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
This morning, may we dare to run through the field of thorns and find the great treasure that awaits us there. In the name of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Today’s gospel passage catches our attention because it addresses marriage and divorce in a way that’s unavoidable. Many preachers would like to bypass this […]
Welcome to the circus! Yes, that’s what I said: welcome to the circus. Tonight this place of worship becomes the big top, the circus, the greatest show on earth. For consider: What makes a circus? According to theologian and attorney William Stringfellow, the circus is a parable of God’s purpose, because in it “human beings […]
RCL: Joel 2:1-2, 12-17 or Isaiah 58:1-12; Psalm 103 or 103:8-14; 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 Ask people how they’re doing, and often the answer begins with a single word: “Busy!” This one word is then followed by a recital of all the projects and tasks that have been demanding this person’s attention. The […]
Imagine the scene. You are downtown in one of the world’s great cities. You’re standing at the main entrance of a huge, opulent hotel, whose solid stone walls soar upward for many floors. The canopied entrance features a red carpet that crosses the sidewalk to the street, and brass fittings that gleam like gold. It’s […]
Those characters in the parable we just heard – there’s something about them that’s hard to accept. The landowner responds to the abuse and murder of his slaves by sending still others who are treated by the rebellious tenants in the same way. He responds to this further outrage by sending his son. But the […]
Today let’s picture the world as an ungainly, promising mass of dough. In the name of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The comedian comes out on stage, and starts his routine. In a rapid-fire monologue, he serves up jokes. His timing is masterful, and the one-liners burst forth in succession, with precision, so that […]
The New Testament contains a number of stories in which Jesus appears to people after his resurrection from the dead. However, the Easter message of the New Testament is more complex than these stories taken by themselves. The entirety of the New Testament was written from a post-resurrection perspective. The various documents represent diverse efforts […]
The familiar Christmas story that features angels and shepherds, a brilliant star and a silent night, Mary and Joseph in a stable, and the newborn child asleep on the hay – this is a story that captures the imagination. It is the source for countless carols and pageants, greeting cards and paintings, and nativity scenes. […]
From the perspective of our church, Thanksgiving Day is in something of an odd situation. The Prayer Book calls it a major feast, yet its origins are civic as well as churchly. It is widely observed by the people of this land, but the church in other countries generally does not keep Thanksgiving Day, at […]
In the beautiful month of May, in the springtime of the year, the church keeps a feast known as the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The gospel reading on that occasion is the one we just heard, the story of pregnant Mary’s visit to her elderly relative Elizabeth, who is herself pregnant with John […]
According to the gospels, a big part of the ministry of Jesus was that he refused to be scandalized. First, he refused to be scandalized by garden variety sinners. Indeed, he was often seen in company with them: prostitutes, who sold their bodies, for example; or tax collectors who ripped people off. He knew full […]
The Bible is full of beginnings; not only the universal one, when God speaks into existence the components of a magnificent cosmos, but other beginnings as well. Thus the human race begins with Adam and Eve, and begins again after the flood with Noah and his family. In old age, Abraham answers the invitation of […]
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