The Homiletics Online Blog

JON, JOB and INRI

By Timothy Merrill | September 18, 2019

You can credit (or blame) AOC for this column. I mean, she’s the inspiration for the meandering thoughts which follow. You see the initials of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez everywhere. AOC is the U.S. representative for New York’s 14th Congressional District. Shortening her name to AOC is a media thing. Much easier to use initials than her…

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Have Yourself a Medieval Advent!

By Bob Kaylor | September 18, 2019

Planning for Advent is one of the most difficult tasks for the preacher, particularly for those of us who have preached a lot of Advents over the years. It’s that time of year when your local big box store has been stocking Christmas items since late September, when Christmas carols play 24-7 on certain radio…

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Put Some Dinner in Your Church

By Timothy Merrill | July 16, 2019
Put Some Dinner in Your Church

By Henry G. Brinton   When I served a multicultural Presbyterian church in Alexandria, Virginia, older white parishioners didn’t always see eye-to-eye with younger African immigrants in the congregation. Disagreements arose over a variety of issues, including worship and church government. But when we sat down for international potluck dinners from time to time, the…

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Going Deep

By Bob Kaylor | July 16, 2019
Going Deep

One of the ironies of being the Senior Writer for Homiletics is that I’m a “series” preacher writing for a lectionary-based magazine. While I’ve used the lectionary at times over the years and certainly value the cycle of texts and seasons, I tend to gravitate toward sermon series and, in particular, sermon series that do…

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The Liver Sermon

By Timothy Merrill | May 8, 2019
The Liver Sermon

My grandparents on my mother’s side were German immigrants. When they hit America just before the war, they had no money, no kids and no English. But Grossmama and Grosspapa had plenty of food, especially spuds, which they heaped high on the kitchen table of their southern Idaho farmhouse. We kids liked to visit our…

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Acquiring More of Less

By Bob Kaylor | May 8, 2019
Acquiring More of Less

The 96-mile trek of the West Highland Way ends at a pedestrian shopping plaza in the city of Fort William in northern Scotland. After six days of walking 15-20 miles per day up and down Munros, traversing moorlands, viewing mystical and jaw-dropping scenery and reading place names that seemed straight out of a Tolkien novel,…

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Getting a Word from the Lord

By Timothy Merrill | March 20, 2019

Many mysterious things happen in the life of a preaching pastor — like why the mike fails to work on Christmas Eve and Easter Sunday morning; why the best-prepared sermon often falls flatter than roadkill on I-95; and conversely, why those sermons cobbled together at 6 a.m. Sunday are so often blessed with the fire…

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A Normandy Story

By Bob Kaylor | March 20, 2019

This June we will remember the 75th anniversary of D-Day, when the Allies stormed the beaches of Normandy to liberate Europe from the Nazis during World War II. It’s sure to be a somber day of remembrance, especially now that most of the veterans of that terrible day are gone. Last summer while on renewal…

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Living Stones

By Bob Kaylor | January 21, 2019

One of the things you notice as you walk through the various cathedrals and abbeys in Europe is that there are a lot of people buried under the floors — thousands, in fact. Westminster Abbey in London, for example, is essentially an indoor graveyard with the remains of dozens of famous and infamous people tucked…

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The Cross Checkpoint

By Timothy Merrill | January 21, 2019

Not long ago, I returned from a two-week trip to Israel and the Palestinian West Bank with our youngest daughter, Deborah. She had never been to this part of the world, and it was my fifth trip, so naturally, she thought I’d be the perfect person to show her around. While there, I was able…

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