Craft of Preaching

Dear Working Preacher

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

Abundant Life

Dear Working Preacher,

Do me a favor. Actually, do yourself a favor, and start at verse 10 if you're preaching on the Gospel this week, or at least the

Witnesses

Dear Working Preacher,

There are any number of things you could focus on in this week's passage from Luke. Jesus willingness to eat and drink and be touched

Faith and Doubt

Dear Working Preacher,

Christ is Risen!
Christ is risen indeed!

The Easter cry isn't only for Easter of course. We are invited to start and end our

Just the Beginning

Dear Working Preacher,

It's not a great ending, so I can understand the urge to fix it. The ending to Mark's Gospel, I mean. You know as I do that almost

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