Craft of Preaching

John and the Two Sides of the Pulpit

I wonder who baptized John.

He might have had to do it himself. But I hope someone helped. Even Jesus sought out another human being to baptize him. He

The Power of 'You'

Never underestimate the power of “you,” especially in the second person singular. We know how “you” feels. Like you are the only

Epiphany Preaching

Every three years, when Year B rolls around in the lectionary, my podcast co-hosts and I inevitably have the same conversation about Mark’s version

Preaching Baptism in the Days of Easter

When I served a church in Atlanta, the churches on Ponce de Leon Avenue -- Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, and Lutheran -- met outside in the glorious

You Are All My Beloved

Preaching on the baptism of Jesus requires a significant amount of homiletical restraint. Our denominational desires tend to lean toward sermons that try

I Don’t Do Magic

After a recent baptism at which I presided, a young girl asked me, very shyly, “How did you make the water holy?”

I love such curiosity in

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

Baptismal Blessings?

I have said this before and I will say it again -- preaching on the Baptism of Our Lord Sunday can quickly and despairingly devolve into bland, benign,

Identity Theft

Dear Working Preacher,

When my kids were fairly young, they’d almost always figure out who the people in their lives were via relational categories.

Baptismal Problems and Promises

Dear Working Preacher,

Apparently, baptism was always a problem.

The first time it was a problem was when Jesus came to be baptized by John. After all,

The Power of Names

Dear Working Preacher,

 

There are some homiletical themes that are so powerful you need to be prepared ahead of time for the impact they may have.

Legion

Dear Working Preacher,

 

I remember an English professor somewhere along the way saying there are only seven or eight great themes in literature

The Power of a Good Name

Dear Working Preacher,

Somewhere along the way -- I think in a college English literature class -- I remember a teacher saying that there are only seven