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
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. […]
The start of this new year invites us to take out the map of our life and look at it carefully. This is a time to recognize where we have been, so that we may be better prepared for the future that awaits us. Where have you traveled in your life during these past 12 […]
Crossing the minds of almost everyone around this time of year is the fantasy of the perfect Christmas. This fantasy appears in many versions, but a standard one goes something like this: An attractive old house sits securely on its wooded parcel of land. There’s plenty of snow on the ground, and more is falling […]
Today we should remember something that all of us sometimes forget – that what God requires of us is not success, but faithfulness. The gospel we just heard is known as “The Parable of the Talents.” That word “talent” has a double meaning. Its original meaning in the Greek of the New Testament refers to […]
Ask a group of people to keep a secret, and you’re looking for trouble. More than likely, somebody will let it out. Especially if the secret is astonishing. Simon Peter is the first disciple to recognize that Jesus is the Messiah. He’s the first to discover that this man he knows so well is the […]
The story we just heard about Jesus talking with a Samaritan woman at the well outside Sychar is a story full of surprises. The first surprise is that the conversation happens at all. The barriers to it are great. Jesus is a Jew and the woman is a Samaritan. Between Samaritan and Jew there is […]
If we start with Christmas Day, December 25, and count eight days, we come to today, January 1. It is on the eighth day of Christmas that the church celebrates the Holy Name of Jesus. We celebrate the Holy Name of Jesus on this eighth day of Christmas because it was on the eighth day […]
Jesus puts before his audience two stories of lost and found. In each case, the one who loses goes to extraordinary efforts to find what is lost. Having recovered it, the finder calls upon the surrounding community to join in rejoicing that the lost has been found. Jesus applies both stories to what happens when […]
Today we come to what is, for practical purposes, the conclusion of the biblical story, the climax, the consummation, the finale. We hear from the last chapter of the last book of scripture, and what we hear is glorious. Do you want to know something of heaven and why it is a home to long […]
Today’s gospel presents us with Jesus’ first act of public ministry, described for us in Luke’s gospel. Following his river baptism and his long wilderness fast and temptation, Jesus returns to his home country, Galilee. Reports about him have been spreading through the population, probably the result of his healing miracles and his synagogue teaching. […]
“David was 30 years old when he began to reign, and he reigned for forty years. … David occupied the stronghold, and named it the City of David. David built the city all around from the Millo inward. And David became greater and greater, for the Lord of hosts was with him.” There is something […]
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