Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Preachers Be Ye Warned & Take Solace 

As I prepare for preaching class tomorrow night, I am reminded of a quote from last night's reading from the Saints:

"Our Christian faith is one and the same, and no matter how much you preach, you will never add to it; and no matter how little you say, the tradition will always be bigger than you."
~Irenaeus, Against the Heresies

There is a warning and a comfort in this. It is not our job to add to the faith, only to help build up the faith of the saints. To borrow from St. Francis, we might have to use words under dire circumstances. This story is way, way, way bigger than us. The trick is figuring out how we fit into it. One way as I've imagined it is below. I submit to you my "Imaginative Sermon" exercise from class (from Acts 17:1-15):

Nobody likes a street preacher. Stop them before they get started! They’re not armed are they? What if they’re armed? They’ll bring the soldiers down on us all! I don’t want my world turned upside down. This is only something you see on the news. Not here. Not yet. We don’t need this. This is something from a headline. Not for our little town.
Gotta go. Gotta get outta here before this gets bad. They’ve got them now. This is gonna get bad. Gotta go…now!
“Hey, Ryan.” “Yeah?” “Don’t go yet.” “Why?” “I was there. In Jason’s house. I heard what they were saying.” “What did they say?” “Why don’t you listen? Come on, let’s go…I’ll tell you, but we’ve gotta hurry.”
So, what did they say? Can you see it? The dust of the street kicked up by the mob. Things starting to get a little crazy. A little scary. The heat of the sun intensifying the emotions and people beginning to swim in the current of fear, being pulled this way and that. Everyone is yelling and this guy is tugging on my sleeve. He wants me to go with him, but I’m not sure. I don’t even know what they are talking about! They said something about turning the world upside down – turning my world upside down! My world is upside down enough! I don’t need any more! Come on, he says! This way! I follow him. And as we hurry off, down a side alley, one name is on everyone’s lips…they’re calling him the Savior, the Messiah actually come! Can you believe it? Can I? One name…I hear it fade away as I turn a corner, but I have a feeling I’ll be hearing it again. For some reason, it that’s ok. One name. Jesus.



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