Monday, February 28, 2011

LHP Review: Lent and the Pulpit

Words of Life from the Cross: Resources for Lent-Easter Preaching and Worship Based on the Seven Last Words of Christ. St. Louis: Concordia, 2010. CD-ROM of sermons, Bible studies, and worship resources. $34.99. (Accompanying devotional book also available.) (LHP)

Fickenscher, Carl, Editor. Concordia Pulpit Resources, Volume 20, Part 2 February 21-May 23, 2010 Series C (Lent-Pentecost). St. Louis: Concordia, 2010. $46.99 for a one-year 4-issue print subscription. $46.99 for a one-year electronic subscription. $56.99 for a one-year subscription to both. (P)

Lent will soon be upon us. One-Year congregations are preparing with Pre-Lent. Three-Year Congregations have a rare Eighth Sunday after the Epiphany before Transfiguration next Sunday.

In time for Lent 2010, Concordia Publishing House released Words of Life from the Cross. These resources for Lent are appropriate every year because they are based on the Last Words of Christ.

What do you see when the CD-Rom loads up?
Words of Life from the Cross: Resources for Lent—Easter Preaching and Worship


Editable Resources
(Use your favorite word processor to open RTF files.)

Bible Studies
Children's Messages
Worship Services

PDF Resources

Additional Resources for Worship

Lutheran Service Builder
(These files can be used with Lutheran Service Builder 2.0 or later.)

Worship Services
LSBSymbol font


Bonus Resource

Congregational Reading

2010 Lent Resource Survey

[Purchasers] may copy and use print and media resources on this CD.
If you have questions please contact or at 1-800-325-0191

(from the CD-Rom).

The brothers I know who made use of Words of Life from the Cross last Lent-Easter rarely used everything on the CD-Rom. Most used the sermons as examples and outlines for sermons of their own in the series. The Bible Studies would be a great way to tie the midweek theme into Sunday or explore further at a midweek Bible Study. None of the pastors I talked to used the children's messages. They led Sunday School opening instead.

The most-used resources on the CD-Rom by far were the worship services, created in Lutheran Service Builder and available as .lsb or .rtf files, ready for customization. One will readily recognize Divine Service Setting One and Vespers. Five .pdf files provide additional original musical compositions, suggestions from the extensive CPH music catalog, and an introduction to the weekly Acclamation resource. The bonus resource of the Lenten reading from Luke will save you time on Palm/Passion Sunday in 2013 if you use the Three-Year series.

If you are short on time to prepare a sermon series due to extra parish emergencies, this resource may come at a welcome time! And knowing CPH customer service, you could probably order it today and have it next Monday.

For decades, volumes of the Concordia Pulpit graced the shelves of Lutheran pastors. Reading older sermons gave me a sense of continuity with the past, especially as I was rediscovering the Historic Lutheran Lectionary. For those using the Three-Year Series back in the 1970's, it was a source of ideas for preaching on texts that were in many respects new to Lutheran preaching. As a seminarian, I rejoiced to find that the CP didn't merely cease publication. It became Concordia Pulpit Resources, if you will, CPR for your preaching. :)

I must confess that the first thing I read are the book reviews. Then, I go to the very back and look at the hymn suggestions for the next quarter of the Three-Year series. After that, I read the series and classic sermons before digging into the exegetical resources for future sermons. I tend to go back week after week (about 2-3 weeks in advance) to supplement my own research on upcoming texts. I have been known to use one of CPR's illustrations, too.

Visit to see a digital sample issue and subscribe yourself!

Don't let your preaching suffer because of pastoral emergencies. Lean on your brother pastors, winkel exegetical studies, and CPH for faithful help.

The Rev. Paul J Cain is Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Sheridan, Wyoming, Headmaster of Martin Luther Grammar School, a member of the Board of Directors of The Consortium for Classical and Lutheran Education, Wyoming District Worship Chairman, and Editor of QBR.