Sermon Manuscripts

Here at the Center for Excellence in Preaching we strive to be very ecumenical in both the resources we offer and the audience in the wider Church that we seek to reach. But our Center is a part of Calvin Theological Seminary where—like any number of other seminaries—we have for many years been using Paul Scott Wilson’s The Four Pages of the Sermon as our homiletical teaching method.

Many of our alumni seek to utilize the deep structure and the “grammar” of Four Pages in their weekly preaching. But some of those same pastors have asked for help in the form of sample sermons that try to wield Wilson’s model well. The manuscripts labeled Four Pages: (sermon title) are demonstrations of this model of sermon-writing. There are also sample sermons for seasonal enrichment. These are labeled with the liturgical season and sermon title.

We hope these sermons are both instructive and inspirational!

Home » Sermons » Written Sermons

Easter: While It Was Still Dark

A few short days ago many of you attended a Tenebrae service. If you did, then you know that that service of shadows ends in darkness and silence. Liturgically that service is the deepest shade of purple that culminated the purple season of Lent.  This Easter morning, however, you came to church anticipating the color…

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Good Friday: Explaining (Without Explaining Away)

They should have seen it coming. That’s what a number of people said about the U.S. Intelligence community following the horror of September 11. The CIA, the FBI, our spies in other countries: no one saw the attack coming, but not a few critics think they should have. When something big happens, we want explanations,…

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Palm Sunday: A Flash in the Dark

Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem is like a flashbulb going off in a dark room.  Most of us know what that’s like.  You are sitting in the middle of a very dark room when suddenly, maybe as a prank, somebody pushes the test button on a camera’s flash.  Just before the flash, the room is so…

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Lent 4: Everything I Have

He had a point, you know.  The older brother: he had a point.  And if you don’t believe that, then maybe it will help to admit that it’s a point you and I have made in the past and it’s a point we are liable to make again in the future, too.  I’m not saying…

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Lent 2: Christ the Hen

When I was a kid in the early 1970s, Saturday night meant watching my favorite TV show, Emergency!  I loved that show about two brave paramedics from Squad 51 of the Los Angeles Fire Department.  When Johnny and Roy were in danger, my pulse raced.  Thanks to my father, who was a real-life volunteer fireman…

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Advent 1: God’s Hopeful Story

This is a season of the year in which many of us find ourselves teetering between nostalgia and cynicism. We feel the tug of Christmas past. At the grocery store the other day I was encouraged by the muzak to “have myself merry little Christmas”, but the only way to do that, the song said,…

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Advent 3: Real Repentance

Homiletics is the theological term for the study and craft of sermon making. Seminarians take a couple of courses on homiletics of course, and there are lots of books on homiletics written for the guidance of preachers. Nowadays, there’s a lot of emphasis on the introductions of sermons. The theory is that the modern audience…

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Advent 4: Pregnant

Last May, Jeanne and I toured Turkey. One of the highlights was our visit to Ephesus. Ephesus, the biblical city, is now magnificent ruins, in fact probably the greatest ruins in the whole Middle East. We were staying at our hotel in the Aegean resort city of Kushadasi, a boisterous, glitzy place. The ruins of…

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My youngest child Anton was born early one November morning. It was not an easy birth. We didn’t know it at the time, but his mother Judy was already experiencing the first symptoms of MS from which she later died, when Anton was 18. She was exhausted. I let her sleep for a couple of…

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