Preaching Connection: Work

Movies for Preaching

The Color of Paradise (1999)

Written and directed by Majid Majidi. Starring Hossein Mahjoub, Mohsen Ramezani, and Salmeh Feyzi. 90 mins. Rated PG. In several remarkable sequences, in utterly gorgeous landscapes of mountains and meadows, streams and sun, a blind boy exults as if he were Adam new-born in the Garden (where all is “pleasant to see” Gen.). Ten-year old…


Reading for Preaching

The Protestant Mind of the English Reformation

Jesus taught in the parable of the talents that the question for disciples is not which callings they have, but how faithfully they pursue them.  In remarking on this theme, the Puritan Joseph Hall wrote: “The homeliest service that we do in an honest calling, though it be but to plow, or digge, if done...

“The Principle or Foundation” in Ordinary Graces: Christian Teachings on the Interior Life

“It is not only prayer that gives God glory but work.  Smiting on an anvil, sawing a beam, whitewashing a wall, driving horses, sweeping, scouring, everything gives God some glory if being in his grace you do it as your duty.  To go to communion worthily gives God great glory, but a man with a...

A River Runs Through It and Other Stories

Annie Proulx explains that Norman Maclean’s stories partake of his experience as a young man, working in woods with other men.  “He saw high art in various kinds of labor, celebrated the expertise of work now lost, told of masters of fly fishing, ax and saw work, mule and horse packing, fire fighting, small scale...

The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age

When Amsterdam’s Tugthuis [prison] opened in 1595 prisoners were admitted and released anonymously so that upon release their adjustment would not be compromised by stigma.  In fact, in the earliest days prisoners were sometimes admitted under cover of darkness.  But by the 1630s the public was admitted by payment to see the sloths and idlers...

The Sweet Hereafter

Good negligence lawyers are, some of them, driven by greed. But more significantly, and more of them, by anger. The good lawyers, “the kind who go after the sloppy fat cats with their corner offices and end up nailing their pelts to the wall. “. . . we’re permanently pissed off . . . and...

Additional content related to Work

Jeremiah 1:4-10

My wife mentions this semi-often as an item of some consternation.  The issue is vocation, “calling,” and it crops up in conversation between the two of us whenever someone asks me once again to tell my “call story” to be a minister or in case some other preacher—in the course of a sermon perhaps—tells her…


Luke 3:7-18

Last week we ended with a consideration of the possibility that these two Advent weeks spent in chapter 3 could be viewed as the covenant obligations on display. Verses 1-6 highlight what God will achieve, and here in verses 7-18 we receive the invitation from God (through the prophet John) to respond to God’s activity….


Proverbs 31:10-31

What are we to make of this conclusion to Proverbs?  In the past some women saw it as a kind of blueprint for life and so were honored if they could be seen as fitting this profile of the “wife of noble character.”  Not surprisingly, more recent times have witnessed other reactions.  Some now more-or-less…


John 6:56-69

We are now at the end of our long jaunt through John 6. Rather climactically, the final question of why we find it difficult to simply believe culminates with Jesus asking a very non-hypothetical question of his own, forcing us to consider ourselves in the process. Can we accept God’s work and ways? There are…


2 Thessalonians 3:6-13

Why were people in Thessalonica not wanting to work? Was it because they figured that Jesus was returning soon, or had already returned? Was it because things were a bit desperate after a famine in the area? Was it because many of them were continuing in a very normal pattern of client-patron relationships common in…