How should we order our lives? A core principle in the Oxford Movement was the belief that Christians ought to live according to the worshipping life of the Church. One of the primary tools in this orientation was the Church Calendar, or the Christian Year. Beginning at Advent, the Church Calendar takes the Church through the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Christ, and celebrates other key events and doctrines of the Church (e.g. Trinity Sunday). The Oxford men taught that this calendar should order the worshipping life of a parish and, consequently, the daily lives of the parishioners.
Sermons for the Christian Year includes more than 500 sermons by John Keble, one of the leaders of the Oxford Movement, organized topically according to the Church Calendar. John Keble was a master preacher. His sermons combine biblical insight with a pastoral temperament shaped by a deep commitment to those in his care. He does not go light on sin yet he has a deep sense of God’s grace to those who seek it. Keble preaches as a shepherd who dearly loves the flock that has been put in his care. His concern was to see his congregation grow into the knowledge and love of Christ.
With more than one sermon for every Sunday, feast, and fast day of the Church Year, Sermons for the Christian Year makes an excellent devotional. It also makes an excellent tool for sermon prep. Scripture references appear on mouseover, and a click will take you to the passage in context. You can look up difficult words with the dictionary tool and use the language tools to define Greek or Latin words. Logos’ powerful search functions allow you to jump right to a word or phrase for in-depth analysis of Keble’s thoughts on a particular topic.
The characteristics of these sermons seem to me their intense reality, their awe of God, their sense of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, of the malice and wiles of our unseen enemy, of the deep repentance with which God ought to be sought again, yet of the certainty of His being found, by all who really seek Him; and with regard to his own people, the anxiety for each soul of the Pastor’s little flock, which was burned into him.
—From the introduction by E. B. Pusey
John Keble (1792–1866) was born in Fairford, Gloucestershire, England. His father, also named John, was vicar of Coln St. Aldwyns. He attended Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and graduated with a double first class. After graduating, Keble took a fellowship at Oriel College. He was ordained in 1816, and took up a curacy at East Leach and Burthorpe. He was a tutor and examiner at Oxford until he was elected as professor of poetry in 1831. His election to this position was due mainly to the success of his The Christian Year, a book of poetry based on the Book of Common Prayer. In 1833, Keble became involved in the Oxford Movement, penning a number of the Tracts for the Times. In 1836, Keble became the vicar of Hursley, a position he held until his death.