Mark 5: 21-43

Illustrated New Resources

  • Sermon Starters (Proper 8B)(2021)

    by Scott Hoezee
    Some years ago following the death of Pope John Paul II, the media ran many series of videos and photographs encapsulating the late pontiff’s career. Again and again what we saw in all that was the fact that no matter where the pope went, the one constant was the fierce desire people had to touch him. The New York Times published a particularly wonderful photo that showed this. It came from a visit the pope made to this country and specifically an appearance he made at a cathedral in Newark, New Jersey. The picture had been taken from the balcony and showed the pope from above and behind as he proceeded up the church’s center aisle. John Paul had both of his arms extended outward to the side. And from the pews lining the aisle were the extended hands of dozens of people stretching and reaching so that their hands could brush against one of his hands. Far better than just seeing someone—including someone powerful or famous—is to make contact. That’s something Jesus knew a lot about, too.
  • Twelve Years: Pointing to the Fullness of God

    by Janet Hunt
    Indeed, as I understand it, that ‘fullness of God,’ given, received and experienced, is more than hinted at when we hear that the woman who pushed her way through the crowd had been hemorrhaging for twelve years. That ‘fullness of God’ was more than hinted at when we hear that the child who was ‘not dead but sleeping’ was twelve years old. Even you and I, most of whom may not be deeply familiar with Jewish tradition, recognize that something more is going on here, for twelve is one of those numbers which shows up often enough that we know that something powerful is being revealed. We remember, for instance: That there were twelve tribes of Israel. That Jesus chose twelve (at least named) disciples. That when Jesus fed the vast crowds, there were twelve baskets left over. That Jesus himself was twelve when Joseph and Mary went back to find him in the temple with the learned ones. So apparently, in Jewish tradition, the number twelve means something. Indeed, in all these cases (and many more), it points to ‘the fullness God:’ “totality, wholeness, and the completion of God’s purpose.” And while surely that ‘fullness of God,’ the ‘totality, wholeness and completion of God’s purpose’ are powerfully experienced in a woman’s suffering brought to an end and in her restoration to the larger community, and in a little girl who has died now alive again, I cannot help but wonder if that ‘fullness of God’ isn’t already being revealed, or at least pointed to even before the wondrous healings we witness now have been received and celebrated...
  • Contagious Holiness

    by Jim McCrea
    In the early days of jet flight, aeronautical engineers found that with improvements to a plane’s design and larger engines, it was possible to reach almost unimaginable speeds — 400, 500, even 600 mph. However, as the planes began to approach 700 mph and the sound barrier, the pilots encountered unexpected problems. The air flow over the plane, especially in the cockpit, became deafeningly loud, and the changing air currents over the wings would vibrate the entire plane. The closer the pilots approached to the sound barrier, the more irregular the plane’s flight became, until the pilot thought the plane was going to tear itself apart in mid-air. Each time a pilot reached this point, he would back off the throttle to avoid certain disaster. But then one day a young pilot named Chuck Yeagar decided that he wanted to see what would happen if he pushed his speed through the sound barrier. Like so many others, when Yeagar approached the speed of sound, the noise became deafening, the wings shook and the whole plane vibrated. He pushed the speed up even more, until he thought the jet was going to disintegrate around him. At that point, he punched the throttle. And he found out that on the other side of the sound barrier, it was remarkably quiet, and his plane flew like a bird...
  • Unimaginable

    by Kathryn M. Schifferdecker
    There is a song in the musical “Hamilton” that always brings tears to my eyes. It’s the song right after Alexander and Eliza Hamilton’s firstborn son Philip is killed in a duel. The song is called “It’s Quiet Uptown,” and the first lines go like this: There are moments that the words don’t reach There is suffering too terrible to name You hold your child as tight as you can And push away the unimaginable. “Unimaginable” is a good word to describe the loss of a child. Something so hard, so heart-breaking, that it is simply unimaginable. I cannot fathom such a loss...

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 Healing

    from the Archives
  • *Jesus Heals

    by Jerry Fuller, OMI
    ("A friend was visiting the chaplain of a hospice. In the course of a conversation, the chaplain said that, that weekend, eight of the hospice's 30 patients had died. The visitor asked about the effect of so many deaths on the staff. That was tough, the chaplain said, and shared one particular story from the weekend. That Saturday, a woman who had been at the hospice for a couple of months had a visit from her teenage son..." and another illustration)
  • A Faith That Heals

    by Sil Galvan
    "Every Sunday morning, I see a very special person sitting about ten rows back on the right side of the auditorium. His name is Stanley Reimer, and he's an elder on our church board. I'll never forget the day when I received the news that Stanley had had a heart attack..."
  • Proper 8B

    by Bill Loader
    (always good insights!)
  • Known and Named

    by David Lose
    ("With the tragedy of Charleston so recent in our memory, it's difficult not to think of the way we name and label those who differ from us whether in skin color or ethnicity or belief, the names we have hung on and hurled at others to reduce and objectify them....")
  • Healing Two Daughters

    by Ched Myers
    from Binding the Strong Man
  • Murder at Mother Emanuel

    by Nancy Rockwell
    ["Still in the boat that had weathered the storm at sea, Jesus reached shore, and a desperate preacher came and fell at his feet, asking for help – Save My Daughter, cried the preacher, in pain, in fear, in terror of the loss he was facing. Jesus, as he turned to go with him, was interrupted by a desperate woman, who had been bleeding for years. It could be the story of Mother Emanuel AME Church, a weathered ship that has taken many across wild seas of life to the shore of faith..."]
  • Exegetical Notes (Mark 5:21-43)

    by Brian Stoffregen
    (excellent exegesis!!)
  • Illustrations, Quotes and Lectionary Reflections (Ordinary 13B)

    by Various Authors
    "Though I have never seen the Sequoia trees of California, known as Redwoods, I am told they are spectacular. Towering as much as 300 feet above the ground. Strangely, these towering trees have unusually shallow root systems that spider out just under the surface of the ground to catch as much of the surface moisture they can. And this is their vulnerability..." and several more
  • The Encounter More Than the Cure

    by Brian Volck
    ("Vic Chesnutt declared God's nonexistence when he was 13, and maintained his conviction after a 1983 car accident at age 18 left him paralyzed in a wheelchair, with limited use of his hands that reduced his guitar playing to simple chords and rhythms. Not long before his death from an overdose of muscle relaxants in 2009, Chesnutt was discussing his song, "Flirted With You All My Life," NPR's Terry Gross and almost offhandedly revealed, ""You know, I've attempted suicide three or four times. It didn't take...")
  • We Are That Little Girl

    by David Zersen
    Hospital and emergency room programming have provided some of the most popular television series over the years. I suspect that we relate because there is dramatic tension in life and death situations and because we personally know a friend or relative who may have experienced some of the trauma depicted. Many years ago, Marcus Welby, Ben Casey and Dr. Kildare captured audience interest. In more recent years, House and Grey’s Anatomy were popular. Within the last year or so The Good Doctor and New Amsterdam have attempted to create a focus unlike the medical dramas of past decades. Increasingly the medical language used is so “over the top” that audiences no longer worry about understanding the vocabulary. It is what it is! In a recent episode of The Good Doctor, a man’s wife had come out of a ten year coma and the husband simply knew that this would be the beginning of a positive future for both of them. However, the autistic doctor, Shaun Murphy, played by Freddie Highmore, explains in extremely technical terms that a fluid accidentally entered the wife’s brain for a short period giving her a reprieve that would last 24 hours, but then she would return to a comatose state. The husband who had suffered as a caregiver for a decade rejected this technical and limiting prognosis and insisted that what happened was a miracle and the wife was now permanently cured...

Narrative Sermons

[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.]

Illustrated Resources from 2018 to 2020

[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.]
  • Healing Faith

    by Kimberleigh Buchanan
    Though raised in rural Ethiopia, Simeesh Segaye was proud to have completed the 8th grade, a rarity for girls in her area. At 19, she married and soon became pregnant, an occurrence celebrated by her husband, family, and friends. But when Simeesh went into labor, no baby emerged. After laboring for two days, her "neighbors carried her for hours to the nearest road and put the nearly unconscious Simeesh on a bus. The bus took another two days to get to the nearest hospital. By then the baby was dead." As she recovered from the ordeal back in her village, Simeesh discovered that "she was crippled and leaking urine and feces." Because her obstructed birth had gone on for so many days without proper treatment, she had developed fistulas, opening in her colon and bladder that made it impossible to control her body's elimination systems...
  • Just Have Faith? Easy for You to Say.

    by Jim Chern
    In the midst of these two miracles that Jesus performs, we hear Jesus saying “Do not be afraid, just have faith.” Coming from Jesus, I’m a bit leery to quote my professors criticisms. But thinking about some really heavy situations that some friends, some family, some parishioners are going through just in my life, I couldn’t imagine me saying His words to any of them in any of those cases: -The family mourning the suicidal death of a loved one; -the husband who keeps hearing what a great economy it is and how unemployment is at record lows but can’t find a job no matter the resumes he’s sent or interviews he’s been on; ...
  • Justice for Our Children Is Next

    by Willie Dwayne Francois III
    Scores of forces, seen and unseen, shape the material lives of children and compromise their possibilities of tomorrow. More than 208 school shootings have occurred in the U.S. since 1999. According to a 2009 study in Pediatrics, more than 60 percent of children experience some form of victimization, and 38 percent witness violence during their childhood. From underfunded schools to rigged economies, from racist policing to exorbitantly priced higher education, children face hazards on their journey to adulthood. Justice for our children is next...
  • Ordinary 13B (2018)

    by Willie Dwayne Francois III
    Rosa Parks had a rebellious and resilient reach. The civil rights era luminary sparked a campaign in Alabama that ricocheted across the United States. In 1943, James Blake, a white bus driver in Montgomery, ejected Parks from a bus after she refused to reenter through the rear. Rather than comply with segregationist logic, she defiantly opted to wait in the rain for the next bus to arrive. Twelve years later, Parks boarded another Montgomery public bus and encountered the same driver, who told her to relocate to the back of the bus to accommodate a white passenger. In what became known as Parks’s cardinal act of resistance, she refused, and Blake called the police, leading to her arrest—and igniting the Montgomery Bus Boycott, 381 days of collective resistance to Jim Crow economics. After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against bus segregation and the boycott ended, Blake’s bus intersected with Parks’s itinerary for a third time. Parks boarded an integrated public bus to pose for media coverage of the landmark decision. In a tone of poetic justice, the same bus driver who left her in the rain in 1943 and instigated her arrest in 1955 had to drive her as she legally sat in the front of the bus...
  • Three Thoughts on Healing from Three Stories on Healing

    by Erica Lloyd
    What is a loving God doing while all of this suffering is happening? Part of my healing journey last year was studying this problem, and one image that came to me during this time was of the American south in the weeks following the end of the Civil War. Lee had surrendered at Appomattox on April 9th, but skirmishes continued for months. The emancipation of slaves didn’t reach parts of Texas until June 19th (now celebrated in African American communities as Juneteenth). Those long months – with freedom coming, but the slave masters still in control – it’s an image that has helped me understand the “already and not yet” of Jesus’ kingdom. And it’s an image that really resonated with my own experience. The healing process for me truly felt like a release from captivity...
  • On Vulnerability, Need and Hope

    by David Lose
    This scene reminded me of the sermon preached by Dr. Martin Luther King at the National Cathedral in Washington on Sunday, March 31, 1968, just four days before he was struck down by an assassin’s bullet. Inviting his listeners to place their struggles and calling in the context of God’s ordering of the universe, King suggests that whatever differences we may experience, yet our mutual vulnerability and humanity unites us more deeply: We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. And whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. And you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the way God’s universe is made; this is the way it is structured...
  • Contagious Holiness

    by Jim McCrea
    There was a woman who wasn’t feeling well one day so she went to the medical clinic. They couldn’t find anything wrong with her, so they sent her home. They told her that if she didn’t improve, she should make another appointment. As the days dragged on, she felt worse and worse, so she returned to the doctor. Once again, the doctor found nothing wrong, so she was again sent home with the same advice. As you might expect, her mystery ailment only continued to plague her since she wasn’t receiving any treatment. Therefore, she went to the emergency room and she insisted that she was not a hypochondriac. She was truly sick and she refused to leave until they figured out what was going on and treated her. The doctors agreed to keep her and perform more tests. While they were waiting for the test results, she asked the doctor to look at an odd-looking spot on her finger. He examined it and raised his eyebrows. He said, “Interesting. Do you have any more of these?” She answered, “Yes I have one on my toe, as well.” As he looked at her toe, the doctor recognized the symptoms. He immediately ordered an ambulance to take her to the hospital. The “treatment was aggressive, high speed, high tech and very invasive. At the end of the day she survived, [but] barely. Somewhere in the middle of all of this she was told that her illness was usually only diagnosed at autopsy! Her friends and family are all thankful for her persistence!”...
  • Proper 8B (2018)

    by David Risendal
    There is an old bluegrass standard that I enjoy singing. It was recorded by Merle Travis in 1947, The Byrds in 1968 and Bill Monroe and his Bluegrass Boys in 1989. But it goes a good ways farther back than that. It was printed in The Southern Zion's Songster in 1864, and in Hymns For the Camp in 1862. As I go down to that river Jordan Just to bathe my weary soul If I could touch but just the hem of his garment, good Lord I believe that it would make me whole I am a pilgrim and a stranger, traveling through this wearisome land I’ve got a home in that yonder city, good Lord, and it’s not made by hand...
  • Shame and the Lord

    by Ron Rolheiser, OMI
    I remember a comment made to me by a young man who had been struggling for a long time to break an addictive habit in his life. He said: “It took me a long time, and countless failures, to realize that you can't change your life simply by willpower. You can only change it by grace and community.” Alcoholics Anonymous has always known this. Willpower, while important, is not enough. Only by touching some higher power—and this is most easily done inside a community—can we actually change our lives.
  • Desperate Faith

    by David Russell
    Back in 1975, the Dallas Cowboys were playing the Minnesota Vikings in a playoff game with the chance to go to the Super Bowl on the line. The Cowboys were losing 14-10 in the waning seconds. Dallas had one chance. Coach Tom Landry said, “Our only hope was to just throw it and hope for a miracle.” Quarterback Roger Staubach heaved the ball as far as he could, toward the end zone. Receiver Drew Pearson evaded the Vikings defender, caught the ball, and ran into the end zone for the game-winning touchdown. Pearson was so excited that he threw the ball into the stands. Except there weren’t many end zone seats at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, where the Vikings played. The football went all the way to the parking lot and it was never seen again. A reporter asked Staubach what he was thinking when he threw the ball. Having grown up a Catholic kid in Cincinnati, Staubach said, “I just threw it and closed my eyes and said a Hail Mary.” That play has lived on in football lore and a long desperation pass to the end zone has become known as a Hail Mary...
  • Never Give Up

    by David Sellery
    In the darkest days of World War II, in the shortest and one of the most powerful addresses he ever delivered, Winston Churchill famously admonished the boys of Harrow School to: "Never, ever, ever, ever, ever give up. Never give up. Never give up. Never give up." Not surprisingly in this week's gospel, Jesus easily tops Churchill in both brevity and content, when he tells us: Don't be afraid. Just have faith...
  • When Your Cup Is Empty

    by Alex Thomas
    I was emotionally moved in reading a little book Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, A Young Man and Life’s Greatest Lesson (Doubleday, NY, NY 1997) by Mitch Albom a sportswriter for the Detroit Free Press. Mitch Albom is a former college student of Morrie Schwartz. Morrie develops ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) a brutal , unforgiving illness of the neurological system. Of course he is dying. Every Tuesday his former student visits his dying teacher in his final months to learn another lesson about life from this man who has lived so richly and completely. It is a moving account of a man who’s body is wasting away and yet his spirit is soaring. He didn’t despair. He wanted to talk with others and learn more about life, and share the tremendous wisdom he had gained. They talk of such things as avoiding regrets and self pity, the value of family, importance of forgiveness, the fear of aging, the meaning of death. Each dialogue means so much. Here is snippet of one conversation: “Mitch you asked me about caring for people I don’t even know. But can I tell you the thing that I’m learning most with this disease?” “What’s that?” "The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.”...
  • When Daughters Go in Peace

    by Debie Thomas
    I had been sexually molested by two men in our church community, from the time I was nine years old until I turned fourteen. During the years the abuse was happening, I had no language for it, no narrative I could fit the violations into. All I understood was that something huge and wrong was happening — something I must have caused and therefore deserved. Because the perpetrators were not strangers, I didn’t think of their actions as criminal; I took every shred of blame for the abuse into my own bones. By the time the abuse ended, I believed that my body was irrevocably polluted. Ugly, promiscuous, and dishonorable...
  • A Touching Tale

    by Carl Wilton
    There’s a famous story of Frederick the Great of Prussia — a powerful ruler of the European Enlightenment, a man of great scientific curiosity as well as a leader of armies. Frederick once conducted an unusual scientific experiment into the development of human language. There was a theory, in those days, that the babbling of infants was, in some mysterious sense, related to the ancient language of Eden: but that children lost this oldest of mothertongues as they grew and learned the language of their parents. Frederick devised an experiment to test this theory. He had his scientists take some newborn, orphaned babies, and isolate them from all physical contact with human beings. The babies would be kept in separate rooms, with no contact with each other. Not a word of language was to be spoken in their presence...
  • Movies/Scenes Representing Healing

    Compiled by Jenee Woodard

Illustrated Resources from 2015 to 2017

(was the Sunday following the shootings in Charleston, SC on June 17, 2015)
  • Proper 8B (2015)

    by David Brooks
    ("Early in his career when he was still an unknown actor, Burt Reynolds went to a bar and sat down two stools away from a beefy man with enormous shoulders. Without warning, the guy began harassing some patrons seated at a table nearby. Reynolds warned him to watch his language. That's when the guy with the huge shoulders turned on Reynolds. Reynolds went on to say: 'I remember looking down and planting my right foot on this brass rail for leverage...")
  • Proper 8B (2015)

    by Delmer Chilton
    ("A few weeks later I received a call from the pastor. He said, “Have I got a story to tell you.” He went to visit a man who has been visiting worship for the last few weeks. He lives in a boarding house just down the street. After a few minutes of pleasantries, he told the pastor that Commitment Sunday was the first time he visited the church. He had just gotten out of rehab and had committed himself to going to church...") (Scroll down the page for this resource.)
  • Fair Balance

    by Jane Anne Ferguson
    ("While his mother lies dying, Jack meets Death heading for their cottage. He grabs Death's scythe and uses it to beat him over the head until he is small enough to be stuffed into a walnut shell. Jack throws the shell out to sea. He finds his mother well...")
  • Proper 8B (2015)

    by Scott Hoezee
    ("Some years ago following the death of Pope John Paul II, the media ran many series of videos and still photographs encapsulating the late pontiff's career. Again and again what we saw in all that was the fact that no matter where the pope went, the one constant was the fierce desire people had to touch him...")
  • On Charleston and the Gaping Wound of Racism and the Cloak of Jesus

    by Janet Hunt
    ("Last Thursday afternoon I called up Pastor Joe. The news of this horrific event in Charleston was the only thing on my mind, and yet I found I did not know what I would say to him. And he suggested that we worship together. But here is what Pastor Joe was really suggesting. He was saying that together, like the woman in our story now --- together we touch the cloak of Jesus...")
  • 'Laudato Si'' and the Firefly Dilemma

    by Terrance Klein
    ("We called them 'Lightning Bugs', though I think we might also have said 'Fireflies'. Hard to remember. It's been half a century since I went hunting for them. They'd appear this time of the year, flickering above the grass of the lawn, as the last light of a long, summer eve faded. I thought them nothing less than miraculous, sparkling and darting about. Had someone told me that they were cousins of Tinker Bell, I would have believed it...")
  • Becoming Unclean

    by Jim McCrea
    Fred Craddock told of a time when a woman came to see him and asked him to follow her out to the parking lot. He was a little nervous, but he obediently trooped after her to the parking lot where she had left her car. She opened the back door and there, slumped in the back seat, was that woman's brother. He had been a senior at the University of Oklahoma when he became involved in a terrible car accident. Since that moment eight months before, he had been trapped in a coma...
  • Fred...And Much More

    by Andrew Prior
    ("Meet Fred. Fred has done well. He has worked hard on his business. He's honest. He's well respected. He's not one of those rich people who suck the rest of us dry. Fred is a good man, and he gives back to the community. Then it happened. The apple of his eye, that gorgeous daughter whose innocence and wholeness was a sort of symbol for all his hopes, and all he held dear, was seriously ill...")
  • Murder at Mother Emanuel

    by Nancy Rockwell
    ["Still in the boat that had weathered the storm at sea, Jesus reached shore, and a desperate preacher came and fell at his feet, asking for help – Save My Daughter, cried the preacher, in pain, in fear, in terror of the loss he was facing. Jesus, as he turned to go with him, was interrupted by a desperate woman, who had been bleeding for years. It could be the story of Mother Emanuel AME Church, a weathered ship that has taken many across wild seas of life to the shore of faith..."]
  • Parental Pains

    by Ron Rolheiser, OMI
    ("C. S. Lewis, in recounting his own journey to faith, tells us that it was not, in the end, his thoughts or feelings that led him to faith. Rather it was God's grip on him, an inchoate brand in his soul that wouldn't go away, a nagging burn in his gut. As he puts it: 'The harshness of God is softer than the kindness of men and God's compulsion is our liberation'...")
  • Never Give Up

    by David Sellery
    ("In the darkest days of World War II, in the shortest and one of the most powerful addresses he ever delivered, Winston Churchill famously admonished the boys of Harrow School to: "Never, ever, ever, ever, ever give up. Never give up. Never give up. Never give up." Not surprisingly in this week's gospel, Jesus easily tops Churchill in both brevity and content, when he tells us: Don't be afraid. Just have faith")

Illustrated Resources from 2009 to 2014

[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.]
  • Disadvantages?

    by Alan Brehm
    ("Those who live with handicaps in our society are treated like misfits—at best. Most of us don't want to have to deal with them because they're not "normal." I know a little about this because of my brother Douglas. He was born with a mental handicap in a time before our culture discovered that we should have a "conscience" regarding the handicapped. As a boy, I think I felt what everybody who cared about him felt—grief and compassion for his difficulty, mixed with embarrassment that he was not "normal," mixed with resentment toward those who made fun of him...")
  • *Ordinary 13B (2009)

    by Richard Budgen
    ("According to Douglas Adams' cult sci-fi comedy The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, researchers from a pan-dimensional, hyper-intelligent race of beings, construct 'Deep Thought,' the second the second greatest computer of all time and space, to calculate the Ultimate Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything...")
  • Tears of Blood

    by Rowena Francis
    "Frank had a different experience of the tears of blood. He came to faith in a mid life crisis after a difficult childhood where faith didn't count for much. He started to worship in a large lively town centre church with a great flexible building and wonderful preaching. But Frank was troubled. He went to see the minister..."
  • Ordinary 13B (2009)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time a little girl, very little in this case, was hit by a car backing out of her family's garage. She had been playing where she had been told repeatedly not to play. She lay on the ground like a lifeless doll. They picked her up and rushed her to the emergency room at the hospital...")
  • Ordinary 13B (2012)

    by Kate Huey
    (includes several quotes)
  • What Did You Expect?

    by Beth Johnston
    I read a powerful story this past week about a minister new to a community and a woman, the salt of the earth in that community who prayed for her son every day, using what she called 'The Prayer of Jairus', which was simply, 'My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.' except that she substituted the name of her son for that of the daughter of Jairus...
  • The Spiderman Gospel

    by Rick Miles
    Mayor Bloomberg of New York City has declared this week to be Spiderman week, in honor of the opening of the new summertime blockbuster movie about the web-slinger. What with there having already been three major movies about him, you’d think there wouldn’t be much left to tell. We all know his story: High school student Peter Parker is bitten by a radioactive spider and gains super strength, as well as the ability to stick to walls and ceilings. He invents a device that enables him to shoot webs and swing high above the city streets. Wearing a Spider-Man costume, he goes out to fight criminals, including super-villains such as Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus. Peter Parker is a compelling character; as the wall-crawler is persecuted by the very community that he's trying to protect. City authorities are suspicious of him, not knowing if he's a vigilante or a criminal, and the local newspaper launches a campaign against the "Spider-Man menace."...
  • *Fringe on the Hem of His Garment

    by Anna Murdock
    ("It was a cold February afternoon. I glanced his way and then dismissed him. My thoughts turned inward as I waited at the stoplight of one of the city's busiest intersections. Stoplights always seem to take much longer to change from red to green when heading home after a very tiring, long day at work...")
  • What's the Worst?

    by Larry Patten
    ("Once I broke my leg. It literally broke and rebuilt me. In the five years before the accident, I'd let anger and fear dominate my life. I'd been through a divorce and hated myself. I seethed at my mistakes, real and imagined. I dreaded commitment in relationships. No one would EVER hurt me again; I worked hard to seem 'normal'. We humans can fashion such lovely, deceitful masks...")
  • Proper 8B (2012)

    by LeDayne McLeese Polaski
    A friend has told me the place that feels the most like church to him is his AA group. He believes this is true for him because simply walking into an AA meeting is an admission that you are far from perfect; it is an up-front confession that you know the reality of struggle and failure and need. It is also entering into a gathering of people who by their presence with you are acknowledging their own imperfection...
  • I Will Be Made Well

    Image for Worship by Jan Richardson
  • Stories and Circles

    by Jan Richardson
    ("In her book Writing for Your Life, Deena Metzger offers this quote about stories: 'Stories move in circles. They don't move in straight lines. So it helps if you listen in circles. There are stories inside stories and stories between stories, and finding your way through them is as easy and as hard as finding your way home...")
  • Breathing Emotionally

    by Ron Rolheiser, OMI
    ("One of the things that made Henri Nouwen such a loved writer was his disarming honesty. He hid little about himself. And one of the things that he was able to give voice to was his constant struggle to be affirmed, to be made to feel special, to be touched, to be singled out for admiration, to feel tangible proofs of love...")
  • Touching the Hem of His Garment

    by Ron Rolheiser, OMI
    ("I remember a comment made to me by a young man who had been struggling for a long time to break an addictive habit in his life. He said: 'It took me a long time, and countless failures, to realize that you can't change your life simply by willpower. You can only change it by grace and community.' Alcoholics Anonymous has always known this....")
  • A Daughter's Faith

    by Sarah Jackson Shelton
    ("Kenneth Fearing, the poet, describes a particularly long and wearisome day in one woman's life. Evening finally comes. The house is quiet at last. The children have been tucked into bed and are asleep. She sits in the family room with her husband and they lose themselves in the blur of the images on the television...." and other illustrations)
  • *Be Healed, Be Held

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    ["Every morning all humans do the same thing. We get up, take a shower, brush our teeth, and then decide what we are going to wear. Generally in western culture it remains true that 'Clothes make the man', or in the name of a popular website, 'Clothes make the girl'. Got a teenager? Then you know what I'm talking about. Then you know oh-so-purse-painfully how important it is to have the 'right look'..."]
  • The Encounter More Than the Cure

    by Brian Volck
    ("Vic Chesnutt declared God's nonexistence when he was 13, and maintained his conviction after a 1983 car accident at age 18 left him paralyzed in a wheelchair, with limited use of his hands that reduced his guitar playing to simple chords and rhythms. Not long before his death from an overdose of muscle relaxants in 2009, Chesnutt was discussing his song, "Flirted With You All My Life," NPR's Terry Gross and almost offhandedly revealed, ""You know, I've attempted suicide three or four times. It didn't take...")

Illustrated Resources from 2006 to 2008

[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.]
  • Revolutionary Voices

    by Christina Berry
    ("We’re coming up on Independence Day, so I thought it might be interesting to look at the gospel reading in light of the 4th of July. Now, how could this story possibly connect with the American Revolution? Stay with me! The celebration of Independence Day often involves a great deal of speechifying...")
  • Ordinary 13B (2006)

    by Andrew Greeley
    "Once upon a time a little girl, very little in this case, was hit by a car backing out of her family's garage. She had been playing where she had been told repeatedly not to play. She lay on the ground like a lifeless doll. They picked her up and rushed her to the emergency room at the hospital..."
  • Proper 8B (2006)

    by Charles Hoffacker
    ("Maybe you saw the movie The Godfather, Part II. In that film, the Mafia godfather, Don Corleone, goes to Rome to negotiate a business deal with the Vatican. He is not interested simply in business; he wants to gain respectability. There in Rome he meets with Cardinal Lamberto, who asks if he would like to make his confession....)
  • *Faith Journey Interrupted

    by Donald Hoffman
    ("One day, he says, a woman came to see him. She asked him to come out to the parking lot. He was a little nervous, but he followed her to the parking lot and to her car. She opened the back door, and slumped in the back seat was her brother..." and other illustrations)
  • Ministry of Interruptions

    by Beth Johnston
    I recall a tv commercial that was one quite a bit at least 25 years ago, if my memory serves me correctly. The dad is working late at home and his son asks him to go and look at something outside. He says 'later', but the boy insists. Finally he agrees to go. When he climbs into the camper he notices that it has been ‘packed’ and he asks, 'Who put all that stuff in here?'...
  • *Ordinary 13B (2006)

    by Paul Larsen
    ("One of the most beloved and colorful sports personalities of our time was a man named Jim Valvano -'Jimmy V', as sports fans around the country affectionately knew him. Valvano died on April 16, 1993, after a year- long battle with cancer...")
  • Jesus and Maggie

    by Edward Markquart
    ("This story is told by Dr. Robert Schuller. It is a story of a Ph. D. student in mathematics who was going to take his final test for his Ph. D. Unfortunately, the student arrived late for that test. Everybody else in the classroom had already started the test. On the blackboard were three math problems...")
  • Things They Didn't Tell Me

    by David Martyn
    “How the mighty have fallen, and the weapons of war perished!” There are certain scripture passages that can have associated with them an indelible memory. For me this is one of those passages. When I was a young child there was a canoe. My brother and I were too young to actually put it into the water. There was no such thing as fibreglass in those days—this canoe was made of wood. So we would sit in the canoe on dry land and have marvellous adventures. The canoe was the same colour as the sky, so in our imaginations it could travel in the sky over the mountains to lands unknown. Now at the bow of the canoe was painted the head of an Indian with a warrior’s headdress. So for two young boys this was a battle ship that could defeat any enemy that lay on the other side of the mountain. The day came when we were too old to play in the canoe and the canoe had begun to rot from too many winters. My father made the decision that the canoe would be added to the spring bonfire of fallen winter branches. Normally I would have watched the fire in utter fascination, but this time I watched my father. As the flames began to wrap themselves around the canoe tears started to flow and then he broke down in uncontrollable grief...
  • Faithfulness or Faithlessness?

    by John and Robin McCullough-Bade
    ("There is the classic story of a man shipwrecked on an island. He spent his time praying for rescue. A helicopter passed overhead, but the man had his eyes closed in prayer. A boat came next, but the man kept his eyes closed in prayer...")
  • Why Do You Make a Tumult and Weep?

    by Philip McLarty
    ("In her classic book On Death and Dying, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross identifies six stages of grief. I'm sure many of you are familiar with them. They bear repeating...")
  • Laughing at Jesus

    by Steven Molin
    ("There is a group in Portage, Michigan called 'The Fellowship of Merry Christians'. It was begun in 1985, for the single purpose of reminding Christians to be joyful. They like to spread quips like 'The reason angels can fly is because they take themselves so lightly.'...")
  • *Ordinary 13B (2006)

    by Paul O'Reilly, SJ
    ("Some time ago, when I worked in the missions, a twelve-year-old girl called Marissa came to see me in my office. She had a very serious heart disease which was making her very ill. But we knew that there was an operation available in another country which could make to better and save her life. But we also knew that she would have to wait three months to get the operation...")
  • *The Healer

    by Michael Phillips
    ("The legend of Saint Winefride begins with her tender childhood, when she felt a strong attraction to Jesus Christ and desired to lead a holy life. She began to study scripture with her uncle, Saint Beuno. She grew into a woman known for a quality of beauty both without and within. One day a local prince, Caradog, saw Winefride and was immediately overcome with a desire to have her as his own..." and other illustrations)
  • And They Laughed

    by Dot Saunders-Perez
    ("When I was in seminary, a close relative became ill and died. When I returned to school after the funeral, I found it very difficult to concentrate and maintain my composure to get to my first class. I decided that my goal for the two days I was there was to be able to sit through each of my classes...")
  • Fully Alive

    by J. Barry Vaughn
    ("Perhaps C.S. Lewis’ least read book is his novel Till We Have Faces. The main character asks the enigmatic question, 'How can we see the gods until we have faces?' I understand the meaning of the question to be this: we see the world in a partial and fragmentary way...")
  • Illustrations (Proper 8B)(2006)

    Compiled by Tim Zingale
  • Hush, Child, God Ain't Dead

    by Tim Zingale
    ("Dr. William Sloan Coffin of New York's Riverside Church said this in the April 20,1984 Lutheran Standard after the death of his son, Alex. 'The night after Alex died, I was sitting in the living room of my sister's house outside of Boston, when a middle-aged lady came in, shook her head when she saw me and said, "I just don't understand the will of God"...")

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

[If you have any questions about navigating through the site (and for some helpful tips even if you do!), please check out our video guide. Just copy this link (https://www.loom.com/share/afe3352a69f44bff814af8b695701c5e) and paste it into your favorite browser.]
  • Friends Following Jesus on the Journey

    by Robert Allred
    ("My Daddy had a sawmiller in his church who was 'bad to drink', which translated from southern lingo means that he was often inebriated. One Fourth of July he began his celebration early and when he woke up, forgetting that it was everyone's day off, he went to the sawmill and started that huge round buzz saw blade turning...")
  • McChurch

    by Mickey Anders
    ("The Straight Story is based on the real life story of Alvin Straight who was 73 years old and living in Iowa when he got word that his brother had suffered a stroke. He and his brother had had a falling out ten years before, and Alvin decided to go visit his brother to make amends..." and other quotes and illustrations)
  • What Is Your Vision?

    by David Buffaloe
    Wishing to encourage her young son's progress on the piano, a mother took her boy to a Paderewski concert. After they were seated, the mother spotted a friend in the audience and walked down the aisle to greet her. Seizing the opportunity to explore the wonders of the concert hall, the little boy rose and eventually explored his way through a door marked 'NO ADMITTANCE'...
  • Touched

    by Daniel Chambers
    ("Perhaps many people relate to God and religion the way I attended junior high school dances. I keenly wanted to dance, to let my skinny arms fly about and my body twist and dip; but if I took the risk of dancing, I feared the ridicule of my friends. So I would stand along the sidelines, arms rigidly crossed, close to the dance, but not able to enter it..." and another illustration)
  • *Ordinary 13B (2003)

    by Allison Cline
    ("Cripple! What does that word conjure up for you? A loathsome person? Let me tell you about one such 'cripple'. Me! For a year I was called 'cripple' because I used crutches in an effort to avoid an operation on my knees. It was a year of living hell, of great pain, of isolation, of wondering what God was doing...")
  • Women and Conflict

    by Pamela Cooper-White
    My three-year-old and I were frustrated with each other. She called me back into the room I had just left in irritation and said, "Mommy, I have something to say to you!" I stood in the doorway. "Yes?" "I’m so angry with you because you’re angry with me!" Even in that moment, I had to laugh. I rejoiced to know that my daughter was so unafraid of conflict. She had her own voice!...
  • *Satisfying Thirst

    by Tom Cox
    ("Ultimately hospitality is about attitude more than plenitude. Nineteenth Century writer Henry David Thoreau put it this way. 'I sat at a table where were rich food and wine in abundance and great attendance, but sincerity and truth were not; and I went away hungry from the inhospitable board...")
  • Ordinary 13B (2000)

    by Mary Durkin
    ("Once upon a time there was a queen of a small country. The king of that country seemed very unapproachable. Actually, he loved the people in his kingdom but was rather shy and had been taught that kings should appear distant to their subjects...")
  • The Healing Touch

    by Ernest Munachi Ezeogu, CSSP
    ("'No minister will ever get close to a person who he is unwilling to physically touch. If you are not willing to touch a homeless person, or an alcoholic, or a terribly dirty person, you psychologically are unwilling to minister to them.' These are the words of an eminent psychologist, Dr Charles Gerkin of Emory Divinity School. His student, Larry Daniel, learnt this lesson the hard way in 1988...")
  • *Interrupting the Interruption

    by Justin K. Fisher
    ("William Willimon suggests that by interrupting one story with another, Mark has the effect of expanding the image of Jesus as healer. Jesus not only touches those who are prominent, those in positions of power, like the ruler of the synagogue, but he is also open to being touched, interrupted by a woman who is an anonymous sufferer..." and another illustration)
  • Proper 8B (2000)

    by Eric Funston
    "This story demonstrates the profligate largesse of God. A traditional Passover song Dayenu, has been sung over a thousand years old. It begins, 'How many levels of favors has the Omnipresent One bestowed upon us.' The lyrics tell the Passover story:..."
  • Pentecost 3

    by Eric Funston
    ("This story demonstrates the profligate largesse of God. A traditional Passover song Dayenu, has been sung over a thousand years old. It begins, 'How many levels of favors has the Omnipresent One bestowed upon us.' The lyrics tell the Passover story:...")
  • Get Up!

    by Vince Gerhardy
    ("There is an Eastern legend about a Hindu woman whose only child had died. Her grief and sorrow overwhelmed her and she could do nothing but mourn the loss of her only child. She went to a holy man to ask for her child back. The holy man told her to go and obtain a handful of rice from a house into which death had not come..." and other illustrations)
  • *No Need to Dress Up

    by Mark Haverland
    ("Kathleen Norris, in her book The Cloister Walk, describes what church was like for her as a child. She writes: 'I have lately realized that what went wrong for me in my Christian upbringing is centered in the belief that one had to be dressed up, both outwardly and inwardly, to meet God...")
  • *The Last Resort

    by Mary Hill
    ("He is her last resort. She has been hemorrhaging more than half her adult life. What were considered to be her most productive years . . . her childbearing years . . . her very reason for existing . . . has slowly bled out of her, leaving her listless . . . in constant pain . . . always afraid...")
  • A Life-Giving Touch

    by Wayne Hilliker
    ("Mallonee Hubbard, a Methodist pastor, who is a woman, tells about studying this scripture for one of her seminary classes. She was frustrated when she consulted one book after another and found that all of them failed to comment on what the woman who reached out to touch Jesus must have been feeling. In frustration she went to one of her professors..." and other illustrations)
  • When Things Don't Go As Planned

    by Wayne Hilliker
    ("Some of us who are parents, have children who, this past week, have graduated from High School, and we have attended the graduation ceremonies. I am one of those parents. Celebrations which mark the end of High School are a kind of rite of passage. They are special and unrepeatable turning points in the lives of our sons or daughters...")
  • Awakening from a Deep Sleep

    by Charles Hoffacker
    ("What is the deep sleep? Let me offer two portraits of it. One of them comes from Kiss Sleeping Beauty Good-Bye, a book by a woman with a remarkable name: Madonna Kolbenschlag. Kolbenschlag opens her first chapter with this observation...")
  • Lectionary Reflection (Mark 5:21-43)

    by Peggy Hoppes
    Scroll down to September 5th for this reflection.

    "I was in the grocery store the other day, waiting in the check out line. My eyes happened upon the newspapers and magazines that were on the racks. My favorite is the “Weekly World News” because the stories are so ridiculous it is funny..."

  • Lectionary Reflection (Mark 5:35-43)

    by Peggy Hoppes
    Scroll down to October 6th for this reflection.

    ("Our neighbor adopted two very tiny kittens from the animal shelter yesterday. They were a bit dirty and flea infested, so for the sake of her family and other cat, the kittens were kept in a cage outside until she was able to give them a flea bath...")

  • Can One So Great Care For One So Small?

    by John Jewell
    "Eugene Field, the prolific Missouri author of the late nineteenth century captured the horrific pain of loss of a child in his poem Little Boy Blue which was written about his son's death. 'The little toy dog is covered with dust, But sturdy and stanch he stands; And the little toy soldier is red with rust, And his musket moulds in his hands..."
  • That None Be Left Out

    by L. Bevel Jones III
    ("The late Henri Nouwen, great Catholic teacher, minister, said in the prime of his career that he became frustrated by the many interruptions to his work. He was teaching at Notre Dame. He had a heavy agenda each day and didn't like to be disturbed. Then one day it dawned on him that his interruptions were his work...")
  • The Healing Touch

    by David Leininger
    ("The Sequoia trees of California tower as much as 300 feet above the ground. Strangely, these giants have unusually shallow root systems that reach out in all directions to capture the greatest amount of surface moisture. Seldom will you see a redwood standing alone, because high winds would quickly uproot it...")
  • Touching and Being Touched

    by Ben Manning
    ("Do you remember the wonderful old story of the four blind men and the elephant? Each man wanted to know what the elephant was like. The first blind man reached out and touched the elephant's leg. As he groped about he said, 'Now I know that the elephant is like a tree trunk.'...")
  • Twelve (#2)

    by David Martyn
    Bev and Anne are now going to read a poem that was written by a working class Chilean woman in 1973, shortly after Chile’s socialist president, Salvador Allende, was over - thrown. A U.S. missionary translated the work and brought it with her when she was forced to leave Chile. I am a woman. I am a woman. I am a woman born of a woman whose man owned a factory. I am a woman born of a woman whose man laboured in a factory. I am a woman whose man wore silk suits, who con - stantly watched his weight. I am a woman whose man wore tattered clothing, whose heart was constantly strangled by hunger. I am a woman who watched two babies grow into beautiful children. I am a woman who watched two babies die because there was no milk...
  • Twelve

    by David Martyn
    In the 19th Century in Canada many households would have, next to their Family Bible, a copy of William Buchan’s Domestic Medicine. He mentions the symptoms of hysteria (a word whose origin comes from the uterus) and he describes swoons, fainting, convulsions, coldness, yawning stretching, depression anxiety, laughter and crying as conditions applying to women "of a delicate habit, whose stomach and intestines are relaxed, and whose nervous system is extremely sensitive." In the twentieth century The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association still listed in 1979 "Hysterical neurosis" as a condition that affected females. It was removed in 1994.
  • Christ Jesus and His Line, Cross and Crossing"

    by Michael McCoy
    "Draw the Line" … three words that we are familiar with … a phrase that we use. We say, "Stop right there for that's where I 'Draw the Line.'" This means that we won't go any farther with a particular thought process, a certain type of conversation or a particular activity. For example, you think about wanting something but you "Draw the Line" to keep yourself from coveting. You enjoy telling a good joke but you "Draw the Line" at speaking false doctrine. You're getting ready for a date and you know exactly where you'll "Draw the Line." "Don't Cross the Line" … four words that we are quite familiar with … an imperative, a command describing what we often declare or what someone else demands. You mark out the limits and boundaries, and then tell yourself or someone else, "Don't Cross the Line." From school recess to the international world scene among the nations, someone draws a line in the sand and issues the warning, "Don't Cross the Line." "Crossing the Line" … three words that we are more than familiar with … that though the statement has been made and the warning issued, both are ignored. Now there is a conflict at hand and a test of wills, words and powers ensues. "Crossing the Line" results in a variety of arenas and a range of consequences, from the homer being declared a foul ball in the stadium, to a black eye on the playground, to a medical report that with an immediate follow-up appointment with an oncologist, to the annihilation of an entire military force in the desert sand...
  • *Connecting with the Fringes

    by Jim McCrea
    ("In the early days of jet flight, aeronautical engineers found that with improvements to a plane's design and larger engines, it was possible to reach almost unimaginable speeds - 400, 500, even 600 mph. However, as the planes began to approach 700 mph and the sound barrier, the pilots encountered unexpected problems..." and other quotes)
  • Something Beautiful

    by Ray Osborne
    ("Something beautiful, something good. All my confusion He understood. All I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife, But He made something beautiful of my life...")
  • Proper 8B (2000)

    by Joe Parrish
    ("Dr. Randy Bird, staff cardiologist at the San Francisco General Hospital and a professor of medicine at the University of California, conducted a ten-month study of 393 patients admitted to the coronary care unit at that hospital. About half, 192, of the patients were randomly assigned to a prayer group of people who were in various parts of the United States..." and other illustrations)
  • The Touch of Healing

    by John Pavelko
    A pastor in Canada once noted that the moderator of the United Church of Canada was having a profound influence on the rich and powerful and had even been invited to speak to parliament. When asked why he had been invited to speak by a reporter the moderator said, “I think people are really looking for strong, bold leadership that is rooted in the caring, compassionate values that we do hold and they're not getting. That's why a guy like me is striking a chord.” However, the Canadian pastor noted that he and several other people have written letters to that very moderator on behalf of the little people victimized, and impoverished by the rich and famous. The moderator has not answered one of those letters. I guess he did not have time for the very people for whom he was crusading...
  • *Golf Is Not a Game of Perfect

    by Michael Phillips
    ("I'm reading a book now by Dr. Bob Rotella entitled Golf Is Not a Game of Perfect. Almost the first thing he says is that a person with great dreams can achieve great things. A person with small dreams, or a person without the confidence to pursue his or her dreams, has consigned himself or herself to a life of frustration and mediocrity...")
  • Fear Not! Only Believe

    by Coty Pinckney
    ("In The Silver Chair, Jill Pole is whisked away from her boarding school in England by magic. She is very thirsty, and begins to search for water. Hearing a stream, she starts to approach: but sees an enormous lion blocking her path...")
  • The Daughter of Jairus

    Poem by Beatrice Constance Peterson Redpath
  • The Person Next to You

    by Barry Robinson
    ("There is a traditional Japanese story about a fellow who dies and finds himself in a shimmering realm. He thinks to himself, 'I guess I was better than I thought!' He is approached by a glistening angel who ushers him into a regal banquet hall in which an immense table is laid out with unimaginable delicacies...")
  • The Weakness of the World

    by Ray C. Stedman
    ("I will never forget the time a number of years ago when my wife and I were driving through Oregon with our little daughter, Susan. She had developed a fever the night before, when we were staying in a motel, but it didn't seem serious. As we drove along, all of a sudden, as she lay in her mother's arms, she went into convulsions. Her eyes turned up, her body began to jerk, and she obviously was in great danger...")
  • Jesus Is Never Late

    by Alex Stevenson
    Our daughter, Mary, was about 13 months old when she became ill. She had what appeared to be a common flu bug. But she became dehydrated. Then something went wrong, seriously wrong. Her eyes crossed. Not just a little bit. They literally rolled in and the doctors knew something of a neurological nature had occurred...
  • Contagious Generosity

    by Billy D. Strayhorn
    ("Oseola McCarty, 87, did one thing all her life: laundry. Now she's famous for it, or at least for what she did with her profits. For decades, Miss McCarty earned 50 cents per load doing laundry for the well-to-do families of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, preferring a washboard over an electric washing machine...")
  • Friend of the Hopeless

    by Billy D. Strayhorn
    ("I have an acquaintance. His name is Wayne and Wayne is a Gideon. Every time I see Wayne he is passing out verses of Scripture that he prints out on his computer. Wayne started working for the Census like some of you...")
  • Toward Wholeness

    by Alex Thomas
    ("We see in the story of Morrie in the book Tuesdays With Morrie how a man with ALS, or Lou Gehrigs disease, was not physically healed, but in the process of his acceptance of his disease and in the relationships to self, his environment and of the people around him, he became more whole spiritually..." and other illustrations)
  • When Your Cup Is Empty

    by Alex Thomas
    ("I was emotionally moved this week in reading a little book Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, A Young Man and Life's Greatest Lesson by Mitch Albom, a former college student of Morrie Schwartz. Morrie develops ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) a brutal, unforgiving illness of the neurological system. Of course he is dying...")
  • Don't Touch Me!

    by Keith Wagner
    ("There is an old Chinese tale about the woman whose only son died. In her grief, she went to the holy man and said, 'What prayers, what magical incantations do you have to bring my son back to life?' Instead of sending her away or reasoning with her, he said to her: 'Fetch me a mustard seed from a home that has never known sorrow. We will use it to drive the sorrow out of your life.'..." and other short illustrations)
  • Two Healing Stories

    by Garth Wehrfritz-Hanson
    ("Ole went to Sven limping badly. ’Sven’ says Ole, ’do yiew know of a good doctor? M’leg hurts.’ ’Ya’ says Sven, ’Go see my cousin Hilding, I give you da number.’ Finally getting an appointment, Ole explained to Dr. Hilding in his office, ’M’leg is hurting me, bad!'...")
  • Get Up

    by William Willimon
    ("In her novel The Living, Annie Dillard describes this scene from a funeral: 'Hugh stood with stiff Lulu and supple Bert at the graveside. The Nooksacks stood together with their preacher. Before the funeral, in mourning for his father, they had shrieked and pounded on boards..." and another illustration)
  • A Touching Tale

    by Carlos Wilton
    ("There’s a famous story of Frederick the Great of Prussia – a powerful ruler of the European Enlightenment, a man of great scientific curiosity as well as a leader of armies. Frederick once conducted an unusual scientific experiment into the development of human language...")
  • Why Do You Weep?

    by Steve Zeisler
    ("One of the subplots in Walt Disney's version of Peter Pan is of Captain Hook and the crocodile. At some point in his life, Captain Hook's hand was bitten off by a crocodile, and the crocodile liked the taste of it so much that he spent the rest of his life pursuing Captain Hook, wanting to eat the rest of him...")

Other Resources from 2020

[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.]

Other Resources from 2018 and 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.]

Other Resources from 2015 to 2017

(was the Sunday following the shootings in Charleston, SC on June 17, 2015)

Other Resources from 2012 to 2014

[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.]

Other Resources from 2009 to 2011

[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.]

Other Resources from 2006 to 2008

[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.]

Other Resources from 2000 to 2005

[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.]

Other Resources from the Archives

[If you have any questions about navigating through the site (and for some helpful tips even if you do!), please check out our video guide. Just copy this link (https://www.loom.com/share/afe3352a69f44bff814af8b695701c5e) and paste it into your favorite browser.]

Resources from the Bookstore

Children's Resources and Dramas

The Classics

Recursos en Español

Currently Unavailable

  • Ordinary 13

    by Barbara Cooper, OP
  • The Encounter

    by James Farfaglia
    ("There are numerous testimonies about near death experiences that illustrate that the human person is partly comprised of a soul. Here is one dramatic account told by Margaret C. Rigsby. 'On June 21, 1974 I delivered a baby boy that weighed 9 lbs. and 15 oz. and was 23 inches long. I had the child by natural delivery with no problems....")
  • Ordinary 13

    by Campion Gavaler, OSB
  • Responses of Faith

    by J. David Hoke
  • Anything Is Really Possible

    (Poetic Homily by Michael Kennedy)
  • Children's Literature

    from Union Presbyterian Seminary
  • Pentecost 4

    by Martin Warner
    ("Apprehension of the divine in our midst requires the gentle, patient use of our time and attention. It is something we are in danger of forgetting in our busy world, but poets, such as Alice Oswald, remind us that this is how we touch the hem of the life of God: 'Here I work in the hollow of God's hand with Time bent round into my reach....")
  • Hope in Despair

    by Fred Anderson
  • Domingo 13

    por Larisa M. Grams
  • Girl Interrupted

    by Sarah Buteux
  • Preaching the Text (Proper 8B)

    by Heather Murray Elkins
  • Ordinary 13B (2015)

    by Susan Fleming McGurgan
  • Domingo 13B (2018)

    por Jude Siciliano, OP
  • Intimate Healing

    by David Martyn
    ("Harriet Lerner, in her book The Dance of Intimacy, points out that 'in relationships between dominant and subordinate groups, the subordinate group members always possess a far greater understanding of dominant group members and their culture than vice versa.'...")
  • Talitha Cum

    by Dave Risendal
  • On the Road to Jairus' House

    by Beth Quick
    ("Jonathan Kozol, author of a novel on poverty called Amazing Grace, brings us this quote: 'I believe what the rich have done to the poor people in this city is something a preacher could call evil. Somebody has power. Pretending that they don't so they don't need to use it to help people – that's my idea of evil.'...")