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

John 20:19-31

Comments, Questions and Observations Often, the focus of this week’s Easter Lectionary is on Thomas. His “doubt” is rather relatable, and it seems to be what Jesus reflects directly upon when he declares a beatitude about belief.  (It really is too bad for Thomas that he wasn’t there that Easter evening with the other disciples….

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Luke 19:28-40

Comments, Questions, and Observations “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!” These words are shouted by a “multitude of disciples” as Jesus rides on a donkey into Jerusalem (v 37). The people are compelled to shout these praises because of all…

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Luke 13:31-35

Jesus is a man on a mission. He is in the region of the Galilee, not yet in Jerusalem for the events of holy week, and we continue our lenten journey by following him towards his suffering death. We don’t really know the motives of the Pharisees as they warn Jesus to get out of…

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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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Romans 5:1-11

While the kind of peace about which Paul writes in this Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson may seem hard to define, it may be even harder to achieve.  Perhaps, however, that’s at least partly because we sometimes start to work for peace in the wrong places. We sometimes first think of the lack of peace in places…

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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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John 14:8-17 (25-27)

This is our Pentecost text, of course, but the setting in John 14 takes us back to that last night before Jesus died, some 53 days before Pentecost arrived. What that means is that even though this text ends up talking about peace and of Jesus’ telling the disciples “do not be afraid” (Jn. 14:27),…

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John 14:23-29

Jesus kept saying it, kept repeating it that night: Let not your hearts be troubled. But it’s difficult to imagine a more troubling context in which to try to say such a thing!  Jesus kept talking about peace, but all hell was about to break loose on Jesus and on his band of followers.  In…

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John 20:19-31

Sample Sermon:  Why didn’t they go looking for him? Today we pick up right where we left off last week on Easter here in John 20.  When last we saw the disciples, Mary Magdalene had just burst in with the excited and exciting news, “I have seen the Lord!” Earlier that day, when Mary told…

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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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Luke 13:31-35

Luke knew how to spin a tale! Today he’d likely be a best-selling writer no matter what his genre: novels, biographies, essays. Luke had style, narrative panache. Dip into any of his stories in The Gospel that bears his name or in The Book of Acts (that he also authored) and you see this readily….

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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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