Saturday, December 20, 2014

Buechner on Preaching

I will be preaching tomorrow at the church where we are now members. I came across this on Facebook from Fredrick Buechner, preacher, writer, storyteller extraordinaire. I will let it speak for itself about preaching. (I have edited the presentation of it, but not the content, to show my emphasis.)

I HAD NEVER understood so clearly before what preaching is to me. Basically, it is
  • to proclaim a Mystery before which, before whom, even our most exalted ideas turn to straw. It is also
  • to proclaim this Mystery with a passion that ideas alone have little to do with.
  • It is to try to put the Gospel into words not the way you would compose an essay but the way you would write a poem or a love letter—putting your heart into it, your own excitement, most of all your own life.
  • It is to speak words that you hope may, by grace, be bearers not simply of new understanding but of new life both for the ones you are speaking to and also for you.
  • Out of that life, who knows what new ideas about peace and honesty and social responsibility may come, but they are the fruits of the preaching, not the roots of it.
-Originally published in Telling Secrets

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