Category Archives: Sermons

95 at 500

The following is an extract from a sermon I preached this past Sunday at St. John’s Presbyterian Church in Scarborough.  The service made use of some of the liturgical resources prepared conjointly by  the Presbyterian Church in Canada and the Christian Reformed Church to mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.  It is not a scholarly treatment, nor does it exhaustively treat the complex and often ambiguous legacy of the Reformation.  Rather, it simply attempts to acquaint people with the person of Martin Luther and some of the early developments associated with the beginning of the Reformation in Germany. Continue reading 95 at 500

Audio of Tyndale Chapel Sermon

Earlier in the summer I had the privilege of preaching at the mid-week community chapel at Tyndale University College and Seminary.  The primary text for my sermon was the account of the apostle Paul’s visit to Athens found in Acts 17:16-34.  The sermon was entitled, “An Earthquake of Heaven, An Earthquake of Love.”  If you are interested in hearing the sermon, it is available for download or streaming through the Tyndale Chapel website.

Fire is Still Coming!: Some Josh Ritter for Advent

The one year anniversary of Thinking After is fast approaching.  Right around the time I started the blog, I preached an Advent sermon at Tyndale Seminary for the MDiv In-Ministry students.  The sermon was one of my first blog postings.  The theme of judgment sounds forth mightily from many of the traditional texts for the first week of Advent.  Having been encountered afresh by these Scriptures, it seemed like it might worthwhile to re-post last year’s sermon, both for those who may have missed it and those who might like to read it again.  I’m not sure I’ve ever heard a sermon on 2 Peter 3, much less one that includes appearances by the Toronto Blue Jays, Westboro Baptist Church, Karl Barth, Glen Soderholm, a Pizza Pizza theologian, and that has the music of Josh Ritter as its soundtrack. Continue reading Fire is Still Coming!: Some Josh Ritter for Advent

A Matter of Life and Death: A Samson Sermon

The following is the text of a sermon I preached this past Sunday as a guest speaker at Toronto Chinese Alliance Church.  The congregation has been working its way through a sermon series on the book of Judges.  I was assigned the daunting task of preaching on the Samson story (Judges 13-16).

For the past week, my thoughts have been preoccupied by a single figure. A blustery and boisterous man, noted for his both his crudity and his cruelty. A man whose track record of troubled relationships with women is well-known. A man who is thought to stand as a paragon of strength and power, despite the strange coif of hair on his head. A bully, who always seems to be the last man standing. A man seemingly tasked with the responsibility of making his nation great again. Continue reading A Matter of Life and Death: A Samson Sermon

“In Sackcloth and Ashes”: A Sermon for Ash Wednesday

The following sermon was preached several years ago on Ash Wednesday.  Perhaps the most interesting thing about it is the text on which the sermon is based – Daniel 9:1-19.  Daniel 9 is not a traditional Ash Wednesday text, but the resonances between the text and the day are significant and stirring.

Today is Ash Wednesday, the day that Christians have historically set aside to face up to their mortality and to repent of their sin. Now this doesn’t mean that Ash Wednesday is the only day of the year when Christians can humbly acknowledge their frailty and their failure to live into the fullness of God’s intentions for their lives, but if we didn’t set aside Ash Wednesday for this purpose, it is unlikely that we would set aside any time at all. For the broader culture we find ourselves in is built on the refusal to acknowledge the presence of death and the reality of sin. So I commend you for making the effort to be here tonight. Your presence signifies that you recognize that the Lord desires to do something for us far more important than making us comfortable. He desires to make us holy. Continue reading “In Sackcloth and Ashes”: A Sermon for Ash Wednesday

“Fire is Coming!”: An Advent Sermon

The following is adapted from a sermon preached to pastoral ministry students at Tyndale Seminary near the beginning of the season of Advent this year.
FireI didn’t come to ask how you’re doing these days
Didn’t come to roll no stones away no
I come to tell you the end is nigh
I come to prophecy

You wanted a messenger and I be he
Your heebie jeebie man in ecstasy
My eyes a blazin’ and my mantle dark
You better hark

Continue reading “Fire is Coming!”: An Advent Sermon