Colossians 3: 1-11

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Illustrated Resources from the Archives

  • Sermon Starters (Proper 13C)(2019)

    by Doug Bratt
    Some see parallels to the new life about which Paul writes in Colossians 3 in the movie, Dead Man Walking. It portrays the remarkable story of the execution of Matthew Poncelot. Poncelot is a bitter, hardened and cynical criminal whom the courts justly convicted of murder. However, Sister Helen Prejean volunteers to become his spiritual advisor as his time is running out. Because she’s a Christian, she wants to show Poncelot the face of love and help bring him to genuine repentance before he dies. Eventually this condemned man announces to Prejean that he’s reading his Bible. It has convinced him, he tells her, that Jesus will be waiting for him after he’s executed. While this profession of faith is theologically solid, Sister Prejean reacts to it with something resembling shock. “That’s not how it is, Matthew,” she tells him. “It’s not like a ticket you hand in. You have to participate in your own redemption.” Some Christians may react with our own shock to what Sister Prejean tells Matthew.
  • Things That Are Above

    by Russ Dean
    He was called St. Alypius. He lived in the sixth century in Paphligonia, a territory now occupied by the modern state of Turkey. His country must have been beautiful. It was a mountainous region that ran along the coast. And what a view he must have enjoyed, from the top of that stone pillar which was his home. But I did say that St. Alypius lived on the top of this pillar, so maybe he wasn’t as interested in the site seeing as you and I might be if we traveled to Turkey! St. Alypius, you see, was known as a Stylite. That is, he was a monk whose life had been dedicated to the extreme ascetic practice of living on a pillar. (I’m not making this up!) The “Pillar Saints,” as they are called, were founded in the fifth century by St. Simeon...
  • Be So Heavenly Minded You Are of Earthy Use

    by Jill Friebel
    ("There was a woman who wanted peace in the world and peace in her heart and all sorts of good things, but she was very frustrated. The world seemed to be falling apart. She would read the papers and get depressed. One day she decided to go shopping, and she went into a mall and picked a store at random. She walked in and was surprised to see Jesus behind the counter...")
  • Easter Sunday (A)(2017)

    by Scott Hoezee
    In the movie Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, we encounter a group of aliens who long ago set up shop in a part of the Aztec Mayan kingdom in South America. These aliens, however, are not from outer space but rather we learn they are interdimensional beings, creatures that inhabit the spaces in between time as we know it. One of the things this means is that they are able to see past, present, and future in a single glance, giving them essentially an almost omniscient grasp of what has happened, can happen, might happen, will happen. One of the villains in the film is a Russian agent who wants to tap into that knowledge for herself so as to help the Soviet Union gain world domination. The aliens grant her wish but, of course, such knowledge is too wonderful for her and it ends up quite literally blowing her mind.
  • Racism and People of Faith: Clothed with Christ

    by Beth Quick
    In his last Sunday sermon before he was assassinated, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. preached a message titled “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution” at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC on March 31st, 1968. In his message, King said, “No individual can live alone, no nation can live alone, and anyone who feels that he can live alone is sleeping through a revolution. The world in which we live is geographically one. The challenge that we face today is to make it one in terms of brotherhood. “.... [Our] world is a neighborhood … We must all learn to live together as brothers or we will all perish together as fools. 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…

Other Resources from 2020

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  • Sermon Starters (Easter Sunday)(A)(2020)

    by Doug Bratt
    The extraordinary movie, Dead Man Walking tells part of the story of Matthew Poncelot. Poncelot is a bitter, hardened and cynical criminal whom the courts justly convict of murder and sentence to death. However, Sister Helen Prejean volunteers to become his spiritual advisor as his time is running out. Because she’s a Christian, she wants to show Poncelot the face of love and help bring him to genuine repentance before he dies. Eventually the condemned man announces to Prejean that he’s reading his Bible. It has convinced him, Poncelot adds, that Jesus will be waiting for him after he’s executed. While this profession of faith is theologically solid, Sister Prejean reacts to it with something resembling shock. “That’s not how it is, Matthew,” she tells him. “It’s not like a ticket you hand in. You have to participate in your own redemption.”...
  • Raised with Christ

    by Bob Cornwall
  • Easter Sunday (A)

    by Bill Loader
    always good insights!
  • Easter Sunday (A)(2020)

    by Valerie Nicolet-Anderson
  • Easter Sunday (A)(2020)

    by David Zersen
    I recently read Hemmingway’s classic, For Whom the Bell Tolls. I was struck by the degree to which things are not always as they seem and that what seems like death can in fact open the door to life. The novel takes place during the Spanish Revolution in the 1930s. The revolutionaries, aided by the Russian communists, are attempting to challenge the Republican government and oust the monarchy, the Roman Catholic Church, and, for that matter, all religious allegiances. A great portion of the story, which only lasts three days, but takes 500 pages!, is held in and around a cave as preparations are made to blow up a bridge to thwart the Republican’s transportation. The main character is a Robert Jordan, an American partisan who has been sent to blow up the bridge. It is clear that there is no religious belief in Jordan or in any of the story’s characters because they all subscribe to the atheism of revolutionaries. There is no hope and no future for any of them other than the prospect that they might die for a cause. However, as the story comes to an end, Robert Jordan, dying from a fatal wound, makes it possible for the remaining band of partisans, including his lover, Maria, to flee so that at least they will have a future...

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Other Resources from the Archives

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