Festival of Homiletics: Day Three

Post a Comment » Written on May 21st, 2009     
Filed under: homiletics
Another great day! 

The first preacher was Michael Curry and he spoke from John 1:8, borrowing Long’s concept of preaching as a witness. He reminded us that we need to move away from the production business, which puts value on the finished product, and instead just try to point to the one who produces all. He challenged us to affirm that Now is the Time to Proclaim!

Otis Moss III was next, and he preached from Luke 2:50-52, challenging us to embrace the blessings of the B side. (yes, you have to know what an old 45rpm single record is to get this metaphor!) It was an uplifting reminder of the value of those parts of life that feel less important, but actually aren’t. Unfortunately it ended in a bit of a political rant…

The third speaker was the highlight of the day. William Willimon gave an absolutely hilarious and yet deeply profound expose on the inconprehensible nature of scripture. He lashed out at modernity’s never ending attempt to reduce and simplify scripture and our understanding of Jesus. The sage observation was that “the whole purpose of reductionism and simplification in modernity is control.” But in truth we see in scripture that people are only in control (or at least appear so) until God speaks. And scripture is strangely content to let the complicated stay complicated. The bottom line is that to be a preacher is to be willing to deal with that kind of liturature! Some memorable quotes include: “The hidden God is most hidden when God stands before us, in the flesh, at the cross.” (Luther)  “Christ isn’t the subject of preaching but the agent of preaching.” (Barth) And Willimon concluded with this. “The proclaimed Word has its origin in the incarnation. Preaching is Christ himself walking through his congregation.”

In the evening we enjoyed wonderful music by Beth Nielsen Chapman, Darrell Scott, and Adrienne Young, with some theological reflections and conversation by a panel made up of Craig Barnes, Anna Carter Florence, Anthony Bailey and Barbara Lundblad.

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