I don’t normally read sermon collections much, having experienced them as peculiar, self-indulgent, and disjointed. In my mind, sermons are oral events that God brings to life somewhere and somehow in the space between the preacher, Scripture, and the congregation. I had relegated written sermons to be like my incredibly beautiful and yet unequivocally unphotogenic friend–breathtaking in person, not so much in print.
Oddly enough, I found myself enjoying Those Preaching Women: A Multicultural Collection, edited by Ella Pearson Mitchell and Valerie Bridgeman Davis and published by Judson Press.
The contributers are Christian women from a variety of denominations, ethnic backgrounds, and walks of life. The exegetes interpret the texts from the numerous vantage points at which they experience God in Christ, from the basketball court to the reservation, from the movie theater to the kitchen table. Their words, as different from one another as they may be, bring the Word of God alive. Organized by the biblical text driving the sermon, nearly every sermon provides an opportunity to reimagine a supposedly familiar biblical character: Hagar, Leah, the widow of mite-giving fame, Mary, and, of course, Jesus himself.
I eventually realized that my cup of coffee was not my sole companion. These preachers and their powerful, faithful words accompanied me that day as well. The collection reminded me of the possibility each new Sunday represents and encouraged me to get off my duff and spend more time with Scripture.
I recommend it.