Good preacher = man of God

Pastoral visits teach you all sorts of lessons. For example, a great grandmother whom I visited this week taught be how to “measure” your recall.

You know what it’s like. You’re looking for that word — or worse, the name of the person you’re speaking to! — and it simply escapes you.

The gracious 85-year-old whom I anointed this week suffers from this all the time. She suggested to her granddaughter, who is a neurologist, that perhaps she’s getting Alzheimer’s. Her grandaughter replied with a simple test: relax and do other things; if whatever you’re trying to remember doesn’t occur to you by 10am the following day, then you’ve got a problem.

I’ve since applied this test myself. It works! To that end, there was an article somewhere on the Internet which I wanted to engage in my earlier post on preaching. I couldn’t remember it then, but I remember it now.

A sermon is not entertainment, nor a dump of information about God, nor a theological lecture. It is an encounter with the living God, and a preacher can fulfill his vocation well only if he knows that God.

It’s worth reading all of it, and the comments too: A Man of God, by Peter J. Leithart.

  • Anne

    Good morning Fr John,, I always thiught that a preacher braks open the word of God, under guidance from the Holy Spirit, speaks to the congregation, as an alter Christi. If I close my eyes I should be able to hear Christ speak to my. However, sadly what I hear is hogwash, politics, and shopping trips. I know that Jesus used daily experiences and known facts or the language of his time, and so should the prist of today, but come on, football, horse racing, traffic lights? golf, I want to hear the voice of Jesus giving me hope that all will be ok even in the dartkness of these times, because Jesus and an “Alter Jesus” does that.
    Its also goo to hear about sin,about sacraments, its wonderful to break open the Old Testament which is so beautiful in its on right indeed underpins “Jesus”….yet, I rarely hear any of these things.
    Shalom Aleichem.

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