HANDLE THE END OF THE WORLD and he put together a few possible headlines. Here is a sample of what he wrote...")
  • *Stay Awake!

    by Frank Fisher
    ("a woman was visiting a new church. She appreciated most of the service. But the sermon seemed to go on forever, and many people in the congregation fell asleep. After the service, she walked up to a very sleepy looking gentleman, extended her hand in greeting, and said, 'Hello, I'm Gladys Dunn.'...")
  • The Season of "Not Yet": Waiting and Wondering in Advent

    by Carolyn Francis
    ("Groundhog Day is a film in which Bill Murray plays a rude, self-centered weatherman, who finds himself in a bizarre time warp, re-living the same day over and over again. He wakes up each day and hears exactly the same idle talk on the radio, has the same meaningless interactions and the same arguments with his colleagues...")
  • Actively Waiting

    by Vince Gerhardy
    ("Waiting is not a popular past time in our culture today. We have our photos developed at a One Hour Photo Shop, take our clothes to Same Day Dry Cleaners, and buy food at a drive thru. We pay our bills over the phone and do our banking on the internet where there are no long lines of waiting people...")
  • Left In Charge

    by Vince Gerhardy
    ("It is some time in the near future. There has been a war in the northern hemisphere and both sides used nuclear weapons. The war ended with both sides being wiped out but now there was a huge nuclear cloud that was slowly moving southwards and would eventually engulf the whole world. A novel was written about such an event and how the people in the southern parts of Australia waited for the end...")
  • In the Time of This Mortal Life

    by Edward Gleason
    ("One of my dearest friends applied for a position that required him to instruct and inspire younger people. His interviewer and evaluator asked him, 'Tell me about your walk with Jesus.'...")
  • Ordinary 33B (2006)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time a TV commentator delivered a pessimistic editorial on a Friday evening broadcast. The world was in grim shape, he told the camera. Global warming was worse than anyone had thought it was...")
  • Advent 1B (2005)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time there was a teenage girl named Belinda. She was somewhat interested in a boy named Randolph, a nice boy, a smart boy, a respectful boy, a good Catholic and a good dancer too...")
  • Advent 1B (2002)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time a mother and father had a wonderful idea for celebrating Christmas. They would take their children and grandchildren to Ireland for Christmas time. Even if it was dark almost all day in Ireland at that time of the year and cold and wet too...")
  • *Advent 1B (2002)

    by Roger Haugen
    "Elie Wiesel is a Jewish writer whose novels prod the depths of the Holocaust, asking difficult questions of humanity and of God. In Night, a child hangs from a S.S. gallows and the question goes up, 'Where is God?' Wiesel writes: 'And I heard a voice within me answer him: ‘Where is he? Here he is. . . he is hanging on this gallows.'..."
  • Keep Awake

    by Peter Haynes
    ("Twentieth century Bible scholar William Barclay, for instance, would get up in the middle of the night to study. He lived on only a few hours of sleep. Evidently for him, as well as for others, keeping awake in the middle of the night made him very productive...")
  • Christ Winks At Us

    by Charles Hoffacker
    ("The book is by Dr. Seuss, and is entitled One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish. The quote to consider today is brief: From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere...")
  • Waiting

    by John Jewell
    "A little boy could not wait to get to high school. The high school kids seemed to have so much fun. Once he got to high school however, he noticed that the people, like his sister, who had gone off to college were having more fun than he was..."
  • Advent 1B (2002)

    by Nancy Gowler Johnson
    ("Many years ago I was blessed to see Richard Harris as King Arthur in the musical Camelot. It is the story of fabled reign of King Arthur, his wife Guinevere, his trusted knight Lancelot, and the knights of the Round Table...")
  • Danger, Christmas is Coming!

    by Beth Johnston
    I was on the road on Tuesday afternoon, listening to the CBC and the hosts of the show were having a mild disagreement about a certain song: was it Christmas music early, or Remembrance Day music late? The song was Christmas in the Trenches. It tells the story of the famous Christmas Truce of World War I...
  • Waiting for God to Appear

    by Beth Johnston
    ("I want to tell you about Queen. Queen was her real first name and she was a senior who lived in an apartment at the Drew Nursing Home. She often got a ride with us to the Westmorland Farm Annex in Dorchester, but she didn't come to the worship service with us she taught prisoners how to read...")
  • The Day of Wrath

    by James Kegel
    "One of the most moving experiences I have ever had was visiting the Hotel Dieu, the Hospice of God, in Beaune, France. On an entire wall was a picture of the Last Judgment painted by Rogier van der Weyden, the Flemish painter, for this hospital which was founded in 1443..." and another quote by Helen Keller
  • Advent 1B (1999)

    by Ken Kesselus
    ("One of my favorite movies, one based on an equally wonderful play is Camelot, starring Richard Harris as King Arthur. It is the story of the Knights of the Round Table. It is the story of peace, joy, love, prosperity that once filled the land of England...")
  • *The Blessing of Not Knowing

    by Anne Le Bas
    ("My husband, Philip, told me this week about something that happened in a physics lessons he was teaching recently at school. He was talking to one of his classes – 13 and 14 year olds – about the way that scientific ideas have changed over the centuries...")
  • The End of the World...Saturday!

    by David Leininger
    ("The TV report featured apocalyptic writer Hal Lindsey, the author of the 1970 hugely-popular best-seller The Late, Great Planet Earth. The book predicted the fiery end of the world based on Lindsey's reading of the book of Revelation...")
  • Tell It Again, Daddy

    by David Leininger
    ("In my office in the manse is a framed needlework which says one word - Camelot. It was a gift from a dear friend many years ago who knew how much I loved that Broadway play (and eventually movie) - wonderful story, marvelous characters, tremendous music...")
  • Tear Open the Heavens

    by Roy Lloyd
    ("In the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the aliens who came were benign and blessed earth with a vision of gentility and peace. In another movie those who were old rediscovered youth. The dream is that contact with that which is 'other' than ourselves can bring unifying terror or a graced-filled future...")
  • Imagine There's No Heaven

    by Thomas Long
    (includes several quotes)
  • The End of the World

    by Edward Markquart
    ("futurologists are usually historians, poets, novelists and scientists. They are people like Aldus Huxley who wrote a famous book BRAVE NEW WORLD. In the book, the future was controlled by science and technology. Babies were bottled in test tubes...")
  • Suddenly

    by Edward Markquart
    ("It was January 27, 1986. We were getting ready. The whole nation was getting ready. It was going to be a great day. All eyes were watching the television sets. It was going to be the 'all time greatest' space launching. We had a schoolteacher; a woman; an astronaut. It was one of the most exciting days in American history..." and other doomsday illustrations)
  • Wake Up! Don't Fall Asleep!

    by Edward Markquart
    ("When I was fourteen years old, my parents had gone to Chicago, and I was left in my little town of Jackson, Minnesota. My parents left me in charge of the house. ..." and other illustrations)
  • Our Deepest Longing

    by David Martyn
    our Advent prayer is a prayer that patiently waits. T.S. Eliot offered such a prayer, in his Four Quartets, I said to my soul, be still and let the dark come upon you Which shall be the darkness of God... I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting. Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought; So the darkness shall be light, and the stillness the dancing.
  • Still Waiting

    by David Martyn
    Four years ago, Douglas Coupland (a British Columbia author) wrote about a fictitious group of people that work for a large computer company called Microserfs. One of the characters has a theory that "Type-A personalities have a whole subset of diseases that they, and only they share. And the transmission vector for these diseases is the ‘door close’ button on elevators that only gets pushed by impatient, Type-A people." The elevator manufacturers have noted that their short-range vertical transportation devices seem to provoke human beings to raw expressions of impatience. They have noted that a good waiting time is fifteen seconds. Sometime around forty seconds, people start to get visibly upset. Once inside the elevator car, there is another waiting time as we wait for the door to close. This time, know to the elevator engineers as door dwell, is actually only two to four seconds. If you actually look at the buttons on an elevator you will notice that the Door Close button is the one with the paint worn off. It gets used more than any other button on the elevator...
  • *Facing a Certain Future

    by Jim McCrea
    ("Charles Swindoll makes the point that suffering can be a means of growth, using the New England fishing industry as an example. He says, 'in the northeastern United States codfish are a big commercial business. Note the following facts: There is a market for eastern cod all over, especially in sections farthest removed from the northeast coastline...")
  • The Threat of Somnambulism

    by Philip McLarty
    "In the Screwtape Letters, by C. S. Lewis, Wormwood is the protégé of his uncle, Screwtape, who writes him letters coaching him in the art of winning the soul of a young Christian for Satan..." and other illustrations
  • Staying Awake

    by John Pavelko
    ("C. S. Lewis once wrote: 'God will invade. But I wonder whether people who ask God to interfere openly and directly in our world quite realize what it will be like when He does. When that happens, it is the end of the world...")
  • The End of the World... Again?

    by Gerry Pierse, CSsR
    ("The British writer Arnold Lunn tells about one time he was on a boat trip when a certain lady was plaguing him with theological questions. He answered her with quotes from the Bible and from the teaching of the Church but the woman would not accept what he said...")
  • Watching and Waiting

    by William Quick
    ("George MacDonald was a Scottish preacher who left the parish ministry and later wrote a great number of novels and stories for children. He published a book of poems, among them one poem which found its way into our hymnals. 'They all were looking for a King to slay their foes, and lift them high...")
  • Garrison Keilor and the Second Coming

    by Craig Satterlee
    ("As I see it, the preaching challenge these weeks is to find the grace in apocalyptic texts and Advent pericopes and to preach it in such a way that our hearers do not shut down at the sound of 'second coming'...")
  • *Signs

    by Norm Seli
    ("It’s been a while since I’ve worn my bathrobe in church. It’s time again. I love my bathrobe…. It makes me feel all warm – there is no pretense in a bathrobe. You’re just you...")
  • Watching the Advent Door

    by Martin Singley
    ("Our family once had a girl dog named Walter. Don’t even ask. Every time we took that dog to a different Vet and we told them her name was Walter, the Vet would look her over and say, 'You DO know this is a female, right?' Duh...")
  • Jesus Saves or Binding Up the Broken Heart

    by Deborah Sokolove
    ("One night, about 75 folks gathered to watch a screening of the first Left Behind movie. In case you don't know about the Left Behind phenomenon, it is a series of twelve books and, as of a few weeks ago, three films which dramatize what will happen to those left behind on earth after the Rapture. Widely read among conservative Christians, the books have been at the top of the New York Times best-seller list...")
  • Is Your Christmas Y2K Compliant?

    by Billy D. Strayhorn
    ("There was a huge pecan old tree down by the cemetery fence. One day, two boys filled up a bucket with pecans and sat down by behind the tree. Out of sight they and began dividing up the pecans. 'One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me,' said one boy...")
  • *Ordinary 33

    by Mike Suden
    ("One day, an angel asked a woman if she wanted to see the difference between heaven and hell. In an instant, after she said yes, she was transported into hell. But, it wasn't what she was expecting. It was beautiful, with many mansions...")
  • Stay Awake

    by Alex Thomas
    (includes several illustrations)
  • Watch!

    by Alex Thomas
    ("There is a little piece I was reading this week, entitled Things I Think I Own: Today I stood at my window and cursed the pouring rain. Today a desperate farmer prayed for his fields of grain. My weekend plans were ruined, it almost made me cry...")
  • Remembering the Future

    by J. Barry Vaughn
    ("One of the most popular Christmas specials of recent years has been the dramatization of Truman Capote's A Christmas Memory. The very title of that wonderful program tells us something important about the season we have just entered...")
  • Are You Ready?

    by Keith Wagner
    ("This time of year people are anxious about many things. When we become overwhelmed there is a tendency to give up or fall into a deep depression. The name, R. Buckminster Fuller probably doesn’t mean anything to you. There was a point in his life when he was ready to end it because things were going badly...")
  • Hope for Anxious People

    by Keith Wagner
    ("Philip Gulley spends Christmas with his mother-in-law, Ruby, who lives in Paoli, Indiana. Each year, Herb, from a local department store, sets up a nativity scene on the courthouse lawn. Each year the Holy family occupies the southwest corner of the square but no one complains...")
  • Preparing for Christ

    by Garth Wehrfritz-Hanson
    ("This temptation to fall asleep until the right time is illustrated quite well in a Blondie cartoon. Dagwood says to his wife: 'I'm all ready to go. See… I laid my clothes out and my suitcase is all packed and ready to go.'...")
  • Keep Awake!

    by Todd Weir
    ("On the website of PBS Frontline you can take the Anti-Christ quiz to see which prominent figures have been labeled the anti-Christ. Some are quite predictable, ranging from Yasser Arafat, Saddam Hussein, Mikhail Gorbachev...")
  • Eschatological Itching

    by David Zersen
    ("For a number of years, our family took vacations in places where people had gathered in communities to wait for the end of the world. They were eschatological communities, communities that anticipated the eschaton or the end of all things...")
  • Hope, Waiting, Anticipation and Longing

    by Tim Zingale
    ("A mother is thinking to herself. 'Here it is the first Sunday of Advent and I still have kindergarten Indians and pilgrims plastered to the windows of my house. It couldn't be time for the candles and the first whispered hope, already. But here I am out in the dark cutting a few evergreen sprigs for our Advent wreath'...")
  • Jesus Is Coming When?

    by Tim Zingale
    ("In a Peanuts cartoon, Lucy announces, 'Boy do I feel crabby!' Linus tries to help her feel better, and gives her his chair in front of the TV besides fixing her a sandwich, some chocolate cookies and milk...")

Other Resources (Advent 1B, 2017)

Other Resources (Advent 1B, 2014)

Other Resources (Ordinary 33B, 2012)

Other Resources (Advent 1B, 2011)

Other Resources (Advent 1B, 2008 and Ordinary 33B, 2009)

Other Resources (Ordinary 33B, 2006)

Other Resources (Advent 1B, 2005)

Other Resources (Ordinary 33B, 2003)

Other Resources (Advent 1B, 2002)

Other Resources (Advent 1B, 1999 and Ordinary 33B, 2000)

Resources from the Bookstore

Children's Resources and Dramas

The Classics

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