Preaching Connection: Faithfulness

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Reading for Preaching

No Greater Love

“Always be faithful in little things, for in them our strength lies. To God nothing is little. . . . Practice fidelity in the least things, not for their own sake, but for the sake of the great thing that is the will of God. . . . Do not pursue spectacular deeds. We must...
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Additional content related to Faithfulness

Luke 17:5-10

We plop right into a conversation already in progress in verse 5, but as you may already be aware, reading the previous verses isn’t a guarantee that you’ll immediately understand our lectionary selection! If you wish to include the first four verses of chapter 17, it’s fine to do so, since they are seemingly what…

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Psalm 1

It’s not by accident.  It wasn’t editorial happenstance.  No one flipped a coin to decide which Hebrew poem to turn into Psalm 1 in this collection.  Rather, the Hebrew Psalter is a carefully edited, thoughtfully and intentionally put together collection of poems.  The design of the larger book is evident in many ways (for instance,…

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Psalm 91:9-16

For some reason on this occasion the Lectionary would have us skip the first 8 verses of Psalm 91, which is too bad in that those verses contain one of the most lyric images of God’s providential care of us in the whole Bible.  We are the baby birds who find shelter under the wings…

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Psalm 85:8-13

To be honest, Psalm 85 is a little all over the place.  The first four verses reflect a time when God forgave Israel for some transgressions and restored them.  But then the next set of verses seems to indicate Israel went backwards, sinned again, and so found itself under the wrath of God again.  And…

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2 Samuel 5:1-5, 9-10

This is a little text, but it is the exclamation point of the whole David story.  He gets everything God promised him, and then some.  The boy whom we first met when he was shepherding his father’s flock becomes the King of Israel, the shepherd of God’s flock.  And he establishes Jerusalem as the capital…

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I Samuel 8:4-11, (12-15), 16-20, (11:14-15)

After our celebrations of the mighty acts of God from Advent to Pentecost, the prospect of entering Ordinary Time might seem like a bit of a downer.  But the Old Testament readings for the next couple of months plunge us right into the kind of social and political turmoil that characterizes our own time. To…

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Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26

Most of what makes Psalm 89 such an interesting poem cannot be seen if you restrict yourself to just the verses that the Lectionary has carved out of the psalm’s full 52 verses.  Because this poem that begins in such an upbeat tone and with such a full-throated desire to sing praise to God for…

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Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13

Maybe the Consultation on Common Texts that puts together the Revised Common Lectionary thinks that Advent is no time to think about God’s anger over sin.  Because by carving verses 3-7 out of this lection from Psalm 85, we once again edit the Almighty.  It’s OK to start with the first 2 verses and lyric…

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1 Corinthians 1:3-9

This Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson’s “twin themes” of Paul’s thanksgiving and the return of Jesus Christ may seem particularly appropriate this week. After all, this first Sunday in Advent falls just three days after (U.S.) Americans’ celebration of Thanksgiving and at the beginning of the season of heightened anticipation of Jesus’ second coming. However, 1 Corinthians…

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Matthew 4:1-11

Many of us have seen the bumper sticker, “Lead Me Not into Temptation: I Can Find It By Myself.”  Cheeky humor aside, we know that God never actively leads us to sin and probably does not actively lead us to temptation (though this need not rule out God’s ability to test our faith).  God is…

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Romans 13:11-14

While few people have labeled procrastination a “deadly sin,” our text at least suggests that one form of it may be the deadliest sin of all.  That’s a sobering assertion for someone like me who is naturally one of the worst procrastinators that I know. At least some of us are tempted to procrastinate in…

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Matthew 24:36-44

In Anne Tyler’s novel, The Amateur Marriage, we witness a sad series of events.  The book’s main characters are Michael and Pauline, a pair of World War II-era sweethearts who get married and eventually have three children.  But then one day their oldest child, Lindy, just disappears.  She runs away from home and promptly falls…

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Luke 21:5-19

Talk about the end of the world and everybody gets interested.  The disciples were, too, when Jesus predicted some apocalyptic events.  “Well,” they asked with faces a shade paler than they had been moments before, “when will all that bad stuff happen?”  In answering them, Jesus gets even more vivid in predicting great and terrible…

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Psalm 1

It’s not by accident.  It wasn’t editorial happenstance.  No one flipped a coin to decide which Hebrew poem to turn into Psalm 1 in this collection.  Rather, the Hebrew Psalter is a carefully edited, thoughtfully and intentionally put together collection of poems.  The design of the larger book is evident in many ways (for instance,…

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Psalm 147:12-20

“January has always seemed to be something of a letdown,” writes James Limburg. After all, even if, as T.S. Eliot writes, “April is the cruelest month,” January is perhaps the coldest month, at least in many parts of North America. Christmas’ excitement generally allows North Americans to look past December’s sometimes-wintry weather. But now the…

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