1 Peter 3: 8-22

New Resources

  • Sermon Starters (Lent 1B)(2021)

    by Doug Bratt
    In a 2001 public lecture at the Beeson Divinity School, Ralph Wood described Karl Barth’s concept of godliness. My colleague Neal Plantinga summarizes the lecture’s content this way: “Wood … suggests American Evangelicals take heed. Godlessness for Barth is refusing to be scandalized by the gospel. “Trying to fit the gospel on a bumper sticker or a hallmark card. In fact the gospel is always strange, other, scandalous. It is never obvious. Regarding God as the champ of pop piety. Speaking of God by speaking of man in a loud voice. Believing that we have a direct and unmediated relation to God. Having no need of Israel or of Jesus. “Where do we find such Godlessness? In fundamentalist/evangelical churches, where Jesus is a body-builder who carries the sins of the world. “His blood’s for you” [This Bud’s for you]. Cross with a note on it: ‘Back Soon.’ Puppets singing, ‘I found my thrill on Golgotha Hill.’ “In A Far Glory, Peter Berger tells us that these things reveal a religion in which nothing extraordinary is going on, in which nobody is falling to their knees. And we applaud pop singers of hymns that are prayers – as if their audience were not God.” Those who proclaim this Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson might take some time to explore the contrast between its wonder of the cross and this popular godlessness. It’s, frankly, hard to even put what Woods said into the same Sermon Starter as Peter’s stirring words about Jesus’ magnificent sacrifice.
  • Lent 1B (2021)

    by Marissa Coblentz
  • The Way of Salvation

    by Bob Cornwall
  • Exegesis (1 Peter 3:18-22)

    by Richard Niell Donovan
  • Lent 1B (2021)

    by Yung Suk Kim
  • Lent 1B

    by Bill Loader
  • A Baptism Story

    Art and Faith by Lynn Miller
    A baptism story. Noah as a baptism story. The author of I Peter uses it as such to highlight the eight members of Noah's family who "were saved through water." (I Peter 3:20) This text is read on the first Sunday of Lent in Year B. In the early church, catechuments would have been preparing for their Easter baptism. So, a baptism story. Eight people were saved. We are used to seeing images of Noah's ark in baby nurseries, children's Sunday School classes, children's book illustrations. Cute giraffes stick their heads out of open windows. Elephants' trunks are visible. Birds of many kinds roost on the roofline of the ark. We've turned this story into a children's story because of animals and rainbows. Michelangelo had a different vision of the story. In the story as seen on the Sistine Chapel ceiling, the Ark is in the background. The focus of the story is the people in the foreground...

Illustrated Resources from the Archives

  • Lent 1B (2015)

    by Stan Mast
    How many times have we heard the phrase, “This changes everything?” I recall a commercial for Schlotzsky’s Deli, extolling the virtues of their “hand carved” sandwiches. Having tasted one of those sandwiches, one convinced customer solemnly intones, “This changes everything.” And he begins to hand carve literally everything, from frozen orange juice cans to toothpaste tubes. The Apple computer company was more serious when it introduced its then revolutionary iPhone 4. Since then, of course, not only Apple, but every smart phone company has produced game changing technology every year. But back in 2010, Apple meant it when it said, “This changes everything.”
  • Sermon Starters (Easter 6A)(2020)

    by Doug Bratt
    Few things make at least some Christians more nervous than the giving what Peter calls “the reason for the hope we have” (15) in appropriate and helpful ways. Surveys once asked volunteers at a training session for a Billy Graham crusade, “What is your greatest hindrance to witnessing?” 9% answered they were too busy to remember to do it. 28% said they felt they lacked the necessary information to share their faith. 12% said the greatest hindrance to their witnessing was the poor quality of their Christian lives. However, 51% of respondents said their biggest problem with sharing their faith was their fear of how those with whom they shared it would react.
  • His Presence in the Darkest Times

    by Vince Gerhardy
    C.S. Lewis wrote a little book after his wife’s death exposing the raw edges of grief and asking, “Where is God?” He goes on to say that it’s easy to find God when we’re happy; we readily turn to him with praise and gratitude when we feel welcomed into his open arms. He goes on, “But go to him when your need is desperate, when all other help is vain, and what do you find? A door slammed in your face, and a sound of bolting and double bolting on the inside. After the silence. You may as well turn away. The longer you wait, the more emphatic the silence will become” (A Grief Observed). Remember this man is looking for God through the bitter tears of grief, and he can’t see God’s closeness. Lewis is not alone in these kinds of situations...
  • Lent 1B (2018)

    by Scott Hoezee
    A guy is walking down the street when suddenly he falls into a deep hole he just hadn’t seen as he walked along. The walls are so steep he can’t climb out. A doctor happens by and the guy shouts, “Hey, Doc, can you help me out here?” The doctor writes out a prescription and throws it down the hole. A priest comes by and the guy shouts out “Father, I’m stuck in this hole can you help me out?” The priest writes out a prayer and tosses it into the hole. The guy’s best friend happens by. “Hey, Joe, it’s me. Can you help me out here.” Joe jumps down into the whole and the guy says “What did you do that for, stupid? Now we’re both stuck down here.” The friend says, “Yeah, but I’ve been down here before and I know the way out.” (Editor's Note: also from West Wing)
  • A Shelter from the Blast

    by Dan Clendenin
    "The Church is like Noah’s ark that was full of both clean and unclean animals. It must have had an unholy smell, and yet it was carrying eight persons to salvation. The world today is tearing up the photographs of a good society, a good family, a happy, individual personal life. But the Church is keeping the negatives. And when the moment comes when the world wants a reprint, we will have them." ~ Archbishop Fulton Sheen
  • The Principles of Evangelism

    by Mark Adams
    ("Rebecca Pippert, author of Out of the Salt Shaker: Into the World tells of a time she was sitting in her car at a traffic light with her window rolled down. As the light turned green a car drove by and it's occupant threw something into her car hitting her on the cheek..." and other illustrations)
  • Easter 6A (2017)

    by Scott Hoezee
    one December afternoon just before Christmas vacation was to begin a group of parents stood in the lobby of a preschool, waiting to claim their children. When the bell rang, the youngsters ran from the classroom, each child carrying in his or her hands a special “surprise”–a brightly wrapped package containing a project that each child had diligently been working on for weeks to give Mom and Dad for Christmas. One little boy was trying to run, put on his coat, and wave all at the same time. He slipped and fell, the “surprise” flying out of his hands and landing on the tile floor with an obvious ceramic crash. There was a moment of stunned silence which was immediately followed by the little one’s inconsolable wail of tears.
  • Account for the Hope in You

    by Rob Elder
    Scott Hahn3 in his book, A Father Who Keeps His Promises, shared a story from the deadly 1998 earthquake in Northwest Armenia, which claimed 25,000 lives in a single day. It could as well be a picture of the lives of thousands of citizens in Joplin, Missouri this week. After that quake in Armenia, a distressed father ran frantically through the streets to his son’s school. He had always told his son “No matter what, Armand, I’ll always be there.” His heart sank when he got to the school and found nothing but a pile of rubble. Even so, he ran to the corner where he knew his son’s classroom had been and began to dig with his bare hands. A bystander told him, “Forget it, mister, they’re all dead.” Any of us, in the same situation, might have tried to help a grieving father simply face reality. But that father looked up and said, “You can criticize me or you can help lift these bricks.” A few people of generous spirit helped move bricks for a while, but the situation seemed so hopeless, they soon wandered away. Still the father continued to dig. 12, 18, 24, 36 hours went by. Still he dug. Then he heard a muffled groan. He pulled a board back and cried out, “Armand!” From the hole in the wreckage of the building came a weak, shaking reply, “Papa?” They managed to find 14 of the 33 students still alive. When Armand was finally freed he turned to his friends and said, “See, I told you my father wouldn't forget us.”...
  • Up Close and Personal

    by Vince Gerhardy
    ("In 1993 Bette Midler recorded and popularised a song called From a Distance. When it first came out there was a buzz of excitement because there was a song about God on the radio. Each verse starts 'From a distance' and the words express the need for harmony and peace in the land and no guns, no hungry people and no disease....")
  • Faith for Troubled Times

    by John Jewell
    Mina Nevisa understands persecution all too well. Her ordeal began one afternoon in 1982, when as a 17-year-old Iranian student, she felt something under a table at the Teheran University library. She reached down and pulled out a Bible, the first one she had ever seen written in her native Persian. Curious, she stayed up for the next two nights reading the book with a flashlight under a blanket, despite warnings from her father, an Islamic fundamentalist priest... The discovery soon led to Ms. Nevisa's conversion to Christianity, denunciation by her parents and family, and - after the arrest and killing of members of her prayer group - her secret flight from Iran. In Europe, she received death threats after writing "Don't Keep Me Silent," a book about the persecution of converted Christians in Islamic countries. So in 1998 she moved again, to the United States...

Resources from 2020

Resources from 2018 and 2019

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Resources from the Archives

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Children's Resources and Dramas