This Hope We Have – By Jon Appleton
Jon Appleton’s preaching notes were crafted for proclamation rather than publication. But, fortunately, they were preserved.
Some of his sermons were written in outline form—with phrases and single words to trigger Jon’s mind—more so than as manuscripts. As for most preachers in the final stages of preparation before delivery, there are handwritten notes in the margins and changes to the typed text. These notations included self-reminders such as “tell the Alpine story.” It is likely that Jon’s beloved wife, Virginia, and some of the congregants in Athens, Georgia, could tell those stories, too.
Jon made good use of his multiple communication gifts. His sermons were a balanced blend of scholarship, humor, storytelling, poetry, and application.
Within the inspiring pages of this book are selected sermons, including several from Holy Week and Easter as well as from the Advent and Christmas seasons. Some of Jon’s Communion meditations, a pastoral prayer, and a benediction are included as well.
Often, throughout the year, he would turn to his beloved Gospel of John for inspiration. Several of those sermons are compiled into this collection.
While Jon preached from a variety of texts and addressed many relevant topics for worship and Christian living, there is one common thread. Jon Appleton embraced and proclaimed hope—hence the title of this volume, The Hope We Have.
May those who read these collected words encounter—or encounter again—this great hope that Jon called “the cement of Christian commitment.” Such “real hope,” Jon proclaimed, is “the hope that God can do through us what we cannot do for ourselves.” Such hopeful words deserve proclamation and publication so they may be embraced again and again.