Craft of Preaching

Imagining Leadership

Isaiah 11 (December 8) imagines several qualities of wise leadership: wisdom and understanding, council (or strategic thinking) and strength, knowledge

How Long, O Lord?

I know it is the custom in this column to focus on the Gospel text, but this week I’m going to focus primarily on the Old Testament reading from Habakkuk.

Unprecedented Warnings

This week I’ve found myself struggling to switch my voice from a local congregation in Flint, Michigan, to you who preach in various locations around

Sleeping with Makeup On

I read recently that Dolly Parton leaves her makeup on all night when she’s away from home. She told the New York Times, “You never know if

Poor Fool

This is one of those weeks when preachers find a text pretty easy to interpret but the sermon hard to deliver.

Ah, but it’s never easy to interpret

Who Taught You How to Pray?

It’s a very personal, intimate thing, one’s prayer life. Getting started at praying is less like learning how to drive a car, how to play the

'But First...'

“But first.” Such an expedient and automatic answer, isn’t it? One that we utter without thinking, even, and to so many requests for our

Trinity Musings

"I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now” (John 16:12). Maybe this is the heart of the Trinity. A heart that knows that

Keep My Words

“Whoever does not love me does not keep my words.”

This past week was the 27th Festival of Homiletics, thus the tardy post for the column this

Real Love

Love is hard. So very hard.

If you don’t think so, just look at what the Revised Common Lectionary does for this Sunday. Rather than tell the truth

Linger A Little

Poor Thomas. Always the Sunday after Easter. Always misunderstand. We think Thomas doubts, but he doesn’t. As if that is a bad thing. As if faith

Change Is Possible and Needed

While the opportunities Scripture offers to speak directly of the beauty, power, and needs of the natural world are extremely frequent, especially in the

A Very Holy Week

Dear Working Preachers, I suspect that your Holy Week plans and preaching are well in place by now. The palms are ready. The supper is prepared. The passion

Loved Into Future

I wonder if in this moment, when Jesus is being loved with a grace upon grace kind of love, an abundance of love, a love that you could even smell, with

Preaching Acts in Easter (Year C)

Easter preaching has to be imaginative preaching. It has to knock us away from predictability and restraint. Wonder, surprise, and new possibilities are