Preaching Connection: Beauty

Movies for Preaching

Séraphine (2008)

Séraphine (2008).  Written by Marc Abdelnour and Martin Provost. Directed by Martin Provost.  Starring Yolande Moreau and Ulich Tukur.  125 mins.  Unrated.  Rotten Tomatoes  89%;  Metacritic 84%. She certainly seems not to be the sort from whom one would expect religious wisdom of any sort, and that is true enough, at least at first glimpse.  In…


The Tree of Life (2011) – 1

Written and directed by Terrence Malick. 139 mins. PG-13. Starring Jessica Chastain, Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Hunter McCracken. Hugely successful architect, Jack O’Brien (Sean Penn) slogs through his life in a trough of despair. Through the center of his soul runs a crevasse cut by contention with his harsh father and, even more so, lasting…


American Beauty (1999) – 2

Written by Alan Ball. Starring Kevin Spacey, Annette Benning, Wes Bentley, Mena Suvari, and Chris Cooper. 122 mins. Rated R (graphic language and sexual situations). In the film, American Beauty, though most of the focus is on Kevin Spacey’s Lester, we also meet Ricky Fitts (Wes Bentley), the weird boy next door and perhaps the…


American Beauty (1999) – 1

Written by Alan Ball. Starring Kevin Spacey, Annette Benning, Wes Bentley, Mena Suvari, and Chris Cooper. 122 mins. Rated R (graphic language and sexual situations). So mid-life Lester (Kevin Spacey) has got himself into a horrible, very bad fix. Though a husband and father, he has fallen, as through a trap-door, into a state of…


Reading for Preaching

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

Beauty is to the spirit as food is to the flesh.  A glimpse of it in a young face, say, or an echo of it in a song fills an emptiness in you that nothing else under the sun can.  Unlike food, however, it is something you never get your fill of.  It leaves you...

Body and Soul

Pianist, teacher, Mr. Fredericks speaks: “The louder [music] gets, the less important are the degrees of separation. How useful is the difference between a triple forte and a quadruple forte, after all? Not much. And then, you can over hit the [piano] only so hard before the strings start breaking. No, it’s the other end...

The Song of the Lark

There are spring mornings which “shine like holidays. . . There was in the air that sudden, treacherous softness which makes the Poles who work in the packing-houses get drunk. At such times beauty is necessary, and in Parkingtown there is no place to get it except at the saloons where one can buy for...

Additional content related to Beauty

Psalm 19

Almost 115 years ago an unknown patent clerk named Albert Einstein published a series of papers detailing what he called “special relativity.”  At one fell swoop, Einstein shattered centuries’ worth of scientific theories about the fundamental nature of reality.  The theories of Isaac Newton and his mechanical understanding of the universe’s functioning were swept away,…


Psalm 36:5-10

Once again our friends who put together the Revised Common Lectionary are trying to give us a kinder, gentler version of Scripture.  By carving out the middle half-dozen verses of this psalm and by leaving out verses 1-4 and 11-12, the Lectionary would have us only celebrate the goodness of God without having to be…