Preaching Connection: Poverty

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Reading for Preaching

A Married Man

John Strickland, a barrister who runs as a labour party candidate argues with a conservative banker that a coal miner ought to earn as much as he, namely, the banker. The banker replies that no law prevents a coal miner becoming a merchant banker. No, says Strickland, but then you wouldn’t give him a job....

The Fortunate Pilgrim

“Charity is salt in the wound. The state gives charity with the bitter hatred of a victim to his blackmailer. The receiver of free money is subjected to harassment, insult, and profound humiliation. Newspapers are enlisted to heap scorn on the arrogant bastards who chose to beg instead of starve or let their children starve....

My Secret History

“You’d know you were in the Third World even if you were blindfolded . . . . Poverty always has a bad smell . . . . dirt and vegetation, cowsh*t, rotting fruit, woodsmoke, and diesel fumes.”

Continental Drift

Continental Drift is one of the really powerful expressions of working class despair and resentment in twentieth century literature. The genius of it can be only suggested in the following sentences. Bob DuBois is a frustrated 30-year-old resident of New Hampshire. First he compares himself (stuck in a job repairing oil burners) with a friend...

Additional content related to Poverty

Psalm 146

The Lectionary likes Psalm 146 a lot and so it comes up with some frequency, including only 2 short months ago the first Sunday in September.  The last couple of times that I wrote a commentary on Psalm 146 were pretty similar but this week I will take it in a different direction.  If you…


Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11

What a great text for this Third Sunday of Advent!  It is full of Good News, but there is still an air of mystery, a sense of “it’s not Christmas yet.”  This poetic description of what God is about to do for his suffering people is among the most lovely and powerful in the Bible. …


Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19

Jimmy Carter is now not only the oldest currently living former President of the United States but he has now lived to become the oldest former President ever.  Strikingly, he has also been a former President for nearly 39 years.  During those almost four decades of time, Carter’s reputation has soared but, of course, he…


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…