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

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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Christmas

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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Advent 2: The Shrill One

John was on a roll. For quite some time he had been preaching a fiery message to all kinds of people and with splendid results. They came to him in droves and responded to his message with genuine fervor. That is quite amazing given that John was not exactly what anyone would consider “seeker-friendly.” Today…

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Advent 1: At That Time

When I was in high school, I accompanied a friend to a youth group New Year’s Eve party at a local Pentecostal church. Mostly the party was what you would expect: lots of goodies to eat, pop to drink, games to play. But at one point in the evening all of us were gathered in…

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Advent 1: In the Interim

We live in between the first coming of Jesus Christ and his second coming, and most of us feel a lot better about the first one.  Christmas is about a baby, after all, and that makes everything easier.  We know about babies, and so we know how to domesticate Christmas.  We set up a creche,…

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Christmas: Home

“Are you going home for Christmas?” What question has been more commonplace in recent weeks? A little over a week ago while I was at the supermarket, I was already pondering this sermon, including that opening line, “Are you going home for Christmas?” Startlingly, as I walked through the store, I heard some version of…

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Four Pages: The Incognito Christ: the Walking Partner

When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them.  Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him.  Luke 24:30-31 Many of the risen Jesus’ friends to whom he appeared just didn’t know who he was. So at least initially the risen…

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