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

Lent 3B: House Zeal

Fred Rogers, or “Mister Rogers” as we all knew and loved him, made a name for himself and became famous over the years because of his gentle spirit, warm smile, and quiet effectiveness. According to family and friends, there was actually no distinction between the Mister Rogers on the PBS television show and the real-life…

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Lent 2B: The Lenten Fork

According to that great font of wisdom, Yogi Berra, “If you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Mark 8 is a kind of theological fork in the road. This chapter is the hinge of Mark’s gospel. Not only is this the exact middle of Mark in terms of chapters and verses, it…

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Lent 1B: Where the Spirit Leads

In a well-known sermon, the preacher Fred Craddock once said that you cannot get to Jesus without going through John the Baptist first.  Apparently even Jesus could not get to be Jesus without John, either.  Because his baptism by John in the Jordan River is included in all four of the Gospels (and that does…

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Christmas B: The Shepherds Returned

Marilynne Robinson’s lyric novel Gilead is a letter turned memoir written by Rev. John Ames, a 76-year-old pastor who lived his entire life and conducted his whole ministry in the small town of Gilead, Iowa. Rev. Ames had been widowed very early on in his life but remarried finally when he was 67 years of…

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Advent 4B: Strangers on the Earth

Those of us who are parents, grandparents, uncles, or aunts all know what it is like to watch our children when they are in the spotlight. Maybe it’s your son’s piano recital or perhaps it is your niece singing a solo at church. Maybe it’s your son at the basketball freethrow line with one-second left…

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Advent 1B: When the Rooster Crows

In one of his sermons, the great preacher Fred Craddock told a story about something that happened many years ago while he was driving by himself cross-country. He had stopped at a small diner somewhere in the South to refresh himself with an early breakfast and some coffee. He had been driving through the night…

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Advent 4A: God With You

Parents typically give the naming of a child a lot of thought. Sometimes the discussions go on so long that you run across a couple in the maternity ward who, even the day after the child’s arrival, still don’t know what to name him or her. That always takes me aback a bit. You’d think…

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Advent 3A: Watch Your Step

Have you ever felt really let down by something? Maybe it was a meal at some well-known restaurant. You’d looked forward to tasting this particular chef’s cuisine for so long but when you actually got to try the food, it was strikingly ordinary. Or perhaps it was some long-anticipated movie: maybe it was the sequel…

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Advent 2A: Advent Disappointment

While preparing some food in the kitchen the day before Thanksgiving some years back, I had the radio on and caught most of an interview with the New Testament theologian John Dominic Crossan.  Crossan was once one of the leading scholars in the Jesus Seminar and is renowned for both his scholarship and his very…

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