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The Mystery of Preaching

After Sunday's service I was chatting to someone about the sermon (something I haven't really done for many years) who commented to the effect that 'your said this, well you didn't but you did.'  I knew what she meant.  Part of the mystery of preaching is that we carefully (or carelessly!) prepare something and hope that somehow through it God will speak to people.  What they hear may or may not be what we think we are saying, but often what is heard is pertinent for them.  When I was a student, I used sometimes to ask for feedback from members of the congregation including 'what do you think the sermon was about?' I would usually get one fairly accurate precis of what I'd said along with three or four interesting, intriguing synopses of something else, conected to what I intended but not what I thought I was saying.  This is the mystery of preaching, I think.  And it is part of what makes it both privlege and responsibility to do it the best I can.

This week I think I'm preaching on being a prophetic community - but afterwards I'll find out what it really was!!


  • I know what you mean and its one of the main things that keeps me preaching - its all God and not a lot of me bar my faithfulness and even when I fail that one God still speaks!

    I am finding out what people think of me now I am leaving...it's helpful and I wish i knew some it before!

    Do I detect 5 core values... amy start there too - did here!

  • Hi Julie,
    You do indeed detect them -though not in BUGB order!

    We used the covenant pattern of induction which employs them, so it seemed right to try to explore a bit more what we promised to do/be!

  • As Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori said recently:

    "I always am delighted when people listen to what I say in a sermon or address. Sometimes I am surprised by what they hear."


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