Friday, October 02, 2009

Preaching and Christ... yes, it IS about Jesus

Over at Lutherans Persisting, David Yeago, Michael C. Peeler professor of systematic theology at LTSS, wrote a really intriguing piece about preaching. Ultimately our life should be rooted in an encounter with Jesus, not just theological propositions or truths or vague notions of what Jesus was about, but an encounter with Jesus. It seems like an incredibly tall order for this preacher to fill, to think about my preaching being a vehicle by which people might encounter Jesus, but it seems far more worth it than just getting them to laugh each week, or telling some tear-jerking story, or banging on toes with the hammer of the law constantly.

Yeago writes:
1. Most of the sermons I have heard or read over the past several decades have been based on the Gospel lesson, but a majority of them have not really been about Jesus. Sermons tend to get diverted early from the concrete figure of Jesus to focus on some truth, value, imperative, or experiential possibility supposedly represented by Jesus.

2. What good thing does God give us in the gospel? I hear very few sermons that follow Luther (in the Catechisms) in saying that the good thing is having Jesus as our Lord instead of the devil. Instead I hear a lot of abstractions about being accepted (but into what?), stirring but vague rhetoric about new possibilities, and a lot of generic assurance that “God is with you.”

Read the whole post here.

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