Last November I resigned as the pastor of my church where I had served for twenty-five years. At the time I sensed a new call to invest more deeply in my writing, but I didn’t know I would soon have a new role as Resident Author with another church or that in a matter of months I would be working as the editor of Purpose magazine. As these opportunities emerged for me, I understood them as God’s gracious confirmation of my new direction.
More immediately, I had signed a contract with CSS Publishing for a book of sixteen sermons due at the end of February. Once I completed my pastoral ministry, I worked in earnest on the manuscript, submitted it on time—and then I waited. I received the proof to review in April—and then I waited. Now finally I’ve received a copy of the cover, and I can’t wait to share it with you!
This is new news since I don’t see On the Way with Jesus on the CSS website yet, but here’s why I love the cover followed by the back cover copy and table of contents. Since this book is part of an ongoing series of sermon resources for CSS, I’m not planning a launch team, but I still want to celebrate this book’s birthday, so please stay tuned! [On the Way with Jesus is now on the CSS Publishing website where you can also download an excerpt that includes the preface, table of contents, and the first two sermons. You can also preview the forthcoming guide for personal and group use on my writing website.]
I love the deep purple of the cover, especially since this book of sermons is for Lent and Easter, and purple is the liturgical colour for Lent. The white lettering provides striking contrast, and since white is the liturgical colour for Easter, the two colours together symbolize these two seasons of the church year.
As I worked on these sermons, I imagined a path lying before me, winding through the wilderness, over the mountain top, in the valley. But I like the image of the packed suitcase much better; it’s not as overused as the path, and suggests a deliberate choice to go on the way with Jesus.
From the Back Cover
In this collection of messages, we follow Jesus on the way to the cross, through the terrible events of his arrest, torture, and execution, to the glorious good news of his resurrection and joyful reunion with his followers, and beyond.
We journey through the church year from Ash Wednesday through Lent and the Easter season, moving with the seasons as they change while holding on to the sure hope of God’s unchanging love.
At the same time, we reflect on our own way through life—our twists and turns through the wilderness, our seasons of doubt and questioning, our times of lament and celebration. Whatever roads we travel, whatever choices we face at the crossroads of life, Jesus leads the way and calls us to follow. — from the Introduction
The reader of On The Way With Jesus will appreciate the creative and descriptive writing style of April Yamasaki. Her passion and celebration for the craft of sharing the word shines through every message of this collection. Her love of God’s word and the people to whom it is preached is evident in the pages of this book.
Table of Contents
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21
With Gratitude And Humility
In The Wilderness
On The Mountaintop
When The Way Means Staying Home
Liturgy of the Passion/Palm Sunday
When The Way Is Hard
John 13:1-17, 31b-35
The Way Of The Lord
Easter Sunday/Resurrection Of Our Lord
With Peace For The Fearful
With Burning Hearts
With Challenge And Invitation
The Way For Troubled Hearts
Framed By Love
Praying All The Way
Whatever roads we travel, whatever choices we face at the crossroads of life, Jesus leads the way and calls us to follow. #OntheWaywithJesusTweet
for more encouragement and resources on doing ministry better,