Login / Signup

Free Access

Advent Sale - Save $131!

Sermons Illustrations for Proper 13 | OT 18 (2022)

Hosea 11:1-11, Psalm 107:1-9, 43
A.W. Tozer wrote, “Grace is the good pleasure of God that inclines him to bestow benefits upon the undeserving. Its use to us sinful men is to save us and make us sit together in heavenly places to demonstrate to the ages the exceeding riches of God’s kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”

Timothy Paul Jones, co-author of the book, Proof: Finding Freedom through the Intoxicating Joy of Irresistible Grace tells the story of taking his adopted daughter to Disney World. By the time Jones and his family had adopted the little girl, she was eight years old. Her former family had been to Disney before but had never taken her. She’d always had to stay with a family friend. Timothy and his wife announced to the whole family that they were going to Disney. What happened next startled them. Their adopted daughter began to act out. Jones relates how he was thankful he didn’t resort to the threat, “If you don’t start behaving, you won’t go.”  He simply asked her if this trip was something they were doing as a family. When he asked, she nodded. He then said, “you’re going.”  According to Jones, her behavior did not improve until the night of the first day at Disney in the hotel. That night his little girl said to him, ““Daddy, I finally got to go to Disney World. But it wasn’t because I was good; it’s because I’m yours.”

Not because they were good, but because they were his. That’s the story of God’s children, too. We see it plainly in these verses.  May we find comfort and peace in his grace.
Bill T.

* * *

Hosea 11:1-11, Psalm 107:1-9, 43
Both this chapter and Hosea and this thanksgiving Psalm 107 reference the exodus, and God’s continuing steadfast love. Hosea laments the people’s faithlessness, after the wonders of their liberation,they turned to other gods, but like a parent, God has not given up hope for change. God will restore what we have lost. And Psalm 107 talks about the years of wandering in the desert, along with many other times of trial and tribulation, some of our doing, but demonstrates how again and again and again God remembers and restores the people!
Frank R.

* * *

Colossians 3:1-11
A 2021 poll conducted by Real Faith found that a near majority of Americans (45%) think that most Christians are hypocrites.  And yet a 2017 Gallup poll indicated that 55% of us believe that religion can answer all of today’s problems.  How can this tension exist?  Our lesson answers this question in making clear that the Christian life is hidden, that sin remains in Christians so in that sense they are hypocrites and may as well admit it.  Martin Luther had a lot to say on this subject:

Therefore I am at the same time a sinner and a righteous man, for I do evil and I   hate the evil which I do.  (Luther’s Works, Vol. 25, p. 63)

From all this is it evident that sin remains in the baptized and the saints as long as they are flesh and blood and live on earth.  (Luther’s Works, Vol. 32, p. 20)

... our life is hidden in God... finding in ourselves nothing but sin, foolishness, death, and hell...  (Luther’s Works, Vol. 31 p. 41)

When you see nothing in your life but sin, you can’t help but pay more attention to God in Christ, because then you know that he is the only source of goodness in life.
Mark E.

* * *

Luke 12:13-21
Landon Parvin in the “Leaders” section of Readers Digest (May 1996) wrote a humous anecdote that connects with this text.

A miserly man was called on by the chairman of the community charity. “Sir,” said the fund-raiser, “our records show that despite your wealth, you’ve never once given to our drive.”

 “Do your records show that I have an elderly mother who was left penniless when my father died? fumed the tightwad. “Do your records show that I have a disabled brother who is unable to work? Do your records show I have a widowed sister with small children who can barely make ends meet?”

“No, sir,” replied the volunteer. “Our records don’t show that.”

Without missing a beat, the man answered, “Well, I don’t give to any of them, so why should I give anything to you?”

God has words for those who hoard up wealth for themselves. “‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So, it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God” (vs. 20-21).
Bill T.

* * *

Luke 12:13-21
The words of life spoken by Jesus in the leadup to this passage inspires one listener to ask himself, “How can I use this guy to my personal advantage?” This individual sees a wonderful opportunity to take advantage of Jesus’s expertise to pad his pockets. “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” Now this person may have a legitimate case here, but that’s beside the point. This causes us to ask the question: “Is the purpose of the church to increase my bottom line?” Or, “What’s in it for me?” I have heard of people leaving one church to attend another not because of a theological question, but because their child’s coach attends there, and this may increase the child’s playing time. Some choose a church in order to network for business purposes. They see more potential customers at one church instead of another. They want to pin their business card on the bulletin board. Me. Me. Me.

Which leads Jesus into the parable of the rich fool. Me. Me. Me.
Frank R.
In addition to the lectionary resources there are thousands of non-lectionary, scripture based resources...
Signup for FREE!
(No credit card needed.)
Advent 3
29 – Sermons
120+ – Illustrations / Stories
36 – Children's Sermons / Resources
35 – Worship Resources
30 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Advent 4
32 – Sermons
140+ – Illustrations / Stories
34 – Children's Sermons / Resources
30 – Worship Resources
32 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Christmas Eve/Day
27 – Sermons
130+ – Illustrations / Stories
36 – Children's Sermons / Resources
40 – Worship Resources
28 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Plus thousands of non-lectionary, scripture based resources...
Signup for FREE!
(No credit card needed.)

New & Featured This Week

The Immediate Word

Katy Stenta
Mary Austin
Dean Feldmeyer
Thomas Willadsen
Christopher Keating
George Reed
For December 11, 2022:


John Jamison
Object: A video camera. One on your phone is just fine.

Hello, everyone! (Let them respond.) Are you ready for our story? (Let them respond.) Awesome! Let’s go!

We have talked about a guy before whose name was John the Baptist. Who remembers and can tell me who John the Baptist was? (Let them respond.) He was the man God chose to tell everyone about Jesus coming to help them, wasn’t he? (Let them respond.) Well, one day, John the Baptist had a big problem.


Peter Andrew Smith
“Hey Bill.” Jim made his way through the departing crowd and stuck out his hand. “Great meeting.”

“Yeah, it was a great meeting.” Bill smiled and shook the other man’s hand. “Thanks for being a part of it. I remember when I mentioned the 12-step program, you were doubtful.”

“You made a believer out of me.” Jim smiled back. “ I didn’t want to admit how much of a problem I had but you refused to accept my excuses and refused to give up on me. You changed my life.”

Emphasis Preaching Journal

David Kalas
Much of the music that accompanies this season of the year emphasizes sights. Classic Christmas season songs like “Winter Wonderland,” “White Christmas,” “Silver Bells,” and “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas” celebrate so many of the sights that traditionally accompany this time of year. And it is, to be sure, a feast for the eyes, with the snow, the lights, and so many decorations in houses, yards, streets, and stores. It is small wonder, therefore, that children are filled with excitement by this season.
Mark Ellingsen
Bill Thomas
Frank Ramirez
Bonnie Bates
Isaiah 35:1-10

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
Call to Worship:
Jesus told the people to report what they saw; that the blind were receiving their sight, the lame were walking, the deaf were hearing and poor were hearing good news. In our worship today, let us explore whether that is still true in our society today.
Invitation to Confession:
Jesus, sometimes I don't expect much from Christianity.
Lord, have mercy.
Jesus, sometimes I'm more comfortable when I don't expect very much.
Christ, have mercy.
Jesus, sometimes I'm afraid of being disappointed.


Charles L. Aaron, Jr.
How different things must have looked for John behind prison walls. If ever the word "free spirit" applied to anyone, it applied to John. He said what he wanted to say, without holding back. If the scholars are correct that he was an Essene, then he had gone into the wilderness specifically to get away from everyone. The Essenes wanted to worship their way, with no interference from anyone. Now, those prison walls confined John.

John N. Brittain
"Are we there yet? Are we there yet?" It's not just children of a certain age who ask that question, although they certainly do. I've been on a number of trips in the past few years with delayed flights, missed connections, and lost luggage, where I've been the one asking the question.
Tony S. Everett
Our text centers on God's promised action in the wilderness. Have you ever seen photographs of the wilderness areas in the land of the Bible; for example today's Israel, Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Iran? The wilderness is a rocky, dry, and barren space. In the same day, temperatures may vary from a blazing 100 degrees Fahrenheit to nearly freezing. Food and water are scarce. Wild beasts and even bandits prowl around seeking to devour unsuspecting travelers. The wilderness can be a very scary and lonely space.
Beverly S. Bailey
Lo, How A Rose E'er Blooming (UM216, PH48, NCH211, NCH127)
Cold December Flies Away (UM233)
I'll Praise My Maker While I've Breath (UM60, PH253, NCH166)
Psalter 146 (UM858, PH254)
My Soul Gives Glory To My God (UM198, PH600, CBH119)
Prepare The Way, O Zion (PH13)
Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus (UM196, PH1, NCH178, CBH122)
O For A Thousand Tongues To Sing (CBH110, PH466, NCH110, CBH42)
Santo, Santo, Santo (CBH400, NCH400, UM65)

Special Occasion

Wildcard SSL