I am due to preach on Sunday night at one of my local Penty churches (the one in the old pub, for readers who know this area) as part of a series they are doing enigmatically titled 'The Word.' With no guidance at all, and being asked about it just before Christmas, I said I'd do something on 'the Word became flesh,' John 1:14.
Since then my subcionscious has been on a world tour, it seems, picking all manner of odd ideas and setting them alongside each other. My erstwhile Biblical studies tutor has been approached to check out what turned out to be some Barth and I then made some connections to something attributed to Francis of Asissi! Mind you, as I wanted to end up with something broadly incarnational and/or practical that was fairly useful.
I love reading Barth (in English , I know no German) but it is like really good dark chocolate - a couple of squares is plenty to be going on with. As a result I have never read the master on his model expressed below
Revelatory action of God in Christ
Proclamation (= preaching)
I find it helpful in reflecting on my role as a preacher, but then there is the saying attributed to St Francis 'preach the gospel always, if necessary use words.'
I don't know what Barth's view of 'preaching' is (and as churches today explore what we think it is, or how we do it, maybe my question is relevant) but St Francis (or whoever) suggest that life as whole can/should be a form of preaching, hence proclamation. Brother Lawrence said he could worship God while making omelettes, could his employment of his culinary expertise also proclaim something of the WORD?
Well, this is the line I am pursuing with my Penties anyway...
If I put on my mathematical head for a few seconds, I guess what I am saying is that preaching is a subset of proclamation.
Any thoughts before I show myself up as totally ignorant of Barth (which I am), a burnable heretic (or more so than usual) or anything else even more undesirable?