Thursday, September 22, 2005

The value of congregational preaching

Jim Martin considers the value of congregational preaching:
This moment where we open the word of God is not just a "lesson" or a "sermon." No, the one presenting the message is holding a live wire in one hand and is bringing it to human beings who desperately need the power and life of God. This is not just a speech. This is not just a an exercise in rhetoric. No, during this moment , the Holy Spirit goes to work on people who desperately need hope--who desperately need to be reminded that the cross/resurrection story can make a radical difference in life at street level. Some are encouraged. Some are convicted. Some are comforted. God knows exactly what to do in each heart.

And yes--some will hold back. Asleep. Closed. Disengaged. They are not going to open themselves to this moment of God's work--at least not now.

Yet, you never know what is going to happen. At times, God seems to work in spite of all that happens. In spite of the crow. In spite of numerous distractions. In spite of all that seems to work against this moment, God does a powerful work in someones life.
Jim chooses to believe that God is powerfully at work during the proclamation of the Word. So do I.


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