Sermons That Work

For more than 20 years, Sermons That Work, a ministry of The Episcopal Church’s Office of Communication, has provided free sermons, Bible studies, bulletin inserts, and other resources that speak to congregations across the Church. Our writers and readers come from numerous and varied backgrounds, and the resources we provide are used in small house churches, sprawling cathedrals, and everything between.

Sermons for Advent and Christmas 2021

Lectionary Calendar

Find this Sunday’s readings and more observances of the church year.

This Sunday’s Readings:
Advent 3 (C) – December 12, 2021

Sermons

We offer a large archive of sermons, as well as a new sermon every week.

This Sunday’s Sermon:
Advent Joy, Advent 3 (C) – December 12, 2021

Bible Studies

Our weekly Bible studies are produced by our very own Episcopalian seminarians.

This Sunday’s Bible Study:
Advent 3 (C) – December 12, 2021

Bulletin Inserts

Weekly inserts teach about the theology, history, and people of The Episcopal Church.

This Sunday’s Bulletin Insert:
Advent 3 (C) – Journeying the Way of Love – Week 3 – December 12, 2021

Sermons That Work Podcast

About Sermons That Work

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Upcoming Sermons

Shepherds and Flocks, The Feast of the Epiphany – January 6, 2022

[RCL] Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalm 72:1-7,10-14; Ephesians 3:1-12; Matthew 2:1-12 Let me share with you a bit of parable: in spite of what the Christmas pageant might have us believe, and with great respect and love for pageant directors everywhere: shepherds aren’t always with their flocks. Once in a while, they get a day off too.…

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Whose Voice Do We Hear?, 2 Christmas – January 2, 2022

[RCL] Isaiah 9:2-7; Psalm 96; Titus 2:11-14; Luke 2:1-14 (15-20) Amidst all the packages, wrappings, ribbons, get-togethers, cookies, and whatever is left of the puddings and roast beast, Matthew’s story of the first Christmas turns suddenly dark and foreboding. Above all the comings and goings of Magi and shepherds, Matthew, and only Matthew, calls us…

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The Season, 1 Christmas – December 26, 2021

[RCL] Isaiah 61:10-62:3; Psalm 147 or 147:13-21; Galatians 3:23-25; 4:4-7; John 1:1-18 “’Tis the season to be jolly!” we sing at parties and at church events. Then, on Christmas, we read: “What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness,…

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The Beginning, Christmas Day (I) – December 25, 2021

Find Sermons for Advent and Christmas 2021, our full sermon compilation for individual, small group, or congregational use, at www.sermonsthatwork.org. [RCL] Isaiah 9:2-7; Psalm 96; Titus 2:11-14; Luke 2:1-14 (15-20) Students of history often find themselves confronted by difficult realities: there are wars, famines, stories of human tragedy and strife, but undoubtedly one of the…

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The Hope-Song, Advent 4 (C) – December 19, 2021

Find Sermons for Advent and Christmas 2021, our full sermon compilation for individual, small group, or congregational use, at www.sermonsthatwork.org. [RCL] Micah 5:2-5a; Canticle 15 (or 3) or Psalm 80:1-7; Hebrews 10:5-10; Luke 1:39-45, (46-55) The Rev. Pauli Murray once wrote that “hope is a song in a weary throat,” and amid this hopeful season,…

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Advent Joy, Advent 3 (C) – December 12, 2021

Find Sermons for Advent and Christmas 2021, our full sermon compilation for individual, small group, or congregational use, at www.sermonsthatwork.org. [RCL] Zephaniah 3:14-20; Canticle 9; Philippians 4:4-7; Luke 3:7-18 The Third Sunday of Advent is traditionally known as Gaudete Sunday.“Gaudete,”when translated from Latin, means “rejoice”. We know that Advent is a season of waiting and…

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Prepare the Way, Advent 2 (C) – December 5, 2021

Find Sermons for Advent and Christmas 2021, our full sermon compilation for individual, small group, or congregational use, at www.sermonsthatwork.org. [RCL] Baruch 5:1-9 or Malachi 3:1-4; Canticle 4 or 16; Philippians 1:3-11; Luke 3:1-6 There’s a method of calling to a crowd and catching its attention in which a speaker says, “If you can hear…

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Waiting, Advent 1 (C) – November 28, 2021

Find Sermons for Advent and Christmas 2021, our full sermon compilation for individual, small group, or congregational use, at www.sermonsthatwork.org. [RCL] Jeremiah 33:14-16; 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13; Luke 21:25-26; Psalm 25:1-9 It’s Advent again! It is that season where we are oriented—in everyday life as well as liturgically—toward Christmas. And yet, there are some stops we…

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Upcoming Bible Studies

Bible Study: Epiphany 3 (C) – January 23, 2022

RCL: Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10; Psalm 19; 1 Corinthians 12:12-31a; Luke 4:14-21 Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10 The book of Nehemiah is a continuation of the story found in the book of Ezra. These two books tell the story of the return of the Israelites to Jerusalem after exile. It is in these two books that…

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Bible Study: Epiphany 2 (C) – January 16, 2022

RCL: Isaiah 62:1-5; Psalm 36:5-10; 1 Corinthians 12:1-11; John 2:1-11 Isaiah 62:1-5 Weddings are times of great celebration for a family, a community, and especially for a couple who are beginning a new life together. The prophet uses this image of bridegroom and bride as an example of how God sees God’s people. At a…

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Bible Study: Epiphany 1 (C) – January 9, 2022

RCL: Isaiah 43:1-7; Psalm 29; Acts 8:14-17; Luke 3:15-17, 21-22 Isaiah 43:1-7 As we remember Jesus’ baptism in the River Jordan, the prophet Isaiah’s words speak to us about the profound faithfulness of God. In this passage, God promises his chosen people that he will be with them no matter what. During my undergraduate days…

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Bible Study: 2 Christmas – 2022

RCL: Jeremiah 31:7-14; Psalm 84; Ephesians 1:3-6, 15-19; Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23 Jeremiah 31:7-14 Sometimes it is easy to lose sight of what is really important in life. The people of God have struggled to keep their end of the covenant with God, and every time they stray, disaster befalls them. In the Deuteronomic Code, they…

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Bible Study: 1 Christmas – 2021

RCL: Isaiah 61:10-62:3; Psalm 147 or 147:13-21; Galatians 3:23-25; 4:4-7; John 1:1-18 Isaiah 61:10-62:3 It is clear in the prophecy given to Isaiah that God intends for his people Israel to be a beacon to other nations. The strong imagery of “garland,” “jewels,” “crown,” and “diadem” bespeak a richness that God bestows upon those who…

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Bible Study: Advent 4 (C) – December 19, 2021

RCL: Micah 5:2-5a; Canticle 15 (or 3) or Psalm 80:1-7; Hebrews 10:5-10; Luke 1:39-45, (46-55) During Advent and Christmas, we will be using study prompts and other activities tied to the sermon for the week. Read the sermon aloud and follow-up with spoken responses to the two questions at the end. Find our full sermon…

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Bible Study: Advent 3 (C) – December 12, 2021

RCL: Zephaniah 3:14-20; Canticle 9; Philippians 4:4-7; Luke 3:7-18 During Advent and Christmas, we will be using study prompts and other activities tied to the sermon for the week. Read the sermon aloud and follow-up with spoken responses to the two questions at the end. Find our full sermon compilation for individual, small group, or…

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Bible Study: Advent 2 (C) – December 5, 2021

RCL: Baruch 5:1-9 or Malachi 3:1-4; Canticle 4 or 16; Philippians 1:3-11; Luke 3:1-6 During Advent and Christmas, we will be using study prompts and other activities tied to the sermon for the week. Read the sermon aloud and follow up with spoken responses to the two questions at the end. Find our full sermon…

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