Matthew 10: 37-42

Illustrated New Resources

  • Proper 8A (2020)

    by Delmer Chilton
    Don Shula was the longtime and very successful head coach of the Miami Dolphins football team. One time he was on vacation in a very rural part of Maine. The local library advertised the showing of a recently popular movie on a Saturday night. This was in the days before the internet and the TV reception was almost non-existent in those woods, so the Shula family was very excited to go to the movies that night. They walked in just a few minutes before it was to start. Everyone stood up and gave them a standing ovation. Shula thought, “isn’t that something. Even way out here they know me!” His excitement only lasted a few minutes. Someone told him, “We have to have 15 people or they won’t show the movie. Your family pushed the crowd to 17.” The welcome really wasn’t for Don Shula...
  • Helping Others as Jesus Helped Others

    by Craig Condon
    A successful man known for his generosity was driving his new car through a poor part of town. A boy tried to flag him down. The man didn’t want to get involved, so he pretended he didn’t see the child. As he slowed for a red traffic light, he heard a loud crash. Someone had thrown a brick at his car, denting the trunk. The man stopped, jumped out of his car and grabbed the boy that threw the brick. “You juvenile delinquent!” he yelled. “You’ll pay for this or go to jail!” “I’m sorry, mister,” the boy cried. “My mom’s lying on the floor in our apartment. I think she’s dying. Our phone’s been cut off and I’ve been trying for ten minutes to get someone to stop. I didn’t know what else to do! Take me to jail, but please, call a doctor for my mom first.” The man was filled with shame. “I’m a doctor,” he said and asked, “Where is she?” The boy took him to his mother and the doctor administered CPR and called an ambulance. “Will she live?” the boy sobbed. “Yes, son, she will,” the doctor said. “Then it’s worth going to jail. I’m sorry I ruined your car. You can take me in now.” “You’re not going anywhere,” the doctor said. “It was my fault you had to throw a brick to get my attention.” The doctor made sure the boy was taken care of, and as he drove home he resolved not to fix the dent. He would keep it as a reminder that not everyone in need has a brick to throw...
  • Sermon Starters (Proper 8A)(2020)

    by Scott Hoezee
    On the TV show Star Trek: The Next Generation and in some subsequent films there is a nightmare alien species known as The Borg. The Borg capture individual people of all races and backgrounds but then essentially wipes out their individual personalities, cultures, distinctive features. Through a kind of brainwashing, each person becomes just like every other person, assimilated into the Borg Collective. Every single Borg looks alike, talks alike, thinks alike. If you meet one, you quite literally have met them all for they are all one. A Borg never uses the 1st person singular pronoun “I.” Every sentence instead begins with “We . . .” Although Christians are brought into the one Body of Christ through baptism, baptism doesn’t have a Borg-like effect on believers. Becoming a Christian does not make you less of an individual. We may lose our lives for Christ’s sake, but Jesus also promises in Matthew 10 that once you so lose your life, you get it right back again. You are still you after baptism...
  • Proper 8A (2020)

    by Libby Tedder Hugus
    In June of 2005, U.S. Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell and SEAL Team 10 were assigned to a mission to kill or capture Ahmad Shah a high-ranking Taliban leader responsible for killings in eastern Afghanistan and the Hindu-Kush mountains. Local sheepherders stumbled upon the team and ended up betraying the SEALS to local Taliban militia, and a horrific gun-battle ensued. Marcus was the only survivor. Badly wounded, he managed to walk and crawl seven miles to evade capture. He was miraculously given shelter by an Afghan tribe, who at the risk of their own lives alerted the Americans of his presence, and American forces finally rescued him six days after the gun battle. The Afghan man who gave shelter to Marcus is Mohammad Gulab. Mohammad lives by the “Pushtunwali” code of honor which promotes self-respect, independence, justice, hospitality, love, forgiveness, revenge and tolerance toward all, especially to strangers or guests. Part of the Pashtunwali code is the concept of “Nanawatai” meaning sanctuary. Nanawati allows a person to seek refuge in the house of another, seeking asylum against his enemies. The host is honor-bound to offer that protection, even at the cost of his own family or fortune. When Marcus found himself in enemy territory and bound by the beautiful “Pushtunwali” honor code, Mohamed prepared a table, a shelter for Marcus that literally saved his life. Mohamed was not only threatened during the time Marcus was sheltered in his home, but continued to face persecution afterward. The Taliban has targeted the whole village for being traitors. Marcus and Mohamed have become dear friends, and Mohammed has since immigrated to the USA with his family because the persecution was so strong from the Taliban, a consequence for providing shelter to a complete and total stranger who found himself in enemy territory...
  • A Different Cup

    by David Shearman
    Waleed Aslam lives in Owen Sound. He works for Grey County. I first met Waleed when the mosque in the city was vandalized last summer. Waleed is married and has two delightful kids. He moved here from Hamilton a few years ago. I have no idea where his roots are, as if it matters. He's also a faithful Muslim, just as you and I are faithful Christians. A week ago, Waleed announced with great joy on his Facebook age, that he had been appointed a director of the Downtown Improvement Association or the DIA. There were many posts of congratulations from the many people in the community and family members. I was one of them. So was my wife, a City Councillor. On Wednesday Morning Waleed woke up to discover that three people has posted xenophobic, anti-Islamic comments. They were hateful, co-ordinated and vile. One person in particular used Christian theology to make horrible comments about Islam. Normally, I don't say much about being a pastor. After living in a city for twenty years, many people know who I am and what I do. But is this case, I stood on the role of Christian pastor and challenged their points based on faith. It was not hard to refute. Many other people rose to the defence of Waleed. They challenged the hateful words and supported Waleed and his family...

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. Hopefully, members will have the ability to rate all of the resources on a 5-point system soon!! FWIW!!]
  • Discipleship

    Illustrations from the Archives
  • The Smallest of Good Deeds

    by Christopher Burkett
    ("When the great playwright and wit Oscar Wilde was sent to prison in 1895 it was an ultimate humiliation for him. In his day he was a real celebrity but all that evaporated once he was convicted. Whenever the prison authorities moved him in public he was spat at and jeered. On one occasion when the crowd was particularly hostile, a friend of Wilde appeared and made a simple gesture of friendship and respect that silenced the crowd. What did he do? As Wilde passed by, handcuffed and head bowed, the man simply raised his hat to him..." and another illustration)
  • Welcoming and Watering

    by D. Mark Davis
    (includes lots of Greek exegesis!!)
  • Hospitality: A Crucial Cup of Cold Water

    by Dan De Leon
    ("I went on sabbatical a couple of years ago and joined a group of students from the Center for Global Education. We traveled to an indigenous village in Mexico called Amatlán. A man came to speak to us about his experience with crossing the border and working in the United States. The man, who looked to be in his early 30's, told us about how when his wife became pregnant they had no money and no financial hope for starting their family. So they made the decision for him to go to the U.S. and find work..." and other illustrations)
  • Want to Save Your Life? Lose It.

    by Jerry Fuller, OMI
    ("Margaret Mead [an anthropologist] saw the value of little kindnesses in her study of ancient cultures. One day a student asked her for the very earliest sign of civilization in a culture. He expected the answer to a clay pot or a fishhook or maybe a stone for grinding grain..." and other illustrations)
  • Random Acts of Kindness

    by Sil Galvan
    A woman in a red Honda, Christmas presents piled high in the back, drives up to the Bay Bridge toll booth in San Francisco. "I'm paying for myself, and for the six cars behind me," she says with a smile, handing over seven commuter tickets. One after another, the next six drivers arrive at the toll booth, dollars in hand, only to be told, "Some lady up ahead already paid your fare. Have a nice day." In Paterson, New Jersey, a dozen people with pails and mops and tulip bulbs descend on a run-down house and clean it from top to bottom while the frail elderly owners look on, dazed and smiling.
  • Proper 8A

    by Bill Loader
    (always good insights!)
  • Pure Hearts

    by Nancy Rockwell
    ("The beautiful Indie film, The Railway Man, tells the true story of a Scottish WW2 veteran, Eric Lomax, whose soul is haunted by memories of the years he and his friends spent as Japanese captives, being tortured and humiliated in every way, and used as slaves to build a railroad in Burma. He is unable to control vivid nightmares from which there is no waking, and in which he relives, re-suffers, is spiritually devastated. Love, which came to him all unexpected, begins the journey that sets him free..." and other illustrations)
  • Exegetical Notes (Matthew 10:40-42)

    by Brian Stoffregen
    (excellent exegesis)
  • A Prophet's Reward

    by John Sumwalt
    In her recent book The Silent Cry: Mysticism and Resistance, Dorothee Soelle describes how deeply moved she was when she discovered that Dorothy Day, the great Roman Catholic prophet and mystic of the 20th century, often "experienced phases of utter exhaustion, sadness, and grief. The word 'despair' seems inappropriate, but it cannot be far removed from what she went through. In such times, I was told she would withdraw and cry. For long hours, days at a time, she would not eat but just sit and weep. She never withdrew from the active, struggling life for the poorest of the poor and never ceased to look upon war and preparation for war as a crime against the poor. But she wept. When I heard this, I understood a bit better what prayer can mean in the midst of defeat, how the Spirit consoles humans and leads them into truth, how one thing is not at the expense of another, and where consolation is purchased with the renunciation of truth. That Dorothy Day cried for days means both consolations and inconsolability at one and the same time. She knew why she liked to repeat Teresa of Avila's words, 'The whole way to heaven is heaven itself' "

    (and other illustrations)

Illustrated Resources from 2017 to 2019

  • The Politics of Water Sharing

    by Amy Allen
    Scarcity of water continues to be a major concern in our contemporary world, with around 1.2 billion people across the globe lacking access to clean drinking water. Indeed, in light of recent water crises such as that in Flint, Michigan, safe water seems to have become even more a commodity of the rich in our world than it was in Jesus’ day in which the water-rich bath houses were reserved for the rich, while the poor relied on sometimes distant public cisterns and wells. In both worlds, however, the same basic truth remains: water is central to life.
  • How Would You Welcome Jesus?

    by Evan Garner
    Have you seen or heard the old fable, "The Rabbi's Gift?" It's an effective presentation of Sunday's gospel lesson (Matthew 10:40-42). If you haven't seen it, you can watch the six-minute video below, or you can keep reading and I'll tell you what happens.
  • Proper 8A (2017)

    by Libby Tedder Hugus
    In June of 2005, U.S. Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell and SEAL Team 10 were assigned to a mission to kill or capture Ahmad Shah a high-ranking Taliban leader responsible for killings in eastern Afghanistan and the Hindu-Kush mountains. Local sheepherders stumbled upon the team and ended up betraying the SEALS to local Taliban militia, and a horrific gun-battle ensued. Marcus was the only survivor. Badly wounded, he managed to walk and crawl seven miles to evade capture. He was miraculously given shelter by an Afghan tribe, who at the risk of their own lives alerted the Americans of his presence, and American forces finally rescued him six days after the gun battle. The Afghan man who gave shelter to Marcus is Mohammad Gulab. Mohammad lives by the “Pushtunwali” code of honor which promotes self-respect, independence, justice, hospitality, love, forgiveness, revenge and tolerance toward all, especially to strangers or guests...
  • A Cup of Cold Water

    by Janet Hunt
    My dad was in intensive care. His condition was precarious and we were understandably worried about him. Two of my sisters, my then one-year-old nephew, our mother, and I were hovering outside his room. He was sleeping, however, and we did not want to disturb him. Since there was no waiting room near by, we walked down the hall and went into the surgical waiting room to sit and visit and rest and wait. The volunteer in the pink smock welcomed us with a big smile. There was only one other family in there and so we got a lot of attention. She invited us to sit down, offered coffee and doughnuts and found a toy for little Andrew to play with. We were thankful for the kindness — for the ‘cup of cold water’ — if you will, and we sank gratefully into a sofa and chairs.
  • Fr. Stanley Rother Knew "A Shepherd Cannot Run from His Flock".

    by Terrance Klein
    Stanley was ordained in 1963 and served five years as a parochial vicar, in four churches of the diocese, before he volunteered for the Catholic Mission of Oklahoma in the Diocese of Solola, Guatemala. His first assignment there was the ancient Catholic Church in Santiago Atitlan, a village of 40,000 souls cradled in the country’s western highlands. Thirty thousand of them were Tzutuhil Indians, descendants of the Mayans.
  • The Risk of Radical Welcome

    by Nicholas Lang
    In her book, Dakota: A Spiritual Geography, Kathleen Norris tells a story that is said to come from a Russian Orthodox monastery. A seasoned monk, long accustomed to welcoming all guests as Christ, says to a young monk, “I have finally learned to accept people as they are. Whatever they are in the world, a prostitute, a prime minister, it is all the same to me. But sometimes, “the monk continues, “I see a stranger coming up the road and I say, “Oh, Jesus Christ, is it you again?”
  • About Hotels and Hospitals

    Art and Faith by Lynn Miller
    In 1443, Europe was just coming out of the Hundred Years War in which plague and deprivation were the order of the day. In Beaune, a city in the Burgundy region of France, Nicolas Rolin, Chancellor of Duke Phillip the Good, established a hotel-Dieu that remains one of the most beautiful buildings in France. A combination homeless shelter, soup kitchen and health clinic, the physical plant of the Hospices de Beaune included two buildings around a courtyard. One of the most distinctive elements of the complex is the multi-colored roof.
  • Welcome Is the Reward

    by Joseph Peters-Mathews
    Heval Mohamed Kelli arrived in the US as a Syrian refugee three weeks after 9/11, after spending six years in Germany. He arrived in Clarksville, Georgia, a city that welcomes 1,500 refugees per year. Kell is a cardiologist now who has moved away from Clarksville but describes his welcome by saying, “’Two days after we arrived in Clarkston, we were terrified. And then all these people arrived at our door with food, wanting to help us learn English … You know, we thought they were the CIA or something, all these white Americans knocking at our door.’ In fact, they were members of Clarkston’s All Saints Episcopal Church: ‘They didn’t look at all like us. But they changed our lives.’”
  • Christianity and Noon-Day Fatigue

    by Ron Rolheiser, OMI
    Sigmund Freud and Karl Marx, along with many Enlightenment figures, saw Christianity as a spent project, as a dying reality, its demise the inevitable death of childhood naiveté. But Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, looking at the same evidence, saw things in exactly the opposite way. For him, Christianity was still “in diapers,” struggling still to grow in maturity, a child still learning to walk; hence its occasional stumbles. Contemporary spiritual writer, Tomas Halik, the recent winner of the prestigious Templeton Award, suggests still another picture. For Halik, Christianity in the West is undergoing a “noon-day fatigue,” a writer’s block, a crisis of imagination. In this, he is very much in agreement with what Charles Taylor suggests in his monumental study, A Secular Age. For Taylor, what we are experiencing today is not so much a crisis of faith as a crisis of imagination and integration.
  • Proper 8A (2017)

    from Sacra Conversazione
    In The Gift of Death, Jacques Derrida writes about this discovery which Abraham made (and caused Kierkegaard to call him “the Second Father of the human race”): “…this is the moment when Abraham gives the sign of absolute sacrifice, namely by putting to death or giving death to his own son, putting to death his absolute love for what is dearest, his only son; this is the instant of absolute imminence in which Abraham can no longer go back on his decision, nor even suspend it. In this instant, therefore, in the imminence that no longer even separates the decision from the act, God gives him back his son….”
  • Risky Business: Jesus' Perilous Welcome

    by Marcia Mount Shoop
    The current political climate and eruptions of anti-immigrant sentiment and violence have resurfaced a clarion call toward Christian dispositions of welcome. Jesus' followers are again invited to take risks in our welcome, to embody sanctuary in the way we make space for “the stranger,” the vulnerable, and those in need. Since the 2016 Presidential election, the number of churches who have officially “declared Sanctuary” has grown exponentially. Declaring Sanctuary means a church is willing to house people, short or long term, to protect them from deportation. In Western North Carolina churches who cannot or do not want to declare Sanctuary can declare themselves as a “Supporting Sanctuary” church, pledging resources, people, and assistance to those churches who have declared Sanctuary.

Illustrated Resources from 2008 to 2016

  • Proper 8A (2011)

    by Delmer Chilton
    "Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate. - Bonhoeffer..."
  • "A Rabble of Blasphemous Conspirators": Proclamation and Reception of the Early Believers

    by Daniel Clendenin
    ("In one snapshot from the early third century, the Roman lawyer and Christian Minucius Felix pictures how Roman society viewed believers. His dialogue between two friends called The Octavius is a short text, and surprisingly accessible to a general readership. In the first half of the dialogue, Caecilius presents his pagan criticisms...")
  • Coffee Time with Jesus

    by Mark Greenthaner
    ("Mark Twain is well known for something that he calls 'elaborating the truth', so you never quite know where some of his stories step past the boundaries of absolute fact and enter into the area of almost fiction. He has an incredible ability to observe human beings, and see what's really going on. His analysis is always sharp and witty, usually gentle and loving, often challenging...")
  • The Art of Welcome

    by Trace Haythorn
    ("In her book Amazing Grace, Kathleen Norris tells the story of a nun who, although she has Alzheimer's, still asks to be rolled in her wheelchair to the door of her nursing home so she can greet every guest..." and good discussion of welcoming)
  • Proper 8A (2011)

    by Scott Hoezee
    ("The surgeon Richard Selzer relates a story that may help us understand how people see Jesus in us. One day, Selzer writes, he had to remove a tumor from the cheek of a young woman. After the surgery, the woman lies in bed, her postoperative mouth twisted in a palsied, clownish way. A tiny twig of the facial nerve had been severed in the operation...")
  • Gifts of Compassion

    by Kate Huey
    (includes several quotes)
  • Welcoming Ways

    by Kate Huey
    (includes several quotes)
  • Sittin' on God's Porch

    by Steven Molin
    ("It was the summer of 1975, Marsha was pregnant with our first-born, and I was required by the seminary to spend a month doing an urban plunge on the west side of Chicago. My host family was the Charlsens; Mama, four boys, five girls, all living in a two bedroom apartment. Yup, it was crowded. They let me sleep on the love seat in the living room, and I displaced the two youngest children in doing so. Every morning, they would let me have the bathroom first. If I arrived after dark, two of the older boys in the family would wait for me at the subway stop two blocks from their apartment...")
  • Oh, Jesus Christ, Is It You Again?

    by Debra Dean Murphy
    ("In her book Dakota, Kathleen Norris tells the story, said to originate in a Russian Orthodox monastery, of an older monk telling a younger one: 'I have finally learned to accept people as they are. Whatever they are in the world, a prostitute, a prime minister, it is all the same to me. But sometimes I see a stranger coming up the road and I say, "Oh, Jesus Christ, is it you again?".'...")
  • A Glass of Lemonade

    by Larry Patten
    ("In my second year of seminary, while I lived on campus, Ella and Henry settled in next door for a semester-long sabbatical. Henry was a professor and author, an expert on 'black preaching'....")
  • A Cup of Water for Isaac

    by Andrew Prior
    (includes several quotes)
  • A Place for the Prophet

    by Jan Richardson
    ("In her book Dakota: A Spiritual Geography, Kathleen Norris tells a story that's said to come from a Russian Orthodox monastery. A seasoned monk, long accustomed to welcoming all guests as Christ, says to a young monk, "I have finally learned to accept people as they are...")
  • The Way of Welcome

    by Jan Richardson
    ["Like my friend Kyla, Saint Brigid carried her hospitality with her from the time she was a young girl. Extravagant and precocious in her generosity to the point of giving some of her parents' possessions away ('holy thieving', as one writer has described it), Brigid grew up to become a woman renowned for the way she welcomed others"...]
  • Cook Food. Serve Love

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    ("Getting your message across in the simplest, most 'user-friendly' manner is always good for business. When Jesus began his own Galilean mission, wandering the familiar countryside, speaking to both his disciples and to the crowds that would spontaneously appear to hear his words, Jesus kept it simple...")
  • The Rewards Program for Christians

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    ("We've all seen the big, hairy Viking oaf who is the spokesman for the CapitalOne Visa card: 'What's in your wallet?' He demands to know, because if it's not the credit card he is hawking, you are missing out on all the rewards you could be getting. Every credit card company out there is trying to convince us that running up even more debt is a 'rewarding' thing to do...")
  • Second Nature through Spirit Nurture

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    ("It is every parent's dream. It goes like this. Your child is a guest at someone's home. Maybe a friend or a relative. When the meal is over, your child is the one who, without being told, spontaneously rises from the table, gathers their plate and even grabs another place setting, and takes them into the kitchen and put them either in the sink or in the dishwasher...")
  • Caring in a World of Need

    by Alex Thomas
    ("He was raised in a large family. His parents survived the depression but they struggled to provide food and clothing for the family. When he was around ten years old a friend invited him to go to church with his family. He went - the Sunday School class was great. As class ended the teacher pulled him aside and said, 'Son, please don't come again dressed as you are now.'..." and other illustrations)
  • Changing Our Perception of God

    by Alex Thomas
    My understanding is that in early times the Canaanite religion demanded the sacrifice of a son to the fiery god Marduk. This was ingrained in the people's thinking, and they felt that an offering such as this was necessary to keep foreign enemies from invading the land. This kind of thinking was common. There was human sacrifice in that part of the world, and human sacrifice is indicated in some other parts of the Hebrew Scriptures. This story of Abraham taking Isaac up to the mountain to sacrifice him illustrates to me a change in Abraham's understanding of God. This God that was calling him to be the father of a new nation was not like Marduk or any of the other gods worshipped by the people of that time and place. Abraham discovered that this God that he was coming to know did not demand human sacrifice.
  • Movies/Scenes Representing Generosity

    Compiled by Jenee Woodard
  • Illustrations (Proper 8A)(2002)

    by Tim Zingale
    ("Entertaining says, 'I want to impress you with my home, my clever decorating, my cooking.' Hospitality, seeking to minister, says,'This home is a gift from my Master. I use it as He desires.' Hospitality aims to serve..." and others)
  • The Rough Road

    by Tim Zingale
    ("In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10-year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him. 'How much is an ice cream sundae?' 'Fifty cents,' replied the waitress. The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied a number of coins in it. 'How much is a dish of plain ice cream?' he inquired....")

Illustrated Resources from the Archives

  • The Welcome Mat Is Out

    by Bob Allred
    ("I like the popular phrase Random Act of Kindness or RAC's. The idea is to go through the day performing RAC's: This is done for no reason, other than to fulfill Jesus’ admonition...")
  • Welcoming the Stranger

    by Bob Allred
    ("Burger King has the right idea. They have printed a customer's Bill of Rights right on the paper placemat on the tray under the food. I would call it Customer Friendly. It says: 'You have the right to have things your way...")
  • Satisfying Thirst

    by Tom Cox
    ("Nineteenth Century writer Henry David Thoreau put it this way: 'I sat at a table where were rich food and wine in abundance and great attendance, but sincerity and truth were not...")
  • More Important Than Family (RC & EL)

    by Adrian Dieleman
    ("When Julius Caesar landed on the shores of Britain with his Roman legions, he took a bold and decisive step to ensure the success of his military venture. Ordering his men to halt on the edge of the Cliffs of Dover, he commanded them to look down at the water below...")
  • Ordinary 13A (1996)

    by Mary Durkin
    ("St. Brigit of Kildare was the daughter of a noble pagan who sold her mother, his Christian concubine, to a druid when he learned of her pregnancy. It is said that once St. Brigit was of an age to fixed her mind on God, all she asked for was granted...")
  • Welcome in Christ's Name

    by Richard Fairchild
    "I once read about a woman whose church group bought Christmas gifts for a missionary family. After meticulously selecting the presents based on the family's needs, sizes and ages, the group gathered to pack them..."
  • Ordinary 13A (2005)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time there was a kind of worthless teenage boy. I mean he never did much wrong, but he never did much right either. He got the kind of grades which would just barely get him into college...")
  • Love Me Tender

    by Mark Haverland
    ("In Des Moines, Iowa, dozens of people descend with pails and mops, hammers and saws on a run-down house and clean it from top to bottom while the frail elderly owners look on, dazed and smiling...")
  • The Ministry of Hospitality

    by Mark Haverland
    ("One day several years ago, I was home on a weekday morning during a break in the legislative day. While preparing a stew for the crock-pot, the doorbell rang. When I opened the door, little four year old Katie from down the street was standing there with a small bag. 'I'm running away from home,' she announced. 'Can I run away to your house?'...")
  • The Stranger at the Door

    by Randy Hyde
    ("One night, Mark Ralls, a minister in North Carolina, was leaving his church at the same time a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous was adjourning. He found himself in conversation with a man standing next to his rusty, worn-out Ford, and introduced himself as one of the pastors of the church that had hosted his group. The man sighed and told Mark how long he had intended to "get back to church." So Mark invited him to worship. Immediately, the man launched into a story of his life...")
  • The Glue of Simple Courtesy

    by Fred Kane
    ("One Dutch family living in America tells their story about hiding Jews. They wouldn't tell it for years out of humility. It just wasn't their nature to go around talking about these things. Besides, they said, they thought everybody did it...")
  • Encouragement

    by James Kegel
    ("No matter what you do, someone can always criticize it. What is the opposite of criticism? It is acceptance, support, encouragement. We all need that to be our best selves. It is said of parents rearing children that our children become what we think of them. If we think they fall short and do not meet our expectations, then that is what they will become. If we support and encourage them, see them in the best way, they will rise to the challenge...")
  • The Ministry of Hospitality

    by Paul Larsen
    ("Marian Wright tells the story of a school teacher named Jean Thompson, and a fifth grade boy, Teddy Stollard. Little Teddy Stollard slouched in his chair and didn't pay attention..." and other illustrations)
  • Ordinary 13A (2008)

    by Paul O'Reilly, SJ
    ("When I was about 8, I went out with my parents one night when the car broke down - miles from any where. It was midwinter. It was pouring with rain and bitterly cold...")
  • We Are Called to Radical Discipleship

    by William Oldland
    ("The day was June 3rd, 1886. The place was Namugongo, Uganda. An event is about to take place that will change the shape of Christianity in this country for all time...")
  • A Cup of Cold Water

    by Ray Osborne
    ("As many of you know years and years ago I used to play football. In fact I went to the doctor some years after college and he immediately recognized my athletic build...")
  • Proper 8A (2002)

    by Joe Parrish
    "Percy Shelley's haunting poem Ozymandias recounts his recollection of an observation a traveler made of a broken statue of thirteenth century BC Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II lying in the desert sands..."
  • The Importance of Little Ones

    by John Pavelko
    ("Henri Nouween writes, 'At first the word "hospitality" might evoke the image of soft, sweet kindness, tea parties, bland conversations, and a general atmosphere of coziness...")
  • A Cup of Cold Water

    by Stephen Portner
    ("The movie Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ is a story of one man's encounter with Jesus and how it changed his life. Ben Hur had been enslaved by the Romans...")
  • Dying to Live

    by Gary Roth
    ("While I was on my internship in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, there was an incident in our neighboring state, Minnesota. The winters up there are hard: blizzards and temperatures in the winter of thirty and even forty below zero are not uncommon. During one bad snowstorm, a woman's car broke down on her way to Rochester...")
  • Be Hospitable As God Is Hospitable to You

    by Ron Saunders
    ("There's an old story about a little boy who was riding across town on a city bus. He was huddled close to a very well-dressed lady and was swinging his legs back and forth out in the aisle like kids will do. Accidentally, he rubbed his shoes up against the woman sitting across from him...")
  • How God Gets His Kicks

    by Billy D. Strayhorn
    ("While Dietrich Bonhoeffer was in a nazi prison for opposing Hilter, he became dependent on others for any news from the outside. It was a red letter day when the post came which broke the drab monotony of prison life...")
  • I Need Help!

    by Alex Thomas
    ("Bernie Seigal in a book How To Live Between Office Visits has an interesting note on on what he would like to see in hospitals: What should the hospital of the future be like? The word hospital derives from hospitality...")
  • Wonder and Secrets

    by J. Barry Vaughn
    ("There are some truths that seem more apparent to children. Hans Christian Andersen recognized this in his story The Emperor's New Clothes....")
  • Ordinary 13A (2008)

    by John Vildzius
    ("A few minutes before the services started, the people were seated in their pews. Suddenly, Satan appeared at the front of the church. Everyone started screaming and running for an exit, trampling each other in a frantic effort to get away from evil incarnate...")
  • Welcoming Jesus

    by Garth Wehrfritz-Hanson
    (includes several quotes)
  • Ordinary 13A (2005)

    by Walter Ray Williams
    ("we watched the movie Bright Young Things, a film based on the Catholic novelist Evelyn Waugh's novel Vile Bodies, set in England during the heady days before the tragic outbreak of World War II. The opening scene is one of a party, the first of many parties, with all the expected costumes, dancing, drug-taking, and illicit liaisons...")
  • A Life of Burdens

    by Tim Zingale
    ("A pastor says: 'In the real world of pain, how could one worship a God who was immune to it? I have entered many Buddhist temples in different Asian countries and stood respectfully before the statue of the Buddha...")
  • Welcoming Christ

    by Samuel Zumwalt
    ("In the June 2005 issue of Touchstone Magazine, Fredericka Mathewes-Green writes about her journey from hippie adolescence to life with her husband, a former Episcopal and now Eastern Orthodox priest...")

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Children's Resources and Dramas

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