Isaiah 40: 21-31

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  • Waiting for Christ

    by Frederick Buechner
  • Exegesis (Isaiah 40:21-31)

    by Richard Donovan
  • Everyone Is Searching

    by Ginger Gaines-Cirelli
  • Epiphany 5B (2021)

    by Phil Heinze
  • Our Present Exile

    by Janet Hunt
    I have found myself stretched as I wrapped up reading a little book: White Lies: Nine Ways to Expose and Resist the Racial Systems that Divide Us, by Daniel Hill. At the heart of what Pastor Hill offers is this: Pointing to the observation of C.S. Lewis in The Screwtape Letters, we are reminded that “the devil is a liar.” (Both C.S. Lewis and Pastor Hill refer, of course, to the very words of Jesus where he says that ‘the devil is the father of lies.’ (John 8:39-59.) And the lie that we have bought into in this country is one of white supremacy: that we are living under the assumption, in a system, that has been built and nurtured by the lie that there is a hierarchy based on the color of our skin. And yes, this is only most obviously true of those who carry torches and shout slogans and threaten and do violence. It is also true of those of us (and I include myself in this) who find it difficult to talk about it and who, perhaps, only noticed the full impact of it in these last hard months as it has become so apparent that this pandemic has hit harder: Those without adequate health care, Those living in substandard or overcrowded housing, Those who have to ‘go to work,’ not having the privilege to stay at home, Yes, those who, for the most part, were born with a darker skin pigment than mine. Without a doubt, ‘white supremacy’ is idolatry. Anything where we put our trust in before God is idolatry. And if we do not find ways to name it, to stand up against it, to do all we can to eradicate it, then that idolatry is also ours...
  • Hidden from the Lord

    by Kelley Land
  • Coming through Captivity

    by Cheryl Lindsay
  • Sermon Starters (Epiphany 5B)(2021)

    by Stan Mast
    C.S. Lewis asked the key question for those who know how Israel and Mary felt. What can you reasonably expect from God? You may be familiar with his story. In his early life he was a confirmed agnostic, but then to his surprise he was converted and became one of the preeminent explainers and defenders of the Christian faith in the 20th century. His books have helped millions believe in the God of the Bible, the God who became human in Jesus Christ. Lewis was particularly eloquent about the problem of pain. If you’ve seen the movie “Shadowlands,” you can hear him say, “Pain is God’s megaphone.” Lewis was a true believer who assisted many sufferers like Mary through the shadowlands of life. Then came his own valley of shadows, where he discovered disappointment with God first hand. Fairly late in life he fell in love with Joy Davidman. They were married only a short time when she became ill. Lewis called on God to heal her. He begged and pleaded. And she died. Lewis was shattered, overcome with grief. In his book, A Grief Observed, he talks about his disappointment with God. God is our refuge and our strength, he says, a very present help in trouble. But I prayed for this love of my life and God was not a very present help in trouble. In spite of all my prayers and my faith, she died. What, he asks, what can we reasonably expect from God when we’re in trouble?...
  • Soaring on Wings like Eagles

    by Jim McCrea
    Ida B. Wells was a journalist, educator, and early leader in the civil rights movement. She lived out of that kind of faith confidence. In “The Cross and the Lynching Tree,” theologian James Cone highlights this characteristic of Wells’ pioneering work in the anti-lynching movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Wells helped to awaken the conscience of the nation to the horrors of lynching, despite the fact that her work was shunned by white Christians and even some Black ministers. When asked what sustained her, she always spoke of her faith, one that was formed and nurtured by ex-slave parents — a faith defined by the cross of Jesus and Black resistance to white supremacy. Cone tells the story of Wells’ clandestine visit — in disguise and at the risk of her life — to 12 condemned Arkansas prisoners who had survived the massacre of nearly 300 Blacks in Elaine, Arkansas, in 1919. When those prisoners insisted that “we are innocent, but all we can do is pray to the Lord and sing and time passes on,” Wells admonished them with these words: “Why don’t you pray to live and ask to be freed? The God you serve is the God of Paul and Silas who opened the prison gates, and if you have all the faith you say you have, you ought to believe that God will open your prison doors too.” Time would eventually prove that her faith was justified. Ultimately those prisoners were acquitted by the Supreme Court. After their release, one of the freed convicts told Wells’ family that following her visit, “we never talked about dying anymore, but did as she told us, and now every last one of us is” free...
  • God is With Us

    by AnnaKate Rawles
  • Epiphany 5B

    by Howard Wallace et al
  • Epiphany 5B (2021)

    by Tyler Waters-Smith
  • Epiphany 5B (2021)

    by Kristin J. Wendland

Resources from 2018 to 2020

  • Epiphany 5B (2018)

    by Charles L. Aaron, Jr.
  • Epiphany 5B (2018)

    by Doug Bratt
    In her August 24, 2006 New York Times article entitled, “Secrets of Endurance: Eating to Go (and Go and Go),” Catherine St. Louis describes the running phenomenon that is “bonking.” She compares it to running out of gas in the fast lane of the Long Island Expressway. Australian triathlete Chris Legh fell victim to bonking at the 1997 Ironman championships. His meltdown was, in fact, so vivid that a Gatorade advertisement immortalized it. Just before Legh reached the finish line, his limbs went as limp as a rag doll’s because he was both dehydrated and underfed. “One moment he was striding,” St. Catherine reports. “The next he had collapsed.” “You can do all the training in the world,” she goes on to quote Legh as later saying, “but if you go out too fast, or make a mistake with your nutrition, then your day is done.”
  • Getting a Good View

    by Evan Garner
  • Flying High

    by Vince Gerhardy
    This year will mark the 90th anniversary of Charles Kingsford Smith’s crossing of the Pacific Ocean in his three-engined monoplane named the Southern Cross. (This plane is now on display near the Brisbane airport). After leaving San Francisco in May 1928 and touching down in Hawaii, Fiji. Charles and his crew of 3 were given a hero’s welcome at Brisbane and then Sydney’s Mascot Airport. They had crossed the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean with no radar, no radio navigation, just a few basic navigational instruments – a compass, a chart, a clock and just plain guesswork. What made the situation even worse was that half of the trip was spent battling violent storms and inky blackness. They had to dump precious fuel to fly in circles to climb above the storms and get their bearings. A small error of navigation would mean missing those important islands in the Pacific and so run out of fuel and perish...
  • New Beginnings

    from Grafted-In
  • Epiphany 5B (2018)

    by Phil Heinze
  • God's View

    Art and Faith by Lynn Miller
    How we human beings strive to be seen as important in our world. Some people will trade everything that should matter to them in order to be powerful and important according to the world's assessment. But perhaps we should remember how we look when seen from a different point of view. Isaiah tells us that we look like insects from where God is sitting.
  • Epiphany 5B (2018)

    by Danny Quanstrom
  • Awe

    by Carmen Retzlaff
  • Longing to Fly

    by Melissa Bane Sevier
  • Have You Not Heard, Grasshopper?

    by Todd Weir
    Why do people ask questions which they don’t expect to be answered? Sometimes a question can underscore the point better than the statement of a fact. For example: “How many roads must a man walk down before you call him a man?” The answer is blowing in the wind. Bob Dylan’s song is a great example of how rhetorical questions probe the listener with an urgency to listen more deeply and reflect on our assumptions. He uses nine rhetorical questions to lay bare the senselessness of war: Yes, how many times must a man look up Before he can see the sky? Yes, and how many ears must one man have Before he can hear people cry? Yes, and how many deaths will it take till he knows That too many people have died?
  • Starry, Starry Night

    by Wendy Joyner

Resources from 2015 to 2017

Resources from 2009 to 2014

Resources from the Archives

Children's Resources