The Rev. Charles Hoffacker lives in Greenbelt, Maryland, with his wife, Helena Mirtova. He is the author of A Matter of Life and Death: Preaching at Funerals from Cowley Publications. Many of his sermons appear on sermonwriter.com.
Sermons and Bible Studies
[RCL] Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25; Psalm 78:1-7; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Matthew 25:1-13 Today, let’s explore the problem known as burnout and the hope we call “transfiguration”. In the name of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In recent decades, “burnout” has become a popular word to describe a particular human problem. Burnout is commonly understood as […]
[RCL] Exodus 16:2-15; Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45; Philippians 1:21-30; Matthew 20:1-16 The economics of God are not like our human economics. Time after time, we humans just do not get the economics of God. In Scripture readings for today, we have reminders of the ways we miss the point about God’s economics. We also have a […]
Today let’s look at one of the major stories in the Old Testament, and consider how its principal character, whose name is Joseph, changes from a man full of himself to someone who gives the gift of life. In the name of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. What we heard just now from Genesis—Joseph’s […]
Travel to the city of Rome and go to the basilica named for St. Peter. Near the main entrance, you will find one of the most celebrated sculptures in the world, the Pieta of Michelangelo. Mary the mother of Jesus is shown seated. On her lap, in her arms, she holds the lifeless body of […]
The Bible and the church year commemorate many moments of grace. One of these moments of grace is what we celebrate here on this day of Pentecost: how the Holy Spirit fell like fire upon the infant church, equipping that small assembly for their global mission, energizing that community with nothing less than the life […]
Today’s first reading and gospel form an unusual pair. They both come from the two-volume work attributed to Luke the Evangelist. One is from the end of the first volume, the book we call the Gospel according to Luke. The other is from the start of the second volume, the book we call the Acts of the Apostles. […]
As you heard today’s gospel, did it make you uncomfortable, so that you shifted your weight from one foot to another, or perhaps gazed awkwardly into space?That parable Jesus tells does not pack a dose of sweet comfort but challenges us outrageously in a spot where we are most tender: the trouble we have with […]
On this day, may we consider together just what sort of gift we ask for when we pray in the Collect for “new and contrite hearts.” Just what sort of hearts does God want us to have? In the name of this God: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The poet Robert Bridges was experiencing […]
It’s a brief story, and Jesus delivers the punch line: “Martha, Martha,” he tells his hostess. “You are worried and distracted about many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, and it shall not be taken from her.” Everything, therefore, hangs on the one thing that Jesus mentions, […]
Jesus warns us to practice our piety in secret. We are not to give alms, to pray, or to fast in a way that plays to an audience of other people. Instead, we are to do these things in secret. And in each case a blessing is attached to this secret practice. As Jesus tells it, “your Father who […]
Today’s gospel leaves many of us uncomfortable for one reason or another. It doesn’t come across as good news. First, we have what sounds for all the world like Jesus’ absolute prohibition of divorce. That’s enough to cause us to squirm if we have a divorce in our personal background or as part of our family history. It’s […]
The story just proclaimed presents Jesus as mocked three times, by three different groups: first, the religious authorities; then the secular authorities; and finally, the ordinary people, the crowd. These instances of mockery have unexpected results. The pretensions of each group are dismantled. The stage is cleared of rivals, and the true king is enthroned. […]
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