Craft of Preaching

Dear Working Preacher

Insights, ideas and inspiration related to the coming week's lectionary texts.

This Far by Faith

Apocalyptic themes fascinate, confuse, and rebuff us.

Almost everyone who comes to worship this week will have encountered some form of End Times theology

Be Present and Engaged

It’s a good week to read Haggai. It may or may not be a good week to preach Haggai—only you and the Holy Spirit know that for sure—but

Pausing to Grieve

What a month to come through as we turn toward All Saints Day, dear Working Preachers.

Some of you will know that I recently moved out of the first year

Other People's Prayers

Imagine if you could hear the prayers of people in your congregation.

Of course, sometimes you can, assuming the person offering them is part of a committee

Taking the Fork in the Road

Thanks for preaching the Word, in season and out of season—steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the Lord. Your preaching of God’s Word

An Attitude of Gratitude

One of the things I practiced as a parent, and hoped to instill as a habit, was to have my sons write thank-you notes for the various gifts they received.

How Long, O Lord?

I know it is the custom in this column to focus on the Gospel text, but this week I’m going to focus primarily on the Old Testament reading from Habakkuk.

Unprecedented Warnings

This week I’ve found myself struggling to switch my voice from a local congregation in Flint, Michigan, to you who preach in various locations around

Dirty Rotten Preaching Scoundrels

Once, when I was an M.Div. student, my teacher Beverly Roberts Gaventa told the class, “You’ll write a better exegetical paper if you choose

Lost and Found

Dear Working Preachers, it is good to be back. After five years, 1000 words a week, I sensed a need for a break, in part to work on some writing projects

Choose Life

This is one of those weeks when, after reading the Gospel lesson, you might feel like putting a question mark after the usual liturgical formula: “This

Hashtag VIP?

Here’s a headline that captured my attention:

Stop working on your personal brand—you’re wasting your time.1

The article promising a

Liberating Sabbath

Luke closely associates Jesus’ public ministry with both the sabbath and the synagogue, beginning already in Luke 4:16-30. In fact, this week’s

Jesus’ Ministry of Fire

If consensus exists around anything today in American society, it is that we are afflicted by “division.” This general sense of heightened divisiveness

Sleeping with Makeup On

I read recently that Dolly Parton leaves her makeup on all night when she’s away from home. She told the New York Times, “You never know if