Preaching As Alchemy
“These two experiences remind me not to take myself too seriously. They also make me reluctant to talk about ‘best’ and ‘worst’ sermons. Something happens between the preacher’s lips and the congregation’s ears that is beyond prediction or explanation. The same sermon sounds entirely different at 9:00 and 11:15 A.M. on a Sunday morning. Sermons that make me weep leave my listeners baffled, and sermons that seem cold to me find warm responses. Later in the week, someone quotes part of my sermon back to me, something she has found extremely meaningful — only I never said it.
“There is more going on here than anyone can say. Preaching is finally more than art or science. It is alchemy, in which tin becomes gold and yard rocks become diamonds under the influence of the Holy Spirit. It is a process of transformation for both preacher and congregation alike, as the ordinary details of their everyday lives are translated into the extraordinary elements of God’s ongoing creation. When the drum roll begins and the preacher steps into place, we can count on that. Wherever God’s word is, God is — loosening our tongues, tuning our ears, thawing our hearts — making us a people who may speak and hear the Word of Life.”
– Barbara Brown Taylor, Preaching Life
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Between doubleheader games yesterday — a visit with Van and Tatum, cousins who now live in Coppell.
Driving home after the second game from Weatherford.