Craft of Preaching

Lent and Light and Love Prevailing

Lent is right around the corner and for those of us Jesus people who have this thing about all God has done in the cross and resurrection, we’re almost

Mark's Gospel and The Small Bird's Immediacy

[This article was first published on Jan. 5, 2009.]

Without small birds, the world would be very quiet.

In fact, it would hardly make a sound. In

Matthew and Mark and Mysteries

We are in Advent, and a new church year is beginning.

We have scoured and scraped ourselves through the book of Matthew with all its blessings and gnashings

Betting on the Spirit

Back in seminary, and when I teach preaching, we emphasized over and over again to our students the importance of taking time to prepare and craft a sermon

Yes, the Gospel Does Matter

Putting together a decent sermon is no easy task. This is not a complaint, it just is. As Nathan Aaseng comments in his September 16, 2014 column, Preaching

Prayer: Carrying Our Cross

Fall has arrived and the sky is closing in on us. Some take comfort in winter’s swaddling while others miss the wide, long days of summer. Yet this

The Oddly Comforting World of Saint Matthew

Preaching is little things carrying big things. It’s all about figuring out how to tell the story of Christ; this weighty promise on our transitory

Prayer and Preaching

The things we carry with us -- our race, our education, our gender, our families, our age, our masks, our broken pieces, our patterns, perhaps particularly

To Lily, Signy and Angela: Shalom. God’s Peace

These past five Wednesday evenings, my colleague Mark Stenberg and I have been leading a confirmation intensive for our confirmation students. We gather

The Year of Matthew or When Small Birds Return

Without small birds, the world would be very quiet. In fact, it would hardly make a sound. In January the northern hemisphere is locked in silence, and

An Unexpected Glimpse of God's Promise

For those of us who preach, flying on airplanes is risky business. I know of only one pastor who sees flying as mission work. The rest of us huddle in our

Unbind Us, Please

This January, we rush from Christmas into Epiphany, the time between too brief. We do that every year and it’s hard on me. I’m a Revised Common

Prepare the Way of the Lord

Waiting and preparation shape these days of Advent, two thousand years ago and today. In this season of Advent, a season defined and determined by faith,

Don't Forget Who You Are

At my first synod assembly as an intern, still quite naive to the hopes and difficulties of ministry, we gathered in the bleachers as pastors were honored

Thy Kingdom Come

Like so many of us who are of a religious ilk, I function in two worlds. The first world seems to dominate most of my time and energy. It involves getting