John 6: 56-69

Illustrated New Resources

  • Sermon Starters (Proper 16B)(2021)

    by Chelsey Harmon
    In the play A Yard of Sun (1970) by Christopher Fry, it’s July 1946 in Siena, Italy. A little group of people, family and close friends connected to the Palazzo del Traguardo, are hoping for renewal and for peace to be real—even as they carry the baggage of all that came before and that they are still who they are even though the war is over. Set on the backdrop of a famous horse race between neighbourhoods, sons come home and prisoners-of-war return, but each character struggles to be truly free. This is particularly true for the ostracized son, Edmondo, who ran away from the community, intent on becoming a self-made man in Portugal. He is home now, successful and rich, the new owner of the Palazzo his dad is the caretaker for. But he is afraid by how he cannot integrate the two realities: his self-identified truth and the reality he encounters at “home.” His wife explains it to another brother, Roberto, after Edmondo announces, less than 48 hours after arriving, that he is leaving (emphasis added and lines omitted from original):...
  • Words of Eternal Life

    by Janet Hunt
    One of my favorite artists died this week. Nanci Griffith was a masterful story teller in her music. I have been listening to her since I was a young adult, ever grateful for the ways in which she put into words and tied to melody images and stories which somehow helped me navigate what was before me, too. Since the news of her death was shared, thousands are sharing stories and YouTube clips on social media, reminding one another of the ways in which the gift never dies, not once it is shared, (and not once it is in digital form.) She has died. Her music has not...

Other New Resources

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!!]
  • Scandalizing Words Are Life-Giving Words

    by D. Mark Davis
    includes lots of Greek exegesis!
  • Will You Too Walk Away?

    by Jerry Fuller, OMI
    ("John Smith is not his real name. I don't know his name. I do know his story is true. John Smith was the minister of a church that was looking for a music minister. Located in a small community, the church realized that the number of qualified candidates would also be small. One day a man called about the job. He was too good to be true..." and several other illustrations)
  • The Recipe for a Successful Marriage

    by Sil Galvan
    Some time ago, there was an article entitled "The Nut That Saved Our Marriage." Now you can't read a title like that and not wonder who that nut was. Perhaps it might be a husband who had a sense of humor that defused situations before they got explosive. Or perhaps it might be one of their children who did something funny to make the couple laugh when situations got tense. Or it might even be a friend who made them see how silly it was to focus on the bad points each had, when they both had so many good points. Well, the answer was none of the above. One day the author was having lunch with her husband and their son, Mike, at their Los Angeles home. Mike was a navy helicopter pilot who was visiting from San Diego. At one point during the lunch, Mike and his father began talking about the helicopter that Mike flew. Mike said: "You know, Dad, as complicated as that helicopter is, its whirling rotor is held in place by a single hexagonal nut." Then turning to his mother, Mike said, "And, Mom, do you know what they call that nut?" His mother shrugged. She had no idea. "I give up," she said, "What do they call the nut that holds it all together?" Mike smiled and said, "They call it the 'Jesus' nut."
  • You Have the Words of Eternal Life

    by Janet Hunt
    ("before he was diagnosed with a terminal illness, Antti ordered a casket kit. He wanted to piece together his own final physical resting place with his own two hands. We were told how the box sat in the garage for several months -- but the day after his diagnosis he and his son and a friend pulled it out and put it together. He was showing us what it was to put his faith in Jesus' words of eternal life..." a worthy read)
  • Exegetical Notes (John 6.56-69)

    by Brian Stoffregen
    (excellent exegesis)
  • Illustrations, Quotes and Lectionary Reflections (Proper 16B)

    by Various Authors
    ("There's a scene in the film Schindler's List where Oskar Schindler, the factory owner who spirited so many Jews out of concentration camps, is arguing with the brutish Nazi commandant, trying to get him to release a group of prisoners to labor in Schindler's factory. The commandant is an inhuman monster: for entertainment, he sits at the window of his residence and randomly shoots Jewish prisoners with a high-powered rifle..." and several more)
  • The Eucharist and the Hollow Place

    by Danny Yencich
    ("my wife has cancer. Her treatments seem to be going well, and she may well end this journey with a cure. Our story is not unique, and I do not delude myself by believing that our lot is the worst of all plights. But in the mess of these past months, in the ugliness of cancer and chemotherapy, and in the barrenness of faith that I have felt, I've sometimes found the temptation to leave to be both unbearable and appealing..." This is, by far, the best reflection I have read on this text. I may even use it myself as is, with proper attribution, of course! An absolute must-read!!!)
  • Scandalizing Words Are Life-Giving Words

    by D. Mark Davis
    includes lots of Greek exegesis!

Illustrated Resources from 2018 to 2020

  • Whom You Gonna Serve?

    by Delmer Chilton
    When I was a student in the dvinity school at Duke University, there was a “shaggy dog” story going the rounds about a fraternity hazing prank. Seems the frat brothers kidnapped a pledge from his dorm, took him way out into the North Carolina countryside and put him out of the car with nothing on but a Duke Blue Devil mascot outfit. The young man trudged through the night, calculating how long it would take him to walk the 30 miles back to campus. After an hour or so, he saw some lights back in the woods, then he heard music and singing. It was a country church in the midst of a revival meeting. He thought to himself, “Church people are good people. Surely someone will give me a ride back to Duke.” So he walked across the parking lot and in the front door. The preacher stopped his preaching and stared. Everyone else turned to look at what the preacher was looking at, and then they stared too. Suddenly, the preacher dove out the window. The other folk began diving out windows too, until there was only one person left. She was too old and too frail to dive out the window, and the devil was standing between her and the church’s only door. She began to sidle down the aisle while talking in a soft voice, “Mr. Devil, my husband, bless his heart, was a deacon in this church for almost 40 years, one of my sons is a missionary, and my daughter is married to a pastor, and I was president of the Women’s Missionary Society for 20 years, but I just want you to know—I been on your side all along!”...
  • Gifts of God

    by Curtis Farr
    In the 1940s, a young black woman invited her boyfriend to join her one Sunday at her Episcopal church, and he was hesitant. He was also black and knew that his girlfriend’s congregation was mostly white. This can be an uncomfortable dynamic in the 21st Century—seventy years ago it could have been downright dangerous. When it came time for Holy Communion, the woman’s boyfriend noticed that everyone drank from the same chalice; people who were not allowed to share the same drinking fountains in public were using the same cup to drink the sacramental wine. Nervously, he followed her to the rail and watched as she took bread. The priest lowered the chalice to her lips and said, “The Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was shed for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life.” Stunned, the young man experienced the boundary-breaking, bad policy-defying, reconciling mission of the Living God. He drank the wine and was forever changed. This couple married, and one of their children grew to become the current Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Michael Curry...
  • Preaching Helps (Proper 16B)(2018)

    by Scott Hoezee
    Mark Salzman’s novel, Lying Awake, is set in a Carmelite monastery just outside of Los Angeles. The book details the lives of the nuns who live there and ponders the meaning of what constitutes a genuine religious experience of God’s presence. The nuns devote themselves to prayer and contemplation. All their thoughts are bent toward the Holy and the Divine and so they eschew anything that could distract them. One of the perceived threats to a spiritual life is food and drink. And so when the nuns gather in the monastery’s refectory for meals, they are not allowed to speak a single word. The goal at mealtime was to do anything-but pay attention to the food. At the head table where the Mother Superior sits, there is a calvarium, a human skull, sitting in the center of the table, serving as a reminder to the nuns that everyone will die one day anyway and so food and drink were of only marginal significance. And so the nuns made as little noise as possible during the meal in the firm belief that maintaining a proper spiritual focus was never more threatened than when taking food into the body...
  • Why Do Some Catholics Stay?

    by Terrance Klein
    Many years ago, when he was still a Jesuit superior in Argentina, Pope Francis taught Jesuit novices to learn from the people whom they serve, most particularly to pay attention to their expressions of faith. In his papal biography, The Great Reformer, Austen Ivereigh records: During the week, in pastoral theology classes and meditations, Bergoglio asked the students to reflect on their experiences. He insisted that they were not going to teach, but to be taught by, the pueblo fiel; the Jesuits’ capacity for inserting themselves into the culture they were sent to evangelize was “the decisive test” of their faith. “How difficult it is, and how lonely it can feel, when I realize I must learn from the people their language, their terms of reference, their values, not as a way of polishing my theology but as a new way of being that transforms me,” he told them...
  • Self-Made or God-Made?

    by Anne Le Bas
    The term “self-made man” only entered the dictionary in 1832 – US senator Henry Clay seems to have coined it to describe those pioneering people who made new lives for themselves in the USA. They’d had to reinvent themselves as they’d colonised what was, for them, uncharted territory. Some had chosen to come. Others were forced from their old ways of life in Europe by persecution, pogroms or famine. It’s easy to see why they might have felt as if any success they’d had was down to them alone and to their determination and grit. No wonder the myth of the “self-made man” or “self-made woman” caught on so stronglyin the USA – it’s something that Donald Trump is noticeably playing into. But it is a myth. In reality, those pioneers were drawing on all sorts of support in order to survive...
  • They No Longer Went About with Him

    Art and Faith by Lynn Miller
    This teaching is difficult. So claim some of Jesus' followers in John 6:56-69. Do they mean difficult as in hard to understand? Or difficult as in it steps on my toes so I don't want to follow it? Or just exactly what? Whatever it was, it was enough that it made people stop following Jesus. But the disciples remained true. Where else would we go? they asked Jesus. You have the words of eternal life. And the disciples continued following Jesus. Following on the road to eternal life. But clearly there was another road they could have chosen: a road that led not to eternal life but to eternal damnation. And because those who stopped following (and their fiery, monstrous, deadly fate) are often perceived as a more interesting subject than those who stay the course, there is a clear artistic tradition growing from the choice...
  • Hello, Mr. Doubt

    by Larry Patten
    The question was asked: “Do you have ‘anyone’ else in the room with you when you write?” Which is to say, when a writer settles into a chair, glaring at the blank screen or empty scrap of paper, is an imagined someone nearby? Is there a deceased parent, a spouse, an “unknown” reader in Kansas, or a mentor the writer is hoping to please? The writer is always the first audience. But you want readers; you want people who’ll keep eagerly turning the pages. Ron Carlson, a successful author and writing teacher, grasped the microphone . . . “Oh yes. Every time I sit down to write, Mr. Doubt is there. That’s who I write to. Been there since the beginning of my career. He still shows up. Mr. Doubt’s a big guy, and sits close to my chair. I used to hope he’d leave. Now, though, I welcome him. But I tell him he has to stay for the whole thing, from a story’s start to the finish.” We writers laughed. Nervously.
  • Give Me Jesus!

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    Today I'd like to share with you the words of my favorite American spiritual, "Give me Jesus!" It goes like this: I heard my mother say, Give me Jesus You can have all the rest, Give me Jesus Dark midnight was my cry, Give me Jesus You can have all the rest, Give me Jesus Oh, when I come to die, Give me Jesus You can have all the rest, Give me Jesus Oh yes, "give me Jesus!" Wasn't that (in effect) what Simon Peter was saying here in the Bible text when he gave that marvelous answer to Jesus, "Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life"?

Illustrated Resources from 2015 to 2017

  • Proper 16B (2015)

    by Brendan Byrne
    ("in today's readings we have images of the 'economy of God'. But in order to understand these images, we have to tease out one more fact about the word 'economy'. And that is that the words economy and economic both come from the Greek root word oikos which means house or home. From this root word come the words oikonomia/economy meaning management of a household, and also oikoumene/oecumen meaning the world or humanity...")
  • A Profound Mystery

    by Dan Clendenin
    ("The story of Jesus began as some sort of 'secret'. In all three synoptic gospels, right after the greatest of 'epiphanies', there's a command of secrecy. Back in 1901, the German Lutheran scholar Georg Friedrich Eduard William Wrede published a book called The Messianic Secret that explored a motif that's present in all four gospels, and conspicuously prominent in Mark. The phrase stuck, and ever since then 'messianic secret' has been scholarly shorthand for this mysterious phenomenon in the gospels...")
  • Will You Also Leave?

    by Tom Cox
    ("In one Irish town parish, back in the nineteenth century, their curate disappeared. His favourite boat was found empty upriver. A search ensued but no body was ever found. Eventually, they all came to the conclusion that the poor man had drowned. A year or so later, news came that he was alive and well and living as a firebrand evangelical preacher in London...")
  • The Words I Have Spoken Are Spirit and Life

    by Garry Deverell
    I close with a prayer by Leonard Cohen, a Jew who knows the poetics of the Christian faith better than many Christians that I know. Here he throws himself upon the mercy of God, as we all must if we are to find our way through the sufferings of this life to the life of resurrection that Christ promises. Show me the place, where you want your slave to go Show me the place, I've forgotten I don't know Show me the place where my head is bending low Show me the place, where you want your slave to go Show me the place, help me roll away the stone Show me the place, I can't move this thing alone Show me the place where the word became a man Show me the place where the suffering began.
  • Do I Choose or Am I Chosen?

    by Janet Hunt
    ("First a disclaimer: I find my home in that line of theological thought which insists that God chooses us long before we begin to give thought to choosing God. And yet. In both the words of Joshua today and in the words of Jesus in this week's Gospel, we are told it is ours to choose. And yet again, I have to say that as I look back over my life, it appears to me that a whole lot of the time the choice was pretty clear. As though it wasn't really mine to choose at all....")
  • The Road Not Taken

    by Terrance Klein
    ("It's probably America's best known poem, if not its most beloved. Perhaps because it's as simple as it is universal. There's no doubt about the clarity of scene, which Robert Frost creates, though folks disagree whether the poet is at peace, or disturbed, by the decision made. 'Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth...To be human is to choose...")
  • Choices

    by Anne Le Bas
    ("the fact is that all of us, whether we like it or not, find in the end that we have walked one path through life rather than another whether we chose that path consciously or not. We are guided by these values rather than those. We see the world through this framework rather than that. We travel with these companions rather than those.. As Bob Dylan perceptively sang, 'It may be the devil or it may be the Lord/ But you're gonna have to serve somebody.'...")
  • Mr. Doubt

    by Larry Patten
    ["In John's Gospel, where Jesus spoke of the 'bread that came down from heaven', every word seems scribed without a smidgen of doubt. Still—and it's my failing—I read between the lines. I doubt the 'best-selling' author of John's Gospel shut the door on doubt. After all, a feeble faith is oft anxious when entering a (real or metaphoric) narrow gate along a steep road. The fruit on that forbidden tree in Eden's center forever seduces the person with a fickle faith..."]
  • On Not Faking Humility

    by Ron Rolheiser, OMI
    ("Do we really believe that we are no better than anyone else? I'm partial to an insight John Shea once offered in trying to answer this. Looking at some diary entries by Bede Griffiths, where Griffiths openly confesses that he is no better than anyone else, Shea asks whether given the quality of Griffiths' moral and spiritual life and given the depth and compassion he developed through years of prayer and discipline could Griffiths really have believed that he was no better than anyone else?...")
  • Who Is This?

    by Shannon Schaefer
    ("As a child growing up on a small farm, where my family's eating life was marked by considerably less distance between farmyard and table, it was not entirely unusual to sit down to a meal, and for one of my siblings or I to ask about the meat on our plates, "Who is this?" We hoped the answer would be no one we knew. On the occasion that our meat had a name, one of us, or even at times all four of us, wouldn't be able to eat...")
  • No Turning Back

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    ["Former heavyweight boxer James (Quick) Tillis is a cowboy from Oklahoma. Tillis fought out of Chicago in the early 1980's. A deeply religious man, Tillis is remembered as the first boxer ever to make Mike Tyson go the distance in the heavyweight division. Tillis had his disappointments as a boxer, but evidently they didn't rob him of his sense of humor. He still remembers his first day in the Windy City after his arrival from Tulsa...")

Illustrated Resources from 2009 to 2014

  • Proper 16B (2012)

    by Brendan Byrne
    (Includes an interesting discussion of economics.)
  • Regrets. I've Had a Few

    by Jim Chern
    "It's amazing how much people will reveal about themselves online in various internet forums, blogs, facebook. Looking for something on a Google search, one of the suggested search results turned up this page called "Regrets – If you could do it all over again…" On it, people posted all types of things..."
  • Proper 16B (2012)

    by Delmer Chilton
    "As best I remember we received two weekly and two monthly periodicals in my childhood home. Weekly we got Life magazine and the Grit newspaper; monthly The Progressive Farmer and Decision. Decision was the newsletter of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association; the title referred to the need for everyone to 'make a decision for Christ'..."
  • Were the First Christians Cannibals? "Eat My Flesh, Drink My Blood"

    by Daniel Clendenin
    ("The dead of summer might be a strange time for an Advent poem, but I love how John Betjeman captures the scandalous mystery of the gospel in his poem Christmas. In the first five stanzas he describes the superficial busyness of Christmas decorations, parties and shopping. In the last three stanzas he pivots to the heart of the matter...")
  • *To Whom Can We Go?

    Poetic Sermon by Frank Fisher
  • Auschwitz: God on Trial

    from Globalizati
  • No Options

    by Walter Harms
    "Options-we are surrounded by them! Going to buy insurance? Whether car insurance, life insurance, home owners insurance, there are options from which we have to choose. Sometimes it is difficult to choose which option would be the best for us..."
  • The Spirit Gives Life, but Life Is Not Just Spiritual

    by Rex Hunt
    In the Celtic spiritual tradition, pilgrims often draw a circle around themselves before embarking on a journey. Initially standing still, the pilgrim points her finger outward, and then rotates in a clockwise direction until she completes the circle. During this circling a prayer is often said. Listen to this contemporary ‘circling’ prayer: God protect me on this journey. Surround me, whether I walk, drive, or fly. Fill my heart and mind with surprising possibilities. Remind me that I am always in the circle of your love. Remind me this day, O Holy Adventure, that your inspiration guides me in every situation. Open my eyes to your presence in each meal, as I turn on my computer, as I start my car. Awaken me to possibility and wonder. Energise me to love and embrace all I meet.
  • Proper 16B (2009)

    by Katerina Whitley
    ("A poor woman in Greece comes to mind. She had had a very hard life both during the war years and immediately afterward. At a time when there were no washing machines, she was trying to survive by washing other people's clothes. This woman would not allow even a stale piece of bread to be casually discarded...")
  • Committed to Christ: Just Read It!

    by Carlos Wilton
    ("In one of his books, the travel writer Bill Bryson tells of visiting Mark Twain's hometown of Hannibal, Missouri. The house where the great writer grew up is still there. It's a small, white house with green shutters, tucked into the middle of Hannibal's downtown. It was while he was visiting this historic home that Bryson fell into conversation with a fellow tourist...")

Illustrated Resources (and Other Resources of Merit) from the Archives

  • Jesus, the Bread of Life

    by Chris Appleby
    Let's consider your age to begin with - how old are you?' 'I'm seven and a half exactly.' 'You needn't say "exactly",' the queen remarked: 'I can believe it without that. Now I'll give you something to believe. I'm just one hundred and one, five months and a day.' 'I can't believe that!' said Alice...
  • Decide Today!

    by Phil Bloom
    ("After his conversion Scott Hahn decided to do door-to-door evangelizing. He came to the home of a man intrigued to hear a Catholic evangelist. As Scott presented the faith to him, someone else knocked on the door: two Jehovah Witnesses! The man let them in, eager to find out which was the true religion...")
  • Drawing a Line in the Sand

    by Phil Bloom
    ("One of history's most daring leaders was a Spanish adventurer named Francisco Pizarro. Back in 1530 he had just explored the west coast of South America. He was already 50 years old; he had no formal education, he couldn't read or write, but he knew he had touched the frontiers of a great civilization..." and another short illustration)
  • Faith and Knowledge

    by Gemechis Desta Buba
    ("About some 50 years ago, my father was sent into tribal community in the Eastern African region by the Swedish evangelical mission stationed in the western Ethiopia. This African tribal community was called the Gumuz community. They were very communal and traditional in their overall system of living...")
  • Proper 16B (2009)

    from the Center for Excellence in Preaching
    ("Mark Salzman's novel, Lying Awake, is set in a Carmelite monastery just outside of Los Angeles. The book details the lives of the nuns who live there and ultimately ponders the meaning of what constitutes a genuine religious experience of God's presence. The nuns devote themselves to prayer and contemplation, allowing the rhythm of liturgy to set the cadence of their lives...")
  • Believing Against the Tide

    by John Christianson
    ("As a boy, Joseph Stalin won an award at church for memorizing the entire book of John. Of course, that was in church. It was easy to believe there – to go with the current. Later on, when he was a seminary student, he got in with another group of men whose tendencies were more to the liking of the future Soviet tyrant. He was swept away and the world would never be the same again...")
  • Hearts on Pilgrimage

    by Dan Clendenin
    ("In his emotionally volatile poem The Collar, the pastor and poet George Herbert considered quitting faith and the ministry altogether. Born to wealth and privilege, Herbert forsook a faculty post at Cambridge University and public service as a Member of Parliament, and in 1629 became the rector at Bemerton, a small village near Salisbury...")
  • The Big Deal

    by Tom Cox
    ("In this world of stocks and equities, you'll meet a peculiar breed called a contrarion. They are someone who invests in what is currently out of favour. They then wait patiently for their investment to pay off, as the world situation changes. A contrarion buys into something based upon their faith in the underlying value of the investment...")
  • To Whom Shall We Go?

    by Ernest Munachi Ezeogu, CSSP
    ("In the movie Fiddler on the Roof, Tevye is a Jewish dairy farmer, living with his wife and five daughters in Russia. It is a time of change and revolution, especially in the relationship between the sexes. First, one of his daughters announces that she and a young tailor have pledged themselves to each other...")
  • The Turning Point

    by Richard Fairchild
    ("At the Olympic Games in Paris in 1924 the sport of canoe racing was added to the list of international competitions. The favourite team in the four-man canoe race was the United States team. One member of that team was a young man by the name of Bill Havens..." and another poem)
  • Defeating Betrayal and Rejection

    by Art Ferry, Jr.
    ("History tells the story of Julius Caesar, the greatest of all the Caesars, who brought Rome to the very top of its awesome power. Rome had conquered its enemies from the outside, but Rome's troubles were inside...")
  • Ordinary 21B (2006)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time there was a terrible tragedy. Only two years after marriage a young husband died suddenly of an aneurysm. His wife, who loved him very much, was devastated. She was also furious. Why would God do this to her?...")
  • Ordinary 21B (1997)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time a young couple were preparing for their marriage. They loved one another, they thought, and their marriage would be a happy one. Unfortunately the young man was very suspicious and jealous...")
  • The Loneliness of God

    by Donald Hoffman
    ("And God stepped out on space, And he looked around and said: I'm lonely. Of course you recognize those lines. It's the beginning of James Weldon Johnson's great poem, 'The Creation'. I remember the first time I heard it. I was offended...")
  • Discipleship: Commitment to Christ

    by John Jewell
    ("Have you ever had a time in your life when 'everything came together?' It might have been a class in high school or college. Something the teacher or professor said suddenly made sense and the whole subject came together for you...")
  • The Place of Sacrifice in Worship

    by Fred Kane
    According to Gandhi the six blunders of humanity are: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without humanity, worship without sacrifice and politics without scruple...
  • Stumbling Blocks

    by Edward Markquart
    ("There are so many rocks in the road of life and we hit them all the time. Obstacles. Hindrances. Dreadful disasters. Horrific happenings. Terrible tragedies that sometimes cause us to fall flat on our faces…emotionally and spiritually...")
  • Hard Decisions About Faith

    by William Morley
    ("Once upon a time, there was this man who had a disability in his leg. He was a man of great inner strength and was determined to walk normally again. And so he walked, slowly, often for long distances. One day he was out in the countryside surrounded by rolling hills with rough, rocky, and uninhabited terrain...")
  • Roll Call

    by John Ortberg
    ("Jim Wallis writes that when the South African government canceled a political rally against apartheid, Desmond Tutu led a worship service in St. George’s Cathedral. The walls were lined with soldiers and riot police carrying guns and bayonets, ready to close it down...")
  • Turning Points

    by John Pavelko
    ("Richard grew up in a Christian home. His parents shared their love and their faith with him. They taught him all the basics of the faith but he still rebelled. At 13 he began to steal and vandalize. He once got caught stealing a T-shirt but the store owner did not press charges..." and other illustrations)
  • A Discipleship Dropout

    Narrative Sermon by Peter Perry
  • Resistance

    by Gerry Pierse, CSsR
    ("In his recent book FURTHER ALONG THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED, Dr. M. Scott Peck describes four stages of spiritual growth. I would paraphrase him by calling the stages the self-centered, the religious, the searcher and the spiritual...")
  • Offended

    by Beth Quick
    ("What does it mean to be offensive? According to the dictionary, offensive is defined as: Disagreeable to the senses, as in an offensive odor; or causing anger, displeasure, resentment, or affront, as in an offensive gesture; or making an attack, as in 'The offensive troops gained ground quickly'...")
  • Many Stopped Following Him...

    by Martin Singley
    ("Our losing Pluto as a planet is as disturbing and troubling as it must have been years ago for many Roman Catholics to one day wake up and learn that the Mass no longer was going to be said in Latin, and they didn’t have to eat fish on Fridays anymore! It is as upsetting as it was when they let black children go to white schools, and women to become CEO’s, and gay people to have civil rights!...")
  • Where Would We Go?

    by Billy D. Strayhorn
    ("Stanley Jones tells of a missionary who got lost in an African jungle, nothing around him but bush and a few cleared places. He found a native hut and asked the native if he could get him out. The native said he could. 'All right,' said the missionary, 'show me the way.' The native said, Walk,' so they walked and hacked their way through unmarked jungle for more than an hour...")
  • Who Can Accept It?

    by Alex Thomas
    ("Robert J. McCrackin, one time minister at Riverside Church in New York , put it so powerfully in a sermon entitled Love or Perish: 'The Christian Faith from generation to generation makes a powerful appeal to the minds and emotions of men. It does so because it stands for the truth at the heart of things, that God is love...")
  • Words to Live By

    by Alex Thomas
    There was a teacher, we'll call her Miss Thompson. You know what a lot of teachers say at the beginning of the year. I love you all. You are all important to me. I have no favorites. Teachers lie sometimes. Of course they have favorites. Some of their students they just don't like. Teddy Stollard was one of those students ...
  • Peter's Confession and Ours

    by Garth Wehrfritz-Hanson
    ("During the 1950’s the senior art class of Strathcona High School in Edmonton, Alberta painted a mural on one of the cafeteria walls. Toward the end of the 1970’s, it was decided a more modern mural could be put on that wall. So, the wall was prepared...")
  • The Priority of Worship

    by Garth Wehrfritz-Hanson
    ("According to Francis Gay, there was an enterprising pastor who delivered a letter with these instructions to each of his parishioners: 'Please hold this page close to you, blow on it, and look carefully at the result. If the paper turns green, call your doctor...")
  • Illustrations (Proper 16B)(2006)

    Compiled by Tim Zingale
  • Proper 16B (2006)

    by Tim Zingale
    ("On the rugged wave-beaten cliffs on the west coast of Scotland a man was once gathering the eggs of the sea birds which nested there. He had been let down from the top of the cliff by a rope to the ledge where the nests were, but, in a moment of carelessness had let the rope slip from his hand...")

Other Resources from 2018 to 2020

Other Resources from 2015 to 2017

Other Resources from 2012 to 2014

Other Resources from 2009 to 2011

Other Resources from 2006 to 2008

Other Resources from 2003 to 2005

Other Resources from the Archives

Children's Resources and Dramas

The Classics

Recursos en Español