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Wednesday, July 29, 2009
A Poetic musing on the role of preaching in worship.

FARMStrong has been on a bit of a poetry fast, albeit unintended. Here's a piece I've been musing over which I think is on its way to poetry. I think a lot about the nature of real preaching. In an age where many preachers are aspiring to become "Communicators," we may be losing the deeper realities of the sacred genre of speech known as "preaching." check it out. I call the piece


true preaching reveals the place where Word and Spirit meet
affording an encounter with Divine Realities
eyes seeing the story
ears hearing the Kingdom
mind comprehending Mind
pen scratchings cannot capture it
paper cannot possibly map the course of God-Words
recordings can't remember the Living Voice
like storing water water in cupped hands
Spirit musings never fit into an mp3

so put down your pencil
and lift up your heart,
don't get the tape
Lean forward.
Listen Now!
and realize
the stream of heaven
is not download-able
not for canteens
immediate consumption required
open bar,
all you can eat buffet.

It's got a ways to go for sure. What am I trying to say here? Preaching was never meant to fill a storehouse with knowledge, but to create a context for the comprehending of Love. What are you seeing/hearing in these musings?

And speaking of poetry-- here's something completely different. ;-)

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posted by John David Walt | at 7/29/2009 07:50:00 AM



Blogger Mark Benjamin said...


Love it. I think there is a mysterious and wonderful dynamic that can be alive in preaching that can only be captured in the attentive ears and hearts of listeners. Yet listeners often seem to approach sermons with a consumption mentality. Like a lecture we can take notes on. Not that jotting a note or idea is an altogether bad thing, but often it indicates the listeners approach. That approach may be to treat the sermon functionally and pragmatically. What can this do for me, what can I learn from this? Rather than a sermon reading us, we read it. Rather than a sermon shaping us, we dissect what we think we can use. I think that is why I'm often bothered when all people can say in response to a sermon is, "that was a great reminder." as if to say that nothing captured the listener in a new or fresh way, but rather simply jarred the memory of something the listener already understood.

Perhaps we approach sermons like we do poetry, never really giving it the attention that could bring forth deeper realities.

8:29 PM EDT  
Blogger John David Walt said...

very nice comment from eager tour guide mark benjamin.

9:24 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm curious about what you're saying. I don't really know what it means, but it reminds me a little of something that Tolkien and Owen Barfield talked about regarding poetry and beauty. They mentioned how poetry isn't simply about extracting the meaning, but that somehow part of the work of poetry is bound up in the form as much as the content. So to hear a good poem read can affect someone. I don't know how to say it, it slips past me.

Tolkien brought it up again, I believe, or maybe it was George Macdonald? with regard to fairy tales. That there is something about the fairy-taleness of the fairy tale that is affective in a way that could almost stand apart from the story itself or the 'moral' of the story.

Is that sort of what you mean? This is interesting.


3:11 PM EDT  

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