Preaching Connection: Baptism

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Movies for Preaching

The Shawshank Redemption (1994) – 2

Story by Stephen King, screenplay by Frank Darabont. 142 minutes, rated R. Starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. As for baptism, there is probably no better representation of what it signals than the most spectacular scene in a film full of stunning sequences. Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), wrongly convicted of killing his wife, and consequently…

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The Shawshank Redemption (1994) – 1

Story by Stephen King, screenplay by Frank Darabont. 142 minutes, rated R. Starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. The first question of The Shawshank Redemption (1994) asks how in the world could this film—full of blasphemy, rancor, obscenity, and violence, though most of the last occurs off-screen—ever find its way onto a list of religiously…

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Reading for Preaching

“Baptism” in Beyond Words: Daily Readings in the ABC’S of Faith

“Question: How about infant baptism?  Shouldn’t you wait till the child grows up enough to know what’s going on? Answer: If you don’t think there is as much of the less-than-human in an infant as there is in anybody else, you have lost touch with reality.  When it comes to the forgiving and transforming love...
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Gilead

The 76-year-old minister John Ames writes a letter to his 7-year-old son Robby (to be saved and read by Robby when he grows up).  Sometimes he writes while looking out the window: “You and Tobias are hopping around in the sprinkler.  The sprinkler is a magnificent invention because it exposes raindrops to sunshine.  That does...
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Additional content related to Baptism

Acts 11:1-18

Luke is hands-down one of the best writers ever used by the Holy Spirit to compose a portion of Scripture.  His narratives in the first two chapters of his Gospel alone prove as much.  Other examples of narrative wizardry abound in Luke and Acts.  So it is a bit odd in Acts 11 to encounter…

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1 Corinthians 12:12-31a

Balkanization is a concept we generally link to the breakdown of countries, regions or even society into various, often competing factions. Careful observers of the 21st century Church, however, also sense balkanization within the Body of Christ. North American Christians who label themselves “evangelical” or “progressive” often view each other with suspicion, if not outright…

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Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

The Sunday text near Epiphany is the Sunday we commemorate the Baptism of the Lord. And yet, in the gospel of Luke, we pretty much miss the whole thing! Luke describes it in the past tense: Jesus was one of “all” the people who were baptized by the John the Baptist. Instead, Luke’s baptism account…

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Acts 8:14-17

Familiarity may, as the old cliche goes, breed contempt. But sometimes it also breeds a kind of blindness. I’ve written a sermon commentary on Acts 8:14-17. I’ve preached on it multiple times. My familiarity with it hasn’t yet dimmed my fascination with one of the Scriptures’ most mysterious and intriguing stories. However, my relative familiarity…

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Mark 1:1-8

Imagine yourself a Kindergarten teacher who gathers a group of wide-eyed five-and six-year-olds onto the square of carpeting in the classroom that is reserved for “Story Time.”  You smile into their innocent faces and begin your story. “Once upon a time a little girl named Goldilocks was fast asleep in a lovely little bed—a bed…

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Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

Luke’s substantial narrative powers surely did not suddenly fail him in this third chapter.  So we need a different kind of explanation for the curious way by which Luke frames up this part of the story.  Consider: First, we get the odd insertion in verses 19-20 about John’s imprisonment following his finally crossing the line…

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Isaiah 43:1-7

On this second Sunday in the Epiphany season, the church focuses on the Baptism of Jesus, arguably one of the greatest manifestations of his glory.  This Old Testament reading was undoubtedly chosen because of its baptismal echoes of passing through the waters and being called by name.  In the same way that Isaiah 60 anticipated…

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Acts 8:14-17

While it’s at least tangentially related to this Sunday’s gospel lesson, Acts 8:14-17 may seem like a rather odd text for the second Sunday of the new year.  It isn’t, after all, just a mysterious text that even the most learned scholars struggle to fully understand.  While the Lectionary longs to unite Christians around the…

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Acts 11:1-18

It’s hard for many of us to imagine Christians getting upset with each other over whom they eat lunch with. So we sometimes assume Peter’s Jewish Christian colleagues were angry with him because he shared the gospel with gentiles. You and I may assume this upset them because they thought of the gospel as belonging…

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Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

Luke’s substantial narrative powers surely did not all suddenly fail him in this third chapter. So we need a different kind of explanation for the curious way by which Luke frames up this part of the story. Consider: First, we get the odd insertion in verses 19-20 about John’s imprisonment following his finally crossing the…

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