Preaching Connection: Family

Reading for Preaching

“Nobody Loves You Like Your Mama Does”

“She loves you. You could come home with snakes tattooed on your face and she still would see the good in you. Most great men were mama’s boys. She encouraged them long before anybody else could see any talent there.  Your mother is on top of the situation. Your father has a hard time remembering...
Explore

A River Runs Through It and Other Stories

Norman Maclean always had a complicated relationship with Paul, his younger brother by three years.  Paul was a drinker and gambler, often closer to chaos than Norman liked.  “I knew there were others like me who had brothers they did not understand but wanted to help.  We are probably those referred to as ‘our brothers’...
Explore

Gilead

John Ames, a 76-year-old minister, dying from heart failure, writes to his son about how he has experienced life.  “See and see but do not perceive, hear and hear but do not understand, as the Lord says [Mt. 13:13].  I can’t claim to understand that saying, as many times as I’ve heard it, and even...
Explore

Home Before Dark

“The few times my male classmates did ask me for dates, they were met at the door by my father–transparently eager, instead of the stern, law-abiding parent they expected. He was positively euphoric with gratitude and relief. He thanked them profusely for asking me out and urged them to keep me out as late as...
Explore

“Here’s a Toast for the World’s Regular Dads”

My father never compared me to Gandhi. “My father never compared me to Nelson Mandela. I know that Tiger Woods’ father, Earl Woods, has compared his son to both those men. I know that Tiger’s father said in TV Guide last week that Mandela was one of the few people ‘as powerful as Tiger is.’...
Explore

Rich Man, Poor Man

The Jordache family, by the mother’s description: “The rich were out of her reach and the poor were beneath her contempt. By her reckoning, lazy and unsystematic as it was, she, her husband, and their three children were not a family in any way that she could accept or that might give her pleasure. Rather...
Explore

The Last Lion. Volume 1: Winston Spencer Churchill: Visions of Glory, 1874-1932

Randolph Churchill was terribly spoiled by his father Winston (who had been abused as a boy). Some abusees abuse, and some spoil. Winston was a spoiler. Randolph, thus, “was a grim prospect for any bride, or, indeed, for anyone who crossed his path . . . . The constitution of one club had actually been...
Explore

Additional content related to Family

Genesis 45:3-11, 15

Easter in the Western Church can come as early as the third Sunday in March and as late as the last Sunday in April.  Falling as it does on April 17 this year, Easter’s late date means an extra-long season after Epiphany and that in turns means getting to some RCL texts we don’t see…

Explore

Ephesians 1:3-14

Few Scripture passages are theologically weightier than this Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson. In fact, in an earlier commentary on it, Scott Hoezee remembers once asking the congregation he served about how it would feel if he were from then to on base every sermon on Ephesians 1:3-14. He notes that while most would call it a…

Explore

1 Samuel 2:18-20, 26

Two Temples. Two Boys. One boy is apparently lost.  The other boy is apparently given up by his parents. One boy is not at all lost but is at home in the Temple doing his real Father’s work.  The other boy is making his home in the Temple and slowly discovering what may well be…

Explore

1 Samuel 1:4-20

It’s curious how often the purposes of God move forward not just despite familial dysfunction but sometimes even because of it.  We’ve got a load of dysfunction coming up in the Samuel story through the shenanigans of Hophni and Phineas—and Eli’s hand-wringing inability to do a blessed thing about it all.  But we’ve got nettlesome…

Explore

Hebrews 10:11-14, (15-18), 19-25

The COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to mitigate it have changed the way at least some Christians have met or are currently “meeting together” (25). Restrictions have forced at least some of us to meet together remotely rather than in the same building.  Restrictions have also forced some Christians to worship somewhat differently even when they…

Explore

Romans 4:1-5,13-17

When I was a teenager, we liked to sing a song that also had motions.  With arms and legs flailing, we’d sing something like: “Father Abraham/ Had many sons;/ Many sons had Father Abraham;/ And I am one of them,/ And so are you,/ So let’s all praise the Lord.” Now once you got past…

Explore

Genesis 27

In his book Simply Christian, N.T. Wright says this about the Bible: “It’s a big book, full of big stories with big characters. They have big ideas (not least about themselves) and make big mistakes. It’s about God and greed and grace; about life, lust, laughter and loneliness. It’s about births, beginnings, and betrayal; about…

Explore

Matthew 1:1-17

“This is the genealogy of Jesus…” So begins the gospel of Matthew. Frankly, it sounds a bit boring. After all, the genealogies are one of those the parts of the Bible that we skip over (unless someone is watching us and we feel guilty, because “all scripture” is supposed to be profitable, 2 Tim. 3:16)….

Explore

Genesis 40:1-23

Comments and Observations The narrative of Pharaoh’s Cupbearer and Baker falls within the broader narrative of the story of Joseph.  It’s hard to pull this out and look at it without placing it in the context of Joseph’s trials and tribulations thus far.  So, let’s review where Joseph’s been when we get to this chapter…

Explore

Exodus 7:1-7

Comments, Observations, and Questions to Consider As we all know, life is full of hard, impossible questions.  And the question “why?” often tops the list – especially when we’re looking at events that simply don’t make sense to our human brains.   We hear anguished parents cry it at the graveside of a child.  We hear…

Explore