Saturday, February 03, 2007

The Foolishness of Preaching

Sometimes I think I am a fool -- a fool for daring to preach on Sunday's. St. Paul's words about the foolishness of preaching are about the world looking down on preaching and seeing it as an act of weakness rather than the power that it really is.

But I like to play around with St. Paul's statement and think of the foolishness of preaching in terms of my foolishness to even dare to speak for God. Almost every Sunday I dare to respond to the reading of sacred scripture with words that I hope and pray will be in line with the Word.

It really is something if you think about it. To dare to speak for God. It can only done by faith alone through grace alone. Here is what I mean. I bring to God and God's people an offering of words. They are at best a mixed bag of light and darkness. But I offer those words in union with the risen and ascended Christ -- just like I offer the elements of communion. So by faith, I trust that God by his grace will turn my words into his Word and speak to us as God's people.

I guess preaching is a kind of transubstantiation.


Adam Gonnerman said...

Lately I've been reflecting on my own life as a preacher. I began in college, and I shudder to think about some of the things I might have said (fortunately, I don't have any sermons on file from those days). Then after college in Brazil as a missionary I preached and taught a lot, and then again in New Mexico. Looking back now, I know that there are many things that I would have said differently or simply would not teach, but I also know that God's grace was working to use this earthen vessel to deliver words of life.

Peter said...

Preaching is just plain hard and demanding work. Anyone who says it isn't is lying!

I am struggling to learn more and more tell the stories and paint the pictures of the Bible. Those things move our hearts and change how we live.

But it is hard work.