Preaching Connection: Money

Reading for Preaching

“The Shoes of Imelda Marcos”

Deposed dictator Ferdinand Marcos and his wife Imelda had millions, indeed billions, in accumulated and plundered wealth upon deposition: office towers in Manhattan, waterfront estate on Long Island, dozens of country houses in the Philippines, a second secret palace, millions in jewels and clothes, etc. On a single day in NY Imelda would buy $10,000...
Explore

An Innocent Millionaire

The generational divide “is the plight of the lower and middle classes, whose children begin to drift away as soon as they are old enough to go to school.” Their parents can’t isolate their child and can’t control the child’s learning environment. Upper class folk can and do. They keep their kids interminably busy without...
Explore

“The Crayon Man”

Yancey comments on the revelations within Robert Coles’ 5-volume, Pulitzer Prize winning series titled Children of Crisis. Coles says that “rich kids who try to break out of their sheltered surroundings and respond to the call of conscience are sometimes viewed as abnormal. Coles interviewed a child from a very wealthy Florida family who had...
Explore

“Teaching Johnny Values where Money is King”

Already by 2000 around Palo Alto, CA., and in the Silicon Valley (“The Valley”), people were worrying about “Sudden Wealth Syndrome.” Around here there are 60 new millionaires per day, thirteen-year-olds come home from school to check their stocks, C.E.O.’s are superheroes, family dinner talk is of I.P.O’s, and “a recent collision between two students...
Explore

“Note on Wealth”

“Here is Sydney Smith’s dedication of his book Six Sermons to Lord Webb Seymour: ‘My Lord–I dedicate these few sermons to you, as a slight token of my great regard and respect, because I know no man who, in spite of the disadvantages of high birth, lives to more honorable and commendable purposes than yourself.’”
Explore

Fiorello H. La Guardia and the Making of Modern New York

“‘Wealth,’ President Coolidge preached, ‘is the chief end of man.’”
Explore

“Poor Little Rich Boys,” a review of PAINFULLY RICH: The Outrageous Fortune and Misfortunes of the Heirs of J. Paul Getty

Pearson portrays the 7 deadly sins in the J. Paul Getty heirs as “a tragedy,” but Henriques sees mere vulgarity. These people (with suicide, addiction, embitterment, family feuding, million-dollar family lawsuits, “emotionally abusive and sumptuous vacations,” etc.) were victims not of money but “of their own hunger for that money, and their craven fear that...
Explore

Stranger in Two Worlds

Herman Tarnower, the poor Jewish boy from Brooklyn, wanted above all to be rich. He wanted to be rich and to be known to be rich. At dinner parties with the very rich (“She’s richer than Croesus, darling, and believe me she earned every bit of it the hard way. The man she was married...
Explore

Of Human Bondage

The painter Foiret speaks: “’I have nothing but contempt for the people who despise money. They are hypocrites or fools. Money is like a sixth sense without which you cannot make a complete use of the other five. Without an adequate income, half the possibilities of life are shut off . . . You will...
Explore

Additional content related to Money

Luke 19:1-10

Both Zacchaeus and Jesus are depicted as seeking in this story. In fact, seeking, or seeing, is a central and repeated theme in the passage. Zacchaeus wants to see, Jesus is seeking, the crowd sees. We readers are even pulled into the story through seeing: Luke starts with giving us details about Zacchaeus, but does…

Explore

Psalm 37:1-9

The Book of Psalms—and sometimes individual poems within it—can be pretty good at the proverbial “talking out of both sides of one’s mouth at the same time.”  Taken individually, some psalms paint a very pretty picture of how the righteous always prosper and how the wicked always fail miserably.  Then again, other psalms admit that…

Explore

Luke 16:19-31

“But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.” – Jesus (Luke 6.24) So goes the story of the rich man in Jesus’ story. He should have known better; he could have been (and done) better. He received good things, but built up treasures for himself instead of being rich towards…

Explore

1 Timothy 6:6-19

Few virtues are, arguably, rarer in the twenty-first century than “contentment.” Relatively few people seem deeply satisfied with their situation in life. A variety of things fuels this dissatisfaction. Many citizens of what we sometimes call the “first world” live in a conspicuously consumptive society and time. What’s more, the media that has such a…

Explore

Luke 16:1-13

This set of verses is a difficult one to bring clarity to while preaching. Forget the fact that there are any number of interpretative directions you can take when sharing this parable: for every way this story can be understood, a fair amount of detail will need to be explained in order for the interpretation…

Explore

Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16

“Just tell me what I have to do, Pastor!” I suspect that nearly all of us have heard variations on this theme. This Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson seems to offer help in answering such questions. That may, in fact, be a reason why proclaimers’ attention is often most quickly drawn to its ethical pronouncements. Hebrews 13…

Explore

Luke 12:32-40

By pairing the parable about the Master and attentive servants and the commands to sell our possessions so that we might make treasures in heaven (i.e., be rich in the things of God), verse 32 becomes the major point of doctrine: We need not be afraid because it is God’s good pleasure to give us…

Explore

Psalm 49:1-12

At times there is a very fine line separating the poems we call Psalms from the biblical literature we call Wisdom such as in the Book of Proverbs.  Psalm 49 is a classic example of a definite blurring of that fine line.  In fact, Psalm 49 sounds sufficiently like any number of passages in Proverbs…

Explore

Mark 12:38-44

Our two sections are directly connected by the mention of widows. In the first section, the widows are made destitute at the hands of the scribes, and in the second, a poor widow gives the last of her financial goods as a contribution to the faith community. Jesus clearly condemns the scribes in the first…

Explore

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…

Explore

Psalm 37:1-9

The Book of Psalms—and sometimes individual poems within it—can be pretty good at the proverbial “talking out of both sides of one’s mouth at the same time.”  Taken individually, some psalms paint a very pretty picture of how the righteous always prosper and how the wicked always fail miserably.  Then again, other psalms admit that…

Explore

1 Timothy 6:6-19

“Take hold of the life that really is life.” What a catching phrase. It’s one of those that you can feel the truth of deep in your bones, but whose truth you can’t simply explain in a few words. What is “the life that really is life?” We’re at the close of Paul’s first letter…

Explore

Psalm 49:1-12

At times there is a very fine line separating the poems we call Psalms from the biblical literature we call Wisdom such as in the Book of Proverbs.   Psalm 49 is a classic example of a definite blurring of that fine line.  In fact, Psalm 49 sounds sufficiently like any number of passages in Proverbs…

Explore

Mark 12:38-44

Our text’s Jesus is in Jerusalem during the last days of his life.  He figuratively stands in the shadow of his upcoming betrayal and denial, trial and torture, suffering and death.  Jesus is, in other words, preparing to give up virtually everything for the sake of the world he so passionately loves. The specter of…

Explore

Mark 10:17-31

Digging into the Text: Let’s face it, according to Jesus, lots of our congregations are not fertile ground for the gospel. They are rich, at least by the world’s standards, probably middle to upper middle class, and immersed in a consumer culture that glorifies getting more. Here Jesus comes along this Sunday and urges us…

Explore

1 Timothy 5

Comments and Observations: Children have an uncanny ability to notice differences and point out perceived unfairness. Imagine a father who desires to support each of his three children as they graduate.  When his oldest son graduates, he co-signs a loan to help him pay for his education.  Two years later, when his daughter graduates, he…

Explore

What the Bible Says about Wealth

Sermon on 1 Timothy 6 by Ed Dobson at Calvary Church in Grand Rapids, Mich. Used by permission of Calvary Church. 

Explore