The cover of the July issue gave me a start--until I opened it and read the content of "Heard any good sermons lately?" (pages 8-14). I fully appreciate the viewpoints of both laity and preachers. As a pastor my sermon preparation considers several things: the Scriptures, the congregation's situation in life and what issues society throws at us from week to week. Almost never do I pick out a member or family and preach specifically. As I pray for guidance and insight, my understanding of Christ's presence urges a communal message. While I'm called to lead God's people and teach them right from wrong (a most difficult task), I'm also called to proclaim the uninvited yet transforming power of God's grace in the gifts of faith, forgiveness, eternal life, resurrection, fellowship and the peace which passes all understanding. Hence, law and gospel must be proclaimed. As parishioners certainly throw up their spiritual hands and in wonder ask from where sermons come, we pastors do the same thing. And yet, despite us, and because of us, the Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise creates faith through us for the purpose of reconciling the world to God's own self.
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