Preaching Connection: Providence

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Movies for Preaching

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946).  Written and directed by Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett, and Frank Capra.  Starring James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell, and Henry Travers.  130 mins.  Rotten Tomatoes: 94%. It’s a film that supposedly everybody knows, and loves, hauled out each Christmas ad infintum in ever-so-boring bleached out copies.  It’s an…


Babette’s Feast (1987) – 3

Babette’s Feast (1987).  Written by Karen Blixen (short story) and Gabriel Axel (screenplay).  Directed by Gabriel Axel.  Starring Stéphane Audran, Bodil Kjer, Bergitte Federspiel, Jarl Kulle, and Jean-Philippe Lafont.  Music: Per Nørgaard.  Cinematography: Henning Kristiansen.  Rated G; 102 mins. Rotten Tomatoes 100% Babette’s Feast is a film of many wonders—social, aesthetic (cuisine), narrative, cinematic, and…


Reading for Preaching

“Coincidence,” in Beyond Words: Daily Readings in the ABC’S of Faith

“I think of a person I haven’t seen or thought of for years, and ten minutes later I see her crossing the street.  I turn on the radio to hear a voice reading the biblical story of Jael, which is the story I have spent the morning writing about.  A car passes me on the...

Mystery and Manners

“We have plenty of examples in this world of poor things being used for good purposes.  God can make any indifferent thing, as well as evil itself, an instrument for good; but I submit that to do this is the business of God and not of any human being.”

Iron and Silk

Chinese story all kids learn: “An old man’s horse runs away one day. His friends all say they are sorry to hear about the horse, but the old man says, ‘I’m not worried about it. You never know what happens.’ Sure enough, a few days later the horse returns, leading a whole herd of wild...

The Young Lions

“It all started when he reached up to the copy of Yeats’ The Herne’s Egg and Other Plays on the library shelf. If he had reached for another book he wouldn’t have bumped into Roger and he wouldn’t have lived here and he wouldn’t have met Hope and she would probably be lying in another...

The Life of Samuel Johnson

Boswell quotes Johnson: “Providence has wisely ordered that the more numerous men are, the more difficult it is for them to agree in anything, and so they are governed. There is no doubt, that if the poor should reason, ‘We’ll be the poor no longer, we’ll make the rich take their turn,’ they could easily...

The Sweet Hereafter

The negligence litigator Mitchell Stevens, esq., is permanently teed off and became a lawyer to license his anger and make it pay. But is there a righteous dimension to his work? Seems so: “I turn into a heat-seeking missile, homing in on a target that I know in my bones is going to turn out...

Reaching for the Invisible God: What Can We Expect to Find?

God gets blamed for a lot of things human beings do. When Princess Diana died, Philip was asked by a TV producer: “Can you appear on our show? We want you to explain how God could possibly allow such a terrible accident.” Philip: “Could it have had something to do with a drunk driver going...