Christian reflections

Top 10 Sermons Winter 2015/Spring 2016

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One of the Sabbath practices at our home is listening to a sermon. It’s one of our ways of worshiping as members of God’s great congregation in a way we don’t get to do when we are leading worship on Sundays. One blogger I know describes leading worship as being “on, like Beyoncé at a concert on.” Perhaps I wouldn’t go that far, but it is a different worship experience being up front than it is sitting in the pew. So Fridays – our family Sabbaths – are the days we remember that we, too, are part of the congregation.

Sometimes I listen to a sermon while I’m out on a run. Other times I’m cooking dinner or puttering around the succulent garden. [Okay, it’s really just a tall shelf on the porch with potted cactuses and aloe plants, but since I’ve kept them alive for over a year now, it has become my pride and joy.]

There’s something about hearing the Gospel from a new voice, remembering that Christ makes us all one–across boundaries of time and geography–that encourages me every week. The Gospel is the same in Chicago, in Pennsylvania, in California, in Missouri. It’s the same across the world, too, but I mostly listen to sermons from the U.S.

Here are my favorites from this winter and spring. They come from a variety of different Christian traditions, and posting a sermon here doesn’t mean I agree 100% with their home church’s theology or even the sermon itself. But it does mean that the sermon made me think, let me worship, and helped me draw closer to Jesus.

Have a listen, if you like. Be challenged and encouraged. Agree or disagree. And if you have a favorite sermon podcast or preacher, please share – I’d love to broaden my listening!

These are in no particular order. Some are friends and colleagues, others are from megachurches where I’ve never set foot. All have boosted me this winter and spring.

10. Best for a Difficult Season

Kristine Aragon-Bruce, pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Glen Ellyn, on suffering and Jesus. You Will Weep and Mourn

9. Best for the integration of Old & New Testaments (also: Scottish accent FTW!)

Colin Smith, pastor at The Orchard Evangelical Free Church, on the allure of the Gospel.  The Power of Invitation

8. Best for Theological Depth & the Sacraments

Jerry Andrews, pastor at First Presbyterian Church of San Diego, on Jesus meeting us in his Supper. Broke: Word & Sacrament

7. Best on a Controversial Issue

Kevin Miller, pastor at Church of the Resurrection in Wheaton, Illinois, on Christians and Muslims. Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God?

6. Best on Practicing Wisdom

Aisha Brooks-Lytle, pastor at Wayne Presbyterian in Wayne, Pennsylvania, on the wisdom in the Gospel. Another Road

 

5. Best on Mission

Amos Yong, Director of Fuller’s Center of Missiological Studies, on bridging the gap between culture and Gospel. Mission in Translation

4. Best Food for Thought

Daryl Ellis, pastor at Presbyterian Church of the Master in Mission Viejo, California, on the value of Jesus. (Also: I married this guy. Yeah, he’s pretty rad.) Counting the Cost

3. Best on Living a Prepared Life

Fleming Rutledge, Episcopal theologian, on waiting for Jesus. This pastor practices masterful turns of phrase. What’s in Those Lamps? (Warning: you have to read this one – it’s text only!)

2. Best on Adventuring for God

Tod Bolsinger, Vice President for Vocation and Formation at Fuller Seminary, on following Jesus into uncharted territory. Adventure or Die

1. Best for a Season of Waiting

Jackson Clelland, pastor at Presbyterian Church of the Master in Mission Viejo, California, on the slow and steady progress of the Gospel. Waiting Matters

 

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