Preaching Connection: Peace

Reading for Preaching

Character Above All: Ten presidents from FDR to George Bush

on Jimmy Carter’s diplomacy in “Operation Uphold Democracy,” a UN inspired mission to persuade Haiti’s temporary military leadership to step aside in favor of the democratically elected President. Carter helped save Haiti, true enough. “He did it, but then talked about it way too much. . . . a person’s character is all of a...
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Additional content related to Peace

Ephesians 4:1-16

E Pluribus Unum (“out of many, one”) is one of the United States’ oldest mottoes. It originally reflected the diverse American colonies and colonists’ desire to unite into one nation. However, Ephesians 4 implies that E Pluribus Unum might also be one of the Christian church’s mottoes. After all, it reminds its readers that a…

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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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2 Peter 3:8-15a

We usually think of a “last will and testament” as a dry legal document by which a now-dead person divvies up his or her possessions. Yet we periodically see or hear about a last will and testament that’s really a kind of testament that communicates the deceased person’s final thoughts. Sometimes its words scold family…

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Isaiah 11:1-10

From the First Sunday of Advent to the Second, the imagery changes, but the message doesn’t.  We move from mountains and military in Isaiah 2 to plants and animals and a little child in Isaiah 11.  But both texts promise a day when there will be justice and peace on earth.  Isaiah 2 was less…

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Isaiah 2:1-5

What a text for this first Sunday in Advent! What a text for this moment in history!  This promise of universal peace arouses hope in our war torn world.  Or it sounds like an impossible dream.  As I write this, President Trump has just removed all US troops from northern Syria and Turkish forces have…

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Psalm 122

Psalm 122 is one of fifteen psalms extending from Psalms 120-134, each of which is labeled “A Song of Ascents.”  The sense of that title is that these were pilgrimage songs sung by Israelites as they ascended up to Jerusalem.  Not surprisingly, therefore, the terms “Jerusalem,” “Zion,” and “house of Yahweh” occur with great density…

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Psalm 46

It probably counts as something of an irony that for all its soaring comfort in proclaiming the sovereignty of God and God’s rule over all things, Psalm 46 is invoked most often precisely in those times when it is most difficult to believe that a good and loving God is providentially in charge of the…

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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…

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Micah 5:2-5a

This is the quintessential Advent text, because it was so clearly fulfilled in the birth of Christ. In Matthew 2: 5, the chief priests and teachers of the law answer Herod’s frantic question about the birthplace of the long promised King of the Jews.  “In Bethlehem of Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the…

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Isaiah 2:1-5

How can we experience peace in a world that’s so desperately short on it?  It’s a question both as ancient as our first parents’ fall into sin and as modern as ongoing war in places like parts of the Middle East. Some people assumed that we’d finally figure out how to have peace during the…

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Colossians 3:12-17

The Sunday between Christmas and New Year’s Day is a good day to find a guest preacher to fill in for you. I mean, after all the hoopla of the holidays, people are exhausted and after exploring the depths and heights of the Incarnation. So is the preacher. What do you say on this first…

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