Category : Preaching / Homiletics

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday Sermon–The Controversy over neglected Widows and the story of the Death of Stephen (Acts 6-7)

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

(Eleanor Parker) Ælfric of Eynsham’s Homily for the Feast of the Birth of John the Baptist

The holy church celebrates the birth-tide of three people: of the Saviour, who is God and man, and of John his herald, and of the blessed Mary his mother. Of other chosen people, who have gone to God’s kingdom through martyrdom or other holy merits, we celebrate as their birth-tide their last day, which, after the fulfilment of all their labours, bore them victorious to eternal life; and the day on which they were born to this present life we let pass unheeded, because they came here to hardships and temptations and various dangers. The day is worthy of memory for God’s servants which sends his saints, after victory won, from all afflictions to eternal joy, and that is their true birth – not tearful, as the first, but rejoicing in eternal life.

But the birth-tide of Christ is to be celebrated with great care, through which came our redemption. John is the ending of the old law and the beginning of the new; as the Saviour said of him, “The old law and the prophets were till the coming of John.” Afterwards began the preaching of the gospel. Now, because of his great holiness, his birth is honoured, as the archangel promised his father with these words, “Many shall rejoice in his birth-tide.” Mary, parent of God, is like to none other, for she is maiden and mother, and bore him who created her and all creation: therefore she is most worthy that her birth should be honourably celebrated…

He was sent before the Lord, as the day-star goes before the sun, as the beadle goes before the judge, as the Old Testament before the New; because the old law was like a shadow, and the New Testament is the truth itself, through the grace of the Saviour.

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Posted in Church History, Preaching / Homiletics

Charles H Spurgeon on Pentecost–‘How absolutely necessary is the presence and power of the Holy Spirit!’

How absolutely necessary is the presence and power of the Holy Spirit! It is not possible for us to promote the glory of God or to bless the souls of men, unless the Holy Ghost shall be in us and with us. Those who were assembled on that memorable day of Pentecost, were all men of prayer and faith; but even these precious gifts are only available when the celestial fire sets them on a blaze. They were all men of experience; most of them had been preachers of the Word and workers of miracles; they had endured trials and troubles in company with their Lord, and had been with him in his temptation. Yet even experienced Christians, without the Spirit of God, are weak as water. Among them were the apostles and the seventy evangelists, and with them were those honoured women in whose houses the Lord had often been entertained, and who had ministered to him of their substance; yet even these favoured and honoured saints can do nothing without the breath of God the Holy Ghost. Apostles and evangelists dare not even attempt anything alone; they must tarry at Jerusalem till power be given them from on high. It was not a want of education; they had been for three years in the college of Christ, with perfect wisdom as their tutor, matchless eloquence as their instructor, and immaculate perfection as their example; yet they must not venture to open their mouths to testify of the mystery of Jesus, until the anointing Spirit has come with blessed unction from above. Surely, my brethren, if so it was with them, much more must it be the case with us.

–From a sermon in 1863

Posted in Church History, Ministry of the Ordained, Pentecost, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology)

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday Sermon–How Pentecost Changes Everything (Acts 2:1-21)

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pentecost, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology), Theology: Scripture

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday sermon–why does the Ascension Matter and why is it important (Acts 1:1-11)?

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

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday sermon–What can we Learn this Easter from the Encounter between Jesus and Saint Thomas (John 20:24-29)?

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

(CT Pastors) Ryan Diaz–Wendell Berry Taught Me to Preach

“Live a three-dimensioned life.”

There is nothing worse than preaching disconnected from everyday life. Theological abstractions do very little for the thirsty souls in our pews, and any theology disconnected from life, story, and place are antithetical to the Incarnation. Jesus’ incarnation is not just the taking on of human shape but rather is Jesus’ full entrance into the state of human affairs through which the eternal Word makes himself present in time and space (John 1:14).

Our preparation and our preaching need to be rooted in a “three-dimensioned” life. Our preaching must drink from the well of story and place, a fount that feeds and is fed by the local congregations we serve. The apostle Paul did his theology within the context of local communities. His articulation of eternal truth was flavored and shaped by the soil in which it was planted. This doesn’t mean that the temporal trumps the eternal; instead, it is an invitation to anchor the infinite in a local habitation, a space where the gospel intersects with daily life.

I started writing sermons in coffee shops when my wife and I first got married and lived in a small apartment in Brooklyn. What began as a practical decision eventually led to a profound spiritual practice. The gossip at the table across the room, the community board filled with flyers, and the brief chat with the barista all help remind me who these messages are for. By beginning our preparation in the presence of people, we start to write for them and not ourselves. We learn to see the gospel at work in places and ways we could never have imagined locked up in our studies.

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Posted in Language, Ministry of the Ordained, Poetry & Literature, Preaching / Homiletics, Religion & Culture

David Booman’s sermon at Holy Comforter, Sumter, Yesterday

He starts a little past 20 minutes in.

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

Greg Snyder’s Sermon yesterday at Saint John’s johns Island

The sermon starts some 32 minutes in.

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

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday sermon–God’s grace to the slow of Heart to Believe (Luke 24:13-35)

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

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Easter Sermon 2022

But the Easter message is that what we cannot do has been brought into the world by God.

For Christ Jesus is alive with the life of the world to come. A life where every tear is wiped away, every injustice righted, every evil exposed and judged and banished. And through Jesus a new future is set for the whole world. The resurrection promises each nation, and every victim and survivor, that the injustices, cruelties, evil deeds and soulless institutions of this world do not have the last word.

Not only his blood stained grave clothes are left behind in the tomb but all of our grave clothes.

This is what we proclaim at Easter. It is a season of life and hope, of repentance and renewal. This week in the Eastern Orthodox world it is Holy Week, the greatest time for repentance. Muslims are in Ramadan, a time for purification and change, coming to Eid. Jews celebrate the Passover and liberation. Let this be a time for Russian ceasefire, withdrawal and a commitment to talks. This is a time for resetting the ways of peace, not for what Bismarck called blood and iron. Let Christ prevail! Let the darkness of war be banished.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Easter, Holy Week, Preaching / Homiletics

The Bishop of Oxford’s 2022 Easter Message

In this resurrection the world knows fully and finally that Jesus Christ is indeed the Son of God: an absolutely unique person in the whole of the human story. We have remembered in Holy Week and on Good Friday his death on the cross for the sins of the whole world – so that we might be forgiven. We recognise that God is at work in Christ to love and redeem the world and that the power of the resurrection is able to transform every life, every place and, ultimately, the whole of creation.

This is a moment and a season to travel deeper into Easter joy – perhaps deeper than we have ever journeyed in our lives before – because the need in the world is so great.

St. Luke tells the story of the resurrection in a particular way across the final chapter of the gospel. Luke’s account is framed in a single day, the day of resurrection.

We begin at the empty tomb in the early morning. The women come and meet the angels who give them the glorious news of resurrection. We continue through the middle of the day with the two disciples walking to Emmaus and the risen Christ draws near, an unseen stranger, recognised as hearts are set on fire and eyes opened in the breaking of the bread. In the evening, the disciples gather in the upper room and Jesus appears with them and leads them out to the Bethany and blesses them.

This great good news is hard to take in. This is how Luke describes the response of the disciples in the Upper Room when he shows them his hands and his feet: “While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering…” (Luke 24.41). Big truths need time.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Easter, Preaching / Homiletics

AN HOMILIE OF THE Resurrection of our Sauiour Iesus Christ. For Easter Day from the Book of Homilies

For then he opened their vnderstanding, that they might perceiue the Scriptures, and sayd vnto them: Thus it is written, and thus it behooued Christ to suffer, and to rise from death the third day, and that there should be preached openly in his name pardon and remission of sinnes to all the Nations of the world (Luke 24.45-47). Yee see (good Christian people) how necessary this Article of our faith is, seeing it was prooued of Christ himselfe by such euident reasons and tokens, by so long time and space. Now therefore as our Sauiour was diligent for our comfort and instruction to declare it: so let vs be as ready in our beliefe to receiue it to our comfort and instruction. As he died not for himselfe, no more did he rise againe for himselfe. He was dead (sayth Saint Paul) for our sinnes, and rose againe for our iustification (1 Corinthians 15.3-4). O most comfortable word, euermore to be borne in remembrance. He died (saith he) to put away sinne, hee rose againe to endow vs with righteousnesse. His death tooke away sinne and malediction, his death was the ransome of them both, his death destroyed death, and ouercame the deuill, which had the power of death in his subiection, his death destroyed hell, with all the damnation thereof. Thus is death swallowed vp by Christs victory, thus is hell spoyled for euer.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Christology, Church History, Easter, Eschatology, Preaching / Homiletics, Soteriology, Theology

(Eleanor Parker) An Anglo-Saxon sermon for Palm Sunday

The master of the asses asked them why they untied his asses, and in the same way the chief men of every people perversely opposed the preaching of God. But when they saw that the preachers, through God’s power, healed the lame and the blind, and gave speech to the dumb, and raised the dead to life, then they could not withstand those miracles, but all at last turned to God. Christ’s disciples said, “The Lord needs the asses, and sends for them.” They did not say ‘our Lord’, or ‘your Lord’, but simply, ‘the Lord’; for Christ is Lord of all lords, both of men and of all creatures. They said, “He sends for them.” We are exhorted and invited to God’s kingdom, but we are not forced. When we are invited, we are untied; and when we are left to our own choice, then is it as though we are sent for. It is God’s mercy that we are untied; but if we live rightly, that will be both God’s grace and our own zeal. We should constantly pray for the Lord’s help, since our own choices have no success unless they are supported by the Almighty.

Christ did not command them to lead to him a proud steed adorned with golden trappings; instead he chose a poor ass to bear him, because he always taught humility, and gave the example himself, saying “Learn from me, for I am meek and very humble, and you shall find rest for your souls.” This was prophesied of Christ, and so were all the things which he did before he was born as man…

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Posted in Christology, Church History, Holy Week, Preaching / Homiletics

St. Tikhon’s Forgiveness Sunday Homily for his Feast Day

Unfortunately, brethren, we do not like to acknowledge our transgressions. It would seem natural and easy for a person to know his own self, his own soul and his shortcomings. This, however, is actually not so. We are ready to attend to anything but a deeper understanding of ourselves, an investigation of our sins. We examine various things with curiosity, we attentively study friends and strangers, but when faced with solitude without extraneous preoccupation even for a short while, we immediately become bored and attempt to seek amusement. For example, do we spend much time examining our own conscience even before confession? Perhaps a few minutes, and once a year at that. Casting a cursory glance at our soul, correcting some of its more glaring faults, we immediately cover it over with the veil of oblivion until next year, until our next uncomfortable exercise in boredom.

Yet we love to observe the sins of others. Not considering the beam in our own eye, we take notice of the mote in our brother’s eye. (Matt. 7. 3) Speaking idly to our neighbor’s detriment, mocking and criticizing him are not even often considered sins but rather an innocent and amusing pastime. As if our own sins were so few! As if we had been appointed to judge others!

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Posted in Church History, Orthodox Church, Preaching / Homiletics

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday Sermon–The powerful woman with no lines and no name (Luke 7:36-50)



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

The testimony of Connecticut farmer Nathan Cole when George Whitefield preached in 1740

From here:

When I saw Mr. Whitefield come upon the Scaffold he lookt almost angelical; a young, Slim, slender, youth before some thousands of people with a bold undaunted Countenance, and my hearing how God was with him every where he came along it Solemnized my mind; and put me into a trembling fear before he began to preach; for he looked as if he was Cloathed with authority from the Great God; and a sweet sollume solemnity sat upon his brow And my hearing him preach, gave me a heart wound; By Gods blessings: my old Foundation was broken up, and I saw that my righteousness would not save me….

–quoted by yours truly in the morning sermon

Posted in America/U.S.A., Church History, Preaching / Homiletics

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday sermon–What can we Learn from the story of Zaccheus (Luke 19:1-10)?

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

Bishop Lawrence Looks Back on 14-Year Episcopacy in the Historic Anglican Diocese of South Carolina

Do you have any final thoughts on the state of the Church? State of the diocese?

I would say that if we prevail, if the parishes prevail in this lawsuit, I think there will be an explosiveness of energy that we’re capable of experiencing. I think it can unleash a great season of missional and ministry ventures that has been put on hold. And along with that, we’ve been on hold because of COVID so most people don’t know where they will be on the far side of that.

If you had one book, not the Bible, you think every person, laity and clergy read, what would it be?

One book? I’m not sure I think in those terms. But if I could only have three books for the rest of my life in addition to the Bible, I’d say a good Introduction to the Old Testament, an Introduction to the New Testament and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. I would hope everyone could read The Confessions of St. Augustine before they die, but I’m not going to say that I want everyone to read that.

What’s the hardest thing about being the bishop?
For me, the hardest thing about being a bishop is not being rooted in a congregation.

You see, there are different styles of teaching and preaching. The kind of teaching I like best is expository teaching through the Bible or a book of the Bible, teaching a sequential class in a congregation on theology, basic Christian theology, or teaching a class on the history of the Church in England or history of the Anglican Church.

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

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday sermon–What can we Learn from the Feeding of the 5000 (Luke 9:10-17)?

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

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday sermon–Will we allow our Lord to Teach us to Pray (Matthew 6:5-15)

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

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.’

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Posted in Church History, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday sermon–Can we Understand the Beatitudes as they were intended (Matthew 5:1-12)?

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

CH on John Chrysostom–Golden Tongue & Iron Will

In the spring of 388, a rebellion erupted in Antioch over the announcement of increased taxes. Statues of the emperor and his recently deceased wife were desecrated. Officials of the empire then began punishing city leaders, killing some, for the uprising. While Archbishop Flavian rushed to the capital in Constantinople 800 miles away to beg for clemency, John preached to a city in turmoil:

“Improve yourselves now truly, not as when during one of the numerous earthquakes or in famine or drought or in similar visitations you leave off your sinning for three or four days and then begin the old life again. . . . Stop evil slandering, harbor no enmities, and give up the wicked custom of frivolous cursing and swearing. If you do this, you will surely be delivered from the present distress and attain eternal happiness.”

After eight weeks, on the day before Easter, Flavian returned with the good news of the emperor’s pardon.

John preached through many of Paul’s letters (“I like all the saints,” he said, “but St. Paul the most of all—that vessel of election, the trumpet of heaven”), the Gospels of Matthew and of John, and the Book of Genesis. Changed lives were his goal, and he denounced sins from abortion to prostitution and from gluttony to swearing.

He encouraged his congregation not only to attend the divine service regularly but also to feed themselves on God’s written Word. In a sermon on the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, he said, “Reading the Scripture is a great means of security against sinning. The ignorance of Scripture is a great cliff and a deep abyss; to know nothing of the divine laws is a great betrayal of salvation.”

His applications could be forceful. About people’s love of horse racing, he complained, “My sermons are applauded merely from custom, then everyone runs off to [horse racing] again and gives much more applause to the jockeys, showing indeed unrestrained passion for them! There they put their heads together with great attention, and say with mutual rivalry, ‘This horse did not run well, this one stumbled,’ and one holds to this jockey and another to that. No one thinks any more of my sermons, nor of the holy and awesome mysteries that are accomplished here.”

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Posted in Church History, Preaching / Homiletics

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday sermon–What does the Baptism of Jesus Teach us about our Identity (Luke 3:15-21)

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

Kendall Harmon’s 2021 Christmas sermon–Three Central Questions for Christmas

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

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…

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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, Church History, Death / Burial / Funerals, Preaching / Homiletics

A story from a School in Michigan for Christmas

I have a friend who teaches in the upper peninsula in Michigan. He has one of those schools that run from kindergarten all the way up through eighth grade, including special ed. One of his students was intellectually slow, couldn’t do very well in classes. And when Christmas Pageant time came he wanted to have a part in the Pageant. What’s more, he wanted a speaking part. He wouldn’t settle for anything less.

So they made into the innkeeper. They figured he could handle that because all he had to do was say, “No room,” twice: once before Mary spoke, once after she spoke. The night of the Pageant, Mary knocks on the door he opens the door, and he says in a brusque fashion, “No room!” Mary says, “But I’m sick, and I’m cold, and I’m going to have a baby, and if you don’t give me a place to sleep, my baby will be born in the cold, cold night.”

He just stood there. The boy behind him nudged him and said, “No room, No room, say, “No room.’” And finally, he turned and he said, “I know what I’m supposed to say, but she can have my room.”

–Anthony Campolo in William H. Willimon Ed, Sermons from Duke Chapel: Voices from “A Great Towering Church” (Durham: Duke University Press, 2005), p.294; used by yours truly in the Christmas Eve sermon

Posted in Children, Christmas, Education, Preaching / Homiletics