Matthew 16: 13-20

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. Hopefully, members will have the ability to rate all of the resources on a 5-point system soon!! FWIW!!]
  • Faith

    Illustrations from the Archives
  • Peter 'Fesses Up

    by D. Mark Davis
    (includes lots of Greek exegesis!!)
  • Upon This Rock...

    by Jerry Fuller, OMI
    ("Spirituality has to do with one's relationship with God. That is personal and private, like the woman 'Sheila' of whom Robert Bellah speaks in his best seller of some years ago Habits of the Heart. Sheila described her faith as 'Sheila-ism', and said it was based on 'just my own little voice'...")
  • Who Do You Say That I Am?

    by Jerry Fuller, OMI
    "There's an amusing story about a woman who was at work when she received a phone call that her daughter was very sick with a fever. She left her work and stopped by the pharmacy to get some medication for her daughter. When she returned to her car she found that she had locked her keys inside..." and other illustrations
  • The Gospel According to You

    by Sil Galvan
    The gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John Are read by more than a few. But the one that is most read and commented on Is the gospel according to you. You are writing a gospel, a chapter each day, By the things that you do and the words that you say. People read what you write, whether faithless or true. Say, what is the gospel according to you? Do others read His truth and His love in your life? Or has yours been too full of malice and strife? Does your life speak of evil, or does it ring true? Say, what is the gospel according to you?
  • The Importance of Names

    by Sil Galvan
    One evening in October, I was sitting at the kitchen table, working on a sermon. Sonja was around the corner in the living room, working on the business books, processing job tickets, and sorting through payables. Cassie played Barbie dolls at her feet. I heard Colton's footsteps padding up the hallway and caught a glimpse of him circling the couch, where he then planted himself directly in front of Sonja. "Mommy, I have two sisters," Colton said. I put down my pen. Sonja didn't. She kept on working. Colton repeated himself. "Mommy, I have two sisters." Sonja looked up from her paperwork and shook her head slightly. "No, you have your sister, Cassie, and . . . do you mean your cousin, Traci?" "No." Colton clipped off the word adamantly. "I have two sisters. You had a baby die in your tummy, didn't you?"
  • Peter, the Rock?

    by Sil Galvan
    As one who has served time in prison and has since spent most of my life working in them, I'll never forget the most unusual prison I've ever visited. Called Humaita Prison, it is in Sao Jose dos Campos in Brazil. Formerly a government prison, it is now operated by Prison Fellowship Brazil as an alternative prison...
  • Proper 16A

    by Bill Loader
    (always interesting insights!)
  • The Unspoken Question

    by Philip McLarty
    ("This particular spot where Jesus and his disciples stood is at the base of Mount Herman. It was the site of a number of pagan temples. To the left of the ruins you'll see the mouth of a large cave partially filled with water. In Jesus' day water would gush up out of this cave without warning, as if it were spewing up from the depths of the earth. When the water was calm, people tried to measure its depth. Try as they may, they couldn't reach the bottom. It became known as the 'gates of hell'..." and other illustrations)
  • Exegetical Notes (Matthew 16:13-20)

    by Brian Stoffregen
    (excellent exegesis)
  • Illustrations, Quotes and Lectionary Reflections (Ordinary 21A)

    by Various Authors
    ("In 1896, after fifteen centuries, Athens renewed the Olympic games, thus fulfilling the dream of Baron Pierre de Coubertin of France. You can imagine how proud the Greeks were to host the first modern Olympics. You can also imagine how disappointed they were at their athletes' lack of success in event after event. The last competition was the marathon. Greece's entrant was named Louis, a shepherd without competitive background. He'd trained alone in the hills near his flock..." and many more!!)

Illustrated Resources from 2017 to 2020

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  • See Something, Say Something

    by Jim Chern
    A few weeks ago, a couple found their wedding plans completely upended with the continued fall out from the viral pandemic. The ceremony in front of family and friends – the lavish reception all had been revised, then altered, and eventually cancelled due to changing regulations and limitations from the state and city of New York. The couple decided they just didn’t care anymore, they just wanted to get married. So they got an officiant to join them on the Brooklyn Bridge at sunset on a Saturday night in July, the bride had her dress on – a rather simple, but obvious wedding gown – the groom got into a business casual outfit, and they exchanged vows on one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. It just so happened that this woman who was riding her bike on the bridge crossing from Manhattan to Brooklyn spotted the very intimate moment. She said she felt compelled to snap a picture on her phone. Not wanting to interrupt and intrude on them at that special moment, she decided later to post it on twitter with the note “If you were getting married on the Brooklyn Bridge this evening, I’ve got some photos for you.” Remarkably a few days later the couple were identified and were happily surprised to have what turned into the only pictures, capturing the most important moment, from one of the greatest days in their lives...
  • Sermon Starters (Proper 16A)(2020)

    by Scott Hoezee
    Frederick Buechner grew up among the elite of the very sophisticated East Coast. He rubbed elbows with very urbane people, many of whom fancied themselves too mature as modern-day folk to engage in anything resembling traditional pious talk about God or spirituality. Indeed, when as a young man Buechner mentioned at a high class dinner party that he was going to seminary to become a pastor, his hostess for the evening fixed Buechner in an incredulous gaze before asking, “A pastor? Really. Tell me, was this your own idea or were you ill-advised?” Many years later, Buechner taught a semester at Wheaton College. At lunch one day, sitting with some students, he overheard one student very casually ask another, “What has God been doing in your life lately?” Buechner observed that if a question like that were asked in New York City, the ground would open up, buildings would crumble, and grown men would faint dead away. Many times how a question sounds depends on where you are!
  • An Oracle of the Word of the Lord

    by Peter Hawkins
    What if you risked asking, quite simply—and without being sure of the answer—“Who is Jesus Christ?” Once upon a time I did. In the late 1970s I was at the beginning of my teaching career at Yale Divinity School and visiting friends who were housesitting in Stonington, Connecticut. Our absent host was the poet James Merrill, a friend of my friends, who was then in the process of writing what would become, by 1982, a three-part, 560-page epic poem, The Changing Light at Sandover. Crucial to its composition was a Ouija board that became the stage for sessions of serious play undertaken by Merrill and his partner David Jackson, not only on their own but often in the company of friends. (The board was given to Merrill by his best friend from high school, Frederick Buechner.)
  • Between a Rock and a Stumbling Block

    by Tom Long
    In the 1950s, there was a professional wrestler making the circuit of small towns and county fairs by the name of William Dee Calhoun. Now, as you know, most wrestlers have some kind of trademark, some gimmick or schtick that makes them stand out. William Dee Calhoun's trademark was that he was 6 feet 4 inches tall, weighed over 600 pounds, and wrestled wearing a huge pair of farmer's overalls. He was a heap of a man, and because of this no one called him William Dee Calhoun. No, he was known, for obvious reasons, as "Haystack Calhoun."...
  • The Keys of the Kingdom: Opening Doors and the Gift of God that Heals

    by Janet Hunt
    There is one news clip which has been played several times and every time I see it, it gives me pause — especially now as I consider the gifts of this week’s Gospel lesson. It is that of an interview with former white supremacist. When asked how he was able to leave his old life behind, he replies simply , “Kindness.” Arguments would not, did not work. Violence only ignited his anger more deeply. But the repeated, intentional kindness of others pushed him to re-evaluate his life choices and today he can say the hatred he harbored so deeply is in his past.
  • Totality

    by Anna Tew
    Fun fact: before there was coronavirus, the last time “corona” was in the news was during the solar eclipse of 2017. Back then, it didn’t refer to a virus, but to the dazzling light of the sun’s plasma or “atmosphere” that is usually invisible to us, but which we can see during a solar eclipse. It is that type of “corona” that we’ll be talking about today. For a moment back in 2017 – in a year that seems like it was decades ago – the world stopped and people stepped outside to observe the strange phenomenon happening in the sky. These days, we plan for months and perhaps years to observe solar eclipses, but obviously, the first recorded solar eclipses were quite a shock to humanity. The Greek historian Herodotus tells us about when the path of totality crossed a battlefield as the Medes and the Lydians fought a long-standing war. When the sky became dark, the soldiers immediately stopped fighting, and their leaders took the eclipse as a sign that they should agree to a truce. It’s called the Eclipse of Thales, named after the philosopher who is said to have predicted it ahead of time. That battle, eclipse, and truce occurred on May 28, 585 BC...
  • What’s in a Name...and Who’s Behind It?

    by Nicholas Lang
    Sr. Rachel Hosmer, of the Episcopal Order of the Holy Cross, tells about a dream she had about ordering from a Sears Catalogue. Only this was no ordinary catalogue. In it, she could order the Jesus of her choice. The dream flowed on: there was Jesus as a seminary professor, with pipe and tweed jacket. There was Jesus the farmer, with calluses on his hands and dirt under his fingernails. There was a suburban, church-going Jesus in a suit and tie. There was a Latino Jesus, and an African-American Jesus. There was a feminist Jesus, who enabled bent women to stand up. In her dream, Sr. Rachael chose one and ordered that Jesus. She received a Jesus, but it was different from the one she had ordered. She ordered another Jesus, and again she got a Jesus different from the one she had chosen. This happened again and again. Every time she received a Jesus who differed from the one she had ordered. And every time, it really was Jesus whom she was given. The message of her dream became clear to her the next day. If she started where she was, with what she really longed for, Jesus would come into her life. And he was always different from her expectations, always wonderfully surprising.
  • But What Do You Think?

    by Debie Thomas
    In one of his famous “letters to a young poet,” writer Rainer Maria Rilke encouraged his protégé to sit with what he doesn’t know, and trust that the questions themselves have great value. “Be patient,” he wrote, “toward all that is unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”...
  • Being Present to God and Life

    by Ron Rolheiser, OMI
    The secret to prayer is not to try to make God present, but to make ourselves present to God. The secret to finding beauty and love in life is basically the same. Like God, they are already present. The trick is to make ourselves present to them. Rarely are we enough inside of our own skins, present enough to the moment, and sensitive enough to the richness that is already present in our lives. Our experience comes brimming with riches, but too often we are not enough inside of it.

Illustrated Resources from 2014 to 2016

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

    by Christopher Burkett
    ("This is an extract from a With Open Heart by Michel Quoist: 'This morning I discovered the extraordinary power of Christ's love at the bedside of a dying man. I sat there not knowing what to say. What can anyone say to a dying man? I watched him. I thought him ugly, this old man with a face ravaged by wrinkles, oiley with perspiration, where who knows what mysterious bombardments dug those red and black craters in the stubble of his beard...")
  • Live Forever

    by Jim Chern
    ("Maybe I don't really wanna know How your garden grows cos I just want to fly Lately, did you ever feel the pain? In the morning rain as it soaks you to the bone Maybe I just want to fly I want to live I don't want to die Maybe I just want to breathe maybe I just don't believe Maybe you're the same as me we see things they'll never see you and I were gonna live forever - Oasis...")
  • Jesus, the Irresistible Incomprehensible

    by Daniel Clendenin
    ("This summer I read the novel Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It is a story about how race and place shape our personal identity and sense of belonging. Ifemelu, the protagonist and narrator, never thought of herself as black until she moved from Nigeria to America. The color of her skin and the texture of her hair were only two aspects of her personal identity that assumed new meaning in a new place...")
  • The Energy That Is Christ

    by R. Scott Colglazier
    ("I read a story about a woman who was alone. Very ill. And she was at home dying of AIDS. It would be hard to overstate how depressed and discouraged she was feeling. A friend was so concerned that she called a priest to come by and visit the woman. The woman candidly told the priest: 'Look, I've made such a mess of my life. I've made so many mistakes. How could God ever forgive me?'...")
  • Who Are We Really?

    by Tom Cox
    ("In the blessed lonely stillness of the night When neither darkness nor sleep provide A safehouse for those who would hide From truth's confrontational guise: Who do you say I am? In the maddening rush of the day When worlds spin and nerves squeal When big names play big games And war's lasting image of all that's gone wrong Is a tiny left footprint In a blood-muddied field: Who do you say I am?...")
  • A Crystalline Christ

    by Terrance Klein
    ("It's difficult to imagine a more confident, capable actor than Laurence Olivier in 1956, the year he signed on to appear in the movie The Devil's Disciples with the American actors Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas. According to Philip Ziegler, his most recent biographer, the man, whose Henry V and Hamlet had already become the stuff of legend, wasn't easily coached by his comrades. 'Privately he admitted that Lancaster, who was coproducer but not director, infuriated him by forever making suggestions as to how he should play his part...")
  • Sts. Peter and Paul (2014)

    by Terrance Klein
    ("A hundred years ago, Europe was at peace, enjoying the most beautiful of summers, still at the start of a new century, one promising all good things to humanity. Science and technology were remaking the world. Enlightenment was spreading, even to the darkest parts of Africa and Asia, albeit under colonial aegis. In Europe the Ottoman Empire was waning, the last remnant of the Islamic invaders, who, two centuries earlier, had threatened Vienna itself...")
  • Who Does Jesus Say I Am?

    by Nicholas Lang
    ("Two nuns were out shopping and passed through the aisle displaying beer. The first nun mused how nice it would be to have some beer with their pizza that night. The second nun agreed but said she wouldn't feel comfortable buying it. What would people think about them? The first nun replied that she had an idea. She picked up a six-pack and took it to the cashier who had a surprised look on his face...")
  • Messiah

    by Beth Quick
    (" I read In His Steps: What Would Jesus Do? when I was in high school, and it's pretty powerful. In it, a pastor encounters a destitute man who he more or less brushes off. The man disrupts the Sunday worship service, calling the pastor and congregation out on their hypocrisy. He dies a few days later, and the pastor is deeply shaken. He vows, and urges his congregation, to try, as seriously as possible, to only do what they believe Jesus would do in any given situation for the year ahead. The story follows the transformation that occurs in peoples' lives when they commit themselves fully to doing what they believe Jesus would do...")
  • Who Do You Say I Am?

    by Nancy Rockwell
    ["Moses and Jesus each had several occasions of naming and revelation. And still it is difficult for us to name them. Each, in death, is difficult to name as well. Part of the difficulty is that our names are intricately woven with theirs, and when we name them we have to name ourselves..."]

Illustrated Resources from 2011 to 2013

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tab”. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)
  • Proper 16A (2011)

    by Delmer Chilton
    It is a scary thought, and a humbling one, to realize that God has put the Gospel, the Keys to the Kingdom, into our hands. It is a thing that is so, so big, and we are so, so small; that we don't even know where to start. 'It helps now and then to step back and take a long view.' Those are the first words of what is being called The Prayer of Oscar Romero...
  • Who Do You Say I Am?

    by Vince Gerhardy
    ("In the 1980's, a man became an expert in East-West business relations and attended a conference in the Soviet Union and got into a conversation with a female delegate from the Soviet Bloc. 'You are a Christian', the Soviet woman said, 'I am an atheist. Tell me, when is the last time that you did something because you stopped and asked yourself, "What does God want me to do in this case?"...")
  • Preaching Helps (Proper 16A)(2011)

    by Scott Hoezee
    ("Since Jesus asked this famous question in the shadow of the elite powers-that-be in his day, here is a possible illustration to display how the gospel can look/appear/sound in a similarly high-end setting: Frederick Buechner grew up among the elite of the very sophisticated East Coast. He rubbed elbows with very urbane people, many of whom fancied themselves too mature as modern-day folk to engage in anything resembling traditional pious talk about God or spirituality...")
  • Do You Love Jesus?

    by Peter Marty
    ("There were days in high school history class when the teacher would fire off a question out of the blue, and most of the class was not prepared to answer it. Or, at least, I wasn't prepared. You remember that experience? It was an awful feeling...")
  • The Miegakure Messiah

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    "Japanese gardens are much different than ours. For centuries creating gardens — large strolling gardens or tiny tea gardens — has been a deliberate art form. One of the guiding principles behind these garden creations is a technique called mie-gakure..."

Illustrated Resources from 2008 to 2010

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

    Poetic Sermon by Frank Fisher
  • A Matter of Relationships

    by Vince Gerhardy
    ("Without a doubt, the person who has been depicted in art the most down through the centuries is Jesus. We have seen pictures of Jesus in Bibles and Bible storybooks, all of them radically different in how they depict him. Rembrandt's Jesus is very human, all light and shadow...")
  • Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

    by Steve Godfrey
    ("A zebra dies and appears at the pearly gates where he encounters St. Peter. The Zebra says, 'St. Peter, can you help me with something? I've always wanted to know if I'm a white zebra with black stripes or a black zebra with white ones?....")
  • Ordinary 21A (2008)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time there was a terrible tragedy. Only two years after marriage a young husband died suddenly of an aneurysm. His wife, who loved him very much, was devastated...")
  • Preaching Helps (Ordinary 21A)(2011)

    by Scott Hoezee
    ("Frederick Buechner grew up among the elite of the very sophisticated East Coast. He rubbed elbows with very urbane people, many of whom fancied themselves too mature as modern-day folk to engage in anything resembling traditional pious talk about God or spirituality....")
  • Leadership and Authority, and What Hands and Heads and Hearts and Voices Can Make Them So

    by Rex Hunt
    In Nikos Kazantzakis' novel Zorba the Greek, the boss asks Zorba what a man is. Zorba replies with a story about his father. Every day his father would leave the house early in the morning and walk seven miles to begin plowing and planting a field. Before he would begin his day's work, he would sit down under a tree, fill his pipe with tobacco, and have a leisurely smoke. One day when the father opened his tobacco pouch, it was empty. He went into a rage and ripped the tobacco pouch to shreds. Then he stopped and realised what he had done. From that day forward he never smoked again. Zorba ended the tale with, "That is a man". The teller of the story story, Jack Shea, went on to say: “To be human is to be transcendent - to be a little bit more than our habits and behaviors… We humans are constantly breaking out of the prisons we ourselves have constructed. We play all the roles – warden, guard and inmate. But the moment we most enjoy is when we are dancing in freedom on the far side of the wall”.
  • Your Picture of Jesus

    Slideshow by Steven Lottering
  • How Do We Know What God Is Like?

    by Ian Markham
    ("Let me start with a confession. My eleven-year old son and I love dining in McDonald's. And it was at one particular lunch that we were sitting together discussing the life, universe, and everything. And like you do, we found ourselves musing on the speed of light....")
  • Proper 16A (2008)

    by Robert Morrison
    ("I have a friend - well, actually I have more than one friend! - and this person is more than a 'friend' - but I have a friend whom I've known for more than thirty-two years now. She's the sort of person to whom one can say just about anything, and with whom one can discuss anything...")
  • Ordinary 21A (2008)

    by Paul O'Reilly, SJ
    ("Before I came back to London, I spent five years working in the Amazon in South America. The area I worked in is called the Rupununi. And virtually all of them are Christian in every sense of that word. The reason that all of them are Christian is the work of one extraordinary man called Cuthbert Cary Elwes...")
  • The Thin Man

    by Jan Richardson
    ("Jacob's stone marks that spot as a thin place, to borrow a notion from Celtic traditions. Celtic folk have long held that in the physical landscape and in the turning of the year, there are places where the veil between worlds becomes thin...")
  • Who Do You Say That He Is?

    by Norm Seli
    ("And Jesus looked at his followers; his believers; his friends…. And he asked them 'Who do you say that I am?' What a question. What a moment. I've imagined it… often… my mind wanders sometimes as I wonder, 'Who is Jesus for me?'… let me invite you into my wondering wanderings…...")

Illustrated Resources from the Archives

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

    by Robert Allred
    ("Scott Peck says that he finally became a Christian because Christianity has the only way of dealing with sin. 'Christianity says that we cannot not sin, but when we do God has to forgive us.'...")
  • What and When?

    by Mickey Anders
    ("One night Rachael Hosmer had a dream about ordering from the Sears Catalogue. Only this was no ordinary catalogue. In it, she could order the Jesus of her choice. The dream flowed on: there was Jesus as a seminary professor, with pipe and tweed jacket. There was Jesus the farmer, with calluses on his hands and dirt under his fingernails...")
  • The Two Keys

    by Phil Bloom
    ("The Divine Comedy contains an instructive example of a man who thought the gold key was all he needed. A certain Guido da Montefeltro had practiced a life of deception, tricking many people in order to get the things he wanted. At a certain point he experienced a change of heart and gave up his fraudulent practices to become a Franciscan Friar...")
  • Proper 16A (2005)

    by Sarah Dylan Breuer
    ("I'm thinking of the emperor Constantine, who underwrote the Council of Nicea, giving him opportunity to decide which bishops got invited and the final say on any statements that came out of that gathering...")
  • The Builder

    by John Buchanan
    ("But Elaine Pagels begins her new book Beyond Belief with an unusual--for her-- anecdote and a very powerful witness.On a bright, cold Sunday morning in New York, she interrupted her daily run by stopping in the vestibule of an Episcopal church to get warm. Two days earlier, her two-and-a-half-year-old son had been diagnosed with an invariably fatal lung disease. I cannot even begin to imagine how devastating that experience must be. She writes...")
  • The Rock

    by George Butterfield
    ("Several years ago our local Kiwanis club had an attorney speak to us about some of his experiences. He told about his first day on the job after passing the bar. He had gone to work for the Public Defender's office and they had assigned him a case. He went to meet the client and ended up in a small conference room across the table from a huge man who had his hands cuffed...")
  • Keys

    by Gary Charles
    ("A few years back, I hired a facilities manager for the church I was serving. Up until that time, we had limped along with one longtime custodian and multiple part-time custodians. Over the years, though, the congregation and the plant had grown too large and we needed someone to manage the property...")
  • Step Into Faith

    by Tom Cox
    ("Otherwise we are like the monumental new library with tall columns and beautiful marble and ornate furnishing. It drew everyone's admiration. Finally the librarian could stand it no longer and posted a sign in front which read; "This is not the library, the library is inside...")
  • Ordinary 21A (1996)

    by Mary G. Durkin
    ("Once upon a time not so very long ago, there was a parish with many problems. The beloved pastor had retired. During his pastorate, the various and quite diverse groups in the parish still felt part of the larger community...")
  • Taking Peter for Granite

    by Robert Elder
    ("When I was a young college student, toying with the idea of becoming a geology major — an idea I set aside once I realized it would require copious amounts of chemistry and very few music classes — we had lots of rock-oriented jokes to share, as you may imagine. No one wanted to be taken for granite, for instance...")
  • Building the Church of Christ

    by Ernest Munachi Ezeogu, CSSP
    ("A famous stained-glass artist was commissioned to make a huge portrait for the window of the cathedral in Chartres, France. First he laid all of the pieces he was going to use out on the floor of the cathedral. Among these awesome pieces of glass was a small, clear piece about as big as a fingernail...")
  • Unity in Diversity

    by Ernest Munachi Ezeogu, CSSP
    "In a Peanuts cartoon Lucy demanded that Linus change TV channels, threatening him with her fist if he didn't. 'What makes you think you can walk right in here and take over?' asks Linus..."
  • Proper 16A (2005)

    by Grant Gallup
    ("One morning many years ago I went out of the apartment house where I lived in Chicago's Black West Side ghetto and found a little ten year old neighbor, whose nickname was 'Boo', sitting in his grandpa's old Cadillac car, with a set of keys in his hands, busily working to get the padlock off the steering wheel...")
  • Ordinary 21A (2005)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time a mom and dad were packing up there things to go home from their summer vacation. They were very sad. They had to home because the evil people who run schools make kids come back in August...")
  • Ordinary 21A (1999)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time, back in the 1940's, there was a terrible automobile accident in which a Dad and his twelve year old son were killed instantly. A nine-year-old son crawled out without a scratch...")
  • Sts. Peter and Paul (2003)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("There is an old story about the death of St. Peter in Rome during the persecution of Nero. Peter heard about Nero's plan to burn the city and blame the Christians. He figured as the one who presided over the church in the city he would be arrested and put to death...")
  • Sts. Peter and Paul (2003)

    by Thomas Gumbleton
    ("This happened yesterday. A group in Detroit celebrated the 40th anniversary of the day Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led a march down Woodward Avenue, a march for freedom, a march for justice, a march for peace. The march he led in 1963 was in commemoration of an event from 20 years before...")
  • Can God Be Wrong?

    by Mark Haverland
    ("I read an article this past week about Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address. Lincoln was very depressed at how long the war had lasted and at what cost. His theology told him that God had done this since nothing happens that is not part of God's providence, as it is called..." and other illustrations)
  • West Coast Witness

    by Peter Hawkins
    ("One August I was hiking with new friends just 15 minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge. They wanted to show me a favorite trail, a path that winds its way through summer-golden hills, past ravines of alder, oak and eucalyptus, and then straight on to the Pacific...")
  • Binding and Loosing

    by Peter Haynes
    ("Sitting in a Doctor's office waiting room this week, I picked up the latest issue of Money magazine. In it I found an interesting question and answer in an advice column called Do the Right Thing. Something in what I read nagged at me long after I put the magazine down. Let's see what you think...")
  • The Gates of Hell Shall Not Prevail

    by Mike Hays
    "This past week I was reacquainted with an old friend whose music has touched my life in a deep way. Keith Green died almost twenty years ago, but his music lives on as fresh and challenging as it was the day he sang it..."
  • Who Do You Say I Am?

    by Mike Hays
    "C.S. Lewis, the author of The Chronicles of Narnia, and many wonderful books, put it this way. 'I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: "I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God...."
  • Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?

    by John Jewell
    ("I am reminded of an old TV show where the object was to see how well people could lie. As a matter of fact the better one could lie, the better the prizes were. After the allotted time for the telling of lies, the announcer would intone 'Will the real Mr. Jones please stand up!'...")
  • But Who Do You Say That I Am?

    by Nicholas Lang
    "One Sunday morning the congregation of an affluent church had, what was for them, quite a stir. Just minutes before the service, a man arrived, dressed—by their standards—pretty shabbily...."
  • Jesus Christ, Our Lord

    by David Leininger
    ("Malcolm Muggeridge, for most of his life a skeptic, following his conversion became wonderfully reflective. In his book, Jesus Rediscovered, he writes, 'Beneath the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, a silver star marks the alleged precise spot where Christ was born...")
  • Proper 16A (1999)

    by Luis Leon
    ("Brendan Mark Manning, a Roman Catholic priest, in his book The Wisdom of Accepted Tenderness: Going Deeper Into The Ava Experience, tells a story about the power of words, the power of speech. It is a tale of Zacharias Warner, a romantic poet who had turned priest...")
  • Proper 16A (2005)

    by James Liggett
    Herbert O'Driscoll uses a wonderful image for this. His idea is to look at all of the last 200 centuries as rings of time, as concentric circles of time, scores and scores of such circles, we are in the very outermost circle, farthest away from the center and at the center is a Cross...
  • Proper 16A (1999)

    by Hugh Magers
    ("A man named Frank told this story about his brother, Walter. 'We always wondered what Walter was good for. He was a prankster, never took anything seriously, and was always in some kind of mess...")
  • The Keys to the Kingdom

    by Philip McLarty
    ("In her book, Final Payments, Mary Gordon tells the story of a young woman who devoted the best years of her life to caring for her father. She was nineteen years old when he suffered a stroke. Instead of going out with her friends and having a life of her own, she spent the next eleven years of her life at her father's beck and call. When he died, she ventured out into the world of dating...")
  • Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up!

    by Ray Osborne
    ("The following was written by an eight year old for his 3rd-grade homework assignment to 'Explain God'. 'One of God's main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the ones that die so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth. He doesn't make grown-ups, just babies...")
  • What's the Big Deal About Jesus?

    by John Pavelko
    ("I have often been asked why I do not have a picture of Jesus in either my office or my home. They are surprised that a minister would not include such an obvious picture amongst his gallery of pictures. Personally, I find such pictures distracting to my understanding of Jesus..." and other quotes)
  • What's in a Name?

    by Michael Phillips
    ("Bonhoeffer said, in his book The Cost of Discipleship: 'When Christ calls a man or woman, Christ bids them to come and die'. Bonhoeffer didn't learn that from hearing stories about Jesus. He didn't learn that from hanging out with folks who said they knew Jesus...")
  • The Abiding Question

    by Norman Pott
    ("A rock singer, Joan Osborne, had a song out this past year called One of Us that was nominated for a Grammy Award. It immediately gets the attention of the Christian community because it raises the question, 'What if God was one of us?... Just a stranger on the bus trying to make his way home'...")
  • Defining Jesus

    by Beth Quick
    ("I've recently been subscribing to a magazine called Relevant Magazine, aimed at twenty and thirty something Christians. In the most recent issues, I happened on an article entitled 'O Jesus, Who Art Thou?'. The author, Jason Boyett, talks about society's quest to figure out what kind of Jesus they want...")
  • Says Who?

    by Paul Rooney
    ("In 1988 there was a special TV program that preceded the Winter Olympics. It featured blind skiers being trained for slalom skiing, as impossible as that may sound. The blind skiers were paired with skiers who could see, and they were taught down on the flats how to make right and left turns...")
  • A Heart for Christ

    by Gary Roth
    ("Peter is the gas station attendant whose language burns our ears, but is the first one to show up when a neighbor is in need. He's the waitress whose ideas on race relations make you cringe, but when the black single mother down the street ends up in the hospital, she's the one who steps in...")
  • What Is Your Answer?

    by Ron Saunders
    ("A woman got a phone call at work from the baby-sitter. The woman's little girl had gotten sick and was running a high fever. 'I'll be right home,' she told the baby-sitter, 'but first I'll stop at the drugstore to pick up some baby aspirin. That should help to bring down the fever.'...")
  • Who Do You Say that I Am?

    by Todd Weir
    ("Take Dr. Joyce Brothers in her book How to Get Whatever You Want Out of Life. 'Only you can truly know what you want out of life,' Brothers writes, 'lover, power, riches, success, a good marriage, exciting sex, fulfillment…can be yours if you want them.'...")
  • Who Do You Say That I Am?

    by William Willimon
    ("The coed came to the campus chaplain to discuss the differences between Christianity and the Jewish faith. She was in love with a young man who was Jewish and they were discussing marriage. She wanted to know how to deal with the differences of two related but disparate faiths...")
  • A Bunch of Questions

    by Tim Zingale
    ("An organist was practicing one day in a great church in Europe. A man came up to the organ and asked if he could play. The organist looked at him and thought to himself. I shouldn't let this man play, just look at him, he is unshaven, his clothes are soiled, he looks like a bum...")
  • One Costly Foundation

    by Samuel Zumwalt
    "Daddy loved preachers, both his and Mama’s, and he often lent a sympathetic ear to them. But I remember frequently his remarks as we were headed home for Sunday lunch: “I don’t go to worship to hear about Tillich or Bonhoeffer or Bultmann. I want to see Jesus. And I can tell in five minutes whether a preacher is sold on his product or not!..."

Other Resources from 2020

Other Resources from 2017 to 2019

Other Resources from 2014 to 2016

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Other Resources from 2011 to 2013

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Other Resources from 2008 to 2010

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

Other Resources from 2005 to 2007

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Other Resources from 2003 and 2004

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Other Resources from 2002

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Other Resources from 1999 to 2001

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

Other Resources from the Archives

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

Resources from the Bookstore

Children's Resources

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The Classics

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Recursos en Español

Currently Unavailable

  • Keys to the Kingdom

    by Gary Roth
    ("And the people of the time were like the blind men and the elephant - you know the story, don't you? It was six men of Indostan To learning much inclined, Who went to see the Elephant (Though all of them were blind), That each by observation Might satisfy his mind...")
  • Ordinary 21

    by Demetrius Dumm, OSB
  • Ordinary 21

    by Campion P. Gavaler, OSB
  • Domingo 21

    por Joseph Madera, M.Sp.S.
  • Ordinary 21

    by Alex McAllister
  • Ordinary 21 (2002)

    by Alex McAllister, SDS
  • Tips for Discipleship: Declare Christ

    by John and Robin McCullough-Bade
  • Who Do You Say I Am?

    by Eric Muirhead
  • Binding and Loosing

    by Mark Allan Powell
  • Saints Peter and Paul

    by John Pridmore
    ("The ruins of Caesarea Philippi are situated on what today are known as the Golan Heights. It is fitting that Jesus's question — none is more vexed — 'Who do you say I am?' should have been first asked in what is now one of the most bitterly disputed places on the planet...")
  • Domingo 21 (2008)

    por Rodrigo Guadarrama Rosas
  • Children's Literature

    from Union Presbyterian Seminary
  • The Divine Dance (Part One): In the Beginning - The Relationship

    by Cameron Fraser
    If in the beginning was the relationship – if at the centre is a dance beckoning to us to join in – if at our core is divine breath shared with all things then such new possibilities open up. Suddenly church is no longer the institution that holds the formula to appeasing a Supreme Being – a distant observer. Instead church becomes a community, who with humility says – we have heard the call to dance embedded in our songs, stories and traditions, embodied in the life and teachings of Jesus and we have found it compelling. We don’t know all the steps, but we are seeking to move in step. There are other ways to move in this dance – we have but some of the steps – here is what we have to offer – the others, we have yet to learn.
  • Domingo 21A y la Semana Siguente

    de Servicio Biblico Latinoamericano
  • One Costly Foundation

    by Samuel Zumwalt
    ("Daddy loved preachers, both his and Mama’s, and he often lent a sympathetic ear to them. But I remember frequently his remarks as we were headed home for Sunday lunch: “I don’t go to worship to hear about Tillich or Bonhoeffer or Bultmann. I want to see Jesus. And I can tell in five minutes whether a preacher is sold on his product or not!...")
  • Who Do You Say That I Am?

    by David Risendal
  • Who Do You Say I Am?

    Podcast by Mark Sandlin and David Henson
  • Ordinary 21A

    by Dave Shea