Revelation 1: 1-8

New Resources

  • Easter 2C (2019)

    by Ronald Allen
  • Jesus Christ: Alpha and Omega, First and Last

    by Craig Condon
    A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, and Z.” Hailey looked at her three-year-old brother. “Okay, Curtis, now you try.” Curtis looked like he was thinking intensely. “A!” he suddenly shouted, and then, after a pause, “Z!” “Ugh!” Hailey put her hand on her head in frustration. Dad, who was watching the whole thing, began to laugh. “I’m glad you think this is funny,” Hailey said. “I’ve been working with him for an hour, and he’s just not getting it.” “Why is it so important that he know the alphabet right now anyway?” asked Dad. “Jenny and I are having a race,” replied Hailey. “I’m trying to get Curtis to learn the alphabet before she teaches her dog to sit and roll over. If Curtis learns the alphabet first, I get to pick the movie we watch this weekend.” Dad chuckled and shook his head. “You guys are silly.” Hailey laughed. “Yeah, I guess.” She put her head in her hands and sighed...
  • Exegesis (Revelation 1:4-8)

    by Richard Donovan
  • Not Scary, But Hopeful

    by John Holbert
  • Easter 2C (2019)

    by Thomas O'Brien
  • Easter 2C (2019)

    by Danny Quanstrom
  • Living in the Center

    by Michael Ruffin
  • Easter 2C (2019)

    by Richard Swanson

Illustrated Resources from the Archives

  • Christ the King (B)(2018)

    by Doug Bratt
    My colleague Stan Mast’s Sermon Starter on this text (November 16, 2015) quotes some famous first words. He points out that the country song, “Famous First Words” lists some things you might hear first in a bar: “Hey, where have you been all my life? Haven’t we met somewhere before? Don’t I know you?” Mast also quotes some literary first words. Consider C.S. Lewis’ The Voyage of the Dawn Treader’s, “His name was Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.” Or Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities’, “It was the best of times and worst of times.” That got me to thinking about famous last words. Harriet Tubman’s “Swing low, sweet chariot.” Benjamin Franklin’s, “A dying man can do nothing easy.” Groucho Marx’s, “This is no way to live!” But how often do famous first last words echo famous first words? Among Revelation’s first words is “grace” (1:4). Among its last words is also “grace” (22:21). There’s a beginning and end that you can give your life to.
  • Is, Was and Is to Come

    by Amos Disasa
    On that front page, there were articles about a shooting of a South Carolina sheriff's deputy, a report about a woman that killed her boyfriend then herself, an Orangeburg County house fire that killed a 62-year-old man. And right beside these articles about a future that wasn't now, was a story about an army sergeant that escaped death after a roadside bomb exploded under his Humvee in Iraq while he was out on a routine patrol. Twenty months after the explosion that burned his entire body and singed the pigment of his face, Sergeant Terry Fleming testified to the Kingdom of God in the present as he offered these words: "I don't have all of my fingers, but I have my arms and legs. My face is going to be ok. Thank God." Side by side, the senselessness of death, the miracle of life. God is, was, will be."
  • From A to Z

    by Rick Miles
    You may or may not know the courageous story of Patricia Neal. She was a famous actress who starred across the silver screen with most of Hollywood’s leading men. Notably, she had been in “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “The Fountainhead,” and “Hud,” for which she won the Oscar for best actress. She was also a Tony Award winning Broadway Star. Along with the acclaim and success she also managed to have a home life with a noted British writer and four children. Then her life fell apart. One day, as her baby son was being wheeled across a busy New York City street, the baby’s carriage was struck by a careless car, then crushed between a truck and a bus with her baby son still in it. Two years later Patricia’s youngest daughter caught the measles and died. Shortly after that, in 1965, Patricia herself almost died of three massive brain hemorrhages. Her speech, vision, and mind were all impaired. Her husband nursed her faithfully for some time, but then left her for another woman. She was at absolute rock bottom. It was then that she called out to God, and she found the strength to fight. She relearned to walk and to talk. Though she never fully recovered everything, she did go on to star again on the silver screen. She was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in “The Subject Was Roses.” She also went on to star in television, seen frequently as a recurring character in “Little House On The Prairie,” and originating the part of Olivia Walton in the Walton’s series pilot, for which she won the Golden Globe. Just a few years prior to her death, a Hollywood reporter pressed her to explain the key to her courage. She pointed to a plaque in the room which read, “Fear knocked at the door. Faith in God answered. Fear knocked no more, For Fear had fled.” When she died in 2010, her last words were, “I’ve had a lovely time.”...
  • A King Worthy to Serve

    by John Pavelko
    Michelle and Dale fell in love just after graduating from high school. During their earlier years together, they delighted in their love for one another. But after six years and three children later, Michelle was standing in the kitchen looking at a stack of dirty dishes in the sink and a pile of dirty diapers on the floor. She decided that enough was enough, so she took off her apron and walked out the door. She called home to check on the children and talk to her husband. At the end of every call, he told her how much he loved her, and asked her to come home. She refused. Desperate, Dale hired a private detective to find his wife. After a few days, the detective told Dale that she was living in a second-class hotel in Midwest. Dale packed his bags, asked his neighbor to care for the children and got on a bus. He found the hotel and climbed the stairs. As he knocked on the door, his hand trembled because he did not know the kind of reception he would receive. When his wife opened the door, she stood in shocked silence, and then fell apart in his arms. Together they packed her bags and returned home. Later that night when the children were in bed, they sat down to talk. He asked her the one question that had long troubled him: `Why wouldn't you tell me where you were when you called? You knew I loved you. Why didn't you come home?' "She replied, `Before, your love was just words. Now I know how much you love me because you came.'"...
  • Christ the King

    by Michael Phillips
    ("An American Tourist in Tel Aviv was about to enter the impressive Mann Auditorium to take in a concert by the Israel Philharmonic. He was admiring the unique architecture, the sweeping lines of the entrance, and the modern décor throughout the building. Finally he turned to his escort and asked if the building was named for Thomas Mann, the world-famous author...")
  • The God Who Is, Who Was, and Who Is To Come

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    ("It has always bothered me that the symbol for Easter is a rodent. It is bad enough that the symbol for Pentecost is a dove, a fancy name for a white pigeon, or a trash bird. But the high and holy festival of Easter -- a rodent? How's that for a beginning to what is sometimes known as "Low Sunday"?...")
  • Illustrations, Quotes and Lectionary Reflections (Revelation 1)

    by Various Authors
    Thomas Kozaki was born in 1582 in Ise, Japan. His father Michael was a carpenter and a Christian. Michael met some Franciscan missionaries and he helped build the Franciscan convents and churches of Kyoto and Osaka. In 1596, fourteen-year-old Thomas was an altar boy. The Japanese ruler Toyotomi Hideyoshi wanted to rid Japan of Christians and he ordered their arrest. In Kyoto and Osaka, 26 Christians, including Michael and Thomas, were arrested. They each had a piece of their left ear cut off, and then paraded from city to city, traveling more than 400 miles. For weeks a man shouted their crimes and encouraged their abuse. The arrested priests and brothers were accused of preaching the outlawed faith of Christianity, the laity of supporting and aiding them. They were each repeatedly offered freedom if they would renounce Christianity. They each declined. The 26 were crucified on February 5, 1597, at Tateyama (Hill of Wheat), in Nagasaki, Japan. Prior to his death, Thomas wrote a touching letter to his mother. In it he says: "Remember also the innumerable blessings bestowed by the Lord Jesus Christ. As everything of this world can be lost soon, even if you might become poor and have to beg for food from people, please take care not to lose the glory of paradise. No matter what people may say to you, please forbear with patience and love to the end."
  • Thanks Be to God

    by Keith Wagner
    I doubt if any of us could have survived that first Thanksgiving in 1621. Half of the pilgrims died from scurvy. The Wampanoag Indians too lost many of their tribe due to a plague. And yet they managed to get together, share their harvest and give thanks. According to historians it is doubtful that they ate turkey. Their main dish was venison. It has been documented that the Indians provided 5 deer. Their feast also included lobster, muscles, fish, corn, radishes, turnips and spinach. Historian Richard Pickering, deputy director of Massachusetts' Plymouth Plantation, says that the real miracle of Thanksgiving was that the Pilgrims and Indians actually had some fun together. Amazingly, their gratitude came after a very harsh winter and a great loss of life. In the midst of great suffering and loss they acknowledged the presence of God...

Left Behind

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