John 3: 1-17

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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. FWIW!!]
  • *John 3:16

    An Illustration
    ("In the city of Chicago, one cold, dark night, a blizzard was setting in. A little boy was selling newspapers on the corner, the people were in and out of the cold. The little boy was so cold that he wasn't trying to sell many papers...")
  • Making Pancakes

    Author Unknown
    Six-year-old Brandon decided one Saturday morning to fix his parents pancakes. He found a big bowl and spoon, pulled a chair to the counter, opened the cupboard and pulled out the heavy flour canister, spilling it on the floor. He scooped some of the flour into the bowl with his hands, mixed in most of a cup of milk and added some sugar, leaving a floury trail on the floor which by now had a few tracks left by his kitten. Brandon was covered with flour and getting frustrated. He wanted this to be something very good for Mom and Dad, but it was getting very bad.
  • Facing Evil, Coming to Light

    by D. Mark Davis
    (includes lots of Greek exegesis)
  • Water-Flesh-Spirit-Wind-Breath-Newborns

    by D. Mark Davis
    (includes plenty of Greek exegesis!!)
  • *Holy, Holy, Holy

    by Jerry Fuller, OMI
    ("A wise man, now home with God, Donald Nicholl, reflects on the village in England where he grew up. The community included the village eccentric – a kind word for someone who was 'odd' or not all there, but far from threatening. He was accepted. One could even say he was loved, and respected. Why? Because he was part of the community..." and other illustrations)
  • Nicodemus and Bronze Serpents

    by Jerry Fuller, OMI
    ("In Steven Spielberg's movie Saving Private Ryan, Captain Miller is sent with seven other soldiers to search for and rescue Private James Ryan (played by Matt Damon). James is the last surviving son of the Ryan family which has already lost three sons in World War II..." and other illustrations)
  • And God Said "I Love You"

    by Sil Galvan
    I met a man who had come to Tampa to visit his father. They hadn't seen each other in years. In fact, according to the son, his father had left when he was a boy, and they had had little contact until about a year earlier, when his father had sent him a birthday card with a note saying he'd like to see his son again. After discussing a trip to Florida with his wife and children and consulting his busy schedule at his office, the son tentatively set a date to visit his father two months later. He would drive his family down when school was out for vacation. He scribbled a note and with mixed emotions, dropped it in the mail. He heard back immediately. Written on lined paper torn from a spiral notebook, such as a schoolboy would use, were words of excitement penned in a barely legible scrawl. Misspelled words, poor grammar and incorrect punctuation bounced off the page. The man was embarrassed for his father. He thought twice about the upcoming visit. It just so happened that the man's daughter made the cheerleading squad at her school and had to go to a camp conducted for cheering techniques. Coincidentally, it started the week after school was out. The trip to Florida would have to be postponed.
  • A Bowl of Humility

    by Sil Galvan
    Honk, honk, slice, splash, stop, start. Thick traffic. Teeming rain. My seven-year-old Volkswagen jerked along the freeway like a bug on sticky tape. Problems droned angrily around in my head. For weeks I'd been pouring all my hopes and energy into preparing an interior design presentation for a fat-cat client, and I'd just learned that I'd lost the job to a competitor. But your biggest mistake, Linda, I scolded myself, was counting on the money. When will you learn not to assume? Traffic ground to a stop, and I fished my checkbook out of my purse and opened it. Balance, less than forty dollars. I was nearly broke - again. I couldn't begin to stretch that to cover what my fifteen-year-old son Tim and I were going to need until my next check.
  • The Greatest Love

    by Sil Galvan
    the following ad appeared in one newspaper: SINGLE BLACK FEMALE. Seeks male companionship, ethnicity unimportant. I'm a sweet, good-looking girl who LOVES to play. I love long walks in the woods, riding in your pickup truck, hunting, camping, and fishing trips, cozy winter nights lying by the fire...
  • When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

    by Sil Galvan
    "When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of glory died; My richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride. Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast save in the death of Christ, my Lord..."
  • Lent 2A

    by Bill Loader
    (always good insights!)
  • Lent 4B

    by Bill Loader
    (always good insights!)
  • Trinity Sunday (B)

    by Bill Loader
    always good insights
  • Guinea Worm Eradication Almost Complete Says Jimmy Carter

    from Medical News Today
    (discusses this disease which is cured by wrapping a 3 foot long worm around a stick. See the Lectionary Reflections link below for more info.)
  • Exegetical Notes (John 3:1-17)

    by Brian Stoffregen
    (excellent exegesis)
  • Exegetical Notes (John 3:14-21)

    by Brian Stoffregen
    (excellent exegesis)
  • The Darkness of a Youniverse

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    ("But there is one plague that stands out as strange, almost benign, to our twenty-first century sensibilities. That is the plague of 'darkness'. Why's so bad about darkness? For those of us who grew up or still live in lands far from the equator, 'darkness' is a big part of each year...")
  • *Illustrations, Quotes and Lectionary Reflections (Lent 2A)

    by Various Authors
    ("His name was Paul. He lived in a small town in the Pacific Northwest some years ago. He was just a little boy when his family became the proud owners of one of the first telephones in the neighborhood. It was one of those wooden boxes attached to the wall with the shiny receiver hanging on the side of the box. and the mouthpiece attached to the front..." and many more)
  • *Illustrations, Quotes and Lectionary Reflections (Lent 4B)

    by Various Authors
    ("Fred Craddock tells the story of his father, who spent years of his life hiding from the God who was seeking him out: 'When the pastor used to come from my mother's church to call on him, my father would say, "You don't care about me. I know how churches are. You want another pledge, another name, right?"..." and several more)
  • *Illustrations, Quotes and Lectionary Reflections (Trinity Sunday)

    by Various Authors
    ("For years, the opening of The Wide World of Sports television program illustrated 'the agony of defeat' with a painful ending to an attempted ski jump. The skier appeared in good form as he headed down the jump, but then, for no apparent reason, he tumbled head over heels off the side of the jump, bouncing off the supporting structure down to the snow below..." and several more)
  • Come to the Light

    by Carlos Wilton
    ("In 1882, on Pearl Street in Lower Manhattan, the Edison Illuminating Company established the Pearl Street Station, the first central electrical power plant in the United States. Its coal-fired steam engines turned the dynamos that generated electrical current. Initially, Pearl Street Station powered 400 lamps in 85 households..." and other illustrations)

Narrative Sermons

(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 tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)
  • *Lent 2A (2002)

    by Frank Fisher
    ("Abram! Abram! Yes you, Abram. Come out there from where you"re hiding. Don"t you know I can see you no matter how many bushes you find to cower behind?' 'Who's calling me,' you answer hesitatingly...")
  • Lifted Up

    by Frank Fisher
    ("'Now what do you have to say for yourself Moses? Why have you, and the Lord, brought us out of Egypt to die here in the wilderness?' Those words burst from your lips with a scream of self righteous frustration...")
  • Nicodemus

    by Sarah Foulger
    ("I am not certain why I went to see Jesus that night. Perhaps I was hoping to experience, first-hand, one of the miracles of healing that everyone was talking about, a private showing if you will. Perhaps a part of me thought that, if I met with him, if I looked straight into his mysterious eyes, I could tell whether or not he was for real...")
  • Nic at Night

    by Peter Haynes
  • Nicodemus

    by David Leininger
    ("My name is . I am a member of the Sanhedrin, one of the seventy men charged with the oversight and defense of our historic and honorable faith, the faith of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the faith of our fathers for hundreds and hundreds of years...")
  • Wind-Born

    by David McBride
  • The Healing Oneness of God

    Narrative Sermon by Paul Nuechterlein
  • Nicodemus: A Monologue

    Drama by Ross Olson
  • On the Uneven Steps

    by Larry Patten
  • Born of the Spirit

    Narrative Sermon by Pamela Tinnin
    So, you want to hear a story from your old grandmother…oh, I have a lot of stories I could tell you…of what it was like when I was a child, long before I knew what life could hold…I could tell you of how my parents gave half of everything they owned so I could marry well, and a Pharisee at that… I could tell you about your father, how he came squalling into the world and has been making noise ever since…
  • Finding the Light

    Narrative Sermon by Pamela Tinnin
    ("Just after the war in Iraq started, I saw a special prayer service, a service held by the elders of the Hopi Indian Nation. A young woman of their people, a U.S. Marine, was missing in action. Her brother led the prayers and towards the end, his words went something like this...")
  • Nicodemus in the Shadows

    by Peter Wallace

Illustrated Resources (Trinity Sunday)(B)(2018 and 2021)

(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 tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)
  • Be Moved to Join the Movement

    by Casey Cross
    In his book, The Divine Dance, Father Richard Rohr describes the movement of God as flow. To join God’s movement is to step, jump or dive into the flow of God’s full self with our full selves. The tide of God’s movement leads us to a way of life that is always growing, evolving, transforming; a way of life that is about unification, alignment, and action...
  • Don't You Love a Good Mystery

    by Owen Griffiths
    There’s a story about Albert Schweitzer and a reporter which I really hope is true. After Schweitzer spent years as a medical missionary in Africa, a young writer asked the famous physician and humanitarian what he’d learned. Schweitzer is said to have replied: “I know only two things: First, there is a God. Second, I’m not him.”[ii] Contemplation of the mystery of the Holy Trinity should make us feel small and inadequate. That’s a good thing. Humility takes the pressure off of us. Still, how wonderful to contemplate that this colossal God loves us enough to die for and with us. IF we understand nothing else about God, let’s be sure we understand that.
  • From Slogan to Reality

    by Owen Griffiths
    I was listening to NPR in my car a few days ago and I heard a story about a stand-up comic (I forget the guy’s name. I’ve tried to look up this story online to make sure I have my facts right, but I can’t seem to find it. Sorry.) If I heard correctly, he faked his own death via facebook. Now, this guy was a real tool. He drank too much, did recreational drugs, and was, like many tortured souls who go into comedy, regularly abusive to the people who were close to him. He was just obnoxious. Period. When his “death notice” appeared, however, he was in for a shock. Even accounting for the fact that nice people don’t like to speak ill of the dead, the reaction to his “passing” was overwhelming. People poured out their love and appreciation for this man...
  • Sermon Starters (Trinity Sunday)(B)(2021)

    by Scott Hoezee
    Creation itself sprang from a bubbling overflow of God’s love. Like a shaken-up bottle of champagne, so also God’s love within the Trinity was so effervescent, so richly pressured and full that sooner or later the cork had to explode out and when it did, a river of sparkling love gushed forth and sprayed everywhere. Creation is that overflow of love. God wanted to share the life and the love he already had so exquisitely among Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Greek theologians of the Trinity in the early church liked to talk about what they termed “perichoresis,” which is a Greek word meaning in essence the interpenetrating dance of love shared by the three persons in the Godhead. Whereas in the Western tradition of the church we have tended to depict the Trinity as a triangle, the Eastern church has always preferred a circle. The Trinity is like an ever-moving circle of dance in which Father, Son, and Holy Spirit constantly and forever move in and through one another in perfect bliss, harmony, and self-forgetful joy. The three persons of God are so invested in one another, so interested in one another, so caring of one another that although three persons they form just one God. They’ve been serving each other from all eternity and finding holy joy in that loving co-service. So it is no surprise that at some point those three persons decided that so great was this love, so focused was this love on the other, that they wanted an entire universe of others with whom to further share the love. God was under no compulsion to create anything. Yet it is just so like God to want to create, to want to share the love. God’s motivation to create the world is similar to what motivates us to invite as many friends as we can to the wedding of one of our children or to an anniversary celebration: we want to widen the circle of our own love and joy; we want to share the grand event with those who are close to us. Something very like that was what brought about creation in the first place: the love of God within the Trinity bubbled over in a desire to spread the joy around. “Let us create some more creatures so that we can then invite them to our holy party!”
  • Trinity Sunday (B)(2018)

    by Scott Hoezee
    The Greek theologians of the Trinity in the early church liked to talk about what they termed “perichoresis,” which is a Greek word meaning in essence the interpenetrating dance of love shared by the three persons in the Godhead. Whereas in the Western tradition of the church we have tended to depict the Trinity as a triangle, the Eastern church has always preferred a circle. The Trinity is like an ever-moving circle of dance in which Father, Son, and Holy Spirit constantly and forever move in and through one another in perfect bliss, harmony, and self-forgetful joy. The three persons of God are so invested in one another, so interested in one another, so caring of one another that although three persons they form just one God. They’ve been serving each other from all eternity and finding holy joy in that loving co-service...
  • Trinity Sunday (B)(2021)

    by Richard Johnson
    Steven Richards-Price is a forest ranger in Wales. In a magazine article some years back, he revealed what is the most common question asked of the rangers by visitors to his park. It is not, “Where does this trail go?” It is not “How long will this hike take?” No, the most common question is much simpler: “Excuse me, can you tell me where the trail starts?”...
  • What Do You Believe?

    by Nicholas Lang
    In her book, In Search of Belief, Joan Chittister relates an experience of asking people in discussion groups, “What do you believe?” One man said he really didn’t believe in anything anymore and then went on to talk all about the business he started and the Krugerrands he had bought. She smiled as she though “he clearly believes in the god of money.” “What do you believe?” she asked a young man, fresh from a college degree, not long married. “I’m taking a Bible course,” he said, “I believe that Americans are God’s special people and that the man is supposed to be the head of the family.” She watched as he gave his wife orders as they talked. His belief, she mused, was obviously in himself and the god of entitlement...
  • No One's in Charge of Their Own Birth

    by Thomas Long
    In the 1986 movie Three Amigos, Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, and Martin Short play silent-film stars who make westerns. When the tiny Mexican village of Santo Poco comes under the threat of the vicious bandit El Guapo, through a series of misunderstandings the desperate villagers comes to believe that the three actors are actual gunslingers who will save them from their plight. In one scene, Lucky Day (Martin) stands to address the villagers, and as they cast their urgently hopeful eyes toward this potential savior, he gives a speech that always makes me wince. It’s hilarious, but it sounds agonizingly close to much of my own preaching. “In a way, all of us have an El Guapo to face,” he begins. (Oh Lord, how many times have I said something similar in a sermon?) “For some, shyness might be their El Guapo. For others, a lack of education.” Unfortunately, Lucky concludes, for us it’s the real El Guapo, “a big, dangerous guy who wants to kill us.”...
  • Trinitarian Mindset and Reconciliation

    by Victoria Marie
    In the movie Winter's Tale, Colin Farrell plays a thief. He is assisted by a mystical white horse, whose sudden appearance and extraordinary abilities, Farrell is at a loss to explain. Graham Green plays Farrell’s friend, a Native American man who recognizes the horse as the Spirit Guide who also can appear as a dog. Lastly, from what one would understand as a Christian theological perspective, Russell Crowe plays a demon minion of the devil, who recognizes the horse as Farrell’s guardian angel. This heavenly being, in horse form, assists Farrell’s character to achieve what the film calls his ‘miracle’, that is, what God put him on this earth to do. This film artfully and deftly shows that representation of God’s presence is open to interpretation. But the fact of God’s presence in peoples’ lives is a fact, whether or not that presence can be defined or detected by Church leaders...
  • In the Know

    by Mike Massar
    At the end of the movie, A River Runs Through It, the father, a Presbyterian minister on his deathbed, is talking with his oldest son. The younger son had died many years before, a victim of his addiction to gambling and those who demanded payment on his debts. Every day the father wondered what went wrong, why he couldn't have saved the younger son. In the closing scene of the movie, the father says out loud to the older son “Each one of here today will at one time in our lives look upon a loved one who is in need and ask the same question: We are willing help, but what, if anything, is needed? For it is true we can seldom help those closest to us. Either we don’t know what part of ourselves to give or, more often than not, the part we have to give is not wanted. And so it those we live with and should know who elude us. But we can still love them – we can love completely without complete understanding.”...
  • A Different Drummer

    by Carl Wilton
    a man who was out walking one day with his son, Adam, who was 12 years old. Adam’s dad was separated from his wife, Adam’s mother, so he was catching up on what was new in his son’s life. One of those things was learning how to play the drums. The two of them came to a highway overpass, one of those places where homeless people find shelter. “Dad,” said Adam, “I want to show you one of my drum teachers.” Whereupon he led his astounded father under the bridge, where the homeless people lived. “This is Ken,” he said. “He’s teaching me how to play the drums.” Well, Ken looked a little unkempt, but it turned out he was a former high school music teacher, of all things. He’d run into some personal problems and had lost his job, his home, his marriage — everything. But he did know how to teach music. And he’d gathered together a group of neigborhood kids to teach them how to play the drums...

Illustrated Resources (Lent 4B)(2018 and 2021)

(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 tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)
  • Come to the Light

    by Carla Aday
    I recently read The Murmur of Bees by Sofia Segovia. Set in Mexico, the novel traces the life of one family as they flee the horrors of disease and death that plague their town during the 1918 pandemic. Before anyone realizes what is happening, death swoops in and begins to rob family after family of their mothers and their fathers and their children. The townspeople are so frightened of this new flu that they stop having funerals, for fear that more will catch the deadly disease when they go to the church or attend the graveside service. They simply then carry their deceased family members out in front of their home, place them by the edge of the street, and wait for the undertaker to stop by with the wooden cart and carry the beloved family member off to the cemetery for a burial all alone. One day the undertaker finds that the teenage boy he is just about to bury is actually moving. When the priest discovers that the boy who was dead is now alive, he's shocked. He sends a telegram to the archbishop. "Miracle happened. Come urgently." The priest and the doctor go to check on the boy. The boy begins to explain that when the undertaker came by, he was just too sick to move. And when he awakened in the cemetery, he was just too weak to walk home. But actually, he never died. The priest is devastated. Quickly, he sends another telegram to the Archbishop: "Never died. Never resurrected. Just recovered by himself. Forgive me." The embarrassed priest feels like this must be the worst day of his life. But the Doctor steps in and tries to reassure the priest telling him, "It's actually the best possible miracle." For the first time, they realize that you can suffer with this new influenza and survive! You can live!...
  • The Message That Made a Man

    by Sylvia Alloway
    For Billy Graham there was only one important issue: Jesus Christ. He loves you. He died for you. He forgives you. His single-minded focus on Christ’s saving work and his simple, intense presentation of the Gospel were so impressive his audiences numbered in the hundreds of millions world-wide. Known as “America’s pastor,” he was arguably the most famous Christian of the 20th century. On February 21st William Franklin Graham passed into the presence of his Lord at the age of ninety-nine. So what was so special about this guy? How did he manage to make the “Ten Most Admired Men” list 61 times? When other evangelists were brought down by scandal, how did Billy stay on top?...
  • Life Is Short and Precious

    by Jim Chern
    A 19-year-old who was homeless, living in Hawaii describes the night his entire life changed. He was finished working for the night at one of the Bubba Gump-chain restaurants on the island and was waiting for his two friends when this complete stranger came up to him and said “what are you doing tonight?” The young man responded “I dunno” So the stranger said “Will you fornicate tonight” to which the guy answered “I hope so” ‘And drugs and drinking?’ the stranger asked – to which the kid said “Most likely, yeah. Probably all three of those things. I mean, at least two of them, possibly all three.” At that, the stranger said “I stopped because Jesus told me to come and talk to you. He said to tell you that you are destined for great things.” The young man said that his friends came out and he said to them “I’m going with this guy.” Two days later he had given his life to Jesus. Not exactly the story we expect to hear from someone in Hollywood, yet that’s how Chris Pratt, best known for his roles in the TV show Parks and Recreation and the movie Guardians of the Galaxy tells it...
  • John 3:16 - What's That?

    by Jim Chern
    While Tim Tebow’s pretty well known for his public witness and expressions of faith, not too long ago, he shared an interesting story that I had never heard of before. As they were preparing for the championship game at the end of the year, and Tim was getting ready to go on the field, he said that he felt God had put on his heart that he should change the verse. So what did he pick? John 3:16. But one of the amazing things to me about Tebow’s story with the eye black thing was that he said he put the tape on for that championship game, played (and won) the game and really didn’t think much about it. A couple of days later, the team’s public relations guy contacted Tebow and told him that during that championship game, over 94 million people googled “John 3:16.”...
  • God's Pleasure in Our Action

    by Ron Rolheiser, OMI
    Eric Liddell, the Olympic runner, whose story is featured in the Oscar-winning movie, Chariots of Fire, once made this comment: “When I run, I feel God’s pleasure.” He didn’t make this comment lightly. As his biography and Chariots of Fire make clear, Eric Liddell, in his quest to win an Olympic gold medal was motivated more by his faith than by his own ego. His faith had him believe that, since God gave him this unique talent, God, not unlike any proud parent, took a genuine delight in seeing him use that gift. In his heart, he sensed that God was pleased whenever he exercised that talent to its optimum. Moreover, that inner sense that God was happy with his use of his talent filled him, Eric, with a wonderful energy whenever he ran. Seen from that perspective, we see that the root and source of his motivation and pleasure in running was, ultimately, not his desire to win gold medals and popular adulation, though clearly no one is immune to these. Rather he was motivated by an inner sense that God had given him a special gift, that God wanted him to use that gift to its fullest, and that God was happy when he optimized that gift. Like everyone else who is human, he, no doubt, enjoyed the adulation he received for his successes, but he knew too that the deepest joy he felt in using his gift had its ultimate source in God and not his own ego...
  • Opie and the World

    by Delmer Chilton
    Mr. McBeevee is one of my favorite episodes of The Andy Griffith Show. Little Opie is playing in the woods, and he strikes up a friendship with a power company lineman working among the trees. Mr. McBeevee is a jovial sort, who makes smoke come out of his ears, jangles because of his tool belt, and climbs up and down to work on the lines. He entertains Opie with a few simple tricks, gives him a hatchet, and then climbs back up the pole. When Opie’s father asks where he got the hatchet, he tells the truth. “Mr. McBeevee gave it to me.” He then proceeds to tell all about the man who walks in trees, jangles when he walks, and blows smoke out of his ears. Much discussion and melodrama ensue, in which the adults try to decide if Opie should be forced to tell the truth or be allowed to continue in his fantasy with his imaginary friend. There is a solemn tear-jerking scene between Andy and Opie in which Opie cries, “Don’t you believe me Pa?” and Andy looks at him and says, “Yes, I believe you son.” Later, Barney complains, “You don’t actually believe in this Mr. McBeevee, do you?” and Andy says, “No, no I don’t. But I do believe in my son. I believe in Opie.”
  • Where There Is God, There Is Love

    by Thomas Gumbleton
    When a gunman rampaged through a high school in Parkland, Florida … a 15-year-old soccer player named Anthony Borges showed undaunted courage. Anthony, who is of Venezuelan descent, apparently was the last of a group of students rushing into a classroom to seek refuge. He shut the door behind him and frantically tried to lock it, but in an instant the gunman appeared on the other side. Instead of running for cover, Anthony blocked the door to keep the shooter out. He held his ground even as the attacker opened fire. "I asked him why he would do that," his lawyer … told me. "He said, 'What's so hard to understand about what I did?' He had no issue with risking his life." Shot five times in the legs and torso, Anthony phoned his father to say he had been wounded. He was rushed to a hospital and survived: Photos show him with wires and tubes snaking from him. He still can't walk — it's unclear if that is just temporary — but fellow students say he saved their lives...
  • Preaching Helps (Lent 4B)(2018)

    by Scott Hoezee
    A few years ago ahead of my first ever trip to Africa, I had to visit a Health Center to receive multiple shots. To ward off things like typhoid and yellow fever, my body was injected with small or inert strains of the very diseases I would just as soon avoid. Getting a dose of the diseases in question gave my antibodies a head start, a way to develop an immunity strategy that put my body ahead of the game in case the real-deal disease ever tried to enter my body big-time. If vaccines work, it’s the body’s way of saying to an incoming disease, “We’ve got your number, pal, because we’ve seen just enough of you before to know what to do now. So adios, adieu, hit the road! We are so ready to resist you!”...
  • Lent 4B (2018)

    by Ryan Mills
    Someone sent me a card this week with a picture of St. Patrick driving all the snakes out of Ireland. St. Patrick was there, all properly dressed in his bishop’s vestments, but in the driver’s seat of a car, and in the back seats were a bunch of snakes, complaining, “He hit me,” “I’m thirsty,” and “Are we there yet?” Driving the Snakes out of Ireland!...
  • Lent, Ophidiophobia and Wounds

    by Larry Patten
    I’ll bet you have scars with stories you’re proud to share or ashamed to ever mention. Though I’ve seen Steven Spielberg’s Jaws numerous times, I always relish one particular scene. Sure, I’ll jump when the shark first appears. And there’s great lines like You’re gonna need a bigger boat and That’s some bad hat, Harry. For me, though, the scar “contest” between Robert Shaw’s Sam Quint and Richard Drefuss’ Matt Hooper is best of all. Back and forth they banter, exposing old scars, one-upping the other guy with tragic tales. Scars are memories. Scars are missing bits of flesh that flesh out the worst and best of life. If you can show your scar, you’re still alive. You survived. If you’re no longer whole, at least you’re not in a hole in the ground...
  • God So Loved the World

    by David Russell
    Peter Arnett was a CNN television commentator and reporter. He told about being in a small town on the West Bank, when a bomb exploded. Bloodied people were everywhere. A man came running up to him, holding a little girl in his arms. He pleaded with Peter to take her to a hospital--as a member of the press he would be able to get through the security cordon. So Peter, the man and the girl jumped into his car and rushed to the hospital. The whole time the man was pleading with him to hurry, to go faster, heartbroken at the thought the little girl might die. Sadly the little girl’s injuries were too great and she died on the operating table. When the doctor came out to give them the news the man collapsed in tears. Peter Arnett was at a loss for words. “I don’t know what to say. I can’t imagine what you must be going through. I’ve never lost a child.” It was then that the man said, “Oh, that girl was not my daughter. I’m an Israeli settler. She was a Palestinian. But there comes a time when each of us must realize that every child, regardless of that child’s background, is a daughter or a son. There must come a time when we realize that we are all family.”...
  • In a Nutshell

    by Debie Thomas
    In her 2013 book, Christianity after Religion, historian Diana Butler Bass points out that the English word "believe" comes from the German "belieben" — the German word for love. To believe is not to hold an opinion. To believe is to treasure. To hold something beloved. To give my heart over to it without reservation. To believe in something is to invest it with my love. This is true in the ancient languages of the Bible as well...

Illustrated Resources (A)(2017 and 2020)

(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 tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)
  • A Stewardship Mystery

    by Sharron Blezard
    For people who love to read mysteries, attend plays, view films, and watch television shows about mysteries, we sure do have a tough time actually living with mystery. And nowhere is this more acutely reflected than with the mysteries of faith. Maybe that's partly because drama and fiction usually adhere to the principles of Freytag's Pyramid with its five predictable parts...
  • One More Thing: Another Look at John 3:16

    by Richard Bryant
    If you were fortunate enough to attend a MacExpo or Apple Product launch when Steve Jobs was speaking, you learned to stay to the very end. The best things were revealed last. It became one of Jobs’ trademarks to come to the conclusion of his remarks and as he was about to walk off stage say, “oh, and there’s one more thing I forgot to tell you about.” Among those “one more things” were the iMac and the iPhone. Steve Jobs’ “one more things” have changed the way we see each other and the world around us. The “one more things” were the best ideas the Apple creative and technical teams had to offer...
  • Hobbits, Abram and Other Journeys

    by Margie Dahl
    In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. What a wonderful first sentence to a book. It goes on. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort. The owner of this hobbit-hole was Bilbo Baggins who came from a very respectable family, respectable because they never had any adventures or did anything unexpected. Then one day the wizard Gandalf came to visit and Bilbo’s life was never the same. He set off with thirteen dwarves to take back the Lonely Mountain and its treasure from the fearsome dragon, Smaug. The Hobbit is a story of a journey, a journey that took a respectable and comfortable hobbit to Rivendell where he met elves and across the Misty Mountains. He came across gigantic spiders, goblins and the pathetic creature, Gollum. He saved the day on several occasions and tried to bring about reconciliation between opposing sides. Bilbo never fitted into life in the shire again. His journey had changed him...
  • Sermon Starters (Lent 2A)(2020)

    by Scott Hoezee
    One of the greatest medical innovations in recent centuries is the development of the vaccine: if a doctor injects your body with a small amount of the disease you want to avoid (either an inert version of the disease or a sufficiently weak amount to prevent you from getting the full blown affliction), then your cells will produce the antibodies that will ward off the disease should you later come into contact with the real deal version of it. Vaccines are like tutors for our antibodies (something Jonas Salk—pictured above—figured out with his breakthrough polio vaccine)...
  • Nicodemus

    Art and Faith by Lynn Miller
    Henry Ossawa Tanner (1859-1937) painted Nicodemus' visit to Jesus. Along the way to his final composition he painted several different studies. Some things change; others are consistent through all versions. The changes and the consistencies help tell the story.
  • Lent 2A (2017)

    by Robert Morrison
    Seventy-four years ago last month, Sophie Scholl, a devout, practising Roman Catholic, along with many others were executed, murdered or lost in prisons. They belonged to The White Rose, “a non-violent, intellectual resistance group in Nazi Germany led by a group of students and a professor at the University of Munich. “The group conducted an anonymous leaflet and graffiti campaign which called for active opposition against the Nazi regime. Their activities started in Munich on June 27th, 1942, and ended with the arrest of the core group by the Gestapo on February 18th, 1943.
  • Nicodemus' Dilemma and Ours

    by Nancy Rockwell
    Pontius Pilate, Herod, and Caiaphas were in charge of the nation’s life, and it was a rather recent arrangement that had brought the three of them together. They were the Bannon, Sessions and Trump of first century Jerusalem. It would be hard to say who now would be which then. But together they then possessed the disdain for human suffering, the elitism, the willingness to inflict a lot more suffering and displacement in order to establish their idea of order, and the greed, that are at work in the operating cohort of our time.
  • Dead Hearts and New Beginnings

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    Some of you will remember when the first heart transplant took place. It was an amazing feat. The first transplant was performed in 1967 in Cape Town, South Africa by Dr. Christiaan Barnard. The recipient was Louis Washkansky, a fifty three year old grocer with a debilitating heart condition. Unfortunately Mr. Washkansky survived only 18 days after the operation. The first successful transplant was performed on Dr. Barnard's third patient, a Jewish dentist named Dr. Philip Blaiberg. He survived for nearly two years. After his surgery, Dr. Barnard carried Dr. Blaiberg's old heart in a plastic box and showed it to him. The two men sat on the hospital bed examining the scars and thickening of the dead useless heart. Dr. Barnard said, "Dr. Blaiberg, do you realize you are the first man in the history of humankind to sit and look at your own dead heart?"
  • Where the Wind Blows

    by Debie Thomas
    In her 2013 book, Christianity after Religion, historian Diana Butler Bass points out that the English word "believe" comes from the German "belieben" — the German word for love. To believe is not to hold an opinion. To believe is to treasure. To hold something beloved. To give my heart over to it without reservation. To believe in something is to invest it with my love. This is true in the ancient languages of the Bible as well. When the writers of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament wrote of faithfulness, they were not writing about an intellectual surrender to a factual truth. They were writing about fidelity, trust, and confidence. As they saw it, to believe in God was to place their full confidence in him. To throw their whole hearts, minds, and bodies into his hands...
  • Lent 2A (2020)

    by Amy Ziettlow
    On his gospel album Jesus Is King, Kanye West offers a prayer: “Clean us like the rain in spring / Take the chlorine out of our conversation . . . / We are water / Pure as water / Like a newborn daughter.” This song about conversation, authenticity, new birth, and water reminds me of Nicodemus talking with Jesus in John 3:1–17. Prior to 2019, I would not have imagined putting Kanye West and Nicodemus in the same sentence. Nicodemus is a religious leader from 2,000 years ago. West is one of the top-selling artists of all time and is married to reality TV star Kim Kardashian. He has cultivated a controversial reputation: being chummy with President Trump, denying slavery, calling himself “Yeesus.” Then, on a narcissistic road to Damascus, West experienced a dramatic conversion. His decision to transform a successful music career into a ministry surprised almost everyone. It definitely reflected Jesus’ observation that the Spirit blows where the Spirit wants...

Illustrated Resources (Trinity Sunday)(B)(2015)

(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 tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)
  • Trinity Sunday (B)(2015)

    by John Fairless
  • We Know Who You Are

    Podcast by Casey Fitzgerald
  • Nicodemus and You and Me and a Group of High School Seniors: God's Tim

    by Janet Hunt
    ("I imagine that Nicodemus thought of time much like the writer of Ecclesiastes did. It is even pointed out to us the time of day it was when he made his night-time journey to visit Jesus. We are led to believe that Nicodemus was considering what time it was --- perhaps because as a leader of the Jews he did not want to be discovered. More than that, if Nicodemus did think of time as we are all prone to do, this would certainly help explain his astonishment when Jesus speaks to him of being born anew...")
  • The Trinity: A Good Mystery

    by Nicholas Lang
    ("A little boy riding his bike stopped in front of the church and noticed the open doors. The priest was just coming out of the church and invited the boy to come in and take a look. The boy said, 'But what if somebody steals my bike?' The priest assured him, 'The Holy Spirit will watch it for you.' So he followed the priest into the church and observed how the priest dipped his finger into the holy water font, made the sign of the cross, and said, 'In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.'...")
  • The Humiliation and Healing of Nicodemus

    by Andrew Prior
    (includes several quotes)
  • Trinity Sunday (B)(2015)

    by Bob Stuhlmann
    ("Because of its farming legacy, sited around the state of New Jersey are old grist mills. A grist mill relied on water to propel a massive water-wheel to power the mill stones that ground wheat, corn and other grains to flour. Some have seen the Trinity like a mill wheel. The flow of the waterfall, spilling into one another: The love and laughter of the Father, spilling with roaring joy into the Son, and the complete self-emptying of the Son spilling into the Holy Spirit...")
  • Born Again?

    by Keith Wagner
    ("One time in downtown Denver, Scott Reasoner and Wayne Burnett saw something tiny and insignificant change the world, but no one else even seemed to notice. They both noticed a mother and her young daughter walking out of a card shop toward the street. She was holding her daughter by the hand while reading a greeting card. It was immediately apparent to them that she was so engrossed in the card that she did not notice a shuttle bus moving toward her at a good clip..." and other short illustrations)
  • A Complete Makeover

    by Cynthia Weems
    ("When our daughter was born, she came home from the hospital within 48 hours of her birth, like most newborns. I introduced her to the basinet and rocking chair and gave her a bath. Within a couple of days we were at her first doctor's visit--the precautionary one, just to make sure she was doing well. The doctor discovered her bilirubin levels were extremely high. She had jaundice...")

Illustrated Resources (Lent 4B)(2015)

(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 tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)
  • Lent 4B (2015)

    by Brendan Byrne
    "Have you ever wondered why the serpent is the emblem of the army medical corps – indeed, has been a symbol for doctors since ancient times? Has the irony ever occurred to you that the anti-venin for the most poisonous snakes and spiders is synthesized from their venom, the very agent that kills? This duality associated with snakes – as agents both of death and healing – has long been present in human history and culture; but in the hands of the Hebrew Scriptures and the author of John, it takes on a whole new meaning altogether..."
  • Our Choices Are a Matter of Life and Death

    by Jim Chern
    ("Last summer, a young man by the name of Conrad Roy who was a Senior in High School, quite sadly killed himself by carbon-monoxide, poisoning of himself in his truck. On the surface, he seemed to have every High School student's dream: family and friends described him as popular and funny; an athlete; having clear goals (he just had gotten his sea captain's license and had expressed hopes of one day taking over his family's marine and salvage business). He had been accepted to his first choice school of Fitchburg State University. At the same time though, his father shared that he had severe anxiety issues...")
  • Nicodemus in the Shadows

    by Gracia Grindal
    ("I remember a faculty retreat long ago with all of my colleagues welcoming our new president. We were at a camp unfamiliar to most of us and in a meeting room some distance from the lodge where the refreshments were. The lights suddenly went out, and it was pitch dark. We had no inkling of how to get back to the lodge. Our president was wearing a light shirt, and it was the only thing we could see as he walked in front of us and we stumbled along after him. He did find the way, somehow...")
  • Beyond All of the Titles

    by Peter Haynes
    At one time she was a skinny little Junior High girl in my youth group. In no way could Susan have been thought of as an ugly duckling, only someday to become a graceful swan. No, she was pretty, and intelligent, and talented. Still, it came as a surprise to hear that she had been chosen to represent the state of Indiana in the 1987 Miss America pageant. Susan: “Miss Indiana,” a potential “Miss America” … There’s something in a title that makes a person seem larger than life. It was not easy for me to pull together the two images of this young woman in my head. On the one hand was Susan, member of the youth group I once led, daughter of Flawn and Nancy, granddaughter of Clarence and Erma, someone with a mouth full of braces and a mischievous glint in her eyes. On the other hand was “Miss Indiana,” confident college student, and really quite beautiful. The summer between those pageants, I was invited back to perform the wedding of one of the other girls in that youth group. Susan was there. I kidded her father about his britches being a little small for all the pride stuffed in them. He replied: “Let me tell you”… and he did. Still, I found it hard to approach his daughter. Something in her title got in the way. I guess I’ve always been a little intimidated by people who seem a little larger than life. Oh, I did talk with Susan (or was it “Miss Indiana”?) as the congregation was being slowly ushered through the receiving line. But it wasn’t until later, during the reception, that we got a better chance to talk. With words that sound rather dumb, I asked her, “are you still Susan?” She looked me in the eye and smiled, with the same mouth that was once held in captivity by an orthodontist, and said, “ Yes, I’m still Susan, and I wish everyone knew that.”...
  • Sight Lines

    by Brian Hiortdahl
    ["A photo of a blue and black dress (or is it white and gold?) went viral recently, launching a widespread color debate that captivated the internet. Celebrities and scientists were among the millions who weighed in and the New York Times took up the question. The science suggests that it has something to do with light and how human eyes receive it..."]
  • Lent 4B (2015)

    by Scott Hoezee
    ("You've probably heard the story about the guy who is walking down the street but who suddenly falls into this deep hole he did not see. The hole is deep, the walls are steep. A psychiatrist happens by and the guy calls out, 'Hey, Doc, can you help me here?' The doctor writes a prescription for Lexapro and throws it into the hole...")
  • Light and Darkness

    by Janet Hunt
    ("Lyle was the only person I have ever known who refused to change the clocks when it came time to do so in the spring. He didn't believe in Daylight Saving Time. Well, this meant, of course, that from spring until fall, Lyle would have to think harder about 'the time' to be sure he didn't miss worship, or an appointment, or a ballgame. The sacrifice must have been worth it for him, though, for his whole life he had been governed by the rise and the fall of the sun...")
  • Love-Fevered Imagination

    by Terrance Klein
    ("A new work by the French philosopher and psychoanalyst Julia Kristeva has just been translated in English. It's a novel entitled Teresa, My Love: An Imagined Life of the Saint of Avila. Unless you're a devotee of all three—philosophy, psychoanalysis, and Teresa of Avila—it's 595 pages you may want to pass. But consider this passage. An email from one academic to another, comparing Cervantes to the Carmelite saint: '[w]ho cares if the Quixotic visor is made of pasteboard!...")
  • Come Out of the Dark

    by Nicholas Lang
    ("God wants us to know the immeasurable riches of God's grace. God wants us to live in the light of God's unconditional love. Paul Tillich preached a classic sermon that brings that truth to us in a rather profound way: 'Grace strikes us,' said Tillich, 'when we are in great pain and restlessness. It strikes us when we walk through the dark valley of a meaningless and empty life...")
  • Brother Sun, Sister Moon

    by Ed McNulty
    ("In Franco Zefirelli's beautiful film Brother Son, Sister Moon we see an example of what Jesus means by "born again" when Francis, the son of cloth merchant Peter Bernardone, receives a transcendent call from Christ at a ruined church and turns his back on his wealthy family, becoming Francis of Assisi...")
  • Eternal Life and Selma

    by Nancy Rockwell
    ("This week America is observing the 50th anniversary of the Selma March, which was really a series of three events: Bloody Sunday, when the marchers were beaten and tear-gassed and not allowed to leave Selma; Turn Around Tuesday, when Martin Luther King led the already-bruised and highly anxious marchers to the crest of the bridge, sensed that the police below might again attack the marchers, knelt, prayed, and turned back, now calling on the nation to come and march with him the following weekend...")
  • The Story Worth Living

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    ("Who doesn't love the Indiana Jones series of movies? Harrison Ford was in an airplane crash last week, and it was the head-liner for all the prime time media. Ford is a good actor and seems to be a decent guy. But mostly he and his Indiana Jones screen persona seem to hit the hero jackpot. Ford's crash landing, and his amazing survival, made for media gold. Everyone who knows anything about Indiana Jones knows that he hates snakes...")

Illustrated Resources (Lent 2 and Trinity Sunday)(A) and (Exaltation)(2014)<span class="adminModeAdvanced"> (#722)</span>

(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 tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)
  • Becoming a Christian

    by David Leininger
    ("A young man came to the door of a monastery with a large duck in his arms. His uncle, who happened to be one of the monks, answered the knock. "Here, Uncle, this is a gift for you and the others. Eat it in good health." The uncle was very grateful, and that night, with the duck dressed and stuffed, he and the others enjoyed a generous repast...")
  • In Context

    by Lindean Barnett
    ("There's a tough math teacher at St. Francis High School in La Cañada, California. Jim O'Connor is a Vietnam veteran, a no-nonsense educator, and not someone his students were likely to think of as 'warm and fuzzy'. It turns out that there's a lot more to Mr. O'Connor than meets the eye, at least from his students' perspective. During a field trip to a children's hospital to learn first-hand about where school blood drive donations would go, a couple of Mr. O'Connor's students were surprised when people said, 'You go to St. Francis? You must know Jim O'Connor. Isn't he wonderful?'...")
  • Stewarding the Mysteries

    by Sharron Blezard
    ("For people who love to read mysteries, attend plays, view films, and watch television shows about mysteries, we sure do have a tough time actually living with mystery. And nowhere is this more acutely reflected than with the mysteries of faith. Maybe that's partly because drama and fiction usually adhere to the principles of Freytag's Pyramid with its five predictable parts...")
  • Be Creative

    by Christopher Burkett
    ("We were discussing 'Why church?' – you know, why put yourself out to join in, why attend, why read scripture, why spend hours on meetings and organising, etc? And someone said, 'I feel I belong.' So simple, so disarming, yet everyone in the group nodded. This must be our aim – a fellowship in every person belongs...")
  • Personal Transformation

    by Christopher Burkett
    ("Why is Cinderella such a popular story? This story of a young woman in trying circumstances – facing abuse and hardship – finally being won to a royal life by her prince charming, is repeated in countless versions across the globe. It was a famous and oft repeated story of unjust oppression and triumphant reward long before the Walt Disney studios got to it. There are well over 300 recorded variants of this tale told and retold across world...")
  • Lent 2A (2014)

    by Delmer Chilton
    ("In his book, Following Jesus without Embarrassing God, Tony Campolo tells a story about Randy Johnson, who was President Lyndon Johnson's nephew. Randy was a mediocre quarterback on a mediocre Oklahoma State football team. It was 1966 and Oklahoma State was close to finishing another bad year, except for their final game against arch-rival Oklahoma, a top ten team on their way to a bowl game...")
  • Repenting of My Righteousness: A Jewish Ritual for a Lenten Discipline

    by Daniel Clendenin
    ("There's a thin line between true righteousness and self-righteousness, between sanctification that beautifies me and sanctimony that blinds me. The losing battle of self-justification is hard to quit. Our Jewish forbears have an ancient ritual to address this problem. It's called Kol Nidre — in Aramaic, 'all vows'. The Kol Nidre is a declaration that is recited at the beginning of the service on the eve of Yom Kippur...")
  • Camino to the Cross

    by Tom Cox
    ("It struck me one week while listening to radio requests, just how many people are walking the traditional Camino to Santiago de Compostella. A seemingly endless trek of humanity head to one place: Santiago in Northwest Spain. The origins of this Pilgrimage go back one thousand years to when it became unsafe for Christians to go to the Holy Land...")
  • Like It or Not

    by Tom Cox
    ("Over the years one dad impressed me very much. He never reacted when toys were thrown, even when there was loud wailing; even when the child screamed 'I hate you'. He calmly replied; 'I'm sorry you feel that way, but I love you'. The next stage was interesting. The child screamed; 'Don't say that, Daddy'. 'But it's true (the dad insisted) I love you.' 'Stop saying it right now', screamed the child. The dad dug deep and said 'Son, now listen to me: I love you...like it or not!'...")
  • Lent 2A (2014)

    by Scott Hoezee
    ("Maybe as Nicodemus listened to Jesus in the flicker of the firelight on that long ago night, maybe he found his pulse quickening. Hearing the words of what we now call John 3:16, maybe Nicodemus felt a spasm of joy the likes of which he'd not felt since his first kiss--a thrilling jolt like what you get when the doctor says that you don't have lung cancer after all but just a touch of the flu...")
  • John 3:16

    by Janet Hunt
    ("last night, I was called upon to pray at a Vigil for Drug Overdose Awareness. I had been asked to do so by a still grieving mother. I officiated at her son's funeral nearly a year ago. Since then she has given her life to doing what she can to ensure no one feels the pain of the loss she has felt every day since the day he died. She did not want him to have lived and died in vain. Last night she told his story. Her mourning is not done. It seems it may never be....")
  • The Exaltation of the Cross

    by Terrance Klein
    ("About one third of the world's population is Christian. Each year, more than 25 million people are baptized into the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And each year, about 100,000 Christians are martyred, coming to share fully in the death of Christ. There has never been a century since Christ in which Christians did not give their lives for the faith. From the beginning they were acknowledged as martyrs, those whose witness to Christ was writ in blood...")
  • Faith for the Common Man

    by Philip McLarty
    In my first experience in ministry, I served as student pastor of a little church in a small town in North Texas, population 501. We had a convenience store on the main drag that was run by a man named Henry Smith and his wife, Betty––not their real names, of course––a mom and pop operation, with Henry doing most of the work. On any given day, he'd pump the gas, fix a flat tire and slice up baloney for sandwiches in one continuous motion. He seldom stopped to wash his hands. He wore the same bib overalls, day after day. He bathed about as often as he changed clothes. He shaved every once in a while and, well, he didn't have much hair to comb. On top of all that, he dipped snuff and, as often as not, there'd be a drool oozing out of one side of his mouth, especially when he smiled. As you might guess, when it came to criticizing or poking fun at someone, Henry made for an easy target. All parents had to do was tell their children, "You'd better study hard and mind your Ps and Qs, or you're going to end up just like Henry Smith." That's all it took. Henry was the butt of jokes and the model of what not to be. Except for Leta Hayes. Leta Hayes was one of the saints of the church, and she believed in a loving God who showed mercy on all his children, especially the weak. So, when someone spoke up and came down hard on Henry, she'd put them in their place. She'd say, "He's as good a man as he knows how to be."...
  • Nicodemus

    by Nancy Rockwell
    (", called a leader among the Jews, came to listen to Jesus at night. It's an old assumption that he comes under cover of darkness in order not to be recognized – an educated scholar of the Torah and the prophets, going to hear a street preacher – what would people say? But I think this is false, for he was recognized, and remembered. Here is what I see happening there....")
  • The Landscape of Lent: Wind

    by David Russell
    ("Years ago, Northwest Airlines in Minneapolis would have a weekend travel special. On Friday, you could get their special for some insanely low price – for maybe $299 you would get two round-trip air tickets and two nights lodging at a good hotel. The catch was, you didn't know where you would be going. That was half the fun of it; it was an adventure. It wasn't like that for Abram and Sarai...")
  • Let It Go

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    Sometimes what we think is most familiar is also the most unknown. Take the case of one Midwest family. The matriarchs of the family had passed along a time-honored recipe for the traditional Easter ham. Along with the list of spices and herbs, rubs and glazes, cook times and basting procedures, was the absolutely strict instruction that the last three to four inches of the ham must be cut off — completely removed. This order was an integral part of the recipe that their great-grandmother had passed down. Grandma continued the practice, as did her granddaughter.

Illustrated Resources (Lent 4 and Trinity Sunday)(B)(2012)<span class="adminModeAdvanced"> (#723)</span>

(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 tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)
  • To Infinity and Beyond

    by Rick Miles
    A woman wrote to Reader’s Digest recently. She wrote about how the mind will erroneously “fill in the blanks” when it hears something it doesn’t understand. She told of taking a young girl from India to church with her. It was the 11-year-old’s first exposure to Christian worship. When they returned home, the girl had a question. “What I don’t understand,” she said, “is why isn’t the West Coast included?” When the woman asked what the girl meant, she said, “You know, ‘In the name of the Father, the Son, and Whole East Coast.’”...
  • Lent 4B (2012)

    by Delmer Chilton
    ("I have concluded that almost everyone has a relative like my late Aunt Mildred. She was my Daddy's sister, she lived with her parents until she died. She never had children, which, some of us think, was something of a blessing for those unborn. Having no children, she doted on her nieces and nephews and sent us birthday cards with sticks of gum in them until we were well into our 30's and 40's"...) (scroll down for this sermon)
  • Lent 4B (2012)

    by Scott Hoezee
    ("In trying to convey the point that what we preachers are tasked to do first and foremost is preach Good News, my colleague John Rottman and I sometimes used a YouTube video to show what Jesus did not do in also his own ministry. A while back somebody took some old Jesus movies from the 1960's and then over-dubbed them in ways designed to make the point of how different preachers today sometimes sound as opposed to the Jesus you actually meet in the Gospels...")
  • Trinity Sunday (B)(2012)

    by Scott Hoezee
    ("Creation itself sprang from a bubbling overflow of God's love. Like a shaken-up bottle of champagne, so also God's love within the Trinity was so effervescent, so richly pressured and full that sooner or later the cork had to explode out and when it did, a river of sparkling love gushed forth and sprayed everywhere. Creation is that overflow of love...")
  • Facing Our Fears

    by Beth Johnston
    I believe it happened on was the series premier of The Bob Newhart Show; (amazing the things you can check on the internet, and in just a few minutes have way more information than you can ever use) , the show’s main character, Dr Robert Hartley, a Psychologist, is doing therapy with a group of people who are afraid of flying. For their “graduation from therapy” they are all flying from Chicago to New York. Dr. Hartley invites his wife to go along but it is only at this point in their marriage that he discovers that she is afraid of flying.. As I recall the episode, it is his wife who runs screaming from the plane instead of going up the steps to board the flight...
  • The Start of the Trail

    by Thomas Long
    ("On a cold January night in 1941, in an unheated barracks at Stalag 8, a German death camp, some of the most beautiful music ever composed was played for the first time. It was played on old, worn instruments by prisoners at the camp; and it had been composed by another prisoner, a Frenchman and devout Christian by the name of Olivier Messiaen..." and other illustrations)
  • Like It or Not

    by David Lose
    ("Tom, a member of our congregation, told me a story. Several nights earlier, Tom's six year-old son, Benjamin, protested his bedtime. Frustrated by his father's refusal to budge, Benjamin finally became so frustrated that he said, 'Daddy, I hate you!' Tom, possessing the presence of mind I wish I more frequently had--especially when dealing with my children--replied, 'I'm sorry you feel that way, Ben, but I love you.'...")
  • Community of the Heart

    by Debra Dean Murphy
    ["A dear friend recently reminded me of David Ford's gem of a book, The Shape of Living: Spiritual Directions for Everyday Life. Early on Ford suggests that it is helpful to think of a person as a sort of community, as one whose heart ('that dimension of our self where memory, feeling, imagination, and thinking come together') is filled with "the faces and voices of those before whom we live..."]
  • Opened Up to the Light of Love

    Visual Theology by Dave Perry
    ("The pocket watch in the photograph belonged to my paternal grandfather, Henry. Together with a few of his handtools it is one of the very few possessions of his which I have to remind me of him. I have no idea whether it was in his uniform pocket when he was a machine gunner in the trenches of the first world war, firing day after day at the advancing lines of German infantry...")
  • Trinity Sunday: Drenched in Mystery

    Image for Worship by Jan Richardson
  • Mysterious Encounter

    by Mark Suriano
  • The Simplex Faith of 3:16

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    ["If there is one Bible verse both locked down and totally lapsed Christians might know, it is John 3:16. Thank you, Tim Tebow. John 3:16 is held up at half -time in sports arenas. It is flashed on cardboard placards on freeway off-ramps. Tim Tebow found a creative new place to assert John 3:16 when he scraped out the three numbers in the black-out smears he made on his cheekbones..."]

Illustrated Resources (Lent 2A) and (Trinity Sunday)(A)(2011)

(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 tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)
  • Of Gods and Men

    by Martha Baker
    (" may be the perfect Lenten movie. It does not preach the love of Christ. It portrays a band of Christian brothers living that love. is a remarkable movie, based on the historical fact that, in 1996, a group of French Cistercian Trappist monks were held hostage by the rebel Armed Islamic Group. Six monks died...")
  • Seeing, Believing and the New Birth from Above

    by Kenneth Carder
    ("My friend Will Campbell, the iconoclastic Baptist preacher, tells a story about when his daughter Bonnie asked him to baptize her two-year-old son. Will and the family are Baptists, and since Baptists don't baptize infants, Will had a problem. Not wanting to create conflict with his father, who for 60 years had been a Baptist deacon, Will felt the need to consult him...")
  • Lent 2A (2011)

    by Delmer Chilton
    ("Did you ever hear of a man named Harvey Pinick? A lot of golfers have. He wrote a best seller called Harvey Penick's Little Red Book. He was born in 1905 and started his golf career caddying at the Austin, Texas Country Club. In the 1920's, Harvey bought a Red spiral notebook and began jotting down teaching notes, humorous stories and homespun philosophy derived from teaching and playing golf with all sorts of people...")
  • The Rob Bell Controversy: Does Anyone Go to Hell?

    by David Lose
    ("Hell seems to be all the rage these days. The renewed interest results, in part, because of Rob Bell's new book Love Wins. But even more, the furor stems from the reaction of many Evangelical Christians to a promotional video that Bell prepared in advance of the book in which he seems to advocate a position many call universalism...")
  • Born of Water, Born of Spirit

    by Jan Richardson
    ("Speaking of my husband, Garrison, his most recent CD also includes a song inspired by this week's Gospel. Click the player below to hear O Nicodemus from his CD House of Prayer...")
  • Salvation by Faith

    by David Sapp
    ("In the 1800's, some people attempted to build a bridge across Niagara Falls. Engineers were consulted. Money was raised. No stone was left unturned, but they could not get a cable across the Falls. They could not float it across the rapids. They could not shoot it far enough with a bow and arrow. They could not climb the steep cliffs and get it across that way...")
  • *Born Again and Again

    by Pam Tinnin
    ("I have a dear friend named Dora Schmidt. She lives in Oregon where we used to live. She came up and introduced herself at the first potluck we went to in the church that would eventually become our own. She tapped me on the shoulder and said, 'When I heard you laugh, I recognized a kindred soul'. Dora's about 15 years older than me, but she was right: we had a lot in common...")
  • Places Along the Way: Second Beginnings

    by Lois Wolff
    In one of my favorite Calvin and Hobbes cartoons, Calvin and his parents come home after a weekend out of town, only to discover that their house has been broken into. That night, the parents toss and turn, and at 2:00 am Calvin’s father rolls over. “It’s funny,” he says to his wife, “When I was a kid, I trusted my parents to take care of everything. It never occurred to me that they might not know how. I figured that once you grew up, you automatically knew what to do in any given scenario. I don’t think I’d have been in such a hurry to reach adulthood if I’d known the whole thing was going to be ad-libbed.”...

Illustrated Resources (Lent 4B) and (Trinity Sunday)(B)(2009)

(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 tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)
  • The Light in the Darkness

    by George Hermanson
    ("The movie and book The Secret Life of Bees is another story that speaks of redemption. It is in a community of unconditional love that allows one to befriend that which imprisons. The heroine of the story is taught in a context of unconditional love to befriend the bees and in doing so is released from her dark past...")
  • Lent 4B (2009)

    by Scott Hoezee
    ("Out of curiosity, I typed the phrase 'John 3:16' into the Google Internet search engine recently and Google swiftly found just shy of 1.3 million web pages worldwide that contained a direct reference to this verse. My quick perusal of the top 150 or so of those websites revealed that a number of these were websites containing various translations of the Bible...")
  • Trinity Sunday (B)(2009)

    by Scott Hoezee
    "In his fine book The Divine Conspiracy, Dallas Willard contends that we live in what he repeatedly calls "a Trinitarian universe." That is, the Trinity of God is not just some theological idea on how we believe the internal life of God is structured but rather the very nature of the universe—and of all people created in the image of God—is founded on, and flows out of, God as triune..."
  • Mysterious Encounter

    by Kate Huey
    (includes several quotes)
  • Blah, Blah, Blah...Love

    by James Lemler
    ("Diogenes Allen asked people far and wide about their experience of being loved and then wrote a marvelous book simply and accurately titled Love. My favorite entry was from a young woman who described her experience as a little girl sitting on her father's lap in a small church...")
  • *Look Up and Live

    by James McCrea
    ("probably nothing has been more in the glare of the news this past week than the $165 million in bonuses that were paid to executives of the financial giant AIG, using the government’s bailout money. In essence that means that tax money — mostly paid by people who will never approach the million-dollar income level — were made to pay huge sums in order to reward the very people who helped bring on our financial crisis by their ethical blindness and perhaps even by skirting our financial laws...")
  • A New God

    by Paul Nuechterlein
    I believe that one of the key historical events that has led to our changing worldview is the Holocaust carried out by the Nazis against the Jews. So it has been important for us this Lent to spend some with that event in our adult class between the services with the amazing PBS drama from last fall called God on Trial.1 One of the things about our age is that God is very much on trial, at least the God of the three great monotheist religions who has been at the center of so much warring the past number of centuries. Why is that God seemingly behind so much bloodshed. And in God on Trial the challenge is posed by Jewish prisoners at Auschwitz concentration camp. If we are the chosen people of God, then how can such a terrible thing happen to us? If God has made an eternal covenant with us, then is God in breech of that contract? The most dramatic moment (which can be viewed on YouTube) comes when a rabbi who been silent, in spite of being asked to speak, finally does say something as the verdict is about to be revealed. One of the older men who has been uncomfortable with the whole idea of the trial in the first place, says, ‘Good, now we’ll finally hear some sense.’ But he is shocked along with the rest. For this rabbi begins to ask a series of questions that recounts how God has been on their side in the past against many of their enemies, but he recounts this history with a very different conclusion. He recounts, for example, the great victory over Pharaoh and the Egyptians at the price of all the first born children dying. Pharaoh was the one who kept saying no to God, but he didn’t die; the children did. And when King Saul was to go fight the Amalekites, God didn’t tell Saul to just bring victory: God commanded him to slay all the Amalekites, including their children and their animals. When Saul shows some mercy, God punishes him by making David king instead. And so Rabbi Akiba concludes: “Did the Amalekites think that Adonai was just? Did the mothers of Egypt think that Adonai was just? The people of Amalek, the people of Egypt, what was it like when Adonai turned against them? It was like this.”...
  • The Serpent in the Text

    by Jan Richardson
    ("One evening a bunch of years ago, I found myself in a New Zealand coffeehouse with some friends I was traveling with. It was a wonderfully funky coffeehouse, and as we settled into the couches and chairs with cups in hand, I commented, 'Hey, it's just like Friends!'...")
  • Trinity Sunday (B)(2009)

    by Charles Royden
    ("The story is told of the Wolf of Gubbio. During the time when St. Francis of Assisi was living in the city of Gubbio, a large, ferocious wolf was terrorizing the area, devouring not only livestock but also human beings. One day, St. Francis decided to go and meet the wolf. Despite being advised against going, Francis headed to a spot in the wood where he knew the wolf would be...")
  • Sermon Starter (Trinity Sunday)(B)(2009)

    by Michael Turner
    ("There are countless stories of transformation, but one that has always resonated with me was the story of the wolf of Gubbio. During the time when St. Francis of Assisi was living in the city of Gubbio, a large, ferocious wolf was terrorizing the area, devouring not only livestock but also human beings. One day, St. Francis decided to go and meet the wolf...")
  • Three Sixteen and Beyond

    by Keith Wagner
    ("Montana rancher Lexy Lowler tried just about everything to stop coyotes from killing her sheep. She used electric fences, odor sprays and other devices. She placed batter-operated radios near them. She tried corralling them at night and herding them during the day. She even tried sleeping with her lambs during the summer. But with all her efforts she continued to lose scores of lambs...")
  • Whoever Believes in Jesus

    by Garth Wehrfritz-Hanson
    ('I like the following way that a medical doctor speaks of beliefs: A label is a mask life wears. We put labels on life all the time. "Right," "wrong," "success," "failure," "lucky," "unlucky," may be as limiting a way of seeing things as "diabetic," "epileptic," "manic-depressive," or even "invalid"...' and another illustration)
  • New Tricks for Old Dogs

    by Carlos Wilton
    ("Some people have become so obsessed with Second Life that their first life starts to suffer. A case in point is a real-life couple known as David Pollard and Amy Taylor. They met online in a chat room in 2003, discovered they both loved to spend time in the Second Life alternate reality...")
  • Images of Nicodemus

    Compiled by Jenee Woodard

Illustrated Resources (A)(2008)

(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 tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)
  • Jesus and Nicodemus

    by Kenneth Bailey
    ("In Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, day is a time of conflict, death, and banishment. By contrast night is a time of beauty, joy and love. In John's gospel the exact opposite occurs...")
  • The Center of Human History

    by Phil Bloom
    ("For us in the New World - North Americans as well as South Americans - the cross has a special place. One of the earliest enduring Christian settlements on the continent was named in honor of the cross - Vera Cruz. One of the first things they did was plant a cross on a hill...")
  • Family as Origin and Goal

    by Phil Bloom
    ("You may have heard about the American who got lost in Ireland. After driving around the Irish countryside, he finally encountered a native, 'Please,' he said, 'can you tell how to get to Balbriggan?...")
  • Dancing with the Trinity

    by Kimberleigh Buchanan
    ("Talking about the Trinity is not easy, so I went to the other theologian in our house – no, not the cat. Our cat doesn’t study God; he thinks he is God. No, I asked my kind, thoughtful and very smart husband, Allen, how I might speak about the Trinity...")
  • Where Were You Born?

    by Samuel Candler
    ("Does it make a difference whether you were born in South Carolina or in California? Does your place of birth affect your personality? Does it tell others something valuable or essential about who you are?...")
  • *There Hangs Gina

    by John Christianson
    ("Nathan Soderblom was a great Swedish archbishop. During the twentieth century different Christian denominations began fighting less and cooperating more. It's called "the ecumenical movement." That was largely the work of Nathan Soderblom. In 1930 he won the Nobel Peace Prize...")
  • *Scripture and Screen

    by Daniel Dick
    ("There is a misconception in our culture that real men don't cry. I defy any 'real' man to watch We Are Marshall, a heartbreaking and triumphant fictionalization of the November 14, 1970 plane crash that killed 37 players and 12 coaches from Marshall University, and not shed a tear or three....")
  • Take It from the Top

    by Rob Elder
    Do any of you watch Jeopardy? You know the key to understanding the game. Alex Trebeque reads the answer and you have to figure out the question. What if John 3:16 is the answer? Lots of people think it’s a pretty good answer, some have called it the “gospel in miniature.” So if this verse is the answer, what is the question? Here are just a few of the questions this verse might answer: • Answer: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son...” Question: My parents used to abuse me, what is God going to do about it? • Answer: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son...” Question: What can be done about the inhumanity of suicide bombers who set off explosives or crash airplanes into skyscrapers, or who shoot unarmed people trying to retrieve relief parcels? • Answer: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son...” Question: What hope is there for my life if I have tried to get myself back on my feet time after time, and each time I have failed? It seems to me that at least one of the only answers that make any sense at all to any of our deepest human questions is filled with loving and giving...
  • God's Love for Everyone

    by Vince Gerhardy
    ("To honour the birth of Christ, a church in Mexico displayed a beautiful manger that drew crowds of admirers. Villagers walked miles to admire the manger, bringing lovely, expensive gifts for the baby Jesus....")
  • Holy Cross (A)(2008)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time there was a lake which usually froze over in the winter. It was a great place to skate and very safe as long as the weather remained cold...")
  • *Illustration

    by Janice Hearn
    ("In a sense, we are all like the goat lady in the novel Cold Mountain. As the wounded Civil War soldier makes his way through the back roads and hills toward home, he stops to stay for a while with a goat lady...")
  • *Holy Cross

    by Anne Le Bas
    ("This is a story that starts where every story should; at the beginning - in this case at the very beginning, in the Garden of Eden. In this garden were a man and a woman, and a tree from which they were forbidden to eat, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil...")
  • Rising Above the Chaos

    by Keith Wagner
    ("The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. The man prayed for God to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none came. The man was exhausted but he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood for protection and a place to store his provisions...")

Illustrated Resources (2006 and 2007)

(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 tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)
  • Not to Condemn

    by Robert Allred
    ("C. S. Lewis asked a boy what he thought God was like. 'Oh, he sits up in the sky and watches people having fun and then comes down and tries to put a stop to it.'...")
  • To the Trinity, and Beyond! Hold on to the Hem of the Robe

    by John Auer
    Here’s a variation upon our Pentecost theme, “The Walls Come Tumblin’ Down” – another way of saying, “To the Trinity, and Beyond!” It’s from a commencement address by comedian Stephen Colbert at Knox College, Galesburg, IL, which happens to be the alma mater of my mother! Colbert warns the grads, And when you enter the work force, you will find competition from those crossing our all-too-poorest borders. Now I know you’re all going to say, ‘Stephen, Stephen, immigrants built America.’ Yes, but here’s the thing – it’s built now. I think it was finished in the mid-70s sometime. At this point it’s a touch-up and repair job. But fortunately Congress is acting and soon English will be the official language of America. Because if we surrender the national anthem to Spanish, the next thing you know, they’ll be translating the Bible. God wrote it in English for a reason! So it could be taught in our public schools. So we must build walls. A wall obviously across the entire southern border. That’s the answer. That may not be enough – maybe a moat in front of it, or a fire-pit. Maybe a flaming moat, filled with fire-proof crocodiles.

    (Where have I heard this before!!)

  • Lent 4B (2006)

    from the Center for Excellence in Preaching
    ("Few people would dispute the assertion that John 3:16 is the single most well-known verse in the Bible. Children memorize it in Sunday school, the Gideons traditionally have placed this verse on the front page of their Bibles...")
  • Trinity Sunday (B)(2006)

    from the Center for Excellence in Preaching
    ("Creation itself sprang from a bubbling overflow of God's love. Like a shaken-up bottle of champagne, so also God's love within the Trinity was so effervescent, so richly pressured and full that sooner or later the cork had to explode out and when it did, a river of sparkling love gushed forth and sprayed everywhere...")
  • Life and Light, Death and Darkness

    by Dan Clendenin
    ("In the Academy Award's 2005 film of the year Crash, director Paul Haggis paints a grim picture of human nature...")
  • *An Upward Look

    by Tom Cox
    ("They tell of one community where the worst man in the village died. Characteristically everyone went to the funeral, but silence reigned when it came to saying something nice about the deceased...")
  • A Powerful Name, a Gift Given

    by Donald Whipple Fox
    ("the chief told the community that my family had decided to bestow a gift onto me. I was to receive my Dakota name, the name by which the people would know me from now on...")
  • Lent 4B (2006)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time a man named Dean Acheson who had served in the Roosevelt administration was called back to serve in the Truman administration. A friend of his was Alger Hiss who turned out to have been a highly placed Communist spy in late nineteen thirties and the early nineteen forties...")
  • *Love Story

    by Donald Hoffman
    ("Art Linkletter used to have a TV show where he interviewed young children. They always seemed to say 'the darnedest things'. One time he asked a little girl of about 6 or 7 'What does love look like?"...")
  • On Leaving It to the Snake

    by Randy Hyde
    William Willimon tries his best to explain all this. He says, "The Gospel of John therefore refers to Jesus, not only as the good shepherd, but also as the good snake. He surprised us, came in among us, slithering in to our illusions of stability and safety. We reached for the ax to beat him to death. He opened his mouth, and spoke words that cut us like a sword, venomous, prophetic words. "And we beat him, whipped him, and lifted him up high on a pole. And in lifting him up from earth toward heaven, his poisonous, prophetic words of venom became the anti-venom, the means of salvation. And even those who had killed him, standing at the foot of the pole, were able to look up and say, ‘Truly this is the Son of God.'" And then, Willimon admits, "I don't know what this means."...
  • For God So Loved the World

    by Edward Markquart
    ("For students taking notes. Write Point A, The Introduction: the word, 'so'. Today I would like to focus on a small, two-lettered word...")
  • In Him

    by Edward Markquart
    ("The title of the sermon this week is IN. Part one: God SO loved the world. Part two: Believe IN him...")
  • Out of Darkness

    by David Martyn
    ("William James' simple but memorable concluding chapter of his book The Varieties of Religious Experience states that the religious traditions of the world, reduced to what they have in common, make two claims...")
  • Short of Soul

    by David Martyn
    ("Coming next weekend to a theatre near you, 'from the writer of Dawn of the Dead a film so shocking, so disgusting, it will change the face of horror. Slither'. Now, I am not going to go see this movie, I am not going to wait for the DVD to come out, I will never watch it. But just in case you are tempted, here is the plot...")
  • *Close to the Heart of God

    by James McCrea
    ("A few years back, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld ran into a bit of trouble when he tried to explain to the press the limitations of intelligence reports. What he said was absolutely true, but the way it was stated was so confusing that - on the face of it - it seemed to be almost nonsensical..." and several other quotes)
  • Lent 4B (2003)

    by Tod Mundo
    ("In Thomas D. Hanks' book entitled God so Loved the Third World, the author tells how he came to realize the special place that the poor and oppressed have in the heart of God, according to the biblical text...")
  • Trinity Sunday (B)(2006)

    by William Oldland
    ("Over the years there have been many ways that priests have tried to convey the doctrine of the Trinity to their congregations. So, I have brought a few of the items used to convey this somewhat confusing concept....")
  • From Captivity to Promise

    by Michael Phillips
    ("Dr. Tyler Thompson used to tell a parable for preachers about a man who was referred to a psychiatrist because he professed to believe that he was dead. The psychiatrist interviewed the patient and confirmed that, yes, the living man actually did believe he was dead...")
  • The Sunlight of Love

    by Gerry Pierse, CSsR
    ("A little four year old girl was dying of a very rare disease. Her one hope was in having a blood transfusion, and the only possible person who could give matching blood was her six year old brother...")
  • The Power of Being Human II

    by Martin Singley
    ("If you have watched any of the Dateline NBC television programs on child predators – adults who use the computer to sexually hook up with vulnerable children – a common statement made by many of the predators when they are caught and asked why they’ve tried to do this is, 'I’m just weak. I guess I’m just too human!'...")
  • Where the Wind Blows

    by Jim Standiford
    ("One of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musicals is entitled Whistle Down the Wind. The story line involves a family of children whose mother has died. When she was alive, the mother sang her children a lullaby about whistling down the wind...")
  • Cross Eyed: Promise

    by Billy D. Strayhorn
    ("The regulations of a certain hospital required that a wheelchair be provided for patients being discharged. A particular student nurse found an elderly gentleman, already dressed and sitting on the bed with a suitcase at his feet. The gentleman insisted, over and over again, that he didn't need her help in leaving the hospital..." and other illustrations)
  • Lost? Looking for Love

    by Billy Strayhorn
    ("A young man went to get a picture of his girl friend picture duplicated. It had to be removed from the frame. In doing so, he noticed an inscription on the back of the photo written by his girlfriend: 'My dearest Tommy: I love you with all my heart..." and other illustrations)
  • Lent 4B (2006)

    by David Zersen
    ("This past Sunday, I heard a presentation by a rabbi whom I had invited to speak at a series of lectures on the 100 th Anniversary of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Since I hadn't heard from him in the days prior to the lecture, I was worried that the title of the Harry Kemmelman mystery novel, Sunday the Rabbi Stayed Home, might be repeating itself...")
  • Illustrations (Trinity Sunday)(B)(2006)

    by Tim Zingale
    ("Henri Nouwen, reflecting on the story of Nicodemas, writes, 'I love Jesus but want to hold on to my own friends even when they do not lead me closer to Jesus. I love Jesus but want to hold on to my own independence even when that independence brings me no real freedom. I love Jesus but do not want to lose the respect of my professional colleagues, even though I know that their respect does not make me grow spiritually..." and several more)
  • Look, God Loves You!

    by Tim Zingale
    ("A visitor to Ystad Sweden tells of the little church located there. It is not a particularly beautiful church, and is exceptional in no way except that when you go inside you notice there is a crucifix hanging on the wall opposite the pulpit. The figure of our Lord is life-sized and life-like even to the use of real hair mangled beneath a crown of thorns...")

Illustrated Resources (A)(2005)

(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 tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)
  • But Have Everlasting Life

    by Robert Allred
    ("Bishop Nolan Harmon used the illustration of a ship that sails from the cold waters of the Arctic Sea to the warm waters of the Caribbean . The gradual change of temperature does not denote one specific moment when they went from the cold to the hot, but they can surely know if they are in the hot water by simply letting down a bucket and feeling the temperature of the water...")
  • Old Bodies, New Bodies, Nobodies: Bearing Jesus and Being Born

    by John Auer
    ("I love a poem by Janet Morley: 'The bodies of grownups / come with stretchmarks and scars / faces that have been lived in...")
  • Who Are You?

    by Vince Gerhardy
    "'Who are you?' That's a question we are asked frequently. In answering, we usually give our name, where we come from and even what kind of work we do. Sometimes we have to do a little more than that to prove who we are. If I wanted to open an account at the bank, I would need to provide some other evidence of who I am – a driver's license with my name, photo and signature, as well as my credit card or Medicare card..."
  • Trinity Sunday (A)(2005)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("A group of three young mothers who lived on the same street agreed to pool their time and resources so that they could help each other take care of their kids and at the same time provide one another with a little free time...")
  • The Gospel at Night

    by Randy Hyde
    ("Fred Craddock tells about a young man who had been one of his students. But before he went to seminary, the man was a special education teacher. He left teaching because he found it, he said, to be too hard. It culminated one November when school resumed after Thanksgiving break. As he tells the story, he went up to a beautiful little girl on the playground, called her by name..." and other illustrations)
  • Wake Up with Laughter

    by Fred Kane
    ("In 2001 a British research group at the University of Hertfordshire set out to discover the world's funniest joke. More than 300,000 people from around the world visited an Internet web site where they submitted 40,000 jokes and rated other people's submissions...")
  • Trinity Sunday (A)(2005)

    by Peter Krakowczyk, CMF
    ("Jean Paul Sartre, a famous French writer and an atheist, told about his childhood experience. Once, when he was alone in his house, he broke something very precious and expensive. He felt so bad and got so scared of punishment that he ran into his room and hid himself under a bed...")

Illustrated Resources (and Other Resources of Merit) 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 tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)
  • Windborne

    by Mickey Anders
    ("William F. Buckley wrote a book about sailing that he named Airborne. He is right. With a strong wind and the sails trimmed, you totally forget that you are only going 5 or 10 miles per hour, and you think you are flying -- airborne...")
  • Illustrations (John 3:16)

    from Biblical Studies
  • Billy Graham

    from Bits and Pieces
  • No Refuge from the Love of God

    by Phil Bloom
    ("Growing up on Camano Island, I would sometime suffer a cut when fishing with my brothers. We didn't bring band-aids, but by immersing the hand in salt water, it cleansed the wound and helped it heal. However, at first it stung something awful...")
  • Lent 2A (2005)

    by Sarah Dylan Breuer
    ("There wasn't a whole lot of social mobility in the ancient world. A lot of that was because a person's honor was the family honor. If you're born the child of someone important, you're important...")
  • Nicodemus

    by Rodney Buchanan
    ("Roy Roberts tells his story of how he moved out of religion into a relationship with God. He writes, 'My ship, the West Virginia, docked at Pearl Harbor on the evening of December 6, 1941. A couple of the fellows and I left the ship that night and attended a Bible study. About fifteen sailors sat in a circle on the floor...")
  • He Is Within Your Grasp. Have You Found Him?

    by Dennis Clark
    ("The greatest library in the ancient world was in Alexandria, Egypt, and in the year 391 it burned to the ground. Tradition says that only one book survived, a very ordinary book that was sold for a few pennies to a poor man who could barely read...")
  • Going Down

    by Tom Cox
    ("Ours is a culture of death, of impermanence and waste. Moses' serpent then, Jesus now – Ours to choose: life in the desert or death – reality or mirage. you are where life is...")
  • Luminous Darkness

    by Patricia de Jong
    ("I recall the born-again conversion scene in Robert Duvall's great film The Apostle. After committing a crime of passion, Sonny deep sixes his brand new Lincoln car into the river, thereby symbolizing the death of the old self..." and other short illustrations)
  • Is This Where We Are?

    by Grant Dillenbeck
    ("While the choir was on tour, we spent countless hours bouncing around in a school bus. Though it was certainly not the most comfortable way to travel, it did provided an environment whereby we could really get to know one another, and many deep relationships, even romances blossomed on the bus...")
  • Trinity Sunday (A)(1999)

    by Mary G. Durkin
    ("Once upon a time, a young woman, who had not been inside a church for a long time, rather hesitantly entered a church and sat in the last pew. During the homily, she began to cry. One of the hospitality ministers noticed her looking through her purse for a tissue and leaned over and offered her one...")
  • God Is Community

    by Ernest Munachi Ezeogu, CSSP
    ("One day St. Augustine was walking along the sea shore and reflecting on this matter. Suddenly, he saw a little child all alone on the shore. The child made a whole in the sand, ran to the sea with a little cup, filled her cup with sea water, ran up and emptied the cup into the hole she had made in the sand. Back and forth she went to the sea, filled her cup and came and poured it into the hole...")
  • Born Again

    by Richard Fairchild
    I met a man a couple of months ago who had recently been reborn. He was a criminal - a man who dealt drugs, set fires, and robbed homes and stores. He was caught for one of his crimes, a crime in which he had been injured. After he recovered from his injuries - the courts tried and convicted him for his crimes. I met him just a few months afterwards, At a bible study group. ...
  • The Medicine of Eternity

    by Richard Fairchild
    "The story is told of three men who showed up at the gates of heaven one day. To their surprise there was a guard at the gate. They immediately asked what was going on - that they thought Saint Peter would be there to meet them..." and other illustrations
  • Not To Condemn

    by Richard Fairchild
    ("When I was younger I used to skip school now and then. It was quite a production. I had to be careful - I did not want certain people to see me wandering around town while I was supposed to be in classes. I took side streets instead of main ones and I went into the kind of stores and places where my parents or my brothers would not normally go...")
  • Unnatural Birth

    by Richard Fairchild
    A story is told of a little girl who was asked to write an essay on 'birth'. She went home and asked her mother how she had been born. Her mother, who was busy at the time, said 'the stork brought you darling, and left you on the doorstep...
  • *When Our World Begins to Crumble

    by Justin K. Fisher
    ("Seems one Sunday night at church a pastor told the congregation that the church needed some extra money, and he asked the people to prayerfully consider giving a little extra in the offering plate. He said that whoever gave the most would be able to pick out three hymns...")
  • Lent 2B (2000)

    by Grant Gallup
    "Some time ago I found in Harper's Magazine an amusingly apt resume by Billy Collins of he way in which forgetfulness progressively serves us in old age. 'The name of the author is the first to go followed obediently by the title, the plot, the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel, which suddenly becomes one you have never read, never even heard of..."
  • The Light for Dark Corners

    by Vince Gerhardy
    ("An old story tells of a desert nomad who awakened hungry in the middle of the night. He lit a candle and began eating dates from a bowl beside his bed. He took a bite from one and saw a worm in it; so he threw it out of the tent....")
  • Preparing for Rebirth

    by Patricia A. Gillespie
    ("Once upon a time, there was a woman who set out to discover the meaning of life. First she read everything she could get her hands on-- history, philosophy, psychology, religion. While she became a very smart person, nothing she read gave her the answer she was looking for...")
  • Trinity Sunday (A)(1996)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time there was a sophomore basketball team which was, to tell the truth, something less skilled than the Chicago Bulls. Or that was the way they seemed. They couldn't shoot very well, their passing was sloppy, they almost never got a rebound...")
  • Lent 4B (2003)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time, the two eighth grade classrooms at a certain school were busy working on their respective 'major class project'. A computer geek in one room came across a project described on the internet that would save the students lots of time...")
  • Lent 4B (1997)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("In Lars Von Trier's Cannes prize winning film Breaking the Waves, a dour and grim group of men are apparently burying a young woman named Bess on a desolate island off the coast of Scotland. The elders from her stern Calvinist church, so stern it has removed the bells from its bell tower, condemn her to hell for all eternity...")
  • Out of the Night

    by Scott Hoezee
    ("Out of curiosity, I typed the phrase John 3:16 into the Google Internet search engine last Monday: Google swiftly found just over 175,000 web pages worldwide that contained a direct reference to this verse...")
  • Love Story

    by Don Hoffman
    ("Max Lucado tells a story in his book A Gentle Thunder. A friend of Lucado's named Kenny had just returned with his family from Disney World. 'I saw a sight I'll never forget,' Kenny said. 'I want you to know about it.' He and his family were inside Cinderella's castle. It was packed with kids and parents. Suddenly all the children rushed to one side..." and other quotes)
  • "Homo-ousios", "Homoi-ousios", "Who Cares?"

    by John Jewell
    "A group of college students was having a discussion about the nature of God. Some of the students did not believe that there was a God (sophomores no doubt!), but most of them had a belief in some kind of God..."
  • Facing Our Fears, Facing Our Sin

    by Beth Johnston
    Roger Bannister was the first person to run a mile in less than four minutes, an astounding physical and psychological feat. But then, not too long afterward, the Australian athlete John Landy ran it more than a second faster. The two came head to head in 1954 at the British Empire games in Vancouver. It was to be the race of the century!..." and other illustrations
  • Under the Cover of Darkness

    by Beth Johnston
    In the play The Tragedy of Macbeth, William Shakespeare plays with the concept of birth. It is a tale of power and intrigue. Macbeth the murderous King is assured by the Weird Sisters that he 1) must be wary of Macduff, 2) need not fear anyone of woman born, and that 3) he need not worry until Birnam Wood moves to the hill at Dunsinane...
  • Where There Is Doubt, Faith

    by Fred Kane
    ("So let's consider an analogy of faith from a movie that some of you have seen called Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Indiana Jones is moving through all the tests of a true believer on his way to find the Holy Grail. He reaches a seemingly unbridgeable chasm deep in a cavern and is simply given the instruction that with faith he will be able to step out and cross the gap...")
  • The World You May Be Missing

    by John Killinger
    ("We have a friend whose interest in autistic children led her to become interested in the sounds dolphins make, and how those sounds affect the children. One day she decided to go to the Caribbean and take a trip on a dolphin boat, going way out to sea where the passengers could put on their wet suits and get into the water and swim with the dolphins...")
  • *Lent 2A

    by Paul Larsen
    ("Have you ever had one of those nights when you just couldn't sleep? First you are too hot. Then you are too cold. You pound the pillow, you move around on the mattress, you get up and go to the bathroom for the fourth or fifth time, but regardless of what you do you can't get comfortable...")
  • *Trinity Sunday

    by Al Lazaga
    ("A group of scientists decided that humankind had come a long way on its own and no longer needed God. So they elected one scientist to go and tell God that they were through with him. The scientist walked up to God and said, 'God, we've decided that we don't need you anymore. We've reached the point where we can cure just about any disease...")
  • God Bless Santa

    by David Leininger
    ("Did you happen to see Ally McBeal this past Monday? Strange show...as usual. One of the law partners was representing a second-grade school teacher who had just lost his job because he believed that he was Santa Claus..." and other Christmas illustrations)
  • Born Again

    by Edward Markquart
    ("A few years ago, as I recall from my notes and memories, it was my children who caught the fire of my temper. Here was the gravity of the situation. My children hadn’t fed the dog that night. The big issue that night was the barking dog. The dog was yelping because the dog was hungry and neither kid had fed the dog...")
  • Men of Tender Heart

    by David Martyn
    I discovered I was sexist some twenty years ago one month after I was married. Carol and I were on staff at Naramata Centre, frugally trying to save enough money to attend University the next year. It was a difficult place to start a marriage. Carol worked in the kitchen and started at 5:00 in the morning, I worked on program which meant I finished at 11:00 at night. What we saw of each other, was the other sleeping. Anyway, 2:30 one morning Carol wakes up in terrible pain, it is a tooth that requires a root canal to be done. I wish I could tell you that I immediately responded with an empathetic hug and soothing words. No, instead I felt anger and, God forgive me, I suddenly remembered a phrase my father had once said "When you choose a wife it is like buying a horse, always look at their teeth." And then I was really angry: at Carol for lying there in pain, at my father for putting such a thought into my head, at myself for not checking Carol's teeth before I got married and at myself for having such negative feelings toward this woman I deeply loved. The darkness outside matched my mood, my feelings about myself...
  • *Close to the Heart of God

    by James McCrea
    ("Charles M. Schulz once drew a Peanuts cartoon in which Lucy comes up to a forlorn looking Charlie Brown, and says, 'Discouraged again, eh, Charlie Brown? You know what your whole trouble is?' And without waiting for an answer, she tells him, 'The whole trouble with you is that you're you!'..." and other illustrations)
  • *Joyous, Grace-Filled Lives

    by James McCrea
    ("In his book Whistling in the Dark, Presbyterian author Frederick Buechner writes of his wry reaction to one such group, those who call themselves Born Again Christians. He writes: 'You get the feeling that to them [being born again] means [being] Super Christians. They are apt to have the relentless cheerfulness of car salesmen...")
  • Enlightenment: Born Again or Born From Above

    by William Oldland
    ("I love the Indiana Jones movies. I particularly love the last one where Harrison Ford and Sean Connery play the major roles. In the film they are in search of the Holy Grail, the cup of Christ. Part of the reason I like this film so much is due to by Sean Connery...")
  • Is the Riddle for Nicodemus or for Us?

    by William Oldland
    Do you like riddles? A riddle is defined as a mystifying, misleading, or puzzling, question posed as a problem to be solved or guessed. The word also means something or someone difficult to understand. Riddles can be a source of entertainment. Many games have been devised using riddles. Children's shows on television have been devised using riddles like Blue's Clues. Yet, riddles can also have a serious side. In his book, The Hobbit, Tolkien includes riddles as part of a game with serious consequences. In the book, the main character, Bilbo Baggins is lost in a dark cave. There are many tunnels and he does not know which way will lead him back to daylight. He runs into a curious creature by the name of Gollum. Gollum is a very pathetic creature. Years ago he had found a magic ring. This ring had evil powers. It could make the wearer invisible. However, every time the person put on the ring, the ring gained control over the person's soul. They became addicted to the ring. They had to have it with them all the time, even if they were not wearing it. Gollum had worn the ring often. He was under the ring's control and he was evil. Bilbo stumbles into Gollum in the dark. They enter into a contest of riddles. If Bilbo wins, the Gollum leads him out of the dark into the light. If Gollum wins, Bilbo is invited to dinner where he is the main course. This game is serious...
  • An Inner Recreating

    by James Packer
  • Discoveries in the Darkness

    by John Pavelko
    ("The world-renowned leader once told an audience that he had always considered himself a Christian until one night. He shared his story with the audience, 'Now of course I was religious. I grew up in the church. I'm the son of a preacher...My grandfather was a preacher, my great grandfather was a preacher...")
  • Strong Enough to Stand Upon

    by John Pavelko
    ("The doctor told her that her foot was bruised but not broken. He recommended that she walk through the pain to strengthen the foot. Having the unqualified trust in his medical expertise, Marva walked and walked and walked, more than 400 miles on a broken foot. By the time she sought a second opinion, her foot was severely damaged...")
  • Nicodemus

    Poem by Miriam Pollard
    ("What was the darkness made of, What color was that night? Was it clean, Did it crunch underfoot, And did cicadas chew its edges? In what temper had the sun gone down? Had day sagged off Like a shop boy pulling down the blinds? Or did it dance away in skirts and bangles, A bride leaving her father's house?...")
  • The Man Who Came By Night

    by William Quick
    ("One of the most fascinating stories of the 20th century is the autobiography of Elizabeth Burns. The Late Liz is the story of a woman who was rudely awakened by the Holy Spirit and became one of God's most effective witnesses. She was a product of America's upper class and suffered through three broken marriages..." and other illustrations)
  • The Mission Statement of Jesus

    by Jon Rawlings
    Right click your mouse to highlight the text.

    ("What's sometimes disturbing, however, is that 'whosoever' includes those we might wish God didn't love: the Cub Scout leader who molested our son, the neighbor who raped our daughter, the drunk driver who crippled our wife. This is not so comforting and more difficult for us to believe. In the early 90's, I read an article in Time magazine about a man who'd been accused of murdering three young boys...")

  • Nic at Night Revisited

    by John Ewing Roberts
    ("In Florence in the Museum dell' Opera del Duomo on the mezzanine is the most moving statue I have ever seen, Michelangelo's last Piet, designed for his own tomb. His contemporary Vasari wrote that the face of Nicodemus is a self-portrait...") (Additional info on the statue mentioned in this sermon can be found at this link) (A picture of the statue can be found at this link)
  • Stepping into the Light

    by Barry Robinson
    ("I once knew this man who was an ordinary parish minister and this other man who was principal of a well-known theological seminary. This particular seminary was a well respected, well-endowed national institution where they train people to be pastors of one of the largest churches in the country...")
  • *Nic @ Nite

    by Norm Seli
    ("I was in my old neighbourhood the other day. Willowdale in North York. Not much has changed except all the houses have shrunk. I drove by the park and the boards were still up for the ice. We played a lot of hockey there, afternoons, night after night, until we were so numb from cold that it took an at least an hour to get feeling back when we went home...")
  • Portrait of a Son

    by Donald Sensing
    The story is told of a widowed man who was a passionate art collector. He traveled around the world, adding the finest art treasures to his collection. Priceless works by Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet and many others adorned the walls of his home. The man looked on with satisfaction as his only child grew up to be both a skilled physician and an experienced art collector. The son's reputations as a doctor and an astute art collector were well regarded within the respective fields of medicine and art.
  • Can Old Men Learn New Tricks?

    by Martin Singley
    ("When Burt Reynolds decides to end it all in the movie The End, he swims out into the ocean as far as he can. And then, in a moment of desperate resignation, he slips below the surface of the water. Several long moments pass. And then - all of a sudden - he bursts back to the surface! He's had a change of heart! He doesn't want to die! He wants to live!...")
  • Happy Second Birthday!

    by Martin Singley
    ("Joni Earickson Tada is one of the most amazing people you’ll ever meet. At 17-years of age, she was a beautiful young woman with a bright future ahead of her. But then a diving accident changed her life forever. She was left a quadriplegic. For a while of course, Joni hoped beyond hope that the paralysis would go away. But it didn’t...")
  • For God So Loved

    by Billy D. Strayhorn
    ("In an old Dennis the Menace cartoon, Dennis and his little friend Joey are leaving Mrs. Wilson's house, their hands full of cookies. Joey says, 'I wonder what we did to deserve this.' Dennis answers, 'Look, Joey. Mrs. Wilson gives us cookies not because we're nice, but because she's nice.'..." and other illustrations)
  • Nic at Night

    by Billy D. Strayhorn
    ("One Sunday morning, a minister was shaking hands with people at the door as they left the sanctuary. And one of the people in church that day was a man who was rarely there. As he shook the pastor's hand, the minister said to him: 'It's good to see you here today. But friend, you really need to join the Lord's army.'...")
  • Nicodemus, Nicodemus

    Poem by William Tammeus
    ("Heaven knows being born once was enough trouble; maybe even more than it was worth. And now he says I should go through it all again, all again; but not the way it was before, with borning's labor and pain and anxious minutes while they wondered if spanking my pink moist little rump would make me breathe...")
  • Costly Love

    by Alex Thomas
    ("A few years ago there was a book by Margaret Craven called I HEARD THE OWL CALL MY NAME. It was a heartwarming novel about a young priest who went into the Native mission of Kingcome up the coast of the Canadian province of B.C...")
  • A Fresh Start

    by Alex Thomas
    ("I was sitting in Starbuck's having a cup of coffee the other day. The coffee shop happened to be in Chapter's Book Store and I was surrounded by shelves of books. I was sitting at a table near the 'self-help' section of the bookstare. It was simply amazing how many 'self-help' books there were...")
  • A Fresh Start #2

    by Alex Thomas
    ("I recently heard of a man who had awakened one morning at 5 am. and had the presence of mind to realize that he was having a heart attack. His wife battled through winter and snow to get him to the hospital...")
  • Changelessness in a World of Change

    by Alex Thomas
    ("W.B.J. Martin tells the story of an old missionary who had struggled by himself for many years. Finally the mission board wrote to tell him that they had raised enough funds to send him an assistant. They sent him a young fellow who had just completed seminary and had all the self-confidence and certainty that comes with being young and being right out of seminary..." (and other short illustrations)
  • No Hands But Ours

    by Alex Thomas
    ("Following World War II some German students volunteered to help rebuild a cathedral in England, one that had been badly damaged by the Luftwaffe bombings. As the work progressed, they weren't sure how to best restore a large statue of Jesus with has arms outstretched and bearing the familiar inscription, 'Come unto Me'...")
  • *Born Again and Again

    by Pam Tinnin
    ("I have a dear friend named Dora Schmidt. She lives in Oregon where we used to live. She came up and introduced herself at the first potluck we went to in the church that would eventually become our own. She tapped me on the shoulder and said, 'When I heard you laugh, I recognized a kindred soul'. Dora's about 15 years older than me, but she was right: we had a lot in common...")
  • From Whence Comes the Wind?

    by Keith Wagner
    ("A young man applied for a job as a farmhand. When the farmer asked for his qualifications, he said, 'I can sleep when the wind blows'. But the farmer liked the young man, and hired him. A few days later, the farmer and his wife were awakened in the night by a violent storm...")
  • Hi Beam or Low Beam?

    by Keith Wagner
    ("One day a father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose of showing his son how poor people can be. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family. On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, 'How was the trip?' 'It was great, Dad.'...")
  • The Green Face of God: Christianity in an Age of Ecocide

    by Mark I. Wallace
    ("At bedtime I sometimes read to my five-year-old daughter the Dr. Seuss classic The Lorax. The story takes place in a bucolic setting of heavily fruited Truffula Trees, Swomee-Swans, and Brown Bear Bar-ba-loots; it is a place where 'from the rippulous pond[s] / comes the comforting sounds / of the Humming-fish humming / while splashing around...")
  • God's Life

    by Garth Wehrfritz-Hanson
    ("One night very late in the evening Don McKenzie was called to the hospital. As he was walking down the semidark hall, with no people around, a man suddenly ran out of one of the patient rooms. He ran up to Don McKenzie who had never seen him before--and he said to him with joy in his face, 'She's going to make it. She's better. She is going to make it,' and then he made his way on down the hall...")
  • Holy Trinity

    by Garth Wehrfritz-Hanson
    ("Communications expert, Marshall McLuhan, once said that 'the age of dogma is past'. Unlike the theologians of the third and fourth centuries, McLuhan did not believe that subjects like the doctrine of the Trinity were 'hot'..." and another illustration)
  • How Can This Be?

    by William Willimon
    ("Maybe it's true, as Jesus said, that God hides from the wise and reveals to the simple. She attended our church when her family vacationed at the coast. She said she had begun attending our church a number of years before because it was the only church on the beach where a black person could feel welcomed....")
  • The Giving of the Cross

    by Tim Zingale
    ("The cross gives and gives to each generation. It is like the apple tree in the following story by Shel Silverstein entitled The Giving Tree 'The tree gives the little boy her apples to pick and her branches to climb. The boy and the tree love each other and are happy in their life together...")

Other Resources (Lent 4B)(2021)

Other Resources (Lent 2A)(2020)

Other Resources (Lent 4B)(2018)

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Other Resources (Trinity Sunday)(B)(2018)

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Other Resources (Trinity Sunday)(A)(2017)

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Other Resources (Trinity Sunday)(B)(2015)

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Other Resources (Lent 4B)(2015)

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Other Resources (Lent 2A)(2017)

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Other Resources (Lent 2A)(Trinity Sunday)(A) and (Holy Cross)(2014)

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Other Resources (Trinity Sunday)(B)(2012)

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Other Resources (Lent 4B)(2012)

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Other Resources (Lent 2A) and (Trinity Sunday)(A)(2011)

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Other Resources (Lent 4B)(2009)

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Other Resources (Lent 2A)(2002)(2005)(2008)

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Other Resources (Trinity Sunday)(2005 to 2011)

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Other Resources (Holy Cross)(2003 and 2008)

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Other Resources (Lent 4B)(2006)

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Other Resources (Lent 4B)(2000 and 2003)

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Other Resources (Trinity Sunday)(2002 and 2003)

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Other Resources (Lent 2A)(1999) and (Trinity Sunday)(B)(2000)

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Other Resources from the Archives

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Children's Resources and Dramas

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The Classics

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Recursos en Español

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