Category : Preaching / Homiletics

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday sermon–What does it Mean to Abide in the Lord (Psalm 25:1-10)?

The sermon starts about 31:15 in.

Listen carefully for a story from the life of evangelist Daniel Paul Rader (1879-1938) and another one about the church in 18th century Wales.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * South Carolina, Church History, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Sermons & Teachings, Theology, Theology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology), Theology: Scripture

Eleanor Parker–An Anglo-Saxon Sermon for Candlemas

‘The blessed Mary offered her sacrifice to God with the child, as it was appointed in God’s law. It was so appointed in the old law, by God’s command, that those who could afford it should bring a lamb of one year old with their child, as an offering to God, and a pigeon or a turtle-dove. But if any woman were so poor that she could not obtain those things, then she should bring two young pigeons or two turtle-doves.

This smaller offering was offered for Christ, that is, the birds, which were the offerings of the poor. The Almighty Son of God was very mindful of our needs in all things; not only did he choose to become man for us, though he was God, but he also chose to become needy for us, though he was mighty, so that he might give us a portion in his kingdom and communion with his divinity. A lamb betokens innocence and the greater kind of goodness; but if we are so wretched that we cannot offer to God that greater goodness, then we should bring him two turtle-doves or two young pigeons; that is, a twofold burgeoning of awe and love. A person experiences this burgeoning in two ways: first, he dreads the torments of hell, and mourns for his sins; then afterwards he feels love to God, and he begins to murmur, and it seems to him too long a time until he shall be taken from the afflictions of this life, and brought to eternal rest.’

Read it all.

Posted in Church History, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Preaching / Homiletics

(Guardian) Denmark sermons law could stifle free worship, warns C of E bishop

A range of European churches have also voiced their concerns, including the Evangelical Lutheran church in Denmark, the Lutheran World Federation, the Roman Catholic Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union, and the Conference of European Churches.

Innes said there was a worrying trend towards impinging on minority groups across Europe. “There is a wide sense of concern about this. I am genuinely concerned at what I detect to be a growth of an anti-liberal government legislation and freedom of religion threats in Europe as a whole.

“This is not an isolated incident. I do think that we need to be alert to the encroachment on our freedom to practice our religions. Little by little, minority groups are being treated with increasing suspicion.

“For example, in Switzerland our clergy have been informed that they can’t work part time, they can only work full time, because there is a suspicion at what they might be doing in the other half of their time. In France, minority religious groups are required to have their accounts subject to a particularly invasive investigation and to re-register as religious associations every five years.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Denmark, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Religion & Culture, Switzerland

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday sermon–The stunning Authority of Jesus (Mark 1:21-28)

The sermon starts about 12:20 in.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * South Carolina, Christology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Sermons & Teachings, Theology: Scripture

Kendall Harmon (from 1988)–Just what is it that makes a good sermon, anyway?

Stumbled onto this [from 1988!] today-I still stand by every word:

Confession: when shaking hands with people at the…

Posted by Kendall Harmon on Saturday, January 23, 2021

Posted in Preaching / Homiletics, Theology

Phillips Brooks on Phillips Brooks Feast Day

Courage…is the indispensable requisite of any true ministry…. If you are afraid of men and a slave to their opinion, go and do something else. Go make shoes to fit them. Go even and paint pictures you know are bad but will suit their bad taste. But do not keep on all of your life preaching sermons which shall not say what God sent you to declare, but what they hire you to say. Be courageous. Be independent.

—-Phillips Brooks, Lectures on Preaching, the 1877 Yale Lectures (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1969), p. 59

Posted in Church History, Preaching / Homiletics

After 29 years, Craige Borrett’s final sermon at Christ Saint Paul’s, Yonges Island, South Carolina

The sermon starts about 42 minutes in.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics

A Kendall Harmon Sermon-Finding Hope in Epiphany and Jesus’ Baptism

You can listen directly there and download the mp3 there.

Posted in * By Kendall, * South Carolina, Epiphany, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Sermons & Teachings, Theology: Scripture

An Epiphany sermon by English Abbot Ælfric of Eynsham

Let us now return to the exposition of the Gospel, where we previously left it. The astronomers went into the place where the child was staying, and found him with his mother. Then with prostrate bodies they worshipped Christ, and opened their coffers, and offered to him threefold gifts, gold, and incense, and myrrh. Gold is fitting for a king; incense belongs to God’s service; with myrrh the bodies of the dead are prepared that they may not soon rot. These three astronomers worshipped Christ, and offered to him symbolic gifts. The gold betokened that he is true King; the incense that he is true God; the myrrh that he was then mortal, though now he continues immortal in eternity…

My brothers, let us offer to our Lord gold, for we confess that he is true King, and rules everywhere. Let us offer to him incense, for we believe that he was always God, who at that time appeared as a man. Let us bring him myrrh, for we believe that he was mortal in our flesh, who is incapable of suffering in his divine nature. He was mortal in human nature before his Passion, but he is henceforth immortal, as we all shall be after the universal resurrection.

We have spoken of these threefold gifts, how they apply to Christ. We also wish to say how they apply to us in a figurative sense. Truly gold betokens wisdom; as Solomon said, “A goldhoard much to be desired lies in the mouth of a wise man.” Incense represents holy prayer, of which the psalmist sang, “Lord, let my prayer be sent forth like burning incense in thy sight.” By myrrh is shown the mortality of our flesh, of which Holy Church says, “My hands dropped myrrh.” To the born King we bring gold, if we are shining in his sight with the brightness of heavenly wisdom. Incense we bring him, if we set fire to our thoughts on the altar of our heart with the eagerness of holy prayers, so that through heavenly desire we may give forth something of a sweet smell. Myrrh we offer him if we quell the lusts of the flesh by self-restraint.

Read it all (and note the link to the full sermon text).

Posted in Church History, Epiphany, Preaching / Homiletics

A Kendall Harmon Sermon for Epiphany–Where are you Going? (Matthew 2:1-12)

You can listen directly there and download the mp3 there.

Posted in * South Carolina, Epiphany, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology: Scripture

Lancelot Andrewes–Christ bestowed upon us a dignity which upon the angels He bestowed not

And even because this day He took not the angels’ nature upon Him, but took our nature in “the seed of Abraham,” therefore hold we this day as a high feast; therefore meet we thus every year in a holy assembly, upon us a dignity which upon the angels He bestowed not. That He, as in the chapter before the Apostle setteth Him forth, That is, “the brightness of His Father’s glory, the very character of His substance, the Heir of all things, by Whom He made the world;” He, when both needed it His taking upon Him their nature and both stood before Him, men and Angels, “the Angels He took not,” but men “He took;” was made Man, was not made an Angel; that is, did more for them than He did for the Angels of Heaven.

Elsewhere the Apostle doth deliver this very point positively, and that, not without some vehemency; “Without all question great is the mystery of godliness: God is manifested in the flesh.” Which is in effect the same that is here said, but that here it is delivered by way of comparison; for this speech is evidently a comparison. If he had thus set it down, “Our nature He took,” that had been positive; but setting it down thus, “Ours He took, the Angels He took not,” it is certainly comparative.

…Now the masters of speech tell us that there is power in the positive if it be given forth with an earnest asseveration, but nothing to that that is in the comparative. It is nothing so full to say, “I will never forget you,” as thus to say it; “Can a mother forget the child of her own womb? Well, if she can, yet will not I forget you.” Nothing so forcible to say thus, “I will hold my word with you,” as thus, “Heaven and earth shall pass, but My word shall not pass.” The comparative expressing is without all question more significant; and this here is such. Theirs, the Angels, nusquam, “at no hand He took, but ours He did.

–From a Christmas sermon in 1605.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Christmas, Ministry of the Ordained, Preaching / Homiletics

The Bishop of Sheffield’s 2020 Christmas Sermon

Second, face. I wonder how you feel about your own face. Certainly, it bears a lot of your history. It’s true, isn’t it, that a lot of what we go through in life gets etched into our faces; and it’s also true that we read a lot about others by looking at their faces. That’s why face-coverings have made it so hard for us to relate well to one another: we all instinctively try to look one another in the face. We know the value of our masks: we have learned that we can catch and can transmit the virus through mouth and nose, so we readily wear our masks in order to protect ourselves and others. But it is a deprivation: faces matter in relationships.

So, then think about the face of the baby Jesus then, and about Mary and Joseph, looking down, with love beaming out of their faces at the new-born Christ-child. The truth at the heart of the Christmas story is an extraordinary one – that in the birth of Jesus, God himself has come among us, God became incarnate, made human for us. Listen again if you would to the first and last words of our Gospel reading tonight: in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God; and the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

Christians believe that when we look into the face of Jesus, we see the face of God revealed. And we believe that what we see in that face is grace and truth. Of course, these days, we mostly use the word grace to describe physical movement – in dance perhaps, like Oti Mabusi on Strictly, full of grace. But the Bible uses the word to describe Jesus’ character, and the character of God – not referring to physical movement, though yes, still referring to a kind of beauty. But it is the beauty of mercy, of generous favour, of undeserved kindness.

And of course these days, we mostly use the word truth in relation to facts – and perhaps in the USA and in the UK too, 2020 has seen at least the start of a return of respect for facts, for science, for experts after several years in which we have endured the politics of fake and fantasy. But when the Bible speaks about the truth which we see in the face of Jesus and in the face of God, again it refers to character – to trustworthiness and integrity, reliability and steadfastness.

Read it all.

Posted in Christmas, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ministry of the Ordained, Preaching / Homiletics

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday sermon–What does the Baby’s Name Teach us about the Meaning of Christmas?

The sermon starts about 25 1/2 minutes in; listen carefully for a great H A Ironsides story about San Diego in the 20th century (not the 19th, as I misspoke).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * South Carolina, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Sermons & Teachings

A New Year’s sermon by English Abbot Ælfric of Eynsham

‘We have often heard that people call this day ‘year’s day’, as the first day in the course of the year, but we do not find any explanation in Christian books as to why this day should be appointed the beginning of the year. The ancient Romans, in pagan days, began the calendar of the year on this day; the Jewish people began at the spring equinox, the Greeks at the summer solstice, and the Egyptians began the calendar of their year at harvest. Now our calendar begins on this day, according to the Roman practice, not for any holy reason, but because of ancient custom. Some of our service books begin at the Advent of the Lord, but nonetheless that is not the beginning of our year. There is no reason for it being this day, although our calendars continue to put it in this place.

It is most rightly thought that the beginning of the year should be appointed to the day when the Almighty Creator fixed the sun, moon, and stars and the beginning of all time…

Read it all.

Posted in Church History, Preaching / Homiletics

A sermon of St Quodvultdeus on the Holy Innocents–Even Before They Learn to Speak, They Proclaim Christ

From here:

A tiny child is born, who is a great king. Wise men are led to him from afar. They come to adore one who lies in a manger and yet reigns in heaven and on earth. When they tell of one who is born a king, Herod is disturbed. To save his kingdom he resolves to kill him, though if he would have faith in the child, he himself would reign in peace in this life and for ever in the life to come.
Why are you afraid, Herod, when you hear of the birth of a king? He does not come to drive you out, but to conquer the devil. But because you do not understand this you are disturbed and in a rage, and to destroy one child whom you seek, you show your cruelty in the death of so many children.
You are not restrained by the love of weeping mothers or fathers mourning the deaths of their sons, nor by the cries and sobs of the children. You destroy those who are tiny in body because fear is destroying your heart. You imagine that if you accomplish your desire you can prolong your own life, though you are seeking to kill Life himself.
Yet your throne is threatened by the source of grace, so small, yet so great, who is lying in the manger. He is using you, all unaware of it, to work out his own purposes freeing souls from captivity to the devil. He has taken up the sons of the enemy into the ranks of God’s adopted children.
The children die for Christ, though they do not know it. The parents mourn for the death of martyrs. The child makes of those as yet unable to speak fit witnesses to himself. See the kind of kingdom that is his, coming as he did in order to be this kind of king. See how the deliverer is already working deliverance, the saviour already working salvation.
But you, Herod, do not know this and are disturbed and furious. While you vent your fury against the child, you are already paying him homage, and do not know it.
How great a gift of grace is here! To what merits of their own do the children owe this kind of victory? They cannot speak, yet they bear witness to Christ. They cannot use their limbs to engage in battle, yet already they bear off the palm of victory.

Posted in Children, Christmas, Church History, Death / Burial / Funerals, Preaching / Homiletics

Jeff Miller’s Christmas Sermon for 2020–‘We Need A Little Christmas’

You may download it there or listen to it directly there from Saint Philip’s, Charleston, South Carolina.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Christmas, Ministry of the Ordained, Preaching / Homiletics

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s 2020 Christmas Sermon

Jesus Christ reveals God leaning into the darkness and defeating it through embracing every aspect of our sufferings and struggles, anxieties and fears.

2000 years later, the darkness has still not overcome the light. Empires have come and gone, tyrants have risen and fallen. Economies have emerged and collapsed. Science has offered us obliteration and solutions. Diseases have swept the planet or been eliminated. Wars have threatened human destruction and good people united for peace. Treaties are made and broken.

But the defining event of human history is the coming of the light. As much as we may currently be tempted to imagine this virus as the pivot of our lives – ‘Before Covid and After Covid’ – the pivot for every life, for human history is in fact the coming of the light of Christ.

For all the events of history are judged, are weighed, assessed by this light. It is this light of Christ that is truth and cannot lie. It is this light of Christ that shows the way for a good society, for a good human being, for a good church and at the same time shines hospitably welcoming all to its comfort. It is this light of Christ that offers abundant life that scatters fear and brings hope in a time of Covid, of economic trauma, of war.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Christmas, Ministry of the Ordained, Preaching / Homiletics

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday Sermon–One Word Changes Everything: Lessons from the Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38)

It starts about 28 minutes in, and includes a short video clip near the start on the Virginia teacher of the year.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Sermons & Teachings, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Tim Surratt’s Sunday Sermon at Christ Saint Paul’s Yonges Island SC–The Call to Wait

The sermon starts about 7 1/2 minutes in.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Advent, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday sermon–Walking through rather than jumping over the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats (Matthew 25:31-46)

The sermon begins about 25:20 in.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * South Carolina, Eschatology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Sermons & Teachings, Theology: Scripture

Kendall Harmon’s recent sermon at Saint Michael’s, Charleston, SC

The sermon starts about 25:30 in.

Posted in * By Kendall, * South Carolina, Christology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology: Scripture

(Churchman) J I Packer–Expository Preaching: Charles Simeon and ourselves

[Charles] Simeon himself is our example here. The feature of his preaching which most constantly impressed his hearers was the fact that he was, as they said, “in earnest”; and that reflected his own overwhelming sense of sin, and of the wonder of the grace that had saved him; and that in turn bore witness to the closeness of his daily fellowship and walk with his God. As he gave time to sermon preparation, so he gave time to seeking God’s face.

“The quality of his preaching,” writes the Bishop of Bradford, “was but a reflection of the quality of the man himself. And there can be little doubt that the man himself was largely made in the early morning hours which he devoted to private prayer and the devotional study of the Scriptures. It was his custom to rise at 4 a.m., light his own fire, and then devote the first four hours of the day to communion with God. Such costly self-discipline made the preacher. That was primary. The making of the sermon was secondary and derivative.”

Read it all.

Posted in Church History, Church of England (CoE), Evangelicals, Preaching / Homiletics

At Saint Michael’s, Charleston, yesterday

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Photos/Photography, Preaching / Homiletics

Jeff Miller’s recent Sermon at St Philip’s, Charleston, SC–Render to God the Things that are God’s (Romans 12:1-2)

You may download it there or listen to it directly there. Listen carefully for an important reference to the late Carl Sagan’s Cosmos Program.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Christology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics

Mike Lumpkin’s sermon for All Saints Day at Christ St Paul’s Yonges Island Anglican Church Yesterday

The introduction and sermon begins just past 227:30 in.

Posted in * South Carolina, Death / Burial / Funerals, Eschatology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology: Scripture

Craige Borrett’s Sunday Sermon at Christ St Paul’s–Loving God and Loving our Neighbor (Matthew 22)

The sermon starts about 23:50 in.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology: Scripture

Craige Borrett–A Stewardship Lesson from the Parable of the Vineyard (Matthew 21:33-46)

The sermon starts at about 20:35 in.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Ethics / Moral Theology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology: Scripture

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday Sermon: Up, Down and the Staggering love of God (Phil 2:5-11)

The sermon starts about 19:50 in.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * South Carolina, Christology, Ministry of the Ordained, Preaching / Homiletics, Sermons & Teachings

C H Spurgeon on God’s Condescension in Philippians 2

What will not Christ do for us who have been given to him by his Father? There is no measure to his love; you cannot comprehend his grace. Oh, how we ought to love him, and serve him! The lower he stoops to save us, the higher we ought to lift him in our adoring reverence. Blessed be his name, he stoops, and stoops, and stoops, and, when he reaches our level, and becomes man, he still stoops, and stoops, and stoops lower and deeper yet: “Being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself.”

–C H. Spurgeon from a sermon on June 05, 1890 quoted by yours truly in the morning sermon here in the parish in which I serve

Posted in Christology, Church History, Preaching / Homiletics

Andrew Cannell’s Sunday Sermon–Giving Hope to Our Enemies (Jonah 3:10 – 4:11)

The sermon starts about 22:30 in.

Posted in * South Carolina, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology: Scripture, Youth Ministry