Matthew 11: 16-30

Illustrated New Resources

  • Proper 9A (2020)

    by Delmer Chilton
    Methodist Scholar of World religion Huston Smith often told this Hindu story: The disciple said to the master, “How can I find God?” Instead of answering the question, the master led the student down to the river. After staring out over the water a while, the master grabbed the student pushed his head under the water,holding him there for several minutes while the student struggled. Finally, the master let him go. The student emerged from the water sputtering and gasping for air. After a few minutes, the master said, “So how did it feel down there?” The student glared at the master and said. “It was awful. I thought I was going to die.” The master said, “When you want God as much as you wanted air, when you feel like you cannot live without God in your life; then – you will find God...
  • Common Calling

    by Kathy Donley
    Barbara Brown Taylor is helpful to me here. She describes the difference between single yokes and shared yokes. A single yoke fits across a person’s shoulders with buckets hung from poles on each side. Taylor says, that with a single yoke, “. . .human beings can carry almost as much as donkeys. They will tire easily and have to sit down to rest, and their shoulders will ache all the time . . . but still it is possible to move great loads from one place to another using a single creature under a single yoke.”[1] She says that a shared yoke works very differently. A well matched pair of creatures can all work all day because one can rest a little while the other pulls. “They can take turns bearing the brunt of the load; they can cover for each other without every laying down their burden because their yoke is a shared one.” At the end of the day, they are tired, but not exhausted. Taylor suggests that some of us are weary because we are trying to wear single yokes, trying to do all the things and carry all the weight alone, while Jesus is calling us to a shared yoke...
  • Sermon Starters (Proper 9A)(2020)

    by Scott Hoezee
    For example, during the 1948 Texas campaign for the U.S. Senate, Congressman Lyndon B. Johnson ran against a highly popular former governor of Texas, Coke Stevenson. Johnson knew that Stevenson had a high respect for people’s intelligence. Stevenson believed that people would recognize a blatant lie when they saw one such that there was no need to refute such a lie publicly. The good folks of Texas would figure this out for themselves. So Johnson put out a blatant lie about Stevenson’s stance on a trade issue. Johnson knew Stevenson would not lower himself to attempt to refute this charge. People would know the truth, Stevenson believed. Except that after Johnson hammered away at the lie long enough, folks did start to believe it...
  • Rest

    Art and Theology by Victoria Jones
    includes picture and song
  • I Will Give You Rest

    by Jim McCrea
    •R.H. Lloyd says, “A visitor to London a hundred years ago would have noticed that many men and boys earned their livelihood from carrying goods on their backs from one place to another. Sometimes the journeys would be quite lengthy and the carrier, or porter as he was called, would have to rest. “If he were to put his burden on the ground, he would have to face the difficulty of lifting it back to his shoulders again. So the porter was always on the lookout for a low wall or window-sill on which to place his burden at shoulder height. Some kind people actually erected suitable resting places round and about London. One such resting place still survives on the edge of a pavement near Green Park. It is quite simply made up of a wooden bar resting on two metal legs. Nearby an inscription reads: ‘This porter's rest was erected in 1861 by the Vestry of Hanover Square, for the benefit of Porters and others carrying burdens.’ “The same sort of resting places are to be found in many of the large cities of India. There they are called Soomai Tangi which, simply translated, means ‘a burden bearer.’ These are made up of a stone slab placed across two uprights. “Some years ago when a new altar was placed in the Chapel of St. Christopher’s College in Madras, the altar was made to represent a Soomai Tangi in order to remind all who worshipped there that worship should be a time of refreshment when we can come to God and rest our burdens on him awhile.”...
  • The Yoke of Injustice

    by Timothy Ross
    Martin Luther King told the story of Mother Pollard, who participated in the Birmingham bus boycott. Although she was 72 years old, she walked back and forth to work every single day, foregoing the comfort of the bus and quietly demanding her rights. Dr. King encouraged her to start taking the bus again for the sake of her health. Mother Pollard replied, “My feets is tired, but my soul is rested.” May that tired rest characterize our work for justice...

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!!]
  • Fickle Children and Obstinate Cities

    by D. Mark Davis
    includes lots of Greek exegesis
  • Want to Save Your Life? Lose It.

    by Jerry Fuller, OMI
    ("For those who allow guilt or anxiety over an unfinished workload to prevent them from seeking the rest that refreshes and renews, Mrs. Charles Cowman suggests that a lesson might be learned from the world of music..." and other illustrations)
  • My Burden Is Light

    by Sil Galvan
    ("I came across the following prayer for newlyweds which I believe has a lot to say to all of us with respect to this week's gospel passage: 'Dear God, Please make of our relationship a great and holy adventure. May our joining be a sacred space. May the two of us find rest here, a haven for our souls. Remove from us any temptation to judge one another or to direct one another...")
  • Gracious Invitations

    An Illustration
    ("There were personal invitations: To Zacchaeus, the seeking sinner glimpsing Jesus from a sycamore tree, He said: 'Come down: for today I must abide at thy house'. To his friend Lazarus, dead and bound in a tomb, He cried: 'Lazarus, come forth', and not even the grave could prevent his accepting such a call...")
  • Proper 9A

    by Bill Loader
    (always good insights!)
  • Exegetical Notes (Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30)

    by Brian Stoffregen
    (excellent exegesis)
  • Illustrations, Quotes and Lectionary Reflections (Ordinary 14A)

    by Various Authors
    (lots of good stuff here!!)

Illustrated Resources from 2017 to 2019

  • Fiance of the Year

    by Jim Chern
    On Friday the NY Post shared a story about Will Seaton, a man from Indiana who may have won the "Sweetest Marriage Proposal Ever Award." Will had been dating Ashley Schaus since 2010 - and from the very beginning of their relationship, Ashley explained to Will that she was one of the primary care-givers for her sister Hannah, who has Down syndrome and diabetes. If they were to date, Will needed to know that Hannah was part of, as Ashley put it, "the package deal." From that day on, Hannah was invited to the majority of the couples dates...
  • Gospel Commentary (Ordinary 14A)

    from Claretians
    One of Grimm's stories is about a man who had three sons. The youngest was called Simpleton and was mocked and despised by everyone. When the father wanted wood from the forest he asked his eldest son, the brightest one, to go to get it. Before he went his mother gave him a sweet cake and a bottle of wine. In the forest he met a little gray haired old man who greeted him and asked him for something to eat. The eldest son said: "if I give you my food and drink I'll have little for myself. Go Away!" He left the little man standing and went on his way. But when he started to knock down a tree he cut himself and had to return home to have his arm looked after.
  • Proper 9A (2017)

    by Scott Hoezee
    during the 1948 Texas campaign for the U.S. Senate, Congressman Lyndon B. Johnson ran against a highly popular former governor of Texas, Coke Stevenson. Johnson knew that Stevenson had a high respect for people’s intelligence. Stevenson believed that people would recognize a blatant lie when they saw one such that there was no need to refute such a lie publicly. The good folks of Texas would figure this out for themselves. So Johnson put out a blatant lie about Stevenson’s stance on a trade issue. Johnson knew Stevenson would not lower himself to attempt to refute this charge. People would know the truth. Except that after Johnson hammered away at the lie long enough, folks did start to believe it. By the time Stevenson realized this and finally spoke up publicly, it was too late. during the 1948 Texas campaign for the U.S. Senate, Congressman Lyndon B. Johnson ran against a highly popular former governor of Texas, Coke Stevenson. Johnson knew that Stevenson had a high respect for people’s intelligence. Stevenson believed that people would recognize a blatant lie when they saw one such that there was no need to refute such a lie publicly. The good folks of Texas would figure this out for themselves. So Johnson put out a blatant lie about Stevenson’s stance on a trade issue. Johnson knew Stevenson would not lower himself to attempt to refute this charge. People would know the truth. Except that after Johnson hammered away at the lie long enough, folks did start to believe it. By the time Stevenson realized this and finally spoke up publicly, it was too late...
  • No One Wants to Be Meek, But That's How Jesus Finds Us

    by Terrance Klein
    Although it won the 1928 Nobel Prize for Literature, Sigrid Undset’s medieval trilogy Kristin Lavransdatter is not much read today, but there is a beautiful passage in the second book about Christ the Bridegroom. A priest, Gunnulf Nikulaussön, tells Kristin, a young wife and mother, what drew him to the Lord. It was, what he called, the meekness of the bridegroom, whose love will never seize us nor cease pursuing us, even through the fires of purgatory. For He loved mankind. And therefore did He die, as the bridegroom who hath gone forth to save his bride from the hands of robbers. And they bind him and torment him unto death, while he sees his dearest love sit feasting with his slayers, jesting with them and mocking his torments and his faithful love...
  • A Lighter Load

    by Jim McCrea
    Some people just can’t seem to catch a break; the only luck they seem to have is dogged bad luck. A perfect example may be seen in the Dempsey family. For eight years, they struggled to pay off the massive debts incurred when Mrs. Dempsey’s mother contracted cancer and eventually died from it. When they finally managed to pay off those debts, they decided to move to eastern Washington because the climate there was better for their firstborn son’s chronic asthma. They drove as far as Post Falls, Idaho where they collided with another car nearly head-on. As a result, Mrs. Dempsey spent two months in a Spokane hospital with a fractured skull and brain damage that affected her left arm. Mr. Dempsey suffered chest injuries and bit off part of his tongue. The children suffered concussions, fractured ribs and other injuries. “It’s a miracle any of us survived,” said Mrs. Dempsey.
  • Burdened

    Art and Faith by Lynn Miller
    All three images are by French artist Honore Daumier. All are the same subject and even the same composition. All are called "The Burden". And as much as they have in common, all three are in some ways, unique. One has a bright sky. One has more shadow. One has warmer light. One has a costume difference. It is those differences that might lead to different answers to the questions below, depending on the version under discussion. What is the burden? Is it the bundle carried by the woman? Is it the child? Is it her life situation? Does the same element feel "burdensome" in all three pictures?
  • A Crash Course in Salvation

    by David Sellery
    In retrospect, what a compact case Jesus has put together for the New Covenant and our part in it … as active evangelists not as passive beneficiaries. He opens by putting us on notice. Get over yourself. Stop shopping the gospel for the comfy bits. Give your ego a day off. Approach the word of God with humility. Learn to take yes for an answer. Yes: to the Father for his saving gift of grace. Yes: to the Son for being the vehicle of that grace. Yes: to the faith that welcomes that grace and puts it in action in our daily lives. And Yes: to the yoke that binds us together in the joyous work of salvation. That’s this morning’s crash-course in salvation. Study it. Live it. Then get ready to graduate with flying colors… to a glory beyond all imagining.
  • The Yoke of Mission

    by Michael Simone, SJ
    T. E. Lawrence was astonished by the things his Bedouin companions noticed in the desert. Where Lawrence saw only a bleak expanse of sand, the Bedouin saw animal tracks, small plants, evidence of water and places to hide from the sun. They could squint into the noontime glare and spot the approach of fellow travellers or opposing armies long before Lawrence’s eyes could pick them out. They knew the rhythms of the desert, the wind patterns and seasonal changes that predicted sandstorms or an abundance of life-giving dew. According to Lawrence, the desert was a mother to the Bedouin, and he never ceased to be amazed at their understanding of her ways.
  • Movies/Scenes Representing Judgment

    Compiled by Jenee Woodard
  • Movies/Scenes Representing Repentance

    Compiled by Jenee Woodard

Illustrated Resources from 2011 to 2016

  • When Freedom Becomes a Burden

    by Keith Anderson
    ("One of my favorite books about spiritual rest is a guide to Christian contemplative spirituality by Martin Laird called Into the Silent Land. And in it Laird writes this: 'When the mind is brought to stillness, and all our strategies of acquisition have dropped, a deeper truth presents itself: we are and have always been one with God and we are all one in God.'...")
  • The Soul Whisperer

    by Sharron Blezard
    ("In the 1998 movie The Horse Whisperer, Robert Redford plays horse trainer hired by a workaholic urban magazine editor to help her daughter's horse, Pilgrim, recover from a devastating accident that left Pilgrim and its rider severely injured and another horse and rider dead. Based on Nicholas Evans' 1995 novel by the same name, the film deals with issues of loss, brokenness, burdens, healing, hope, the power of love and sacrifice, and the fragile gift of life...")
  • Christ's Yoke Is Easy and Burden Light When Pitching Truth to Power

    by Jim Davis
    ("Cy Young award winning Toronto Blue Jay pitcher R. A. Dickey throws an unpredictable 70-something mph knuckleball. A knuckleball is thrown so as to have no spin, as opposed to other baseball pitches. He throws the knuckleball slower when behind on the count, and faster when he's ahead. As a right handed pitcher, the flight of the pitch is typically up and in, and then trails down and away from the batter. When he's on his game, imagine the frustration of a right-handed batter...")
  • Proper 9A (2011)

    by Scott Hoezee
    ("In Matthew 11, Jesus goes through a lot. He recalls being called names. He has to pronounce a difficult sentence on unrepentant cities. As the chapter opened, he even had to endure the doubt of his own cousin, John the Baptist. Small wonder that by the end his mind turns toward thoughts of rest for the weary...")
  • Offering Hope: New Habits of Doing and Seeing

    by Rex Hunt
    A parish minister in the South American country of Chile was distributing food for the poor of his village. He was distributing the food which he had been given by friends in North America when he was arrested and sent to a prison in Santiago. The prison was overcrowded. About 150 men were living there. All in a room the size of our paved courtyard. He took over the role of chaplain. He held daily devotions and bible study for his fellow-prisoners. When he was released the other prisoners wrote their names on his back with burnt matches. It was November and the weather was warm. As it happened he got out without being stripped and searched. So he went to the local Peace Committee. Most of the names, names of people who were listed as having ‘disappeared’, were still legible. The names turned up, written with burnt matches on a prisoner's back. The hour of silence was at an end... The names written in black charcoal, became signs of hope. A hope which could not be blotted out by the threat of torture, the terror of silence or even by the softer terror of oblivion.
  • Heavy Burdens

    by Anne Le Bas
    ("Here lies a poor woman who was always tired, She lived in a house where help wasn't hired: Her last words on earth were: 'Dear friends, I am going To where there's no cooking, or washing, or sewing, For everything there is exact to my wishes, For where they don't eat there's no washing of dishes...")
  • Pho (Not Faux) Friendship

    by Larry Patten
    ("My friend Mark asked if I wanted to find pho with him. Pho? Off we went during an Annual Conference lunch break, in search of a hole-in-the-wall restaurant that served pho, a traditional Vietnamese dish. After all, ever since a Conference twenty or so years ago, I've never considered fasting when I have a chance to share table with friends...")
  • The Easy Yoke of Christ

    by John Pavelko
    Sister Teresa of Avila was a nun who lived in the 16th century. She had a rather amazing prayer life. She would see visions and was supposed to have even levitated. She had an amazing relationship with God. One rainy day she was traveling from to a distant city. The road was not paved and her mule was very uncooperative. Several times she had to climb off her wagon and either help the beast of burden pull the cart through the mud or persuade it. She was wet muddy and tired when the mule decided that he had had enough. He stopped and even sat down in the road. She climbed down once again from her cart and began pulling on the mule's harness. At that moment God spoke to her, “Sister Teresa, this is how I treat my friends.” To which she replied, “It is no wonder then that you have so few.”...
  • Shall We Dance?

    by Linda Pepe
    ("The 1956 Rogers and Hammerstein musical The King and I contains one of the most memorable scenes in movie history: Shall We Dance Great scene... But did you ever listen to the lyrics? Here's a sample...")
  • A Complacent Wisdom

    by Andrew Prior
    (includes several quotes)
  • Proper 9A (2011)

    by Amy Richter
    ("It didn't help that she was already late for the meeting. Rushing past the sexton who was putting the recycling out, she had her own arms full as she tried to get the back door of the church open. She knew that in the humidity the door would often stick, but this time, it just wouldn't budge. Not wanting to set anything down, she just pulled as hard as she could...")
  • Rest for Your Souls

    by Nancy Rockwell
    ("Crazy Christians, Bishop Michael Curry's reflections on faith, includes his zany sense of humor, and his profound gift for story telling. Curry is African American and grew up during the Civil Rights era, so he tells a lot of stories of soaking this all in as a child, surrounded by adults who were practicing hope and resurrection in hard times. He uses these experiences to understand many facets of American culture, from the despair and degradation of poverty and racism to the accomplishments of hope and the power of love..." and discussion of Dietrich Bonhoeffer)
  • The Abundance of God As An Invitation to Generosity

    by Ron Rohlheiser, OMI
    ("Scientists tell us that every second, inside the sun, the equivalent of 4 million elephants are being transformed into light, an irretrievable, one-time gift. The sun is giving itself away. If this generosity should halt, all energy would eventually lose its source and everything would die and become inert...")
  • Dented

    by Melissa Bane Sevier
    ("We all come bearing something, don't we? A sadness. A worry. An ache. A dent. Sometimes the dents are obvious to everyone. Sometimes we are pretty good at hiding them. But all of us are dented in some way or other. The dents make us who we are. They make us human...")
  • (Mis)Remembered Words

    by Brian Volck
    ("In an October 13, 1813 letter to his former political rival, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson described his work on a short book, The Philosophy of Jesus of Nazareth. This was Jefferson's own distillation of gospel texts, in which he meant to include, 'the very words only of Jesus', while eliminating all elements Jefferson deemed irrational...")

Illustrated Resources from 2008 to 2010

  • Giving Our Sins to Jesus

    by John Bedingfield
    ("On one of my trips some time ago, I don't know where, I arrived at the place where I was supposed to hold services on Friday evening, Saturday evening and Sunday morning. When I pulled into the parking lot of the church, a funeral was concluding. People were moving to their automobiles; the hearse was still there. The minister saw me, recognized me, and motioned for me to come over. I didn't want to intrude; I was just waiting until it was over. He was standing next to the widow...")
  • Comfortable Words

    by Barbara Crafton
    ("We engraved a graceful echo of these ancient words on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, that most iconic of American monuments. 'Bring me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free...")
  • Jesus' Invitation to Paradox

    by Trace Haythorn
    ("Not walking in step with the establishment is hard work, and it can be dangerous. On this holiday weekend, it's not hard to think of names of those who made hard choices for this nation...")
  • Ordinary 14A (2008)

    by Mike Heinzelman
    ("On a Sunday morning in 1979 in Roanoke, Va, Florine Thornhill passed a woman lying in an overgrown lot near her house. It was not unusual to see drug users passed out in her rundown, drug infested neighborhood so, in her hurry to get to church choir, she ignored the unconscious woman...")
  • Preaching Helps (Proper 9A)(2008)

    by Scott Hoezee
    ("One time Thomas Long was asked to preach at what was billed as a special family worship service. It was a great idea . . . on paper. The notion was to hold the worship service not in the sanctuary but in the fellowship hall...")
  • Sacred Rest

    by Kate Huey
    ("the customs and traditions and even the expectations had hardened and grown heavy, and had become a burden to the people of God. And yet they had to live in hope: 'Every generation,' Long writes, 'wants something good for itself...")
  • Ask the Average Person

    by David Leininger
    ("An anonymous friar in a monastery once wrote these words: 'If I had my life to live over again, I'd try to make more mistakes next time. I would relax, I would limber up, I would be sillier than I have been this trip...")
  • Are You in the Loop?

    by Steven Molin
    "Twenty-eight years ago, while I was on internship at this church, Glenn Carlsen died. Our son was four at the time, and we debated whether or not to take Kyle to the funeral, but Kyle loved Glenn, so we decided to bring him. That night, as we knelt to say prayers, this is what Kyle prayed: 'Dear God; I am glad that Glenn is with you, but I'm sad because I will miss him'..." and other illustrations
  • Ordinary 14A (2008)

    by Paul O'Reilly, SJ
    I have a friend a good and holy Jesuit who is also a world-renowned Biblical expert. I'll call him Father Smith. And his particular expertise is in Biblical languages. He is supposed to know many of the languages which existed in Palestine in Old Testament times - which is not bad at his current age of 84! But, to tell you the truth, he is also a very, very boring teacher. And not all of his students could really believe that such a boring teacher could really be such a brilliant scholar. So, one day, his students decided to put him to the test. They got together and went down into the basement of the library. And there, amidst rows and rows of dusty shelves that clearly nobody had looked at for years, they found a copy of a document in Ancient Assyrian at least that is what it said on the cover. So, they took iit out of its cover and, at his next lecture, Fr Smith found it waiting for him on the lectern obviously a challenge. He picked it up, looked at it for a few moments, then read out a few lines, translating it as he went along. His students were suitably impressed. And then he said, 'Yes, it is Old Assyrian, but rather late Old Assyrian and not very good style. If you look on the next shelf above where you found this, fourth scroll from the right, you will find a much better piece.' And with that he went on with his lecture, having earned his students' undying respect even if not their total attention...
  • If the Yoke Fits

    Poem by Jan Richardson
  • Proper 9A (2008)

    by James Stockton
    ("Just three years after our nation declared its independence and three years before its independence would be become a reality, Francis Scott Key was born in 1779...")

Illustrated Resources from the Archives

  • The Religious Experience of Jesus

    by John Ashton
    ("The topic I have chosen for this lecture is one that would without question have held the deepest interest for William James. In speaking and writing about religion he was particularly concerned, as he said himself, with 'the feelings, acts, and experiences of individual men in their solitude'...")
  • Proper 9A (2005)

    by Hubert Beck
    ("God has a problem . . . and the problem is us! We want God to do what we want him to do, to act like we want him to act, to will those things that we want him to will...")
  • Rest under the Yoke of Christ

    by Peter Blackburn
    ("Jesus says in the words penned by Deirdre Browne: Come as you are – that’s how I want you. Come as you are, feel quite at home...")
  • The Burden of Perfection

    by Gilbert Bowen
    "In Pat Conroy's memoir, My Losing Season, Pat tells the story of his senior year as point guard during the Citadel's basketball season, and what he learned from losing. He also describes the people in his life who smashed him to pieces. Conroy's father was a master at demeaning, attacking and undermining his son. He did it verbally, emotionally. Conroy writes, "There was nothing my father could not teach me about the architecture of despair..." and other illustrations
  • Who Are You Going to Serve?

    by Barbara Bundick
    ("Which reminds me of an old Bob Dylan song called Gonna Have to Serve Somebody. The lyrics go: 'You may be an ambassador to England or France You may like to gamble. You might like to dance...")
  • Children

    by Jason Byassee
    ("We also know about adults who’ve never really grown up. Nick Hornby’s novels are described as “lad lit,” about boys who are men in name only. The film versions, High Fidelity and About a Boy, are so wonderful because we recognize those men—cynically distant from their girlfriends, more interested in pop culture and video games than anything more meaningful...")
  • He Always Comes Through

    by Bede Camera, OSB
    ("Friday afternoon I heard the dreaded words: 'Attention, passengers who are preparing to board Flight 743 to Manchester. Due to the thunderstorms your flight has been cancelled...")
  • My Yoke Is Easy

    by Sam Cappleman
    ("A couple of weeks ago many of us turned on our TV’s to watch the American Formula 1 Grand Prix only to see just 3 teams on the starting grid after the parade lap. As we now know, there was a problem with the safety of one of the types of tires and so the rest of the teams did not race...")
  • The Power of Faith

    by John Catoir
    ("Did you hear the story about the priest, the rabbi and the minister who died all on the same day? They got to heaven and St. Peter was at the gate monitoring those coming in. He said, 'Would you three please wait over there on the side?'...")
  • A Little Refreshment, a Little Comfort!

    by Barbara Crafton
    ("I was standing at the door of St. Paul's Chapel in New York City one noontime, helping with the distribution of bag lunches to the hungry who gathered there every day. There were always 150 lunches to give, never more, never fewer...")
  • Ordinary 14A (1999)

    by Mary G. Durkin
    ("Once upon a time there was a king who was a very good king. Unfortunately, one of his ancestors had been a wicked king and terrorized his subjects, giving all the kings after him a bad name...")
  • Proper 9A (2002)

    by Elizabeth Eddy
    ("Friday night I saw a TV show which gave what to me are good examples of 'resting your soul'. One feature presented a family in Pennsylvania. They raised seven children of their own, and then decided to adopt...")
  • Yoked with Christ

    by Ernest Munachi Ezeogu, CSSP
    "There is a story of a man who had a dream. In the dream he was walking along a sandy beach with Jesus and they were replaying all the important moments of his life..."
  • Come Unto Me for My Burden Is Easy

    by Richard Fairchild
    ("In the early days of automobiles, it was common for eating and drinking places to be built on the tops of long hills...")
  • Who Will Rescue Me?

    by Richard Fairchild
    ("An ancient story is told about a Rabbi who had the prophet Elijah appear to him one day while he was in the market place. There the teachers of the Law were holding forth...")
  • When the Fireworks Fizzle!

    by Justin K. Fisher
    ("“Excess baggage” takes other forms as well. I have an elderly aunt who always amazes me with her resilience. She often says, when troubles loom, “I’ll be concerned about that, but I’m not going to worry about it”. I like that attitude, but seldom practice it...")
  • The Grand Invitation of Grace

    by Richard Foster
    ("Let me tell you the story of a dear friend of mine, Lymon James. He has this son, Zachary, who is three years old. He was telling me how that at one afternoon he decided to take Zachary on an outing...")
  • Proper 9A (2005)

    by Grant Gallup
    ("A Canadian TV documentary on the History Channel began with the most famous and poignant photo of the Vietnam War--the little napalmed girl running screaming through the streets of Saigon. She was eight or ten years old--prepubescent--and naked, her clothes had been torn away by the blast of a U.S. bomb...")
  • Help for the Burdened

    by Vince Gerhardy
    ("In 1976, 22 year old Irishman, Bob Finnegan, was crossing a busy road in Belfast, when he was struck by a taxi and flung over its roof. The taxi drove away and as Finnegan lay stunned in the road, another car ran into him, rolling him into the gutter. It too drove on...")
  • Ordinary 14A (2005)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time there was a boss and an administrative assistant. The a.a. was not the most ambitious or reliable person in the world, but he tried hard at least some of the time...")
  • The Life of Jesus Made Easy

    by Mark Haverland
    ("Hugh Stone, a good friend of mine and the minister at Waukee UMC, recently returned from Africa. One of the experiences he told of was the amount of praying that goes on. Every time they turn around, they pray...")
  • Learning the Unforced Rhythms of Grace

    by Peter Haynes
    ("Paul Grout shared with us about what he called the 'kingdom of (his) childhood'. He had drawn a huge, illustrated "map" of his community growing up, complete with the woods he played in and the ball field upon which he and he brother spent many hours in warmer weather...")
  • Ordinary 14A (2005)

    from Homilies Alive
    ("An Irish writer, John McGahern, tells of an incident which happened when he was a writer-in-residence at Trinity College in Dublin , Ireland . A woman came in once a week to clean his rooms. In less than an hour, she'd have everything all spic and span. She was a charming woman and they often talked as she cleaned. She told him how she would catch the bus for the college every day at 6:00 AM . She took this early bus so that she could be home in time to cook dinner for her family...")
  • When Good Intentions Aren't Good Enough

    by Beth Johnston
    "We are called to a true humility and to a realistic sense of our own short-comings. I found a humorous but telling poem along these lines in a magazine for retired teachers the other day. It goes like this: I dreamed death came the other night And Heaven's gates swung wide. With kindly grace an angel Ushered me inside..."
  • Rest for the Weary

    by James Kegel
    ("Have you ever seen the movie Groundhog Day with Bill Murray? It is one of the most excruciating films I have ever seen. Murray is a television announcer condemned to repeat the same Groundhog Day in Puxatawny, Pennsylvania. Over and over again he relives the events of that day: the alarm would ring at six a.m., the same radio announcement would be made of an impending snowstorm, he would have the same conversation at breakfast, meet the same people on the street....")
  • Freedom

    by Linda Kraft
    ("Stacey was running late. Her alarm hadn't gone off when she'd set it to ring. She'd been up most of the night studying for a final exam and needed to rush to get to class on time...")
  • Feast of St. Francis

    by Anne Le Bas
    ("One day when Francis was travelling about, he came to a town called Gubbio. It had high walls around it, like a lot of towns at that time. But usually you saw people in the fields around the town, coming and going, working and playing. But around Gubbio there was no one at all. Francis went into the town and he asked why no one went outside...")
  • Ask the Average Person

    by David Leininger
    ("An anonymous friar in a monastery once wrote these words: 'If I had my life to live over again, I'd try to make more mistakes next time. I would relax, I would limber up, I would be sillier than I have been this trip...")
  • I Will Give You Rest

    by Barbara K. Lundblad
    ("We really didn't have what you call a 'chicken farm'. Our chickens roamed around a penned in yard and laid their eggs in wooden boxes filled with straw. A real 'chicken farm' had thousands of chickens - we call them egg 'factories'...")
  • Light and Easy

    by David Martyn
    ("God said to an angel, 'Go find the most excellent quality of human experience, and return to tell me what it is.' The angel searched around the world. It saw many things. But what most impressed it was an event in which a confused man was standing in the middle of a busy road...")
  • Light Shining Through

    by David Martyn
    Rachel Remen, was asked to treat one of the angriest people she had ever met. The patient was a star athlete whose life had been a dream: winning records, enormous recognition. Then he developed a pain in his leg. He was diagnosed with cancer and just two weeks later his leg was amputated. The surgery saved his life but ended his life as he knew it. He became depressed, very angry and self-destructive. He dropped out of school, began abusing drugs and alcohol, alienated himself from friends and barely managed to survive one car crash after another. Rachel wrote: “Hoping to encourage him to show his feelings about himself, I gave him a drawing pad and asked him to draw a picture of his body. He drew a crude sketch of a vase, just an outline. Running through the center of it he drew a deep crack. He went over and over the crack with a black crayon, gritting his teeth and ripping the paper. He had tears in his eyes. They were tears of rage. It seemed to me that the drawing was a powerful statement of his pain and the finality of his loss. It was clear that this broken vase could never hold water, could never function as a vase again. It hurt to watch. After he left, I folded the picture up and saved it. It seemed too important to throw away.” As he worked with Rachel Remen, the young man began to heal....
  • All You Need Is Love

    by Jim McCrea
    ("Some years later, I got a writing job in the marketing department of an insurance company. I worked for a woman who could write a sentence so tight that you could bounce a quarter off it. Unfortunately, she also kept herself equally tightly-wrapped. Although she never acknowledged it to me, her yoke was fear...")
  • Proper 9A (2005)

    by Susanna Metz
    ("Several weeks ago on a gray afternoon in June, tourists in Tewkesbury Abbey in England experienced something rather unusual. A pure, clear, child's voice floated in the dim light. It reached into every corner, every chapel and chantry. No matter where you were, you could hear it...")
  • The Secret That Sinners Know

    by Steven Molin
    ("While I was sitting in the corner of a local coffee shop, near their book shelf, a tow-headed two year old, wandered toward me. 'What's your name?' I asked. 'Jordan.' '"Would you like to find a book, Jordan?' I pulled out the brightest, reddest book I could find on the shelf; a book entitled '"Corduroy' and handed it to him. 'No!' he said, as he took the book from me and flipped in on the floor. He reached for a children's book about thunderstorms but tossed it on the floor as well...")
  • True Freedom

    by John Pavelko
    ("Mark was a young man who discovered the freedom in Christ during his search for a position as attorney. During his senior year in law school, he was invited for an interview at a prestigious law firm...")
  • Wise Foolishness

    by Gerry Pierse, C.Ss.R
    ("One of Grimm's stories is about a man who had three sons. The youngest was called Simpleton and was mocked and despised by everyone. When the father wanted wood from the forest he asked his eldest son, the brightest one, to go to get it...")
  • Freedom from Busy-ness

    by Stephen Portner
    ("According to a Greek legend, in ancient Athens a man noticed the great storyteller Aesop playing childish games with some little boys. He laughed and jeered at Aesop, asking him why he wasted his time in such frivolous activity. Aesop responded by picking up a bow, loosening its string, and placing it on the ground...")
  • Real Freedom

    by John Ewing Roberts
    ("When I looked at today's bulletin cover, I did a double take. There was the Statue of Liberty with the flag of the United States billowing behind her. In the foreground I recognized the final portion of today's lectionary gospel reading, 'Come unto me, all you who are weary...and I will give you rest'....")
  • The Sweetest Melody

    by Ron Saunders
    ("There is a story in the Jewish tradition that parents like to tell their children when teaching them the Fourth Commandment, "Remember to keep the Sabbath day holy". It is a story about King Ruben. King Ruben was a very curious man. He was forever asking questions...")
  • You Must Be Yoking!

    by Norm Seli
    ("The other day, a specialist told me that I was getting thinner…. Ordinarily that would thrill me - except that it was my barber who told me I was getting thinner…. I want to keep my hair...")
  • The Greatest Invitation Ever Made

    by John Stott
    ("I do not know anybody who has expressed this better than John Bunyan in his famous allegory The Pilgrim's Progress. It is one of the most eloquent passages in the whole of English literature. Here it is: "Up this way then did burdened Christian run, and not without some difficulty because of the load on his back...")
  • Freedom Through The Yoke

    by Billy D. Strayhorn
    ("I remember an old story about a little boy who was out helping dad with the yard work. Dad asked him to pick up the rocks in a certain area of the yard. Dad looked over and saw him struggling to pull pu a huge rock buried in the dirt...")
  • Going Beyond All Expectations

    by Alex Thomas
    I was greatly impressed this week in watching, "The Boy Whose Skin Fell Off" on TBS television. It was a story of Jonny Kennedy. Two years ago, 36-year-old Jonny Kennedy died from a rare and painful genetic condition called Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB), a condition that can cause its sufferer's skin to literally fall off. In his last months, while battling terminal skin cancer, Jonny worked with filmmaker Patrick Collerton to document his life and death. One would have thought that dealing with his condition would have left him bitter and angry at the world and at God and condemned to a world of frustration. Instead, he remained brave and bold, and out of kindness and selflessness has shared with us in every way that was available to him all the lessons he learned, about himself, about death and most importantly about life. He shared himself and gave himself in the film "The Boy Whose Skin fell off" up to his moment of death (he died during filming).
  • What Do You Expect?

    by Alex Thomas
    ("Laurie Beth Jones in her book Jesus in Blue Jeans has an interesting chapter that relates to dealing with the expectations that others have of us in a chapter Let them Howl...")
  • 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....")
  • True Freedom

    by Keith Wagner
    ("The king asked his royal subjects, 'What is the sweetest melody of all?' Early the next morning they gathered all sorts of musicians. The sound awoke the king and all morning he listened to their tunes...")
  • Proper 9A (2002)

    by Garth Wehrfritz-Hanson
    ("You may have heard or read the following story, told by Aesop: 'A man and his son were leading a donkey to town. After travelling for a little while, they passed a group of young girls ...")
  • Ordinary 14A (2005)

    by Walter Ray Williams
    "A while back I was having a farewell dinner with a young friend of mine, and he was sharing with me some of his reading in modern philosophy. And he questioned, what he called the “fairness” of how it is that we all of a sudden find ourselves existing..."
  • Come to Me

    by Tim Zingale
    ("In a Peanuts column, Lucy is running after Charlie Brown. shouting: 'I'll get you, Charlie Brown! I'll get you. I'll knock your block off ! I'll...'. Suddenly Charlie Brown stops dead in his tracks, turns around and confronts her...")
  • Proper 9A (2005)

    by Tim Zingale
    ("God has not promised skies always blue, Flower-strewn pathways all our life through; God has not promised sun without rain, Joy without sorrow, peace without pain...")
  • Sowing

    by Tim Zingale

Other Resources from 2017 to 2019

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

Other Resources from 2014 to 2016

Other Resources from 2011 to 2013

Other Resources from 2008 to 2010

Other Resources from 2005 to 2007

Other Resources from 1999 to 2004

Other Resources from the Archives

Children's Resources and Dramas

The Classics

Recursos en Español

Currently Unavailable

  • Yoked with Christ

    by Ernest Munachi Ezeogu, CSSP
    ("There is a story of a man who had a dream. In the dream he was walking along a sandy beach with Jesus and they were replaying all the important moments of his life...")
  • Proper 12

    by A. K. M. Adam
    (y A. K. M. Adam) (scroll down to page 17)
  • Ordinary 14

    by Demetrius Dumm, OSB
  • La Gente Sencilla

    por Joseph Madera, M.Sp.S.
  • Ordinary 14

    by Alex McAllister, SDS
  • Ordinary 14

    by Alex McAllister
  • Tips for Discipleship: Take Rest

    by John and Robin McCullough-Bade
  • Stewardship: Partners in God's Plan

    by Harold McNabb
    ("Once, in a sermon on hoarding, I pointed out the foolishness of waiting until we die to give our children their inheritance. I explained, 'When we die, our children will be in their 50's or 60's...")
  • The Yoke's on Us!

    by David Russell
  • Children's Literature

    from Union Presbyterian Seminary
  • Spirit of Understanding

    by Beth Johnston
  • No More Demand Than This

    by Fred Anderson
  • Ordinary 14A

    by Susan Fleming McGurgan
    One summer, when she was just the right age for adventure, she discovered the stories of a girl named Alice. Lucky Alice tumbled down a rabbit hole and walked through a looking glass into a strange and wonderful world— a place far removed from her own (very ordinary, and therefore boring) suburban life. Her new favorite book became grubby and worn, as she kept one eye on the page, and the other eye on her neighbor’s cat as he napped in the sun. She hoped against hope that he would be like the cat in the story: a cat who could appear and disappear at will, leaving nothing behind but a smile. But after careful observation, and a bribery attempt involving tuna, she was forced to admit that he was ordinary— just like her. That summer, she was almost always late for supper. She could often be found talking to caterpillars (just to see if they would talk back), or studying the mirror in her mother’s bedroom, to see if it led somewhere else, or poking a stick down a promising hole near the honeysuckle vine. Alice’s adventures made her own life seem tame.
  • Ordinary 20A

    by K. M. Cusick
  • Powerpoint Images #2 (John)

    Image for Worship by Dorothy Okray

    by David Risendal
  • Ordinary 14A

    by Jude Siciliano, OP