While this book offers information for the sermon writer, the design of its contents provides more than the ho-hum. Brauninger avoids presenting a ready-made cloak of words for a morning sermon. Instead she invites preachers and their audiences to explore the gap between the "back then" and the "now." This not only helps to answer questions, it generates them -- a crucial element in understanding the miracles of Jesus.
Five sections are devoted to each of the nine miracles in Cycle A:
Text -- For easy access the entire lectionary text is provided, preventing the need to flip back and forth to the Bible.
What's Happening? -- This gives a synopsis of points of action within each miracle story. By reviewing the story action, its movement, conflict, and change or resolution are defined.
Connecting Points -- Conversations -- This section offers the central material of each chapter. Here Brauninger engages the preacher in an imaginary exchange before the text is given its usual preparatory attention. A visit with main characters and an occasional bystander, nudging readers toward stepping into their sandals. This section invites the preacher and listening audience to ask relevant questions, thus expanding their understanding.
Words -- Significant terms are examined. While this work is not intended as a scholarly study, it assists in placing things in proper context.
Gospel Parallels -- This section highlights similarities and differences among parallel stories and other gospels.
A helpful word study and bibliography are also included.
This series from Brauninger has proven to be a favorite among preachers.
Dallas A. Brauninger received the Master of Divinity and Doctor of Divinity degrees from the Chicago Theological Seminary. A full-time writer, Brauninger has served churches in Colorado and Nebraska. She and her husband, both ordained ministers in the United Church of Christ, live in Friend, Nebraska.