Cowley Publications, 244 pages
During the surreal time of COVID-19, I’ve turned to this classic collection of sermons by the former Archbishop of Canterbury written when he was pastor in Wales. It’s remarkable how these sermons continue to hold up after more than 20 years. They are rich in theological depth that probes human experience in the light of the gospel. For instance, his sermon “The Dark Night” speaks directly to personal questions about religion and God’s apparent absence. “Christians who claim to find God uniquely and definitively in Jesus are claiming that the roots of their faith are in a massive and total negation of false God-images and religious securities.” These sermons also address concerns of poverty, human sexuality, social justice, spirituality and the purpose of mission. To each of these subjects Rowan Williams brings pastoral insight and challenge. The church that continues post-coronavirus will need to learn from history how the church survived similar traumas while retaining faith, courage and purpose grounded in the gospel. In a sermon titled “Doing the Works of God,” Williams writes, “Jesus’ activity gives the reality of a new way of being in the world.” A new way of being in the world is precisely what is needed as pastors and congregations navigate our way into a new order. Read these sermons for theological depth, guidance and insight.