Fortress Press

My Burden Is Light: Making Room for Jesus in Preaching

My Burden Is Light

Making Room for Jesus in Preaching

Craig A. Satterlee (Author)


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My Burden Is Light: Making Room for Jesus in Preaching invites preachers to reclaim proclaiming Jesus as the goal of preaching. Too often, Satterlee observes, we usher Jesus to the back of the pulpit, invite him to make a cameo appearance, or even excuse him from the sermon altogether. With the author's guidance, readers imagine the ways Jesus is present in their favorite liturgical space and explore ways they can make room for Jesus in preaching and experience abundant life for themselves and for their people.

Satterlee argues that by preaching the mystery of Jesus's life, death, and resurrection as good news for God's people, the church, and the world--all of whom long for salvation, we powerfully address the issues we face, including pandemic, climate change, assaults on democracy, social justice, and division. Drawing on his lifetime of experience learning, preaching, and teaching the gospel, this book is foundational for preaching courses and a balm for preachers needing nourishment and renewal.

  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781506465814
  • eBook ISBN 9781506465821
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 289
  • Publication Date January 10, 2023


"There are a select number of books I carry in my briefcase as reminders of my role in the ministry to which God has called me. I will be adding My Burden Is Light to that group. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to reexamine how effectively we carry out Christ's mission as preachers. However, more than a primer on preaching, these pages offer countless and vivid examples of how God is with us, Christ is in us, and the Spirit is all around us. To quote Craig Satterlee himself, imagining Jesus in the pulpit, in the pew, leaving the building, and elsewhere, 'assists me in setting and resetting my expectations of both myself as a preacher and others as they respond to my preaching.'"

Rev. Abraham D. Allende, Bishop Emeritus, ELCA Northeastern Ohio Synod

"Bishop Satterlee captures well the current challenge in preaching and provides clear, pastoral wisdom for preachers. His words are simple, playful at times, and a needed resource for preachers in any stage of their preaching life. With humility and grace, Satterlee gives practical suggestions for keeping Jesus at the center of our proclamation. Reading this book is balm for a weary preacher's soul."

Bishop Tracie L. Bartholomew, ELCA New Jersey Synod

"Bishop Satterlee engages the preacher to spend time in the church building with Jesus so that the proclamation of the Gospel becomes real and alive as the Good News moves out into the community and neighborhood. Incarnational theology lived and practiced. Preach Jesus!"

Bishop Suzanne Darcy Dillahunt, ELCA Southern Ohio Synod

"In this wilderness time of division in spirit and isolation in body, to preach Jesus is the Church's only hope and its most important duty. In words both passionate and profound, Bishop Craig Satterlee calls us back to our vocation as preachers of the gospel, 'showing forth Christ' at every turn, and setting an example each of us will feel as a challenge and an aspiration. I cannot imagine a more faithful or trustworthy guide to help us re-center ourselves on Jesus."

Rev. Dr. R. Guy Erwin, President, United Lutheran Seminary

"The most important questions in preaching, as in life, are often the most basic ones. Drawing from his experience as preacher, professor of homiletics, and liturgical scholar, as well as ELCA bishop, Craig Satterlee issues a series of profound challenges to Christian preachers as well as to those who gather to hear their words: What is the good news? How is it both 'good' and 'news'? What does it mean to proclaim Jesus as Savior in a way that hearers experience the power of the Spirit at work in their lives and world and are drawn to live the gospel more faithfully? Do those who are called to preach truly believe the words they announce? Is it possible for those who hunger for a word of hope to 'taste grace' in hearing the good news proclaimed? This book is a valuable resource not only for preachers and teachers of homiletics, but for all who are concerned about the quality of Christian preaching today."

Dr. Mary Catherine Hilkert, O.P., Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame

"Jesus in the room when we preach--that's the aim of this book, and it works. Like the best preaching, My Burden Is Light empowers rather than exhorts, built on the premise that a relationship with Jesus is the most important ingredient in preaching. This book more than any other helped shape my preaching for this time and context. It gave me, as a parish pastor, support to stay committed to the central message of the church's proclamation: Jesus Christ crucified and risen."

Rev. Betsy Jansen Kamphuis, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Greenville, Michigan

"Blessed with vivid insight and holy imagination, Bishop Satterlee closes the distance between physical space and metaphorical space in his appeal to locate Jesus in our preaching. Jesus fills these pages. Buy this book to improve your preaching. Read this book to meet Jesus."

Rev. Kurt Kusserow, Bishop, ELCA Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod

"The author brings his experience as a seminary professor and Lutheran bishop to this foundational primer for beginning preachers. His theological depth and insights into the call to preach also make this a useful volume for seasoned preachers, who wish to rediscover the joy of this calling. Readers will have ample reasons to look afresh at this ministerial art and will be surprised, as I was, to discover where Jesus is to be found."

Rev. Patricia Lull, Bishop, ELCA Saint Paul Area Synod

"Preaching Jesus is to embody the message of grace, power, and joy. It is equally powerful when the preacher and the assembly receive this as equal gift. Craig Satterlee poignantly points to the centrality of this gift in Jesus, a gift to all preachers who seek to have their burdens lifted and their souls refreshed."

Rev. Kevin L. Strickland, Bishop, ELCA Southeastern Synod

"Craig Satterlee understands the personal and pastoral realities of preaching in a pandemic world. He brings the depth of Christian tradition into conversation with today's challenges, including the searching question: 'Have we lost our confidence and ability to proclaim Jesus as Savior?' Each sentence is informed by the clear-eyed, honest insight of a lifetime's experience as pastor, preacher, professor, and bishop. For those who too often preach on the run, or those just beginning their preaching ministry, it is a blessing to dwell awhile with this eloquent teacher."

Rev. Dr. Melinda J. Wagner, First Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Portland, Oregon