BROWN-TAYLOR, Barbara, The Seeds of Heaven : Sermons from the Episcopal Series of the Protestant Radio Hour. Cincinnati, Ohio 45202: Forward Movement Publications, 1990.

by  Robert Brow  (

"In order to speak to them I had to decide why they were listening, and I suspected that their reasons for enduring a sermon were the same as mine. I listen because I seek something; a sense of connection, a handle on mystery, an invitation to wonder. I listen because I hope to hear my own life described, my own fears addressed and my own hopes fed. I listen for the same reason we all listen; to see if we can find God in the words and events that come our way each day. A good preacher must be first of all a good listener" (Introduction, p.1).

This little book of sermons does just that (from readings in Matthew's Gospel). Here is a sample from the parable of the sower. "The extravagance of a sower . . . who flings seeds everywhere, wastes it with holy abandon, who feeds the birds, shouts hallelujah at the good soil and just keeps on sowing" (p.11). That's why I keep writing for the Internet.

"Let go! Step out! Look a Canaanite in the eye, knock on a strange door, ask an outsider what his life is like, trespass an old boundary, enter a new relationship, push a limit, take a risk, give up playing it safe! You have nothing to lose but your life the way it has been" (p.45). I certainly don't want to play it safe in my old age.

"Peter may not exhibit the flawless character, the intellectual profundity, the spiritual depth I would prefer in the founder of my church, but I will tell you this: I am really glad to hear that he is the one in charge of heaven's gates" (p.50). So am I.

We might not agree at every point with her exegesis, but this Anglican priest knows how to preach so I listen.

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