Sermon Starters

Support and Resources For Pastors and
Christian Ministry Professionals

Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor

Two Sermon Starters To Consider:

Starter #1: "Supreme Weaver Or Divine Twists?"
Epiphany IV--Series B
Text: Job 7:1-7
Rev. Kelly Bedard, B.A., M.Div.


Both the title and divisions of this sermon outline are influenced by the weaving motif--and metaphors thereof--of verse 6; yea, the motif is evident in the Hebrew words themselves, for example:

1) the word translated "look" or "hope" in verse 2 has the base meaning of "to bind together, perhaps by twisting," paralleling the warp and woof threads involved in weaving cloth; and

2) "nights" in verse 3, from the Hebrew "lah'-yel-aw," literally means "a twist away of the light."

A. Hanging by a thread

1. Hard service (verse 1): working with the hope, but no guarantee, of getting paid at day's end

2. Evening shadows (verse 2): death becomes the welcome shade after life's hard service

3. Worms and clods of dust (verse 5): the breathing/living dead

B. Threading the needle

1. Turning to God in honest prayer

2. Better yet, God turning us to Himself

3. He is the One who can be trusted on the way of suffering--e.g., the sufferings of Jesus ("By His wounds we are healed")

(This outline is influenced and adapted from Dean Nadasdy's in "Homiletical Helps on LW Series B--Old Testament" in Concordia Journal, January 2000)

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Starter #2: "What Do You Make Of Jesus?"
Epiphany V--Series B
Text: Mark 1:29-39
Rev. Wayne Dobratz, B.S., M.Div.


It's a question that people ask one another when someone new arrives on the scene. It might be a new boss at work after the latest merger. Or it might be a new landlord at the Apartment House or a New Pastor or a new School Principal.

People ask each other: "What do you make of that guy?" What do you think about him? It's a natural question--people want to know what to expect when they meet the new person for the first time.

Jesus caused quite a stir when He came. Many of the Epiphany texts speak of these times. So today we ask the question: "What Do You Make Of Jesus?"

The Gospel for Epiphany 5 gives 4 answers:

1) His Words are worth listening to--everyone was looking for him.  V. 37
2) We are to look to Him for deliverance from Satan--vv. 32-34
3) We are to look to Him for healing from illness--vv.32-34
4) We are to spread His name and fame as the Heaven-sent Savior--vv.38-39


This text puts emphasis upon the Epiphany Lord's ability to heal, not just those suffering from various physical maladies, but also those suffering from demon possession. Our Epiphany Lord is a Lord of power.

We need to remind our people that Jesus has the same power to heal physical diseases and to keep us safe from Satan's power. Physical healings and the casting out of demons were the things the people were talking about in this text.

The miracles were wonderful, but they had a purpose behind them--a greater purpose. They pointed to the authority, the power and the identity of the one who performed them. They underscored what Jesus came to do--to proclaim the Good News!

Jesus says: "This is why I have come." That statement is the key to understanding this text and to preach effectively upon it. To do justice to this text, we must incorporate both the miracles and their purpose in underscoring Jesus' preaching.

Inspired and influenced by Sermon Studies on the Gospels--Series B Northwestern Publishing House, pp. 91ff.

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This page was revised on: Friday, January 20, 2006 12:10:32 PM