Category : Preaching / Homiletics
O heir of heaven, lift now thine eye, and behold the scenes of suffering through which thy Lord passed for thy sake! Come in the moonlight, and stand between those olives; see him sweat great drops of blood. Go from that garden, and follow him to Pilate’s bar. See your Matter subjected to the grossest and filthiest insult; gaze upon the face of spotless beauty defiled with the spittle of soldiers; see his head pierced with thorns; mark his back, all rent, and torn, and scarred, and bruised, and bleeding beneath the terrible lash. And O Christian, see him die! Go and stand where his mother stood, and hear him say to thee, “Man, behold thy Saviour!” Come thou to-night, and stand where John stood; hear him cry, “I thirst,” and find thyself unable either to assuage his griefs or to comprehend their bitterness. Then, when thou hast wept there, lift thine hand, and cry, “Revenge!” Bring out the traitors; where are they? And when your sins are brought forth as the murderers of Christ, let no death be too painful for them; though it should involve the cutting off of right arms, or the quenching of right eyes, and putting out their light for ever; do it! For if these murderers murdered Christ, then let them die. Die terribly they may, but die they must. Oh! that God the Holy Ghost would teach you that first lesson, my brethren, the boundless wickedness of sin, for Christ had to lay down his life before your sin could be wiped away.
— Mrs Marianne McCoy (@mariannemccoy10) September 14, 2021
I appreciate your prayers. The parish website is there.
— Bishop Steve Wood (@revstevewood) May 7, 2019
The sermon starts about 30 minutes in.
The sermon starts about 46 minutes in.
Kendall Harmon’s Sunday Sermon–The Whole Gospel to the Whole person Throughout the Whole World (Acts 16:11-40)
The sermon starts about 30:10 in.
Listen carefully for an illustration from Donald Grey Barnhouse (1895-1960), pastor of the Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia from 1927 to 1960.
(PR FactTank) Most Black Protestants say denominational affiliation is less important than inspiring sermons
Black churches are among the oldest and most influential institutions dedicated to supporting Black Americans. When they were first founded, denominations like the African Methodist Episcopal Church gave Black Americans a place to worship freely.
Over the years, Black congregations have not only offered a place of prayer for many Black worshippers, but also played a role in the advancement of Black Americans more generally – from supporting colleges to taking the lead in many civil rights causes.
Yet, when it comes to choosing a house of worship, most Black Americans don’t prioritize denominational labels. A welcoming congregation and inspiring sermons are far more important to them, according to a recent Pew Research Center report.
Only 30% of Black adults say that it would be “very important” to find a congregation in their current denomination if they were looking for a new house of worship, according to the survey, conducted Nov. 19, 2019-June 3, 2020. Far larger shares say it is very important to find a congregation that is welcoming (80%) or that has inspiring sermons (77%).
NEW: When it comes to choosing a house of worship, most Black Americans don’t prioritize denominational labels. A welcoming congregation and inspiring sermons are far more important to them https://t.co/lGwOAktRhK pic.twitter.com/QIQ8FqFcRr
— Pew Research Religion (@PewReligion) April 29, 2021
A Sermon from the new series “The John Stott Centenary: Biblical Convictions for the Contemporary Church”–Rico Tice: “Proclaiming the Gospel of God through Evangelism”
Watch and listen to it all. There are some great John Stott stories in the mix–KSH.
Kendall Harmon’s Sunday sermon–What does it Mean to be Discipled by the Resurrected Good Shepherd (John 10:1-18)?
The sermon starts about 26:20 in.
Charles Spurgeon on John 10: ‘He knows not only who they are, but what they are, and where they are’
“He calls His own sheep by name.” You Thomas, you Mary, and Martha, and Lazarus, and you Matthew, the publican, yes, and you, Mary of Magdala; He calls you all by name. What does this imply?
The first thing that it means is intimate knowledge. Beloved friends, I used to have such a trustworthy memory that I not only knew the nearly six thousand members of this church by face, which I am still able to do, but I knew them all by name, and it was a rare thing for me to ever forget or make a mistake, save when certain ladies changed their names, and I had not been made aware of it, but even then I soon rectified the error. But now, sometimes, I find myself unable to remember all your names; perhaps it is because I do not see you often. Our Lord knows all the myriads of His redeemed by name. There is no failure of memory with Him, and He sees them always. His eye and His heart are towards each one of His people both night and day: “He calls His own sheep by name.” I do not wish so much to preach upon this passage as I want you to put it into your mouth, or rather, to taste it with your spiritual palate, so as to get the flavor and sweetness of it.
“I know My sheep,” says the good Shepherd; He knows not only who they are, but what they are, and where they are. “He calls His own sheep by name.” This implies His intimate knowledge of them.
–From a sermon in 1888, and quoted by yours truly in yesterday morning’s sermon (emphasis mine)
OTD in 1854, the New Park Street Chapel invited C.H. Spurgeon to be their pastor. One of the oldest Baptist congregations in London, the church called the 19 year old preached with a prayer that the Spirit would bring revival. The Lord answered that prayer! pic.twitter.com/1GXPN8cH2R
— Jake Stone (@jake_stone89) April 20, 2021
Disillusionment is too weak a word to describe Mary’s crushing pain of feeling sucker punched.
Yes that Easter Sunday…Mary had given up on miracles. Have you?
Miracles: Don’t give up, hold it up 3
If so, you’re in good company. The male disciples don’t even bother showing up at the tomb…
1. Peter gave up
2. The James’s gave up
3. John gave up
4. Andrew gave up
5. Bartholomew gave up
10. Thomas all gave up
Meaning…If you’ve given up on God—on miracles- You are not alone! There is No guilt-or
judgement in feeling as if that pattern of pain and sin will never break. WHICH IS WHY I SAY:
THANK GOD FOR THE MIRACLE THAT IS EASTER!
• Divine Intervention
• Breaking all Patterns
• Never thought break-able!
As the Disillusioned Marys and Salome walk to the tomb, literally, all HEAVEN breaks loose!
The Miracle begins..
• First…..the massive stone is gone from the entrance to the burial tomb!
And with eyes as wide as 50 cent pieces, the ladies WALK into the tomb. When a white robed
angel APPEARS OUT OF NOWHERE AND SAYS five things that would break the GLOBAL
pattern of sin and pain forever!
• Fear not
• I know you’re looking for Jesus
• I know you saw Him killed
• He is not here
HE HAS RISEN!
“Resurrection is not an absurd event within the old world but the symbol and starting point of the new world…Jesus of Nazareth ushers in not simply a new religious possibility, not simply a new ethic or a new way of salvation, but a new creation.” (N.T. Wright) pic.twitter.com/JroMeg4ZkC
— J.R. Turtle ⚓️ (@turtology) April 20, 2021
The Resurrection St. Sebastian
Art by Italian painter Titian (1490–1576) pic.twitter.com/CiSnL5qMZe
— Biblio Curiosa (@Bibliocuriosa) April 15, 2021
In this tomb, also, you may see, A pledge to us…Yes, verily, it is a pledge,
Of Christ’s power to raise us to a spiritual life -The resurrection of Christ is set forth in the Scriptures as a pattern of that which is to be accomplished in all his followers; and by the very same power too, that effected that. In the Epistle to the Ephesians, St. Paul draws the parallel with a minuteness and accuracy that are truly astonishing. He prays for them, that they may know what is the exceeding greatness of God’s power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power which he wrought in Christ when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places.” And then he says, concerning them, “God, who is rich in mercy, of his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, and hath raised us usi together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus^” Here, I say, you see Christ dead, quickened, raised, and seated in glory; and his believing people quickened from their death in sins, and raised with him, and seated too with him in the highest heavens. The same thing is stated also, and the same parallel is drawn in the Epistle to the Romans ; where it is said, “We are buried with Christ by baptism into death; that, like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” But can this be effected in us ? I answer, Behold the tomb ! Who raised the Lord Jesus? He himself said, ” I have power to lay down my life, and power to take it up again….”
–Horae homileticae, Sermon 1414
Germain Pilon, "The Resurrection" (detail)
— Musée du Louvre (@MuseeLouvre) July 8, 2017
The sermon starts about 25:30 in.
For this first #ArtWednesday after #Easter, we’ll look at art inspired by Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances. (Rembrandt, The Incredulity of St Thomas, 1634) #Resurrection #PostResurrectionAppearances #EasterWeek #Rembrandt pic.twitter.com/XEZnW0NGzZ
— Russ Ramsey 🫀 (@russramsey) April 4, 2018
Christ himself pointed out the benefit of his sufferings and resurrection when he said to the women in Mt 28, 10 – “Fear not: go tell my brethren that they depart into Galilee, and there shall they see me.” These are the very first words they heard from Christ after his resurrection from the dead, by which he confirmed all the former utterances and loving deeds he showed them, namely, that his resurrection avails in our behalf who believe, so that he therefore anticipates and calls Christians his brethren, who believe it, and yet they do not, like the apostles, witness his resurrection.
The risen Christ waits not until we ask or call on him to become his brethren. Do we here speak of merit, by which we deserve anything? What did the apostles merit? Peter denied his Lord three times; the other disciples all fled from him; they tarried with him like a rabbit does with its young. He should have called them deserters, yea, betrayers, reprobates, anything but brethren. Therefore this word is sent to them through the women out of pure grace and mercy, as the apostles at the time keenly experienced, and we experience also, when we are mired fast in our sins, temptations and condemnation.
These are words full of all comfort that Christ receives desperate villains as you and I are and calls us his brethren. Is Christ really our brother, then I would like to know what we can be in need of? Just as it is among natural brothers, so is it also here. Brothers according to the flesh enjoy the same possessions, have the same father, the one inheritance, otherwise they would not be brothers: so we enjoy with Christ the same possessions, and have in common with him one Father and one inheritance, which never decreases by being distributed, as other inheritances do; but it ever grows larger and larger; for it is a spiritual inheritance. But an earthly inheritance decreases when distributed among many persons. He who has a part of this spiritual inheritance, has it all.
— Kathryn Jean Lopez (@kathrynlopez) April 9, 2021
“Come, see the place where the Lord lay,” with joy and gladness. He does not lie there now. Weep, when ye see the tomb of Christ, but rejoice because it is empty. Thy sin slew him, but his divinity raised him up. Thy guilt hath murdered him, but his righteousness hath restored him. Oh! he hath burst the bonds of death, he hath ungirt the cerements of the tomb, and hath come out more than conqueror, crushing death beneath his feet. Rejoice, O Christian, for he is not there—he is risen.
“Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”
One more thought, and then I will speak a little concerning the doctrines we may learn from this grave. “Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” with solemn awe for you and I will have to lie there too.
Mine ears, attend the cry,
Ye living men, come view the ground
Where ye must shortly lie.””Princes, this clay must be your bed,
In spite of all your powers.
The tall, the wise, the reverend head,
Must lie as low as ours.”
It is a fact we do not often think of, that we shall all be dead in a little while. I know that I am made of dust, and not of iron; my bones are not brass, nor my sinews steel; in a little while my body must crumble back to its native elements. But do you ever try to picture to yourself the moment of your dissolution? My friends, there are some of you who seldom realize how old you are, how near you are to death. One way of remembering our age, is to see how much remains. Think how old eighty is, and then see how few years there are before you will get there. We should remember our frailty. Sometimes I have tried to think of the time of my departure. I do not know whether I shall die a violent death or not; but I would to God that I might die suddenly; for sudden death is sudden glory. I would I might have such a blessed exit as Dr. Beaumont, and die in my pulpit, laying down my body with my charge, and ceasing at once to work and live. But it is not mine to choose. Suppose I lie lingering for weeks, in the midst of pains, and griefs, and agonies; when that moment comes, that moment which is too solemn for my lips to speak of, when the spirit leaves the clay—let the physician put it off for weeks, or years, as we say he does, though he does not—when that moment comes, O ye lips, be dumb, and profane not its solemnity. When death comes, how is the strong man bowed down! How doth the mighty man fall! They may say they will not die, but there is no hope for them; they must yield, the arrow has gone home. I knew a man who was a wicked wretch, and I remember seeing him pace the floor of his bedroom saying “O God, I will not die, I will not die.” When I begged him to lie on his bed, for he was dying, he said he could not die while he could walk, and he would walk till he did die. Ah! he expired in the utmost torments, always shrieking, “O God, I will not die.” Oh! that moment, that last moment. See how clammy is the sweat upon the brow, how dry the tongue, how parched the lips. The man shuts his eyes and slumbers, then opens them again: and if he be a Christian, I can fancy that he will say:
Sister spirit, come away.
What is this absorbs me quite—
Steals my senses—shuts my sight—
Drowns my spirit—draws my breath?
Tell me, my soul, can this be death?”
We know not when he is dying. One gentle sigh, and the spirit breaks away. We can scarcely say, “he is gone,” before the ransomed spirit takes its mansion near the throne. Come to Christ’s tomb, then, for the silent vault must soon be your habitation. Come to Christ’s grave, for ye must slumber there. And even you, ye sinners, for one moment I will ask you to come also, because ye must die as well as the rest of us. Your sins cannot keep you from the jaws of death. I say, sinner, I want thee to look at Christ’s sepulchre too, for when thou diest it may have done thee great good to think of it. You have heard of Queen Elizabeth, crying out that she would give an empire for a single hour. Or have you heard the despairing cry of the gentleman on board the “Arctic,” when it was going down, who shouted to the boat, “Come back! I will give you £30,000 if you will come and take me in.” Ah! poor man, it were but little if he had thirty thousand worlds, if he could thereby prolong his life: “Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath, will he give for his life.” Some of you who can laugh this morning, who came to spend a merry hour in this hall, will be dying, and then ye will pray and crave for life, and shriek for another Sabbath-day. Oh! how the Sabbaths ye have wasted will walk like ghosts before you! Oh! how they will shake their snaky hair in your eyes! How will ye be made to sorrow and weep, because ye wasted precious hours, which, when they are gone, are gone too far to be recalled. May God save you from the pangs of remorse.
— LambethPalaceLibrary (@lampallib) April 4, 2021
It’s the most profound question in the world. Who are you looking for? I mean, what are you really looking for? What is it that you seek? Whom will you follow? How will you set the compass of your life?
And then he speaks her name. For a moment she’s on time. That tender moment where time and eternity fuse together in the moment of recognition. Her eyes are opened – there – in the dawning of a new day and a whole new humanity. A spring of hope for the world that will never run dry; a love that can never be too late. Jesus: the early bird, the song thrush singing before the dawn; the pelican who feeds her young with her own shed blood; the crucified one who took upon him our flesh and plumbed the depths of grief, has been raised up. And all of God was with him in his dying. And all of us are with him in his rising.
She cries out, ‘Rabbouni! Teacher’; and she holds onto him for dear life. He is the one to follow. He is the one to build a life upon.
But she’s too early again. It is not yet that day when we are with God in paradise. There is work to be done. This new thing that you are seeing. It is for everyone. It must be shared.
Gently, he prises her hands away. ‘Do not cling to me. I have not yet ascended… but go to my brothers and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father to my God and your God.’
The endless message of Easter. The timeless message. I am rising.
She thought he was the Gardener. She was right. He is the gardener: the new Adam tending a new creation, re-planting the seeds of human destiny.
#HappyEaster2021 💐from the beautiful city of Ely from everyone at The @Gemini Boat Race@CUBCsquad @OxfordUniBC @OUWBCsquad
Photo Credit @Ely_Cathedral
Watch the coverage of the races live on the BBC 1 from 3pm#TheBoatRace #Teamwork #Passion #Excellence pic.twitter.com/xdvSAD27C9
— The Boat Race (@theboatrace) April 4, 2021
Kendall Harmon’s Palm Sunday 2021 sermon–Where should we Focus as we begin Holy Week (Mark 11:1-11)?
The sermon starts about 34:20 in.
(This sermon was preached at the consecration of the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island–KSH
Jesus came to them and spake unto them, saying, All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Matthew 28:18-20.
I wish I could hear these words for the first time. Familiar as they are, they thrill me with their exultant strength whenever I read them anew. They open up new vistas of hope and happiness, of greatness and immortality, of a world exalted, completed, unified, made Christian wholly and irrevocably. They set their own seal upon their authenticity. Under their spell we move out into life with the joyous sting of certainty goading us on to renewed effort to do the great bidding of winning the nations of the earth to Him.
How hedged in with finality that bidding is! Before the commission comes the charter under which it is issued. He who bids us to the new creative act of making disciples has been given authority over and possession of all things in heaven and on earth.
We are familiar with authority in piecemeal fashion—authority over a nation, an institution, a department. But this is authority over all things seen or unseen. It is the unifying authority for which human life had been waiting. It is final and exercised by Man over man. There is no separation of the religious from the secular in His jurisdiction. It includes in one vast sweep the whole universe—nations and all their contents, the realm of thought ramifying into ten thousand specialisms, the domain of activity running into a myriad vocations, fast slipping time past, present and future, the tiny sphere of the known and the endless stretches of the unknown from Alpha to Omega, from the beginning to the end.
It starts about 28 minutes in, and includes a short video clip near the start on a recent Virginia teacher of the year.
A Rowan Williams sermon on the life and ministry of Oscar Romero on Archbishop Romero’s Feast Day–‘Life has the last word’
And so his question to all those who have the freedom to speak in the Church and for the Church is ‘who do you really speak for?’ But if we take seriously the underlying theme of his words and witness, that question is also, ‘who do you really feel with?’ Are you immersed in the real life of the Body, or is your life in Christ seen only as having the same sentiments as the powerful? Sentir con la Iglesia in the sense in which the mature Romero learned those words is what will teach you how to speak on behalf of the Body. And we must make no mistake about what this can entail: Romero knew that this kind of ‘feeling with the Church’ could only mean taking risks with and for the Body of Christ – so that, as he later put it, in words that are still shocking and sobering, it would be ‘sad’ if priests in such a context were not being killed alongside their flock. As of course they were in El Salvador, again and again in those nightmare years.
But he never suggests that speaking on behalf of the Body is the responsibility of a spiritual elite. He never dramatised the role of the priest so as to play down the responsibility of the people. If every priest and bishop were silenced, he said, ‘each of you will have to be God’s microphone. Each of you will have to be a messenger, a prophet. The Church will always exist as long as even one baptized person is alive.’ Each part of the Body, because it shares the sufferings of the whole – and the hope and radiance of the whole – has authority to speak out of that common life in the crucified and risen Jesus.
So Romero’s question and challenge is addressed to all of us, not only those who have the privilege of some sort of public megaphone for their voices. The Church is maintained in truth; and the whole Church has to be a community where truth is told about the abuses of power and the cries of the vulnerable. Once again, if we are serious about sentir con la Iglesia, we ask not only who we are speaking for but whose voice still needs to be heard, in the Church and in society at large. The questions here are as grave as they were thirty years ago. In Salvador itself, the methods of repression familiar in Romero’s day were still common until very recently. We can at least celebrate the fact that the present head of state there has not only apologized for government collusion in Romero’s murder but has also spoken boldly on behalf of those whose environment and livelihood are threatened by the rapacity of the mining companies, who are set on a new round of exploitation in Salvador and whose critics have been abducted and butchered just as so many were three decades back. The skies are not clear: our own Anglican bishop in Salvador was attacked ten days ago by unknown enemies; but the signs of hope are there, and the will to defend the poor and heal the wounds.
Forty one years ago today, Archbishop Romero was martyred by a single bullet whilst celebrating Mass. May his faith-filled witness continue to inspire us to work for justice, peace and reconciliation. St Oscar Romero, pray for us. pic.twitter.com/Jf8s7rJVcQ
— The Romero Trust (@RomeroTrust) March 24, 2021
“Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the vail; whither the Forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus.”””HEB. vi. 19, and part of v. 20.
Life is full of changes and chances. It sounds commonplace to say so, and yet more and more one learns to realize that the commonplaces of life are the things we most frequently dwell on, and the things we most often need comfort about. Poverty and riches, sickness and health, prosperity and adversity, joy and sorrow, succeed one another in our lives in a way that men call chance, and Christians know to be the will of God. All external circumstances change and alter; friends fail us or are taken away; death breaks up family circles; we move away from the scenes of youth and dwell in other places; cities and towns lose their familiar appearance; nay, in this our day things that should be most stable shake and totter, and government and order seem about to fail, and the very Church itself partakes of the universal disquiet; and only the eye of faith can discern the sure and immovable foundations against which the gates of hell shall never prevail.
But, even if there were no external changes, the changes within us are still harder to bear. We are not what we were. Time more surely alters our inner selves than even it does what is without us. We do not love what we loved, we do not seek what we sought, we do not fear what we feared, we do not hate what we hated. We are not true to ourselves. However brave a front we may present to the world, we are compelled to acknowledge to ourselves our own inconsistencies. There is often a broad chasm even between the intellectual convictions of one period of life and of another; and our very religious convictions, except they are built on the unchanging rule of the catholic faith, contradict each other; and the weary heart, uncertainly reaching forth in the darkness, longs with an ever deeper longing for that immutable One “with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
Blessed, then, is it to hear of an anchor of the soul. The imagery is simple enough. The ship, beaten by waves, tossed by tempests, driven by winds, takes refuge in the harbor. The anchor is cast from the stern. The ship rides securely; the danger is over.
You’ll recognise the motifs on the badge from today’s 2nd lesson. ‘Take up the whole armour of God’ says Ephesians: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit. The author’s appeal to his readers is vivid and urgent. ‘Be strong in the Lord…so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.’ Combative stuff. But it fits exactly into the world-view of the first and second generations of Christians. They believed themselves to be warriors of light and truth in an alien, hostile universe. And just as Christ in his descent into hell had harrowed it, ransoming his own and rescuing them from the demonic clutch of death and Satan, so now the church was called bravely to battle against evil by witnessing to the gospel’s redeeming power and by turning human lives round from the oppressions of terror and wickedness to the glorious freedom of the children of God.
Move the clock forward by six centuries, and we come to St Cuthbert whom we celebrated last week. There is a so-called ‘Celtic’ perception of our northern saint, and there is the truth. The fantasy is that he was a kind of proto-romantic who took himself off to the Inner Farne for peace, quiet, and plenty of time to contemplate ducks. The more austere truth is that he went to the Farne to fight, Bede says, to ‘seek out a remote battlefield farther away from his fellows’. For him, to be a hermit was to wrestle with evil, the demons within and those without. This warfare was not, or not principally, a private affair. It was an act of the church whereby the ever-threatening forces of chaos and disorder were kept at bay by those called, so to speak, to front-line service. The consolations of the Farne were, to quote the title of a book about desert spirituality, ‘the solace of fierce landscapes’. There is nothing perfumed or rose-hued about Cuthbert’s struggle for the good, the life-giving and the just. Like all who are valiant for truth, like the prophets and apostles, like the desert fathers and Irish monks, like Jesus himself, it cost him everything. He lived for it, and in the end he died for it.
Today the Church of England celebrates Cuthbert, Bishop of Lindisfarne, Missionary, 687 https://t.co/4AEf4l5CzY
Image: St Cuthbert depicted holding the head of St Oswald, window in Christ Church, Dublin – Photo: Andreas F. Borchert, via Wikimedia pic.twitter.com/xYzkAPq9Tb
— The Anglican Church in St Petersburg (@anglicanspb) March 20, 2021
The sermon starts about 13:50 in.
Listen carefully for a story from Los Alamos, New Mexico in the 1940’s.
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.