Acts 10: 34-48

New Resources

  • Mind Blowing

    by Jim Chern
    having worked with college students for over a decade now, one (of many) joys has been seeing some of the most beautiful examples of sincere generosity that has been mind-blowing to me. Like when on a Midnight Run where we were bringing food, clothing, and toiletries to homeless men and women a couple of years ago in New York City and seeing the students hugging and praying with these strangers was beautiful itself… but even going beyond that, this one night in particular when we happened to be on a stop in Midtown Manhattan and by that point had run out of some supplies… which often happens… we have no idea how many people we’ll encounter and so the objective is to do the best we can. This one homeless man very patiently was standing on line as those before him were being shown what was still available in terms of coats, sweaters, boots. One of our students saw him standing there and went over and asked was there anything in particular that he was looking for, and he simply asked for new socks. Of all the things that we had left at that point, that was the one thing we were out of… At that, this one student said “give me a minute, just stay here” and then bolted before I could stop him and ask what he was doing, where he was going, reminding him we had a schedule to follow and blah blah blah – before a word was out of my mouth, the kid ran down to a department store that was still open and bought a package of socks for this person. I think this is the first time I’ve ever shared that story, I was just blown away on so many levels by the whole experience...
  • Exegesis (Acts 10:34-43)

    by Richard Niell Donovan
  • Exegesis (Acts 10:44-48)

    by Richard Niell Donovan
  • Easter 6B (2021)

    by Phil Heinze
  • Easter 6B (2021)

    by Mark Holcomb
  • Abiding Love

    by Anne Le Bas
  • Easter 6B

    by Bill Loader
  • Sermon Starters (Easter 6B)(2021)

    by Stan Mast
    When I was appointed executor of my mother’s estate, I discovered over and over that I had to prove my right to her inheritance. I knew about Power of Attorney and notary publics. But I had never heard of the “Medallion Signature Guarantee.” That’s the highest level of authentication, absolutely necessary for the transfer of certain kinds of funds. I had to go to banks with all kinds of proof that I was who I said I was and that, therefore, I had a right to those funds. As I read this story of Peter and Cornelius, it struck me that the gift of the Holy Spirit is God’s “Medallion Signature Guarantee.” He is the final proof that we are God’s children and heirs to the riches of Christ (cf. Ephesians 1:13,14 and Galatians 4:4-7).
  • Easter 6B (2021)

    by Jerusha Matsen Neal
  • Easter Sunday (B)(2021)

    by Gilberto Ruiz
  • Receive, Believe and Become

    by Paul C. Sizemore
    Once there was a rich man. He met and fell in love with a young maiden. She was lovely in form, and lovelier still in character. He rejoiced when he saw her. Yet he grieved also, for he knew that he was not like her. His face was hideous, and his heart was cruel. Nevertheless, he greatly considered how he could win her hand in marriage! Eventually, he hit upon a plan He went to see a mask-maker, to whom he said: “Make me a mask that I shall become handsome. Then, perhaps, I may win the love of this noble young woman!” The mask-maker did as he was asked. The man was transformed into a handsome figure. He tried his hardest to become a person as lovely in his character, disposition, and behavior towards this beautiful woman and others as his newfound appearance, at least superficially, would have suggested that he be! Thankfully, all of this was sufficient to win the heart and hand of the fair maiden. He asked her for her hand in marriage, to which she responded, “Yes!” and before you know it, they were married. Ten years of happiness followed. But the man knew he was carrying a secret. He sensed that true love could not be founded on deceit!...
  • Easter 6B (2021)

    by Gord Waldie
  • Easter Sunday (B)(2021)

    by Nathan Willowby

Illustrated Resources from the Archives

  • Sermon Starters (Baptism of the Lord)(A)(2020)

    by Doug Bratt
    In his book, Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945, David M. Kennedy writes about how during WWII Americans and Japanese hated and vilified each other based on racial stereotypes and thus fought a “war without mercy.” The Japanese thought Americans were “decadent” and “self-indulgent.” Americans had no stomach for war, the Japanese believed, and would, after Pearl Harbor, “immediately sue for peace” to Japan’s great advantage. Besides, the Japanese thought of themselves as racially pure and of one will. Americans, by contrast, were in the eyes of Japanese “a contemptibly polyglot and divided people . . . riven by ethnic and racial conflict, labor violence, and political strife, incapable of self-sacrifice or submission to the public weal.” All because Americans were infected with the “detestable Western virus of individualism.” Americans, for their part, thought the Japanese were “servile automatons devoid of individual identity.” Meanwhile, “wartime cartoons and posters routinely pictured the Japanese as murderous savages, immature children, wild beasts, or bucktoothed, bespectacled lunatics.”...
  • Sermon Starters (Easter 6B)(2018)

    by Doug Bratt
    A number of years ago the church I serve twice annually shared fellowship and worship with the folks from a Baptist church. Much divided our congregations. Ours is, after all, a largely white, Reformed church in the suburbs. King Emmanuel is a largely black, urban Baptist church. Yet, by God’s grace, members of both of our churches realized that the Spirit had fallen on each other’s churches. Much like Peter stayed and ate with the Gentile Christians, members of our church regularly ate and worshipped with the members of the Baptist church. We tasted and experienced appetizers of the glories of the new creation that we’ll get to share with people from every background...
  • Sermon Starters (Easter Sunday)(A)(2017)

    by Doug Bratt
    In his book, Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945, David M. Kennedy writes about how during WWII Americans and Japanese hated and vilified each other based on racial stereotypes and thus fought a “war without mercy.” The Japanese thought Americans were “decadent” and “self-indulgent.” Americans had no stomach for war, the Japanese believed, and would, after Pearl Harbor, “immediately sue for peace” to Japan’s great advantage. Besides, the Japanese thought of themselves as racially pure and of one will. Americans, by contrast, were in the eyes of Japanese “a contemptibly polyglot and divided people . . . riven by ethnic and racial conflict, labor violence, and political strife, incapable of self-sacrifice or submission to the public weal.” All because Americans were infected with the “detestable Western virus of individualism.” Americans, for their part, thought the Japanese were “servile automatons devoid of individual identity.” Meanwhile, “wartime cartoons and posters routinely pictured the Japanese as murderous savages, immature children, wild beasts, or bucktoothed, bespectacled lunatics.” Kennedy observes that national pride issuing in stereotypes of the “other” and war-making on this basis is an ancient phenomenon seen, for example, among ancient Greeks, who thought of themselves as cultured aristocrats and thought of everybody else as mere “barbarians.”
  • Common Ground and Realism

    by Christopher Burkett
    ("Olive had a great capacity for friendship. A whole group of us came to rely on her generous spirit, her openheartedness, her humour, and her direct and obvious faith. She drew us out of ourselves, increased our confidence, and empowered our faith. One day she complained of a violent headache – and within a few weeks an aggressive brain tumour killed her. We, her friends and her family grieved over her loss...")
  • Baptism of Jesus (A)(2017)

    by Scott Hoezee
    As for baptism, there is probably no better representation of what it signals than the most spectacular scene in a film full of stunning sequences. Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), wrongly convicted of killing his wife, and consequently twenty years an inmate lifer in the hellhole Shawshank penitentiary, has understood at last that he is morally responsible, though he did not pull the trigger, for his wife’s death.
  • Easter Sunday (A)(2011)

    by Scott Hoezee
    ("Not everyone agrees with the things Rob Bell has been saying lately about heaven and hell and the like. But there is one thing Rev. Bell has said in just about every T.V. interview I have seen him do with which I completely agree and with which probably every sensible person would agree: you can't force love. Not even God can force his love onto someone...")
  • Easter Sunday (C)(2010)

    by Scott Hoezee
    "If you connect Acts 10 with Luke 24—and both are possible readings in the Year C Revised Common Lectionary for Easter Sunday—then the portrait of Peter that emerges is rather striking. In Acts 10 Peter has been sent to Italy of all places. But once you are an Apostle, a "Sent One," you never know where you might end up..."
  • Easter 6B (2012)

    by Scott Hoezee
    ["In his memoir, Open Secrets, Richard Lischer employs a most lovely image at one point. In the church he first served following his graduation from seminary, the wine chalice used for the Lord's Supper was a fairly large goblet made of a shiny silver. Each time when he presented the wine, he would lift the cup up high over his head...")
  • Easter 6B (2009)

    by Scott Hoezee
    ("There is no single feature to the Christian church that reveals our unity with Jesus and all Jesus' people than the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. In his recent memoir Open Secrets, Richard Lischer employs a most lovely image at one point. In the church he first served following his graduation from seminary, the wine chalice used for the Lord's Supper was a fairly large goblet made of a shiny silver......")
  • Friends in Christ

    by Beth Johnston
    Dr. Bruce Harding is a very gifted church musician who lives in Vancouver. One day, a few years ago, he called a taxi to take him to the airport. He asked the driver where he was from and when told that he was from Nigeria, Harding asked the driver, “what tribe?” After the answer was given, Harding began to sing one of the hymns from More Voices , “Alleluia, Praise to God” which was written in Yoruba “Aleluya Y’in Oluwa” The man’s head almost did a 180 and he looked into the back seat at this balding white skinned, red-head singing the songs from HIS homeland! It was probably the last thing expected to happen while driving his taxi on a Vancouver morning - so far from home. They sang the song together, along with “Come, O Holy Spirit Come” from Voices United, also in Yoruba, Wa wa wa Emimimo . It was a time of deep spiritual connection.
  • Sermon Starters (Easter Sunday)(A)(2020)

    by Stan Mast
    In “The Revelation,” a short story by Flannery O’Connor, Mrs. Turpin has quite a vision. While sitting in a doctor’s waiting room, Mrs. Turpin has a conversation with another patient about people who are below her on the social ladder, white trash and black n-word. A young girl overhearing this patronizing blather, hurls a book at her and calls her an old warthog from hell. Back home, nursing her head and her wounded ego, Mrs. Turpin considers whether God might be sending her a message about her attitudes. As she sprays down her hogs, she argues with God. “Why me? Who do you think you are?” That’s when she received her vision, “The Revelation.” The rays of the sun form a kind of bridge, and on that bridge is a “vast horde of souls marching into heaven.” In that horde are “whole companies of white trash, bands of black n-word in white robes, and battalions of freaks and lunatics.” It is only at the end of the procession that she sees people who like herself “had always had a little of everything and the God-given wit to use it right….” She and her ilk were marching behind that vast horde of undesirables “with great dignity, accountable as they had always been for good order and common sense and respectable behavior.” In her vision, Mrs. Turpin sees her social ladder turned upside down with the least taking precedence over the best.
  • Even the Gentiles

    Image for Worship by Lynn Miller
    Forbid water and withhold water are definitely combative. In engineering terms, the community of faith might be seen as building a dam. That's the subject matter of William Gropper's mural for the Department of the Interior. Created for the Works Progress Administration, the mural shows the massive amount of work undertaken to build projects like the Grand Coulee Dam and the Davis Dam. Human workers are frozen in heroic poses as they exert physical effort. Industrial machines like cranes lift and place segments of the dam that have been constructed elsewhere. Time, energy, labor and money are being invested in the creation of this dam...
  • Bearing Witness

    by Jen Nagel
    Over the holidays I watched the movie The Two Popes. It’s an imagined dialogue between Pope Benedict and the current pope, Pope Francis. The film envisions how these two men, who are nearly polar-opposites, might have influenced each other, and how the Catholic Church could have been shaped through their dialogue. At the height of the sex abuse scandal, Cardinal Borgolio (the Argentinian Cardinal who later takes the name Pope Francis) asked to retire from his position as a Cardinal. Benedict summons Cardinal Borgolio to Rome and a funny, feisty conversation unfolds as they wander through the gardens of the Pope’s summer residence. Benedict dressed very pope-ly, Borgolio dressed quite simply, utterly different men, Borgolio’s explains his hoped-for resignation. “It seems to me,” Borgolia says, “our church is moving in directions I can no longer condone, or not moving at all when the time demands movement...
  • An Easter Miracle Story

    by Paul Nuechterlein
    Philip was a pleasant child — happy it seemed — but increasingly aware of the difference between himself and other children. He had been born with Down Syndrome — which partly means he learned more slowly than other children. Philip attended Sunday school, a third grade class. Those 8-year-olds learned, laughed, and played together. They really cared about each other. But because of his differences, Philip wasn’t as readily accepted by his classmates. Philip didn’t want to be different. He just was. One year their Sunday School teacher planned a marvelous lesson the Sunday after Easter. He had collected ten egg-shaped containers that panty hose sometimes comes in. Each child received one. Then the children were assigned to go out in the church yard and find a symbol for new life, put it in the “egg,” and bring it to the classroom. They would then mix up all the eggs, open them up, and share what they had found...
  • Easter Sunday (C)(2019)

    by Bruce Puckett
    In her book A Little Handbook for Preachers: Ten practical ways to a better sermon by Sunday, Mary S. Hulst encourages preachers to approach the biblical text with a posture of humility every time we preach. She invites preachers to come to the text with questions. In a word of caution, that I think is particularly fitting for Easter Sunday, she writes, Asking questions reminds us that we don’t know everything. Some of us have been reading or teaching Scripture for years, and it can be so tempting to turn back to answers we’ve found before, which can leave us bored with the passage because we do not expect the text to say anything we haven’t heard before...
  • Too Small for Walls

    by Michael Ruffin
    In a sense, the world was much smaller in the first century than it is now. Experts estimate that the world’s population in the first century was around 200 million. Today it’s about 7.7 billion. Peter, Cornelius, and other first-century folks didn’t know that North and South America (and many other places) existed. But in another sense, the world is much smaller now than it was then. Modern travel makes it possible to get to the other side of the world in a matter of hours. Modern technology allows us to communicate with someone on the other side of the world immediately. In first-century Israel, the wall between Jews and Gentiles was high...
  • Crossing the Threshold

    by David Russell
    The great preacher Fred Craddock told about his first student church, in East Tennessee. It was during the time that Oak Ridge was just booming, with all kinds of building activity with the atomic projects there. So there were construction people who had come from everywhere to turn this little town into a thriving city. Craddock pastored a beautiful little church nearby - a nice white frame church, very classic building with very nice people. Just lovely people. And here were all of these newcomers to the area. They were living in tents and trailers and all kinds of temporary housing. Many workers had their families with them, they had little kids with them. Craddock suggested to the church board that they reach out to these folks. They had come from everywhere and here they were nearby. It looked like this was the church’s mission. “Oh, I don’t think so,” said the board chair. “They won’t fit in. After all, they are just here temporarily, living in trailers and all.” Craddock said, “Well, they may just be here temporarily but they need the gospel and they need a church.” “No, I don’t think so.” There was discussion about this and in the end there was a resolution for the board to vote on, a resolution moved by a relative of the board chair. The resolution essentially said, “Members will be admitted to this church from families that own property in this county.” The vote was unanimous except for the pastor, and Fred Craddock was reminded that as pastor he was not a board member and could not vote. Well, years later Craddock was teaching at Candler School of Theology at Emory University, in Atlanta...
  • A Miracle Story

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    ("Because of a devastating childhood illness at nineteen months, Helen Keller was left both blind and deaf. Her life was rightly written up as a 'miracle story' and became a play called The Miracle Worker with Anne Bancroft starring in the Broadway production. But the 'miracle' Helen Keller experienced was not any return of hearing or vision. The 'miracle' she received was the miracle of her committed, loving family...")
  • The Changes of Life

    by Geoffrey Tristram
    ("A few years ago a man came to see me and asked for baptism. I asked him for his reasons and he told me that he first came to our church to bring a parcel to someone. He was a convinced unbeliever, a man in his forties. He came in a little before the end of the service so he had to endure a little of it. He stood at the back and he suddenly felt 'the overwhelming presence of God,' a presence that was objective...")
  • Feast of Friendship

    by Jeffrey London
    I knew my mother was mad at me whenever I got a cold meatloaf sandwich for school lunch. Do you remember school lunches? Do you remember how you could tell where everyone fit in the scheme of things just by observing what they brought for lunch? There was protocol to all of this, you know. It wasn’t about just a bunch of kids eating lunch, what it was really about was opening up your insides for everyone to see. The school lunchroom, after all, was the precursor to the Jr. High post-gym class shower, where everyone would see your everything or lack of everything, as you shook and shivered beneath a cold leaky drizzle of water wishing you could be anywhere else doing anything else --- even eating a cold meatloaf sandwich. No, lunch time at school was not usually the most pleasant of experiences. It could be more like exploratory surgery than necessary sustenance. And although no one ever really said it out loud, everyone knew where you stood in the scheme of things just by seeing what you brought for lunch. The best lunches always had the small snack size bag of Doritos or Ruffles, a bright yellow banana with no brown spots, a couple of Chips-Ahoy chocolate chip cookies, and a sandwich neatly wrapped in Saran Wrap, not wax paper or tin foil. Ham, bologna, salami, roast beef --- these were all okay. Last nights leftover pot roast was not (neither was last nights left over meatloaf). Peanut butter and jelly was okay as long as your Mom understood the jelly/bread issue. American cheese, Swiss cheese, these were okay. A couple of fish and some homemade bread loaves would’ve been completely out of the question. If you came with a good lunch, the right kind of lunch, it said something about you...

Other Resources from 2020

Other Resources from 2019

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Other Resources from 2018

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Other Resources from 2015

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Other Resources from 2014

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Other Resources from 2013

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Other Resources from 2012

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Other Resources from 2009 to 2011

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Other Resources from 2006 to 2008

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Other Resources from the Archives

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Children's Resources

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The Classics

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Recursos en Español

Currently Unavailable

  • Peter Visits Cornelius

    from Group Ministry
  • Easter Sunday

    by Jake Edwards
  • About Boundaries

    by Kathy Donley
    The Koinonia community was Christian farm where African Americans and white folks lived and worked and shared life together. It was a radical thing for its time – and for ours (!) They heard about an integrated church in the region that was growing and thriving, which was highly unusual then. So, one Sunday some of the Koinonia people piled into their cars and trucks to check Sunday worship there. Sure enough, the church building was packed with black and white, young and old, families and single people, all intermingled and full of the Spirit. Just by chance this was the Sunday of the church picnic, too. Despite the happy mix during worship, the visitors suspected that when people set out their blankets and began to play games, the crowd would separate down racial lines like the rest of Georgia in those days. But it didn’t happen. Blacks and whites shared blankets and chairs, food and childcare, stories and grills. God abided in that community in a way unlike anything the folks from Koinonia had ever seen outside their own farm...