Craft of Preaching

Simultaneous Smells

"Smells are surer than sights or sounds to make your heartstrings crack," writes Vladimir Nabokov.[i]

Damn, is that ever the truth. My Sermon Brainwave

Perspective Matters

Let’s rename this story. The Prodigal Son? Doesn’t really work for me. Why? I am not that son. I am the older brother, the “Really Ticked-Off

Longing for More

One more year. That’s all I need. One more year. One more month. One more week. One more day. Of course, the fig tree doesn’t get a choice in

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

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

Hands and Feet of Christ? Overrated.

We’ve all heard the saying that we are supposed to be the hands and feet of Christ. We know that it’s a reminder that together we serve as Christ’s

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”

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

Preaching from Mark's Gospel: Fasten Your Seat Belts

Regarding the Gospels, many lectionary preachers may approach Year B in the Revised Common Lectionary with less than uplifted hearts. Gone are Matthew’s

Living Beyond Fear

Dear Working Preacher,

I’m writing this letter just after watching the U.S. World Cup match against Ghana and in this context remembered something