Psalm 126: 1-6

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  • Sermon Starters (Proper 25B)(2021)

    by Scott Hoezee
    In their high school religion classes (four years apart) both my daughter and son had a teacher who early on in the semester engaged the students in an exercise he called “The God Glimpse.” Each student was told to take a 2-week period of time and keep their eyes peeled for glimpses of where they discerned where God by his Holy Spirit was at work. If possible, they were also instructed to snap a photo of their God Glimpse to share with the rest of the class. The results were always interesting and in the end also downright inspiring. Students took photos of things like classmates gathering around a discouraged student who needed a boost after messing up the final play in a close basketball game. They took note of the person in the grocery store who abandoned her own cart to help an older woman who was struggling with her cart and who could not reach items on higher grocery shelves. One student observed that on her bus ride to school each day, they went through a neighborhood that some years earlier had been a haven for drugs and violence. Windows were broken out in most homes, front porches sagged in dilapidation, front yards were untended tangles of weeds. But a Christian organization had rehabbed the whole block and it was now filled with nicely renovated houses and yards and was populated by families with children who played safely in those yards even as older people sat on the refurbished porches to watch the young ones play. “Every time our bus goes down that block,” the student wrote, “it’s like Easter all over again!”...
  • Proper 25B (2021)

    by Matthew Stith

Resources from 2017 to 2020

(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!)
  • Promises

    Video with Eric Anderson
  • Lent 5C (2019)

    by Nancy deClaissé-Walford
  • What a Year!

    Monologue by Stuart Gray
  • Waiting with Joy

    Video Starter with Nikki Hardeman
  • Lent 5C (2019)

    by Phil Heinze
  • Advent 3B (2017)

    by Phil Heinze
  • Sermon Starters (Advent 3B)(2020)

    by Scott Hoezee
    He didn’t make it up on the spot. It was part of a sermon or a speech—and with Martin Luther King, Jr., there sometimes was not a lot of difference between the two—that he had delivered before and that colleagues had heard. But he was not necessarily planning on using those words that day at the Lincoln Memorial with huge throngs of Civil Rights supporters arrayed before him. But after he had been speaking for a bit, some of King’s colleagues behind him began to say, “Tell them about the dream, Martin. Tell them about the dream.” And that’s when he said it. That is when he began some of the most famous words in the whole history of oratory. “I have a dream” King said. And in the coming minutes as he spooled out what that dream looked like, it somehow felt less like a dream and more like an achievable reality after all. You could see it. You could hear it. You could feel it. And when King capped what is now known the world over as his “I Have a Dream” speech, when he said that the words of the old Negro spiritual would soon come true: “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty we are free at last”—well, just hearing him end the dream like that made everyone who heard him feel a bit more free already. Dreams can do that.
  • Sermon Starters (Lent 5C)(2019)

    by Scott Hoezee
    the kind of delirious joy and laughter that Psalm 126 describes reminds me of one of the latter scenes in both the novel and the film version of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. The heroic Hobbits Frodo and Sam have finally accomplished their mission of destroying the evil Ring of Power that once belonged to the wicked and powerful Sauron. But for the last long while before they accomplished this, they were under the impression that their one-time mentor and friend, the wizard Gandalf the Gray, had died before their very eyes in the caverns of Moria and in the clutches of the terrible monster the Balrog. What they did not know was that Gandalf had been resurrected, restored, sent back to Middle Earth as now Gandalf the White, an even more powerful wizard than he had been before. But it is only after Frodo and Sam are rescued from their own peril and brought for a time of healing in the city of Minas Tirith that they encounter Gandalf again, very much alive...
  • Sowing Tears, Reaping Joy

    Art and Theology by Victoria Jones
    Painting by Vincent Van Gogh and song by Isaac Wardell
  • Advent 3B (2017)

    by Stan Mast
    The “already, but not yet” dynamic at the heart of this Psalm has many echoes in human history, most notably in times of war. Everyone knows that the decisive invasion of Europe on D-Day in World War II was the great turning point in that conflagration, but it was not yet final victory. Many months of bloody fighting would follow before V-Day. In the Iraq War, President Bush infamously announced that we had won with a “Mission Accomplished” banner behind him. And we are still mired in the Middle East. The final victory of God is completely certain; we just don’t know when it will be. Though many will think it corny and most won’t even remember it, the old Gospel song, “Bringing in the Sheaves,” captures the mood and message of Psalm 126:5, 6...
  • Shout with Joy

    by Kate Matthews
  • Lent 5C (2019)

    by Alicia McClintic
  • Advent 3B (2017)

    by Alicia McClintic
  • Advent 3B (2017)

    by James Mead
  • Those Who Dream...And Give Meaning to Dreams

    Art and Faith by Lynn Miller
    Presented with the image below, how would you interpret it in light of the subject of dreams and people who dream? Is your interpretation influenced by what you know about God-given dreams? Is this a picture that depicts a God dream like the people mentioned in the psalm? Or is this just a Freudian-influenced painter's world of dreams? You can read one interpretation of the painting via the museum link under the painting, but maybe that's not the best interpretation. What do you understand this painting to mean?...
  • Advent 3B (2020)

    by Matt Pollock
  • Proper 25B (2018)

    by Matthew Stith
  • Advent 3B

    by Howard Wallace

Resources from 2011 to 2016

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