Preaching Connection: Idolatry

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Reading for Preaching

Reagan’s America: Innocents at Home

“As Nathaniel West put it in The Day of the Locust, ‘At the sight of their heroes and heroines, the crowd would turn demoniac’ (chapter 27). P. 210: “John Hinckley [who shot Ronald Reagan] turned himself into Travis Bickle [the main character in Paul Schrader’s film Taxi Driver]. He was following too literally a logic...
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Additional content related to Idolatry

Psalm 121

When I was a little kid, I remember Psalm 121 being read in church or sometimes at our dinner table.  Back then various versions of the Bible translated that first line, “I lift up mine eyes to the hills, whence cometh my help.”  The sentence is in the indicative mood.  Read this way, it is…

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Jeremiah 31:27-34

I am not sure why the Revised Common Lectionary’s series of passages from Jeremiah skips around the way it does (one week Jeremiah 32 but then next time around it’s back to chapter 29 and now we leap to chapter 31) but I think I can understand why the Lectionary saved this passage from the…

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Jeremiah 2:4-13

According to the old adage, “You are what you eat.”  But parts of the Bible, including Jeremiah 2, give voice to a different point of view: You are what you worship.  In Jeremiah 2, one of the prophet’s initial broadsides against the people of Israel was the sad fact that in worshiping gods that were…

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Psalm 82

What are we to make of Psalm 82?  Who are the “gods” that get referred to multiple times?  If you as an orthodox believer are convinced there really are no other gods beyond the God and Father of Jesus Christ, then these references to other gods may be a bit unsettling.  But as I read…

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Exodus 34:29-35

To understand the end of Exodus 34, you need to catch up on two things: the immediate context of this chapter in Exodus and also what happened in the first 9 verses of this 34th chapter, the final effect of which you can read in the Lectionary selection of verses 29-35. First of all, then,…

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Psalm 121

For the second week in a row the Year A RCL has assigned a psalm that was also the Year C Psalm lection just a few months ago.  So with modest modifications, here is a bit of a rerun on my recent thoughts on preaching this well-known—and very lovely—Hebrew poem. When I was a little…

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Psalm 82

What are we to make of Psalm 82?  Who are the “gods” that get referred to multiple times?  If you as an orthodox believer are convinced there really are no other gods beyond the God and Father of Jesus Christ, then these references to other gods may be a bit unsettling.  But as I read…

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1 Corinthians 10:1-13

It’s likely that nearly all of us have heard Christians say something like, “God never gives us more than we can handle.”  Because the people who say this generally have a lot to “handle,” I’m reluctant to confront them on it.  But I’m always tempted to ask them, “Where exactly does God make that promise?”…

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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…

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Genesis 1:1-2:4a

Questions about the age of the universe, earth and the human race intrigue at least some 21st century Christians.  Some wonder just how God guided the development of creation and its creatures.  So God’s people sometimes turn to passages like this Genesis 1 and 2 for answers to those hard questions. However, it’s important to…

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Exodus 34:29-35

To understand the end of Exodus 34, you need to catch up on two things: the immediate context of this chapter in Exodus and also what happened in the first 9 verses of this 34th chapter, the final effect of which you can read in the Lectionary selection of verses 29-35. First of all, then,…

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