Preaching Connection: Glory

Movies for Preaching

The Thin Red Line (1998) – 4

The Thin Red Line (1998).  Written and directed Terrence Malick.  Starring James Caviezel, Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, and Elias Koteas.  170 mins; rated R.  Metacritic: 78%; Rotten Tomatoes: 79%. Pictures worth a thousand words?  Sometimes maybe, especially when mixed with music.  And then, perhaps, if done well, such can skin the soul alive, so to…

Explore

The Thin Red Line (1998) – 1

The Thin Red Line (1998).  Written and directed Terrence Malick.  Starring James Caviezel, Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, and Elias Koteas.  170 mins; rated R.  Metacritic: 78%; Rotten Tomatoes: 79%. The big question, crisply and resonantly put, comes late in the film, though throughout it has echoed and ramified through people and events.  It comes in…

Explore

Reading for Preaching

“The Weight of Glory,” in The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses

Lewis reflects on human dignity, human weightiness.  He calls it a “weight of glory” and then adds this (one of the truly famous Lewis passages): “It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one...
Explore

Gilead

John Ames, a 76-year-old minister, dying from heart failure, writes to his son about how he has experienced life.  “There was a young couple strolling along half a block ahead of me.  The sun had come up brilliantly after a heavy rain, and the trees were glistening and very wet.  On some impulse, plain exuberance...
Explore

East of Eden

“Sometimes a kind of glory lights up the mind of a man. It happens to nearly everyone. You can feel it growing or preparing like a fuse burning toward dynamite. It is a feeling in the stomach, a delight of the nerves, of the forearms. The skin tastes the air, and every deep-drawn breath is...
Explore

Additional content related to Glory

John 2:1-11

This text is an example of how we can miss important revelation from God if we get too caught up in, for lack of a better term, the humanness of the Gospel narratives. Or, more precisely, maybe it’s more that our cultural baggage and experiences that get us stuck when we read these texts. I…

Explore

Psalm 29

Psalm 29 is a favorite of the Revised Common Lectionary.  Indeed, if you search the Sermon Commentary Library here on CEP, you will find not fewer than ten such commentaries from recent years.  Psalm 29 comes up most every year on the Baptism of our Lord Sunday after Epiphany and it pops up here and…

Explore

Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12

Comments, Observations, and Questions to Consider At least partly because I struggled to relate it to life in the 20th and 21st centuries, I didn’t preach a series of sermons on the book of Hebrews for the first 20 years of my ministry. Since the book had always seemed to me to be so impractical,…

Explore

Ephesians 1:3-14

Christians know that God didn’t create us to “eat, drink and be merry because tomorrow we die.” Yet that popular philosophy raises a number of interesting questions. It makes us wonder how God’s people should evaluate the purpose of our lives. How do we think about why God has put us here? Something in a…

Explore

2 Corinthians 12:2-10

[God’s] power is made perfect in weakness might be one of the most appropriate and hopeful things the inspired Paul could say to his 2021 hearers. After all, in the past 18 months we’ve surely learned if not been reminded that we are weak. Among the countless reasons why the COVID-19 pandemic may have proven…

Explore

2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1

The COVID-19 global pandemic has taken away more things than we can count. It has robbed countless people of their lives and livelihoods, as well as mental and physical health. But one loss that’s easy to overlook is our loss of funerals and memorial services that are attended by more than about 10-15 people. That…

Explore

Ephesians 1:3-14

Christians know that God didn’t create us to “eat, drink and be merry because tomorrow we die.”  Yet that popular philosophy raises a number of interesting questions.  It makes us wonder how God’s people should evaluate the purpose of our lives.  How do we think about why God has put us here? Something in a…

Explore

2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17

Both First and Second Thessalonians spend a lot of their ink on the second coming of Christ, the Parousia. In the verses for today, Paul takes on some fake news spreading about Christ’s return head on. The first five verses of chapter two, in a nutshell, are meant to bring comfort to the church. To…

Explore

Psalm 63:1-8

When a psalm is as relatively brief as Psalm 63 and yet you notice that the Lectionary would have you stop reading—and presumably stop preaching—three verses shy of the actual conclusion of the poem, one might be justified in wondering what’s up.  What is in those last few verses?  Why the full stop before this…

Explore

Luke 9:28-36

Not for nothing are they called “Mountaintop Experiences”!  In the Bible, when a story takes us up to a mountaintop, it’s a fair bet that something dramatic is going to happen—indeed, it’s a fair bet that something deeply revelatory is going to happen.  Luke 9 is no exception.  But the drama up there on that…

Explore

Exodus 34:29-35

Fittingly, the season of Epiphany ends with Transfiguration Sunday.  With the possible exception of his resurrection, Christ’s Transfiguration was the most spectacular exhibition of his glory in his life.  Indeed, the Transfiguration was arguably even more glorious than the Resurrection, because Jesus resurrected body did not have about it the unmistakable glory of his transfigured…

Explore

2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2

Sometimes the lessons the Lectionary appoints for a particular Sunday seem about as loosely tied as some teenagers’ tennis shoes.  On this Transfiguration Sunday, however, that’s not the case.  It doesn’t take much work to recognize the themes that run through the Old Testament, Psalm, Gospel and Epistolary lessons.  Each in its own way reflects…

Explore

Isaiah 6:1-13

Somewhere in my reading recently, I ran across this familiar rant about God’s invisibility.  “If God really wants us to believe in him, why doesn’t he come out of hiding, you know, make himself visible, write in words across the sky, speak audibly so that everyone can hear his voice, do some miracle that would…

Explore

John 2:1-11

Apparently we are going to have to revise our definition of “glory.” Sometimes things happen in life that make us update long-held notions and definitions. It reminds me of the scene from the movie A Beautiful Mind in which the socially inept genius mathematician John Nash (played by Russell Crowe) haltingly proposes to his girlfriend…

Explore

Isaiah 62:1-5

At first I was puzzled by the Lectionary’s choice of this Old Testament reading for this second Sunday of Epiphany, but then I saw the light, literally.  In verse 1 Jerusalem is told that “her righteousness [will] shine out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch,” and, adds verse 2, “the nations will…

Explore

Psalm 29

Thunderstorms.  On average each day 45,000 such storms occur on Planet Earth.  They are among the most powerful forces we know.  In the simplest, but also in perhaps the most boring, sense a thunderstorm is an atmospheric stabilizer.  Acting like a giant heat machine, a thunderstorm forms when there is a lot of cold air…

Explore

Psalm 72:1-4, 10-14

It is easy to see why this poem was chosen for the Day of Epiphany: it’s all about foreign kings and dignitaries bowing before the King of Israel.  Think Magi and all that.  The Bible I used for Psalm 72 says up top that this poem is “Of Solomon,” even though at the end of…

Explore

Colossians 3:12-17

Some people who proclaim Colossians 3 this week are old enough to remember a kind of worship battle that largely preceded today’s battles over music.  Some of those battles were fought over appropriate clothing for wearing to worship. During the 1960’s and 70’s my dad always wore a suit and tie and my mom wore…

Explore