Craft of Preaching

Dear Working Preacher

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

Filled With the Holy Spirit

The First Sunday in Lent. Are you anxious? Concerned? Disillusioned? All of the above? And maybe we should be. What to do with Lent is cause for significant

Choose Your Lent

One week until Ash Wednesday, Dear Working Preachers. By now you have your Lenten theme chosen, sermons and services mapped out, and all that’s left

No Ordinary Mountaintop

Mount Tabor is the site said to be the location of the Transfiguration of Jesus. I have only seen Mount Tabor from a distance, from the position of other

Love Never Ends

“Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;

A Life-Changing Epiphany

I began this column sitting on a plane on my way to the Holy Land (not California). This is my second trip leading a group of students and alums from Luther

Embodied Epiphanies

I love this miracle -- not just because I live in Minnesota and wish I could perform such a sign on Sundays when my wine rack is empty and I’d like

Baptismal Epiphanies

When I was a parish pastor in a suburb of Atlanta, one of my tasks was worship planning. Besides regular preaching, worship planning is probably the one

A New Genesis

“In the beginning…”

This is how to start your sermon, Working Preachers. It makes so much sense, on so many levels. “In the beginning”

Divine and Human Favor

Well, that was quick!

Zero to twelve in two days. For those persons in the pews, the first Sunday after Christmas may seem out of place, strange. Wait

The Need for Christmas Preaching

Dear Working Preachers,

Why preach on Christmas? Why indeed? I mean, you’ve got the carols and the candles; the special music and the story itself;

A Merciful Advent

Listen closely. Anything sound familiar in Mary’s Magnificat? Notice anything similar between Mary’s song and Jesus’ inaugural sermon

Advent Expectations

“The people were filled with expectation” (Luke 3:15).

What are your expectations? Do you expect to be safe? Do you expect more than a week

The Being of Salvation

“All flesh shall see the salvation of God.” Well, that depends.

The criteria we set in place for a claim like this makes for a rather large

Why Advent?

Oh my, Working Preachers. This text from Luke? At this time? In these circumstances? Too many people will hear Jesus’ words as those that predict

Kings of Relationship

"My kingdom is not from this world,” says Jesus. No kidding. That seems pretty obvious. Yet at the same time, this has to be one of the most obscure