Craft of Preaching

Dear Working Preacher

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

Downward Mobility

Dear Working Preacher,

The first time I preached on Palm Sunday I was an intern. So I didn't know any better. Honest. Where the congregation usually read

Love and Memory

Dear Working Preacher,

Just under two years ago I was at a family reunion, visiting with cousins that I hadn't seen in years because of our move from the

Love or Justice?

Dear Working Preacher,

Sometimes you just have to choose. The biblical witness is varied, even complex, and so the interpreter -- and preacher -- has to

Beyond the God-Box

Dear Working Preacher,

Where is God? Where, that is, do you expect to meet God, to experience God, to participate with God in God's ongoing work? Really.

Disappointment with God

Dear Working Preacher,

We have before us this week an invitation to take up a topic in our sermons that is one of the most recurring, important, and difficult

Beginning and Endings

Dear Working Preacher,

You know as well as I do that beginnings matter. Friendships, new jobs, your first worship service at a congregation, whatever it

He Came Down

Dear Working Preacher,

Okay, you know as well as I do the confusing nature of Transfiguration Sunday. Its name, after all, is a word we hardly use. It's

Four Words

Dear Working Preacher,

If you had only four words to describe Jesus, what words would you choose? In fact, why don't you do just that: before reading any

Two Kinds of People

Dear Working Preacher,

I've got a radically simple outline for your sermon this week, and it can summed up in just one sentence: There are two kinds of

Possessed

Dear Working Preacher,

Tell me the truth: don't you just dread exorcism stories? I mean, if there's one kind of biblical story we have a hard time relating

The Call of the Disciples and the Decline of the Church

Dear Working Preacher,

What would make you drop everything and pursue an entirely new life? A great job offer? A marriage proposal? The chance to make

Come and See

Dear Working Preacher,

I know we've just about to venture into four or five weeks of reading through Mark and all, but here, near the beginning of John's

Blessed New Year!

Happy New Year, Working Preacher!

Okay, so I know New Year's Day was this past Sunday, so I probably should have greeted you this way last week. But I

The Oddest Christmas Carol

Dear Working Preacher,

Seems like one question screams out to be answered this week: after all the candlelight and joy and presents and everything else

Something More

Dear Working Preacher,

Do you remember those movies from the sixties, when they would soften the edges of the leading actress -- be it Doris Day or Grace