Preaching Connection: Spirituality

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Reading for Preaching

“The Fog Horn”

In this  famous story (“The Fog Horn”) two men shiver in a lighthouse on a cold November evening with mist heavy enough that they have set the fog horn to blow every fifteen seconds.  They are discussing the mysteries of the sea, and the voice of the foghorn calling to the sea—the foghorn which makes...

“The Magnificent Defeat” in Thomas G. Long and Cornelius Plantinga, Jr., eds. A Chorus of Witnesses

“The Magnificent Defeat” is a sermon from Genesis 32 about Jacob at the ford of the Jabbok River.  Jacob is on the threshold of a meeting with his brother Esau after years of estrangement.  Because he caused the estrangement, Jacob isn’t sleeping well the night before the reunion, and especially because he has to wrestle...

Additional content related to Spirituality

Matthew 25:14-30

We pick up right where we left off last week, listening to Jesus teach his followers some important truths about how they are to live in light of what he will do in the future. This parable deals with the same question of how people ought to actively wait for the coming of the Lord,…


John 3:1-17

The fact that perhaps the most well-known bible verse, John 3.16, is part of this philosophical and ontological mind-bending conversation between Nicodemus and Jesus never ceases to fascinate me. Nicodemus is a leader of his faith community and he comes to speak with Jesus in the quiet and solitude of the night. I’m not sure…


Joel 2:23-32

This is the “happy” section of Joel but it probably needs to be seen in context.  More on that at the end of this sermon commentary. For now we can see a connection to last week’s Old Testament Common Lectionary text from Jeremiah 31, which pointed to the promise of God’s giving his people a…


Psalm 84:1-7

In the Calvin Seminary Chapel above and behind the pulpit area is a large clear-glass window with a cross in the center.  A few years ago during a May Term preaching class in the chapel, we all noticed that a large Horned Owl had made a nest in the uppermost window pane near the top…


Luke 10:38-42

Whether it was sharing a bedroom with one of my siblings for most of my childhood, or having housemates as an adult, I can sure relate to Martha’s frustration with Mary. There always seems to be that one member who doesn’t pull their weight, plays the role of helpless, or gets so easily—and conveniently—focused on…


John 6:51-58

If you’re using the questions/objections to belief structure that I laid out last week, this week’s question from John 6 is: “How can he give us his flesh to eat?” The challenge: God offends us. When the people asked that question to each other, they were offended at the thought of even being associated with…


1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

At the end of the fourth chapter of his letter to the Thessalonians Paul addresses the issue of what happens to people after we die. Now, at the beginning of his fifth chapter, he addresses the issue of the fate of those who are still alive at when Christ returns. Apparently during his visit to…


Matthew 4:1-11

Many of us have seen the bumper sticker, “Lead Me Not into Temptation: I Can Find It Myself.” Cheeky humor aside, we know that God never actively leads us to sin and probably does not actively lead us to temptation (though this need not rule out God’s ability to test our faith).  God is not…