The following is the text of a sermon I preached at Fallingbrook Presbyterian Church in Scarborough on the first Sunday of Advent. The Scripture readings were Psalm 98 and Revelation 19:1-9.
Advent is my favourite season of the Christian year, but it seems like the observation of the season of Advent is becoming an increasingly counter-cultural activity. While Starbucks has been serving its Christmas blend in its signature Christmas cups for over a month and Swiss Chalet has been offering its festive meal for almost as long, Advent tells us we are still waiting. While the music blaring in malls and on radios announces that it is the most wonderful time of the year, Advent says to us “Not yet.” Continue reading “Judgement”: A Sermon for the First Sunday of Advent
On November 2, I had the privilege of preaching at Morning Prayer at Wycliffe College in the faculty preaching series, entitled “The Word is Near You: Seeds of Reformation.” It was a privilege to join the distinguished faculty of Wycliffe College in this Reformation-themed preaching series and to preach from a pulpit that has, over the years, welcomed an impressive collection of archbishops, leading preachers, and distinguished theologians. My assigned text was Matthew 28: 16-20. You can listen to a recording of the sermon here. For those not familiar with Wycliffe, in the first few sentences of the sermon I am riffing on the titles of books written by members of the Wycliffe faculty.
In 1932, Dietrich Bonhoeffer preached in Berlin on Volkstrauertag—the German equivalent to Remembrance Day in Canada. Interestingly, one of his main emphases throughout the sermon is that the way Memorial Day is observed in the church should differ from the way that is observed in other contexts. I made a similar point in a 2013 article entitled, “Remembering Rightly: The Pastoral Dilemma of Remembrance Day,” although I can’t recall if I had read Bonhoeffer’s 1932 sermon at the time I wrote it. Continue reading Remembrance Day in the Church
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
In the 18th Joseph Smith Memorial Lecture delivered at Overdale College in Birmingham, England in 1979, published as a pamphlet under the title “Preaching Christ Today”, Lesslie Newbigin suggested that the crucial issue facing preachers today is discerning the proper relationship between Law and Gospel. (Interestingly, this was also a pressing concern for Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his seminarians in the mid-30s.) Continue reading Newbigin on the Challenge of Preaching Christ Today
In addition to teaching two theology courses at Tyndale Seminary in the upcoming fall semester, I am also going to be teaching the “Basics of Preaching” course at Wycliffe College at the University of Toronto. In preparation for my foray into the homiletics classroom, I’ve been revisiting many of the preaching books I’ve read over the years. One such book is The Foolishness of Preaching: Proclaiming the Gospel against the Wisdom of the World by the late Episcopalian priest Robert Farrar Capon. Continue reading Some Delectable Morsels on Preaching from Robert Farrar Capon