Sermons That Work

Sermons and Bible Studies

St. John Chrysostom’s Paschal Sermon, Great Vigil of Easter (B) – 2018

March 31, 2018

Are there any who are devout lovers of God? Let them enjoy this beautiful bright festival! Are there any who are grateful servants? Let them rejoice and enter into the joy of their Lord! Are there any weary with fasting? Let them now receive their wages! If any have toiled from the first hour, let […]

Sermon for a World AIDS Day Interfaith Service: Remembering Wayne

December 01, 2004

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked…Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”[1] According to the way Christians tell their story, Jesus is crucified.  His disciples, who love him so greatly […]

It Is Difficult to Pick Up…, Proper 17 (C) – 2001

September 16, 2001

This sermon is written as an alternative for use on Sunday, September 16, 2001. It may be used in conjunction with the Lessons for the Day or as a topical sermon with other readings. It is difficult to pick up shattered lives. While many people have been able to return to a mostly normal life […]

In Bach’s St. Matthew Passion…, Great Vigil of Easter (A) – 1999

April 03, 1999

In Bach’s St. Matthew Passion there is a musical theme that is connected to the time between Jesus’ crucifixion and his resurrection. It is in a minor key but it is not sad. Rather it is hopeful. It is expectant. Some might say that it captures both the pain of Jesus’ death for our sakes […]

There Is an Ancient Egyptian Myth…, Ash Wednesday – 1999

February 17, 1999

There is an ancient Egyptian myth about a bird which regenerates itself by burning itself up. Imagine, the living phoenix literally makes an offering of itself: it carefully builds a nest, settles down in it, and burst into flame. From the ashes left by those flames emerges a magnificent reborn bird. The new phoenix is […]

Settle Disagreements and Conflicts…, Proper 18 (A) – 1999

September 05, 1999

The Gospel reading today deals with ways to settle disagreements and conflicts. How do you feel about disagreements? Do you avoid them? Do you hate them? Do you enjoy them? Do you always win them or lose them? Sometimes people have the impression that since we claim to be Christians, we will live in eternal […]

Have You Had Any Trouble…, Proper 11 (A) – 1999

July 18, 1999

Have you had any trouble with darnel lately? It seems to me that this inquiry might bring a big question to our mind. What is it? What does it look like? Does it itch? Will “Head and Shoulders” get rid of it? When we read the Gospel lesson for today, it is difficult for us. […]

The Parable of the Sower, Proper 10 (A) – 1999

July 11, 1999

The “parable of the sower” is one of the special parables in the New Testament because Jesus interprets it for us himself. A sower went out to sow grain, presumably wheat, and the seeds were broadcast by hand. So, once the seeds were thrown, there was no controlling where they would land. The seed fell […]

A Seminarian Returning…, Proper 7 (A) – 1999

June 20, 1999

A seminarian, returning from his weekend duties one Sunday afternoon, gave a lift to a hitchhiker and received a theology lesson in return. The hitchhiker, an older man, asked about the seminarian’s clerical collar and interpreted the answer he got to mean that he was, “some kind of preacher.” The hitchhiker then commented that the […]

In This Text, Jesus…, Proper 6 (A) – 1999

June 13, 1999

In this text Jesus is filled with compassion and then he puts in a prayer request. For those of us who have years and years of life as serious Christians, this is the most normal of patterns. We are moved to compassion. Then we pray. At the first opportunity we call for prayers from our […]

We Believe That…, Proper 5 (A) – 1999

June 06, 1999

We believe that what this Gospel text is telling us is that if we want to be one of Jesus’ friends we must be sinners. In fact, Jesus said, “I did not come to the virtuous, but sinners.” Since most of us are sinners and since most of us sinners don’t really enjoy hanging out […]

Jesus As the Vine…, Easter 6 (A) – 1999

May 09, 1999

Jesus as the vine with us as the branches is a very powerful model for the Christian life. It sets things straight as to how we are to be and what we are to do. As the text says, “cut off from me you can do nothing.” So this text calls us to be branches. […]

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Christopher Sikkema