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Wayne Brouwer

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Wayne Brouwer is a pastor of the Christian Reformed Church in North America and is an Associate Professor of Religion at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, as well as a member of the faculty of Western Theological Seminary. Brouwer has been the lead pastor in three different congregations. He is a graduate of Dordt College and holds degrees from Calvin Theological Seminary and McMaster University. Over 700 of his articles have been published as well as over a dozen books. Previous CSS Publishing titles by Pastor Bouwer include Political Christianity and Humming Till the Music Returns. He has been a consistent contributor to Emphasis: A Preaching Journal since 2004 and is one of several authors featured in Navigating the Sermon. Pastor Brouwer resides in Holland, Michigan, with his wife Brenda and they are the parents of three daughters.
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Commentary

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Living on purpose -- John 20:19-31, 1 John 1:1-2:2, Acts 4:32-35 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Second Sunday of Easter - B -- 2018
Note: This installment is from the Emphasis archives.

Beginnings -- Genesis 1:1-5, Acts 19:1-7, Mark 1:4-11 -- Wayne Brouwer -- The Baptism of our Lord | Epiphany 1 | Ordinary Time 1 - B -- 2018
In 1954, Marcelle Maurtette wrote a play called Anastasia.
Transfiguration transition -- 2 Kings 2:1-12, 2 Corinthians 4:3-6, Mark 9:2-9 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Transfiguration Sunday - B -- 2018
While the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) seem at first glance to have little obvious lit
The Crisis That Changed Everything -- Jeremiah 31:31-34, Hebrews 5:5-10, John 12:20-33 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Fifth Sunday in Lent - B -- 2018
One of the German army prison camps during World War II was divided into two sections.
Do You Understand? -- Acts 8:26-40, 1 John 4:7-21, John 15:1-8 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Fifth Sunday of Easter - B -- 2018
“If you don’t know where you are going,” says an ancient source, “any road will get you there.”
Glory -- Isaiah 6:1-8, Romans 8:12-17, John 3:1-17, Psalm 29 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Trinity Sunday | 1st Sunday after Pentecost - B -- 2018
Victor Hugo called his masterpiece Misérables, a religious work. So it is.
Security -- 2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27, 2 Corinthians 8:7-15, Mark 5:21-43, Psalm 130 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Proper 8 | Ordinary Time 13 - B -- 2018
Some years ago, Newsweek magazine carried a little article about a fortune-tellers’ convent
Parents and Children -- 2 Samuel 18:5-9, 15, 31-33, Ephesians 4:25--5:2, John 6:35, 41-51 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Proper 14 | Ordinary Time 19 - B -- 2018
In one of the “Peanuts” cartoons, Charlie Brown sits in his father’s barber shop and describes his r
Winsome Wisdom -- Proverbs 31:10-31, James 3:13--4:3, 7-8a, Mark 9:30-37, Psalm 1 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Proper 20 | Ordinary Time 25 - B -- 2018
In H. G. Wells’ tale “The Queer Story of Brownlow’s Newspaper,” it is November 10, 1931, when Mr.
Following Jesus -- Acts 2:42-47, 1 Peter 2:19-25, John 10:1-10 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Fourth Sunday of Easter - A -- 2017
Thomas Long told about the examination of ministerial candidates in a North Carolina presbytery.
The Lamb Of God -- Exodus 12:1-4 (5-10) 11-14, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, John 13:1-17, 31b-35 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Maundy Thursday - A -- 2017
George MacDonald helps us understand the heart-tug of grace in his children’s tale known as “Papa’s
The Faith Of Abraham -- Genesis 12:1-4a, Romans 4:1-5, 13-17, John 3:1-17 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Second Sunday in Lent - A -- 2017
Faith that would become stronger must become not only a public faith, but a faith that makes commitm
Curses And Blessings -- Deuteronomy 30:15-20, 1 Corinthians 3:1-9, Matthew 5:21-37 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Epiphany 6 | Ordinary Time 6 - A -- 2017
Maurice Boyd remembers one incident that sealed the impact of his father on his life forever.
Refocus -- Isaiah 49:1-7, 1 Corinthians 1:1-9, John 1:29-42 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Epiphany 2 | Ordinary Time 2 - A -- 2017
The only way to defeat pride is to make it irrelevant.
Optical Illusion? -- Genesis 1:1--2:4a, 2 Corinthians 13:11-13, Matthew 28:16-20 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Trinity Sunday | 1st Sunday after Pentecost - A -- 2017
Walking through a carnival midway at the county fair, a man met his neighbors, a young couple with t
Changed -- Genesis 25:19-34, Romans 8:1-11, Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Proper 10 | Ordinary Time 15 - A -- 2017
Having outgrown its old and limiting facilities, a large church finally managed to build a magnifice
Mistaken identity -- Exodus 1:8--2:10, Romans 12:1-8, Matthew 16:13-20 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Proper 16 | Ordinary Time 21 - A -- 2017
Appearances can be deceiving.
Declarations -- Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20, Philippians 3:4b-14, Matthew 21:33-46 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Proper 22 | Ordinary Time 27 - A -- 2017
The year was 1934.
Servants -- Joshua 3:7-17, 1 Thessalonians 2:9-13, Matthew 23:1-12 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Proper 26 | Ordinary Time 31 - A -- 2017
In Robert Bolt's play A Man for All Seasons, Sir Thomas More stands at a moral crossroads.
A thousand points of light -- Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24, John 1:6-8, 19-28 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Third Sunday of Advent - B -- 2017
Caught in a Darkness at sea too terrifying for words, a Darkness that crawled and oozed and grabbed
Shine, Jesus, Shine! -- Isaiah 60:1-6, Ephesians 3:1-12, Matthew 2:1-12 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Epiphany of the Lord - B -- 2016
In their book Resident Aliens, Stanley Hauerwas and William Willimon tell the story of a Un
Love that hurts -- Joel 2:1-2, 12-17, 2 Corinthians 5:20b--6:10, Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Ash Wednesday - C -- 2016
The story is told of a young girl whose very best friend lived just down the street.

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Beginnings -- Genesis 1:1-5, Acts 19:1-7, Mark 1:4-11 -- Wayne Brouwer -- The Baptism of our Lord | Epiphany 1 | Ordinary Time 1 - B -- 2018
In 1954, Marcelle Maurtette wrote a play called Anastasia.
Glory -- Isaiah 6:1-8, Romans 8:12-17, John 3:1-17, Psalm 29 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Trinity Sunday | 1st Sunday after Pentecost - B -- 2018
Victor Hugo called his masterpiece Misérables, a religious work. So it is.
Winsome Wisdom -- Proverbs 31:10-31, James 3:13--4:3, 7-8a, Mark 9:30-37, Psalm 1 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Proper 20 | Ordinary Time 25 - B -- 2018
In H. G. Wells’ tale “The Queer Story of Brownlow’s Newspaper,” it is November 10, 1931, when Mr.

Illustration

StoryShare

New Beginnings For A New Year -- Matthew 25:31-46, Ecclesiastes 3:1-13, Revelation 21:1-6a, Psalm 8 -- David O. Bales, Terry Cain, Wayne Brouwer, John E. Sumwalt -- New Year's Day - A, New Year's Day - B, New Year's Day - C -- 2006
Contents
What's Up This Week

Sermon

SermonStudio

A Career In The Kingdom -- Matthew 21:23-32 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Proper 21 | Ordinary Time 26 - A -- 2007
When Sadie and Bessie, the famed "Delany Sisters," were in the early years of their second centuries
Kingdoms In Conflict -- Matthew 21:33-46 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Proper 22 | Ordinary Time 27 - A -- 2007
When Vince Lombardi was hired as head coach of the Green Bay Packers in 1958, the team was in dismal
Why Is God Unfair? -- Matthew 20:1-16 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Proper 20 | Ordinary Time 25 - A -- 2007
One of my favorite courses to teach is "Introduction to Biblical Literature." It is a 200-level cour
Ecological Politics -- Matthew 14:22-33 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Proper 14 | Ordinary Time 19 - A -- 2007
One of the greatest military campaigns ever conducted was the Persian invasion of Greece in 480 BC.
Religious Balkanization -- Matthew 15:(10-20) 21-28 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Proper 15 | Ordinary Time 20 - A -- 2007
As a seminary intern in St. Louis, Missouri, I was part of a Jewish-Christian Dialogue group.
Mistaken Identitiy -- Matthew 16:13-20 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Proper 16 | Ordinary Time 21 - A -- 2007
Appearances can be deceiving.
The Road No One Wants To Travel -- Matthew 16:21-28 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Proper 17 | Ordinary Time 22 - A -- 2007
Some time ago, I was riding a train through central England and a man boarded at one of the stops.
Personal Politics -- Matthew 18:15-20 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Proper 18 | Ordinary Time 23 - A -- 2007
Thomas Browne said that "the vices we scoff at in others laugh at us from within ourselves." More th
Why We Need The Pledge Of Allegiance -- Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Proper 12 | Ordinary Time 17 - A -- 2007
When I was in high school, a new music teacher came to town.
Hunger And Politics -- Matthew 14:13-21 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Proper 13 | Ordinary Time 18 - A -- 2007
Yogi Berra, the great baseball player of an earlier age, was known for his unusual and creative use
Political Pardon -- Matthew 18:21-35 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Proper 19 | Ordinary Time 24 - A -- 2007
My parents were married in the wave of weddings that followed World War II.
A House Even Better Than "Buurma-Built" -- Romans 8:28, 31, 36, 37-39 -- Wayne Brouwer, Charles Cammarata -- 2006
For an elderly, faithful man
A Life In Rhyme -- Romans 8:1-4, 26-27 -- Wayne Brouwer, Charles Cammarata -- 2006
For a faithful woman

A Life In Rhyme
Tour Guide -- Proverbs 3:5-6 -- Wayne Brouwer, Charles Cammarata -- 2006
For a faithful woman who was a tour guide

Tour Guide
Fade To Black -- James 1:10-11 -- Wayne Brouwer, Charles Cammarata -- 2006
A thought piece

Fade To Black

James 1:10-11
Restless Realism -- James 4:9 -- Wayne Brouwer, Charles Cammarata -- 2006
A thought piece

Restless Realism

James 4:9
ChristianOptimism -- 2 Corinthians 1:18-22 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Epiphany 7 | Ordinary Time 7 - B -- 1999
While waiting at an airport, years ago, I saw a couple in their thirties bring an older woman
Anti-Venom Serum -- Galatians 4:4-7 -- Wayne Brouwer -- First Sunday after Christmas Day - B -- 1999
Years ago, when we lived in Alberta, Sunday nights were very special for us.
I Can't Wait! -- 1 Corinthians 1:3-9 -- Wayne Brouwer -- First Sunday of Advent - B -- 1999
Novelist Irwin Shaw was once taking a meal at a fancy French restaurant.
Promises, Promises, Promises -- 2 Peter 3:8-15a -- Wayne Brouwer -- Second Sunday of Advent - B -- 1999
Somewhere today a woman picks up another dirty shirt and tosses it into the laundry basket.
The Brink Of Eternity -- 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Third Sunday of Advent - B -- 1999
Creating a sermon is a funny thing.
Tilting The Balance Of Power -- Romans 16:25-27 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Fourth Sunday of Advent - B -- 1999
Do you remember when it was that you first realized your parents were people, that they actually wer
Two Kinds Of Baptism -- Acts 19:1-7 -- Wayne Brouwer -- The Baptism of our Lord | Epiphany 1 | Ordinary Time 1 - B -- 1999
A Sunday school teacher challenged her children to take some time on Sunday afternoon to write a let
Beautiful Music On The Human Stereo -- 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Epiphany 2 | Ordinary Time 2 - B -- 1999
I had lunch with a pastor of another congregation who wanted to welcome me to the community.

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Why Is God Unfair? -- Matthew 20:1-16 -- Wayne Brouwer -- Proper 20 | Ordinary Time 25 - A -- 2007
One of my favorite courses to teach is "Introduction to Biblical Literature." It is a 200-level cour

Stories

StoryShare

New Beginnings For A New Year -- Matthew 25:31-46, Ecclesiastes 3:1-13, Revelation 21:1-6a, Psalm 8 -- David O. Bales, Terry Cain, Wayne Brouwer, John E. Sumwalt -- New Year's Day - A, New Year's Day - B, New Year's Day - C -- 2006
Contents
What's Up This Week

New & Featured This Week

The Immediate Word

Christopher Keating
Mary Austin
George Reed
Dean Feldmeyer
Bethany Peerbolte
Thomas Willadsen
Few things are more illustrative than a juicy, tightly phrased nugget of hyperbole or literary exaggeration. From Monty Python to Cicero, literature is filled with these leg-pulling and eye rolling tidbits. To wit:

You were lucky. We lived for three months in a brown paper bag in a septic tank. We used to have to get up at six o’clock in the morning, clean the bag, eat a crust of stale bread, go to work down at the mill for 14 hours a day and when we got home, our Dad would thrash us to sleep with his belt!​” (Monty Python).

“Busier than a pig on ice.”

StoryShare

C. David Mckirachan
Frank Ramirez
Contents
“Hoisted On Their Own Petard” by C. David McKirachan
“Who’s Responsible?” by C. David McKirachan
“Good for What?” by Frank Ramirez


Hoisted On Their Own Petard
by C. David McKirachan
Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22

CSSPlus

Arley K. Fadness
“Salt is good; (v. 50a)

Good morning boys and girls,

How are you this morning? Are you feeling sunny or cloudy? Stormy or balmy? Using weather talk how would you describe yourself. For me, I'm feeling _____________.

I have a question.

And I have some surprising good news. Are you ready? (children respond) The question is: have you ever eaten food without salt? Did you ever eat french fries without salt? Have you ever eaten potato chips without salt? Without salt food can be tasteless and unappetizing.

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Bonnie Bates
Bob Ove
Bill Thomas
Frank Ramirez
Ron Love
Mark Ellingsen
Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22
The 14th Day of Adar, the feast of Purim, commemorates a time when the Jewish people were saved during the Persian Empire. Tribal genocide was proposed by Haman; his desire was to annihilate the whole nation of Israel. Esther, you will remember, was encouraged by Mordecai to stand up for her people with the king of Persia. Risking her life, Esther goes before the king and advocates for justice.

Frank Ramirez
Esther is not just the winner of a beauty contest. She, like us, has the potential to rise to the unexpected occasion! She turns out to be greater than we, and she, thought she was.

According to the most practical book of the New Testament, the letter of James, prayer is more than simply the channel for our hopes. Prayer is the practical avenue  for getting things done with God, and should be treated seriously. Prayer is more than you think.

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
The chairman of our local district council has just been ordained. For the first year he will be a deacon, then in a year's time should be ordained priest in accordance with Church of England tradition. In an article in the local paper he said, "One woman told me that she got a lot from my sermons and prayers because she felt like she was leaning on a garden gate talking to God."

That seems to me to be such a good description of prayer, to be leaning on a garden gate talking to God. It conjures up a feeling

SermonStudio

Steven E. Albertin
Several years ago at my previous congregation I remember a discussion I had with the church council. It was very revealing of the kind of distorted vision of ministry that is very much afoot in the church these days.

Special Occasion