Mark Sermon Structures

By Justin Rossow In 2015 we preached through the Gospel of Mark between January and Easter. And it was *awesome.* Looking back over so many weeks in the same book of the Bible, following the same story line, preaching on the Gospel Lesson week after week after week, I am deeply grateful for the training […]

The 7 Tools for Development in Action

By Justin Rossow When we preach, we make decision about how we are going to spend our time in the pulpit. Consciously or not, we choose how we are going to help the hearer create meaning out of the sermon. If you would like to be more intentional about how you shape the “moments of meditation” […]

A Tale of Two Easters

Preachers sometimes find themselves saying the same thing over and over again. Regardless of the text or day, they feel like they are running the proclamation of the Word through the same theological ringer week after week. Yearly celebrations of the same festival can magnify that feeling: I’ve preached Easter and Resurrection 15 years in […]

Advent Sermon Structures

Variety is one of the many benefits of being intentional about the way you structure the sermon from week to week: even when there is strong unity of theme, the experience of the hearers doesn’t become predictable or rote. Our 2013 Advent series is a case in point. The unifying theme was “Beyond Expectation” and […]

Patterns of Belonging

Who’s on your rope? In his book Organic Community, Joseph Myers describes four different “patterns of belonging” we all need in order to experience a sense of community. Myers doesn’t tell us what to do to experience belonging; he describes how belonging takes place. And he doesn’t suggest we necessarily move from more loosely connected relationships […]

Biblical Studies

Source and Target, Target, Target Domains

Source and Target, Target, Target Domains

If you know even the basics of contemporary metaphor theory, then you know that in the metaphor “Richard is a gorilla,” what we know (or think we know) about gorillas is the “Source domain.” The metaphor works by taking what we know and expect and how we reason about gorillas and mapping those inferences and […]

Cultural Studies

That One Time I Accidentally Said, “Kiss My A**” Three Times During the Gospel Lesson

That One Time I Accidentally Said, “Kiss My A**” Three Times During the Gospel Lesson

I plead ignorance on this one. But the situation still brings up legitimate questions of communication, cultural norms, and offense as a preaching technique that Jesus seemed to use, but maybe we shouldn’t … OK; here’s the situation. I’m preaching on Luke 14, the Parable of the Banquet where the rich guests who were invited […]

Example Sermons

You ARE His Witnesses

You ARE His Witnesses

I had a chance to sit down with a preacher after I listened to his sermon. I find the conversation about preaching can be fascinating, and really helpful for those who face the art, craft, and challenge of preaching on a regular basis. The text for the sermon came from the assigned readings for Ascension, […]

Hom Helps

Avoiding The Lutheran Meat Grinder

Avoiding The Lutheran Meat Grinder

By Justin Rossow The proper division of Law and Gospel is one of the essential elements of Lutheran theology, and therefore of Lutheran preaching. But when good theology gets turned into rote practice, the result can be hazardous to your spiritual health. You can get a handle on the definitions of Law and Gospel relatively […]

Image and Metaphor

Focus on the New Creation

Focus on the New Creation

The family has gathered. We ride the ups and down of sudden changes in breathing or consciousness. We share stories and pictures. We are waiting for Dad, my father-in-law Jim, to die. As I look out the back door to the lake, I am struck by the beauty of these summer days. The sun shines. […]

Reviews

Outreach and Journey

Outreach and Journey

 Conceptual Metaphor in Speaking of Jesus, Part 3 Speaking of Jesus intends to move Christians beyond thinking of non-Christians as “the enemy” and of salvation as “crossing a boundary line;” instead, Medearis wants people not only to speak of, but also to follow Jesus. This view of the Christian faith—faith as following Jesus—inherently embodies a […]

Triads

Relationship Triad: Session 7

Speaking the Truth in Love: How to Be an Assertive Christian, Ruth Koch and Kenneth Haugk Session 7 Before You Meet I. Meditate 3-5 times on Hebrews 12:1-14  this week. Start with prayer for yourself and for others reading the same verse, that the same Spirit that inspired these words would open your heart and mind to them […]