1 Corinthians 15: 1-11

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  • Sermon Starters (Easter Sunday)(B)(2021)

    by Doug Bratt
    In her shocking short story, A Good Man Is Hard to Find, Flannery O’Connor describes the Misfit, a murderer with a conscience who’s about to kill an elderly woman. Before he does so, however, he talks about Jesus’ resurrection. It changes everything, he insists. It, in fact, seems to haunt him. “’Jesus was the only One that ever raised the dead’,” The Misfit … [said], “and He shouldn’t have done it. He thrown everything off balance. If He did what He said, then it’s nothing for you to do but throw away everything and follow Him, and if He didn’t, then it’s nothing for you to do but enjoy the few minutes you got left the best way you can by killing somebody or burning down his house or doing some other meanness to him. No pleasure but meanness,’ he said and his voice had become almost a snarl.“
  • First Things First

    by Bob Cornwall
  • Easter Sunday (B)(2021)

    by Jennifer T. Kaalund
  • Easter Sunday (B)

    by Bill Loader
    always good insights!
  • The Foundation of Our Hope

    by Kathryn M. Schifferdecker

Illustrated Resources from the Archives

  • The Christian Center

    by Elizabeth Achtemeier
    (RECOMMENDED!!!)
  • I Don't Believe in an Interventionist God

    by Neil Bishop
    (" I like Nick Cave's song because of its audacious first line: 'I don't believe in an interventionist God'. What an unlikely way to begin a love song! He once explained that he wrote the song while sitting at the back of an Anglican church where he had gone with his wife Susie, who presumably does believe in an interventionist God - at least that's what the song says. Cave's father died in a car accident when he was only 19...")
  • The Future Is Forever

    by Gilbert Bowen
    Iona McLaughlin’s book, Triumph Over Tragedy, tells of her struggle to find purpose and meaning in life following the death of her daughter Jane and husband Pete and son Jack in an accident which also left her near death. The sequence of tragedy, as you can imagine, was overwhelming for her. Lying in her hospital room she wondered for what purpose she continued to live. She often wished for and prayed for death. But there were people in her life who would not let her give in. Though she was some 1500 miles from home, they flew to her side.The day came when she was able to leave the hospital. But what could she do? For 20 years she had been a wife and mother. Now her husband, her 14-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son were gone. How do you so radically change from being wife and mother to being neither. She went back to school to retrain. But there, among the cynicism of college students and professors, her faith in God began to falter. Maybe they were right. The universe was without reason or plan. Her despair led to thoughts of suicide. There would be no need to struggle any longer. The anniversary of the deaths for first Jane and then Pete and Jack were difficult milestones. It was the sudden unexpected memories which would shatter her the most. A note left in a forgotten book. A person walking down the street with the same gate as Peter. The struggle with “Why?” was the most difficult struggle in her life...
  • Epiphany 5C (2019)

    by Doug Bratt
    In her shocking short story, A Good Man Is Hard to Find, Flannery O’Connor describes the Misfit, a murderer with a conscience who’s about to kill an elderly woman. Before he does so, however, he talks about Jesus’ resurrection. It changes everything, he insists. It, in fact, seems to haunt him. “’Jesus was the only One that ever raised the dead’,” The Misfit … [said], “and He shouldn’t have done it. He thrown everything off balance. If He did what He said, then it’s nothing for you to do but throw away everything and follow Him, and if He didn’t, then it’s nothing for you to do but enjoy the few minutes you got left the best way you can by killing somebody or burning down his house or doing some other meanness to him. No pleasure but meanness,’ he said and his voice had become almost a snarl.“
  • I Am What I Am: Listening to Isaiah, Paul and Peter

    by Daniel Clendenin
    ("George Herbert was born to wealth and political power, and after graduation from Cambridge distinguished himself as the university's Public Orator and a member of Parliament. At the age of thirty-six, and despite the objections of friends that he was wasting his life, Herbert renounced his life of privilege and became the pastor at Bemerton, a rural village near Salisbury...")
  • This Is What We Preach

    by Daniel Clendenin
    ("Three months ago I stood alone in front of my mother's casket at the Thomas Funeral Home in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, a small town near Raleigh where our family moved in 1966. I twisted my neck so that my face would parallel hers. Hot tears streaked down my cheeks, my nose ran, my vision blurred...")
  • A Lesson in Evangelism

    by Don Flowers
    Fritz Kreisler was a world-famous violinist. He had earned a fortune with his concerts and compositions, but he generously gave most of it away. So, when he discovered an exquisite violin on one of his trips, he wasn’t able to buy it. But he remembered the instrument, and later on, having raised enough money to meet the asking price, he returned to the seller, hoping to purchase that beautiful instrument. But to his great dismay he discovered it had been sold to a collector. This man did not play violins, he only collected them. Kreisler made his way to the new owner’s home and offered to buy the violin. The collector said it had become his prized possession and he would not sell it. Kreisler was about to leave when he asked the owner, “Could I play the instrument once more before it is consigned to silence?” Permission was granted, and the great virtuoso filled the room with such heart-moving music that the collector’s emotions were deeply stirred. “I have no right to keep that to myself,” he exclaimed. “It’s yours, Mr. Kreisler. Take it into the world, and let people hear it.”...
  • Easter (B)(2018)

    by Scott Hoezee
    From Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC: “Those who believe in the immortality of the soul believe that life after death is a natural function of man as digestion after a meal. The Bible instead speaks of resurrection. It is entirely unnatural. Man does not go on living beyond the grave because that’s how he’s made. Rather, he goes to his grave as dead as a doornail and is given his life back again by God just as he was given it by God in the first place, because that is the way God is made. All of the major creeds affirm belief in resurrection of the body...
  • Preaching Helps (Easter)(B)(2015)

    by Stan Mast
    ("Paul's words about grace reminded me of Leif Enger's wonderful novel, Peace Like a River. In it, Davy Land guns down two school bullies who have broken into his home. After he is arrested, jailed and convicted, Davey breaks out of jail and heads for the Badlands of North Dakota. He is pursued by a federal agent and by his own father, the one representing law, the other love...")
  • Easter Sunday

    by Dorothy Okray
    ("The story is told of St Augustine of Hippo, a great philosopher and theologian who really wanted to understand the doctrine of the Trinity and to be able to explain it logically. One day as he was walking along the sea shore and reflecting on this, he suddenly saw a little child all alone on the shore. The child made a hole in the sand, ran to the sea with a little cup, filled her cup, came and poured it into the hole she had made in the sand...")
  • Putting First Things First

    by John Pavelko
    Management guru Stephen Covey became known for his Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Covey stated that effective people have a knack of “Putting First Things First.” For Covey this stretched well beyond the ability to set up a simple nuts and bolts To Be Done List. He has a very effective illustration that uses small pebbles and large rocks. Covey takes a container and fills it about 3/4 full of small pebbles. He then challenges someone who is attending his conference to try to put the set of large rocks into the container. The person will try to jam the larger rocks into the pebbles. He or she will only succeed in putting one of two of the rocks into the container. The person usually tries to rearrange the pebbles, again with only limited success. Once the person acknowledges that they cannot do it, Covey will successfully use a paradigm shift by beginning with the larger rocks then pouring the smaller rocks around them. Covey claims that most people first fill their lives with a lot of little tasks or activities. People then try to jam the more important tasks around all these less important tasks. However, the less important tasks prevent us from accomplishing the more important ones...
  • With Unveiled Faces

    by Garth Wehrfritz-Hanson
    ("The devil came to me the other day, as he often does, and he said, 'Preacher, how about joining me for a little walk. It never hurts to walk and talk a little bit, now does it?' I had to admit that I couldn’t see any harm in walking and talking, and so I agreed to walk with him for a little while. He led me out the door of the church and up the street to one of our neighbourhood convenience stores...")

Resources from 2019 and 2020

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