My Burden Is Light: Making Room for Jesus in Preaching

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$24.99  $23.24
Fortress Press
Publish Date
5.98 X 8.98 X 1.02 inches | 0.88 pounds
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About the Author

Craig Alan Satterlee is bishop of the North/West Lower Michigan Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He was the 2019 John S. Marten Faculty Fellow in Homiletics and Visiting Associate Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. Craig served as the Axel Jacob and Gerda Maria (Swanson) Carlson Professor of Homiletics at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, dean of the ACTS Doctor of Ministry in Preaching program, and adjunct professor in the Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. Ordained in 1987, Bishop Satterlee served congregations in Upstate New York and Michigan before teaching at LSTC. While a seminary professor, Bishop Satterlee served as interim or consulting pastor in Chicago area congregations. He is known for regularly leading continuing education events throughout the church. Satterlee is the author of nine books and frequently contributes to scholarly and ecclesiastical journals. His scholarly interests include the relationship of preaching to areas of congregational life and mission, including liturgy, spirituality, stewardship, mission, and leadership. He also studies patristic preaching, most notably that of Ambrose of Milan, and the worship of the early church. As a scholar, Satterlee is described as belonging "to the relatively small group of working homileticians whose work can justifiably be said to have changed the agenda of the discipline." His books are "superb examples of practical theology, remaining fully theological while engaging on-the-ground realities in the life of the church." Satterlee is past president of the North American Academy of Liturgy and a member of Societas Liturgica, Societas Homiletica, and the Academy of Homiletics. As a person who is legally blind, Satterlee has a passion for ministry with persons with disabilities and a unique perspective on the Christian faith, church, and world.


"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