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Christ The King

Books of the Bible
Lenten Series
Christmas Dramas


Series A - Matthew
Series B - Mark
Series C - Luke
Series D - Other

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Edward F. Markquart
About the Sermons

Some personal reflections by Pastor Edward F. Markquart

These sermons and dramas are free. The word, "grace," is a dominant theological word in our Christian vocabulary. All of the Apostle Paul's letters begin with greetings of grace. Personally, I work at Grace Lutheran Church. The word "grace" means gift, and these sermons are my gift to you. No charge. No hidden expenses. No future gimmicks that you will have to pay for.  These sermons are free but that does not mean they are cheap. My heart, soul, mind, Spirit, creativity and Biblical study have been poured into each of these sermons, each sermon having been reworked several times during the past decades. The cost has been high but I have loved the privilege of being a Servant of the Gospel. 

These sermons are adaptable.  They are adaptable to your personal and particular theological position since none of us think alike theologically and none of us are saved by our theological stances.  These sermons are adaptable to your personal style of preaching because we are all keenly aware that each of us preaches in our own idiom. You cannot imitate me as a preacher, nor can I imitate you; we wouldn't want to.  Also, these sermons are adaptable to your own history and your own stories because we know that your stories have more authenticity for your hearers than my stories, but you can find your own personal stories and parables that are parallel and similar to mine. In my own sermons, personal stories are important but the flow of logic is even more important. That is, the substance of a sermon will be preached again six or nine years later, but the stories will often be recent.  The logic and flow of the sermon are old but the personal stories from the congregation are often new.

These sermons focus on the Feast Days and all the Sundays.  Easter, Pentecost and Christmas are huge feast days in the life of the church, and the barrel sometimes runs dry for these sacred occasions.  So I am offering you the best of what I have:  several sermons for Easter, Pentecost, Christmas, and other festivals.  Plus, there are sermons for Series C, primarily based on pericopes from the Gospel of Luke. By December, 2003, I will complete Series C.  Series A and B will be available to you three months before the sermons are needed

Each sermon has a distinctive flavor and useful illustrations and stories.   The sermons for the major feast days of Easter, Pentecost and Christmas are more thematic; the sermons for Series C are more textual and expository of the pericopes.

These sermons are based on the common lectionary. This lectionary was revised most recently in 1992. This ecumenical lectionary is used by approximately eight major denominations and more than 900,000,000 Christians on any given Sunday. In the future, I plan to advertise this website in all the major ecumenical denominations here in the United States. The lectionary for Sundays does not cover all the great passages in the Bible, therefore there needs to be freedom to focus on other Biblical texts as well.

These sermons are "orthodox Christian." Theologically, I am an "orthodox Lutheran" who believes in the crucified and Risen Christ, the Son and Spirit of the Living God who is revealed most clearly to us in the Word and Sacraments.  We Christians are filled with God's Spirit and trust, love, justice, obedience and all the other spiritual qualities that are needed for daily life.  We cling to God's forgiveness and know that the gift of life and eternal life are just that:  gifts freely given that we don't deserve or earn. I believe that the Bible is the inspired and authoritative Word of God for us in all situations and is the basis for every sermon.  I believe that the Lord God continues to reveal his Divine Presence to us in people, nature, history, science, and everything else under heaven. We are invited to be people of love in all relationships, especially with God and the poor.

These sermons (and dramas) are helped by the use of videos. Dramas are very important to the church. Please read a drama from Christmas or Lent and then watch a video of that drama. Seeing the drama is as important as reading the script. ...The videos of traditional sermons are important because they illustrate the power of preaching without notes or minimal notes, where the body of the sermon is composed so it is easily learned, where the flow of the sermon is memorized and where the entire sermon lives inside the preacher. A crucial component of preaching is getting the sermon off the page and into one's soul.  In the art of oral communication, scholars tell us that the lines of the face are as important as the lines on the paper. Learning the flow of the sermon is more important than reading it. It is beneficial to watch a video or two on preaching from this website.

Having read Shakespeare's play, OTHELLO, it was great but not nearly as powerful as when seeing it performed live on stage. The text of the play OTHELLO was flat compared to seeing and experiencing it live in front of my eyes. So also with sermons and plays. These sermons and play are flat compared to being there. It is like seeing a picture of Mount Rainier compared to climbing on the slopes of mountain. There is no comparison. So it is with sermons and dramas; they take on power when they are "incarnated" into the living flesh of a human being.

These sermons are the basis for the following conclusions about preaching.. After all of these years of preaching, writing a textbook on preaching, conducting seminars on preaching, and editing hundreds of sermons for this website, I have reached a few conclusions about what goes into a good sermon.  I would like to share some crucial perceptions with you. A good sermon is...

1. More Godly than human. All sermons are fully human but the Faithful also want to hear a Word from the Lord. They want to encounter Godís Word more than human philosophical musings.

2. More Gospel than law. All human beings need to hear Godís accusations and judgments of our behaviors, but a sermon and preacher need to breath the Spirit of the Gospel, forgiveness and mercy. 

3. More Biblical then topical. All sermons focus on certain topics, but the Faithful want a sermon that is tied deeply into the Biblical text. All streams have a beginning, origin or source and so do effective sermons.

4. More substantial than shallow. All pastors try to avoid being simple and shallow, because we know that the Faithful need and want substantive food and nourishment so they are well fed for the challenges before them. 

5. More learnable than readable. Many pastors fall into the trap of reading their sermons and canít figure out why people are so bored. Sermons can be written in such a way that the pastor can learn the flow of logic.

6. More creative than monotonous. A complaint against preaching is that we repeat the same familiar clichťs. The Faithful are looking for sermons that find a new angle of vision into the text and how it applies to daily life.

7. More interesting than boring. A key to any good sermon is finding and creating interesting stories, analogies and images that resonate in the listenerís hearts and minds. 

8. More passionate than sterile. Research about human communication reveals that the totality of the body is involved in communicating thoughts and feelings. Good preaching needs to free the whole body to speak the mind.

9. More memorable than forgettable. Sermons are never finished with the preacher gets to the end of the sermon, but key phrases or thoughts linger in the listeners hearts for days and weeks.

10. More Christ than Christianity. For many followers, Christianity is another world religion, but Christ is not. All effective sermons are permeated with the Living Spirit of Jesus Christ. 

It is my prayer that you may find these Biblical sermons adaptable, beneficial and useful to your ministry.

Edward F. Markquart, Pastor
Grace Lutheran Church
22975 24th Ave. S.
Des Moines, Wa.  98198

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