Preaching is a resilient tool of communication. It's been around a bit and appears it will stay on as one form of humanic informational exchange.
I was oh so enthused to get to preach. I believed it to be a fascinating venture and still find it so. The nerves? Never do they calm. One would think they would but trying to convey Him between prepositional phrases is fearful to the soul.
I'm convinced of one necessary change in all preaching; we are called to preach Good News and it should be done. The Word is Good News; too good of news to be true. Preachers (like me) have humanized the message to a sin management seminar. Whatever the sin, grace abounds....the Word says. But we want to curb the good news for fear it become too good of news...you know the kind where individuals step up their sin to capitalize on more grace? The Word addresses such in the same text.
To keep from abusing grace the church's tendency is to not believe in it. Enter sin management. Enter mediocre news. Enter boring, dull, sophisticated, formal, rigid church. Enter death to joy.
Watch the Word anew. Watch its grace oriented good news. Watch the woman at the well get off the hook with no follow-up. Note the Prodigal coming home and the church watch-dog on the back porch pouting away the glory of the Father's love. See the victim in the ditch as well as the nameless stranger's second mile benevolence.
When these and other acts of God are absorbed our hearts are filled with concentrated and obvious....too good of news to be true.
So what do we have to preach? We can forgive every sin. We can heal the sinners by forgiving them. We can give repeated offenders; not three times, not four....but 70 x 7. Oh how this fits so well in Bible Hour for the wee ones, but when it comes to adult sin we balk.
We just can't escape the Good News. We must preach it for it is on every page of the New Testament. We aren't the New Testament church if we are preaching the Old Testament law of bad news.