Preaching Connection: Poverty

Home » Preaching Connections » Poverty

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....
Explore

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....
Explore

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.”
Explore

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...
Explore

Additional content related to Poverty

Amos 8:1-12

The Old Testament is downright chock-full of God’s overweening concern for that traditional triplet of the widows, the orphans, and the resident aliens within Israel.  Each group was vulnerable in the ancient Near East. By tradition, Israel was a male-dominated society.  Family and inheritance were key factors in a person’s having a stable place in…

Explore

Acts 9:36-43

Call her “Tabitha” or call her “Dorcas” the meaning in both Aramaic and Greek was the same: “Gazelle.”  Was it her given name or a nickname that matched her lifestyle?  We don’t know but by all appearances the woman best known as Dorcas was gazelle-like indeed.  She was lightning fast at helping the poor and…

Explore

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…

Explore

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. …

Explore

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…

Explore

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…

Explore

Acts 9:36-43

The text the Lectionary appoints for the fourth Sunday in Easter is a happy, hopeful one of healing in the face of chronic illness and life in the face of death. Yet it sticks out like a sore thumb in its Scriptural context. Its story of healing and raising to life just doesn’t seem to…

Explore

Leviticus 25

The second law of thermodynamics, in oversimplified layman’s terms, is that everything tends toward chaos. All things fall into disorder. It seems to be a spiritual and moral law as well. At least this is the case after sin infects God’s good creation. One of the most visible areas of this sin-generated chaos is our…

Explore

2 Corinthians 11

Pastor Heath Mooneyham thinks that many churches are too wimpy, and that’s why so few men come to church. So his congregation, the aptly-named Ignite Church in Joplin, Missouri, started giving away military-style rifles to attract men to their testosterone-fueled services. Mooneyham enticed seekers with the promise that they could “double tap a zombie in…

Explore

Ruth 2

There is a well-known plot device in modern romantic comedies called the meet-cute. In fact, one primetime show, The Mindy Project, had almost an entire season based on the protagonist’s attempts to interpret every one of her encounters with a new man as a meet-cute. Meet-cutes are those moments in the book or scenes in…

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