On the Way with Jesus

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

Ash Wednesday
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21
With Gratitude And Humility

Lent 1
Matthew 4:1-11
In The Wilderness

Lent 2
Matthew 17:1-9
On The Mountaintop

Lent 3
John 4:5-42

Lent 4
John 9:1-41

Lent 5
John 11:1-45
When The Way Means Staying Home

Liturgy of the Passion/Palm Sunday
Matthew 26:14-27:66
When The Way Is Hard

Maundy Thursday
John 13:1-17, 31b-35
The Way Of The Lord

Good Friday
John 18:1-19:42
Facing Death

Easter Sunday/Resurrection Of Our Lord
Matthew 28:1-10

Easter 2
John 20:19-31
With Peace For The Fearful

Easter 3
Luke 24:13-35
With Burning Hearts

Easter 4
John 10:1-10
With Challenge And Invitation

Easter 5
John 14:1-14
The Way For Troubled Hearts

Easter 6
John 14:15-21
Framed By Love

Easter 7
John 17:1-11
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. #OntheWaywithJesus


On the Way with Jesus: Sermons for Lent and Easter is now available from CSS Publishing, Amazon, or by order from your favourite bookstore.


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Author: April Yamasaki

I currently serve as resident author with a liturgical worship community, write online and in print publications, and often speak in churches and other settings. Publications include On the Way with Jesus, Four Gifts, Sacred Pauses, and other books on Christian living. Websites: AprilYamasaki.com and WhenYouWorkfortheChurch.com.

5 thoughts

  1. Thanks very much for your gift, April. In addition to being a good and appropriate word for me, it reminded me that it is high time to get cracking on my Lent to Easter booklet for families, an old project which I now do under contract for MCUSA. I also tucked away your sample as a resource to use in the German language next Lent, when Peter and I will be filling in for a pastor who resigned from a Mennonite Congregation in the Palatinate, and where we helped out for several months last winter. Good resources help the challenge feel less daunting.

    1. I’m glad to know that you’re thinking about Lent and Easter too, Elsie–we’re both getting a jump on the season long before it’s here! For readers who might have missed the sample from my companion piece to On the Way with Jesus, you can find it on my writing website which gives the first set of reflection and discussion questions: https://aprilyamasaki.com/2019/11/04/on-the-way-with-jesus-bible-study/. The complete guide will be available in the new year.

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