"Preaching is an art of daring and only the man [or woman] who would rather not preach and cannot escape from it ought ever to attempt it." – Karl Barth
Karl said it well. I cried myself to sleep many a night begging God not to call me to preach. Anything but that. But even as I cried and pleaded for clemency, I knew. I knew that I could not escape it. I knew that something would always be missing in my life if I was not a participant in the proclaiming of God’s Word. Preaching isn’t about skill or delivery or presentation. It is about the power of God’s Word and the promise of God that God’s Word will not return void. I am called to proclaim – even if I fight it and would rather not.
Sermon preparation is very demanding for me and takes a lot out of me. I take the opportunity to preach very seriously and carry a heavy burden within me to make sure that I have done a great deal of preparation for the 15-20 minutes that I preach. The Spirit is the true power of preaching but God expects me to do my part as well. The Spirit reminds me that sitting in the pews are a mass of hurting and broken people desperately in need of God. The Spirit reminds me that we are one in that way – all of us hurting, broken and desperately in need of God. We are one in our struggles to stay faithful to God throughout all the distractions of life. The preacher doesn’t have it any more together than the people in the pews and don’t believe otherwise. We all struggle to be steadfast in our love and obedience to God. We all struggle to allow God to take care of us.
Speaking of not letting God take care of us, I think my sleeping drugs are finally kicking in so I’m signing out . . .