The stories of Jesus' miracles can be challenging to modern sensibilities, conditioned as we are to believe that there must be a logical explanation for water being turned into wine or nets suddenly overflowing with fish. But John Wurster suggests that for contemporary preachers and their listeners, the most important question raised by these remarkable accounts is not "How did they happen?" but rather "What do they mean?"
"Ordinary Words, Extraordinary Deeds" helps answer that question by exploring the theological significance of the nine miracle stories appearing in Cycle C of the Revised Common Lectionary. Each chapter includes the biblical text along with interpretive reflections that set the passage in its literary context and connect it to major themes of the gospel writer. There's also a section investigating a variety of preaching possibilities and offering brief thoughts about what these texts tell us about the sacraments, since (like the miracles) the sacraments make grace evident in ways we can touch and feel.
Specifically geared for the busy pastor with limited time, this is an excellent volume packed with valuable idea starters and rich material for sermon development. But it's also stimulating reading for anyone who wants greater insight into these marvelous stories of God's power at work.
Chapter titles include:
- The Star (Matthew 2:1-12)
- Wedding At Cana (John 2:1-11)
- Jesus Transfigured (Luke 9:28-36)
- The Lepers (Luke 17:11-19)
... and five more
John W. Wurster is a graduate of Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas (B.A. summa cum laude), Princeton Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary (D.Min). Currently the pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Findlay, Ohio, Wurster has previously served congregations in Texas, Ohio, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. He is the author of "What If What They Say Is True?" (CSS), a collection of sermons on prophetic texts.