Craft of Preaching

Stay Awake: Themes for Preaching in Advent 2019

Ed. note: This is the first in a six-part series.

The liturgical calendar and the readings of the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) introduce the worshiper

Nothing Lasts Forever

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”

Well, Jesus. Those are words I am holding onto dearly these days. For dear

Wilderness Preaching

“A voice of one crying out in the wilderness…”

That, Dear Working Preachers, is what preaching is all about these days. If Matthew held

Preaching + Fertility Struggles

Advent brings the sense of delighted expectation that Jesus, God’s own son and the one whom we follow, will be coming into the world. Images abound

Are You Ready?

I love it when Scripture points out the ambiguity of God’s judgment -- a rather helpful reminder these days. There is nothing to distinguish or determine

A Truth-Telling Advent

John the Baptist. He’s the Gospel focus for the second and third Sundays of Advent. In Mark, he’s clearly Elijah (2 Kings 1:8). In John, he

Rejoicing in Active Hope

Clothing and food -- celebrated necessities -- describe God’s abundant gifts to creation in an Isaiah passage that shows up twice in December’s

Matthew's Version of the Incarnation

Dear Working Preacher,

Just two thoughts as we approach the fourth Sunday in Advent. Just two thoughts on Matthew’s account of the birth of Jesus.

Advent vs. Christmas: Music and More

To sing, or not to sing? At this time of year, that’s always the preacher’s (and worship planner’s) question.

You all know the argument:

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,

Disappointed with God at Christmastime

Dear Working Preacher,

So I here’s how I imagine the background to today’s reading: John’s cell was dark and dank. Prison cells usually

Hoping for More

Dear Working Preacher,

If you were to spend a moment daydreaming about your idea for a perfect Christmas, what images would you conjure? Pews filled to

A Sure and Certain Promise

Dear Working Preacher,

As I opened WorkingPreacher.org this week to review the readings and commentary for this coming Sunday, two things struck me. The

Mud and Metaphor

For those of us who snoozed through high school English class decades ago: A brief review of metaphors, and why we who read Scripture care about them. Bear

A Promise That Changes the World

Dear Working Preacher,

Over the past several days I've experienced, as you probably have, a range of emotions in response to the mass killing of twenty