Deuteronomy 26: 1-11

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Illustrated Resources from the Archives

  • A Whole Lot of Poor Judgment

    by Steve Bauman
    ("Lewis Smedes in his book, Pretty Good People, recounts the bad days of Salem, Massachusetts when good people were accused of consorting with the devil and spiriting death into their neighbor's souls. During the days of the witch trials the only escape for the innocent was to confess to crimes they had not committed..." and other good illustrations)
  • We Have a Story, Too

    by Kathy Donley
    In 1637, all of Europe was at war, in the midst of the Thirty Years War. It was a terrible time. There was a walled city called Eilenburg in Germany and thousands of refugees came there seeking safety. Then the plague came. Soon thousands upon thousands upon thousands of children and teenagers and men and women were dying. At this point in history a 51-year-old pastor named Martin Rinkart, was serving a Lutheran Church in Eilenburg. In one year, more than 4,000 people died, including Martin’s own wife. At one point, he was the only pastor remaining in that city – one had moved to a safer place and Martin performed the funerals of the other two. So, in the midst of his own grief, Martin was conducting 40-50 funerals a day. To his congregation he said, “We must lean on God’s presence. We must be the presence of Jesus for one another. We must have the sustaining presence of the spirit to guide us or we will not survive.” And in this time when thousands of people were dying every day, Martin Rinkart was so focused on the presence of God that he wrote a hymn, “Now Thank We All Our God”.
  • Lent 1C (2010)

    by Scott Hoezee
    ("Across the years, one of the more popular segments of shows involving Jay Leno has been his segment called "Jaywalking". Leno goes out into the streets of Los Angeles or Burbank or some other American city and he pulls people aside to ask them what are, all things considered, not terribly difficult questions....")
  • Beautiful Feet

    by Donald Hoffman
    For more than a year, her son in California had been sending her money. Finally she felt she had enough, and she paid all of it, more than $2000, to a man who promised he could get her and her three younger children across the Rio Grande safely into America. Shortly after midnight they had crossed the river, and the guide had said, “Wait here!” and disappeared into the night. Three hours have passed, and he hasn’t returned. She becomes convinced he has abandoned her, taken her money and fled. What is she going to do? She is lost and alone in the desert, with three children (the oldest is only twelve), and the sun will be rising soon. She suddenly understands that if they are lucky ... they will be captured. If they aren’t lucky, they will die out here. She prays--desperately, with no hope--but still she prays.... Suddenly a shadow looms against the night. A man is coming. Not her guide. Someone else. As she watches she realizes he is walking with a limp. So he can’t be someone to help them, he must be another wetback, another refugee who got lame on the journey and was left behind. “Mother Rosita?” he whispers. “Yes, how do you know my name?” “I am the man sent to help you. We have a truck two miles away. Are you and your children strong enough to follow me?” “Yes,” she says. “We will be stronger, now that we know there is help. Did you injure yourself looking for us?” “No,” says her new guide. “I was born with a club foot. No one ever suspects that I, with my disability, would ever be out walking in the desert, helping fugitives across the border.” And in that moment Mother Rosita realized she would never look at a crippled person in the same way, ever again. Even limping, this man ... had beautiful feet...

    and another illustration

  • Who IS God? Not One, Not Two...

    by Dawn Hutchings
    Joan Chittister tells a story of a seeker: “How does one seek union with God?” the seeker asked. “The harder you seek, the more distance you create between God and you,” the elder answered. “So what does one do about the distance?” the seeker persisted. “Understand that it isn’t there.” The elder answered. “Does that mean that God and I are one?” the seeker continued. “Not one, not two,” the elder answered. “But how is that possible?” the seeker cried, dismayed...
  • Commanded to Thankfulness?

    by Beth Johnston
    As I think I have told you before, I love the BBC comedy series, the Vicar of Dibley; I have them on DVD so I can watch one whenever I want. One of my favourite episodes is, “The Handsone Stranger”. In this episode, the Rev Geraldine Granger, the Vicar in the Church of England Parish of Dibley, is depressed and probably on the verge of eating a great deal of chocolate, because, after 100 weddings in the parish, she is always the one, as she laments, “in the cassock and not the pretty white frock”. Then, a handsome stranger named Harry Kennedy, an accountant from London, moves to the village. They take an immediate liking to each other and begin dating. Things could not be better until a blonde appears in the village and moves in with Harry. They are frequently seen walking hand and hand all over the village. To make a long story short he arrives at the vicarage one evening and says to her, “I’ve thought about it a lot and talked about it a lot and wondered whether or not you would consider marrying me?” Being a vicar, she assumed he was asking her to officiate at his wedding to the same blonde she has seen him with recently. The blonde turns out to be his sister. When that mistake is cleared up he tries again, saying, “Geraldine Granger, I’m asking YOU to marry me, Geraldine Granger, .........I’ve decided that I must follow my heart. .......... I loved you the second I laid eyes on you and I absolutely know we are meant to be together forever and that we will always be happy”. It was this last line of his proposal came to mind when I read the passage from Deuteronomy for this week...
  • Gratitude as an Approach to Life

    by Beth Johnston
    How many of you have ever seen “The Vicar of Dibley”? The episode I am thinking of is the one called, “The Handsome Stranger” and the scene is the “marriage proposal”. A short time after a “handsome stranger” bought the house not far from the rectory and moved to the village for the weekends, he and Geraldine, the vicar, start to date. She is completely and utterly smitten but she is not sure the feeling is mutual. He arrives at her door late one night, obviously very nervous, and asks her to marry him saying, among other things, “I absolutely know we are meant to be together forever and that we will always be happy”. We all know though that this was just a tv show, and a comedy at that, and real life is never that simple.
  • Living in the Kingdom

    by Jim McCrea
    ("On August 6, 1945 Claude Eatherly piloted a weather plane over Hiroshima, Japan as part of the nine-plane support group involved in dropping the first atomic bomb in history. That bomb incinerated 100,000 people and scarred hundreds of thousands more for life. As a result of his involvement in this event, Eatherly developed a deep sense of guilt over causing so much pain..." and another illustration)
  • We Have a Story: God's Story

    by Carl Wilton
    Some of you who, like me, are a little long in the tooth may remember Alex Haley's bestseller, Roots and the TV mini-series of the 1970s based on it. It was based on his research into his own family's origins. At the heart of it is a story, repeated over and over again, as each generation of that African-American family is succeeded by another. It's the story of Kunta Kinte...

Other Resources from 2019 and 2020

  • Lent 1C (2019)

    by Marissa Coblentz
  • A Wandering Illinoisan Was My Ancestor

    by Kathy Donley
    The evil and suffering of the Holocaust is never far from mind. It was the focus of one of the most significant moments of the Emmy Awards Ceremony two weeks ago. Alex Borstein won for her role in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. It’s a show about a woman in the 1950’s who breaks with social custom when she pursues a career as a stand-up comic. Alex Borstein accepted the award with thanks to her mother and her grandmother, who are immigrants and Holocaust survivors. She said, “My grandmother turned to a guard… she was in line to be shot into a pit and . . . she said, ‘what happens if I step out of line?” and the guard said, ‘I don’t have the heart to shoot you, but somebody will,’” Alex said, “and she stepped out of line, and for that I am here, and my children are here, so step out of line, ladies. Step out of line.”...
  • Wilderness Identity

    by Evan Garner
  • Lent 1C (2019)

    by Phil Heinze
  • Who Is God?

    by Dawn Hutchings
    Let me tell you a classic Thanksgiving story created by the brilliant Garrison Keillor, which takes place on the outskirts of Lake Wobegon, where “All the women are smart. The men are good looking. And the children are above average.” “It’s been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon.” Keillor’s old home town. “There was a holiday this last week and the return of the exiles. The exiles who come back to their home. Children who’d grown up and moved away and had families, and learned how to complicate their lives in all sorts of new and interesting ways. They come back every year to a little town so much the same it’s hard to look at it and not believe you’re still twelve years old and that’s just how some of the returning children behaved too, when they came back...
  • It's About Noticing

    by Beth Johnston
  • Lent 1C (2019)

    by Brian Jones

Other Resources from 2013 to 2015

Other Resources from the Archives

Children's Resources