Last year, in my very first post for Writer Wednesday, I asked readers to help me choose a title for a collection of sermons that I had been asked to write for CSS Publishing. I had been given ten gospel texts for ten different sermons, all in the part of the lectionary year known as Ordinary Time. I often struggle with titles, so I appealed for help, and thanks to Paulo R. Brito, the working title for my collection of sermons became Ordinary Time with Jesus.
As it turns out, the publisher liked the title too, and the book is currently in production. It’s still too early for orders, but here is the cover:
and below is the back cover copy.
Nothing about Jesus was ordinary.
He defied the expectations of religious leaders.
He embraced the castaways.
He surrendered to a crude wooden cross.
It is extraordinary, then, that more than 2,000 years beyond his death and resurrection, his words continue to transform — even in the most mundane moments of our lives. Inevitably, discouragement finds its way to our hearts. We get caught up in the demands of life, and we often forget that we can find Jesus in our everyday moments of work, play, and home.
Yamasaki’s Ordinary Time with Jesus presents ten Pentecost (last third) sermons that beautifully weave the gospel scriptures with our daily experiences. She reminds us to surrender our ideas, our hopes, and our expectations to Jesus as she closes each sermon with a simple prayer, emphasizing total dependence upon Christ.
Pastors can rely upon each sermon found within the pages of Ordinary Time with Jesus to challenge both themselves and their congregations to live a “cross-shaped life,” one that reaches up to God and out to others. Whether looking for a sermon resource, a private devotional, or a small-group study, readers will be refreshed by Yamasaki’s commitment to scriptural authority as it intersects with her relevant understanding of today’s culture. Throughout each sermon, Yamasaki invites readers to journey with her, confidently proclaiming the magnificence of an extraordinary God living and breathing in ordinary times.
Some of the sermons included in this book:
Free Indeed! (John 8:31-36)
No, We’re Not There Yet (Mark 13:1-8)
Jesus: The Original Superhero? (John 18:33-37)
April Yamasaki is the lead pastor of Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Abbotsford, British Columbia. Yamasaki’s newest publication is Sacred Pauses: Spiritual Practices for Personal Renewal (Herald Press, February 2013). April is also the author of “Led by the Spirit” a section of Sermons on the Gospel Readings (CSS Publishing, 2009); Where Two Are Gathered; Remember Lot’s Wife and Other Unnamed Women of the Bible; Living the Vision: Leadership and Community; and Making Disciples: Preparing People for Baptism, Christian Living, and Church Membership. She is a graduate of the University of British Columbia (B.A.) and Regent College (M.C.S.). She is married to Gary Yamasaki who teaches at Columbia Bible College.