Thursday coffee shop ponderings on Friday

I thought maybe I would head to my favorite coffee shop yesterday (Thursday), but I never made it.  Since I was not writing a sermon this week, everything got thrown off.  I did make it today, though, but I am sitting at home right now enjoying my coffee.  And get this…I while ago I wrote a tongue-in-check post about my Coffee Choices total being $6.66.  Well…today is Friday the 13th and my Coffee Choices total was $6.66…and it is always a different combination of stuff.   Weird.

Anyway…today I head to Gustavus Adolphus College (GAC) for the SW MN Synod Assembly.  Things start at 3:30pm and I should be home sometime Sunday afternoon.  A good friend of mine over at the "other" Lutheran church down the block is leading worship for me on Sunday.  Through my attendance tracking program I have on my computer I have noticed that when I am gone average worship attendance goes down by about 13 people.  So last week I didn't tell the congregation I was going to be gone.  Of course my council and deacons know I am going to be gone, but it is not widely known.  I am curious what the worship attendance will be.  I'll let you know on Monday how my "experiment" goes.

But before I take my leave of you to do my run and pack for the weekend, I want to share with you something that I have been reading.  The other day I started reading The Living Word: A Theological Study of Preaching and the Church by Gustaf Wingren.  I read this book in my second year preaching class in seminary and decided to tackle it again.  So far I have not been disappointed.  Here's a quote from the first chapter that caught my attention and served as an excellent reminder of what we, as preachers, are called to do:

"The Lutheran assertion that we have just now mentioned, that preaching, in so far as it is Biblical preaching, is God's own speech to people, is very difficult to maintain in practice.  Instead it is very easy to slip into the idea that preaching is only speech about God.  Such a slip, once made, gradually alters the picture of God, so that he becomes the far-off deistic God who is remote from the preached word and is only spoken about as we speak about someone who is absent…God is creative and near simply by speaking his Word." (pg. 19 & 20)

It makes me wonder how many times I have "slipped".  But to get the full flavor of what Wingren is talking about you really need to dive into this book yourself.

With that, I take my leave of you.  I am not sure if I will have time and/or access to stop back during the weekend.  In case I don't…I hope and pray you have a blessed weekend (one without rain).  Take care and God bless.

-edh-

4 thoughts on “Thursday coffee shop ponderings on Friday

  1. This quote is intriguing. Of course, I don’t know the context, neither do I know what pastors are taught in Lutheran Sems regarding what the ideal sermon is supposed to represent. However, since I just spent time with my sister who has “Christian Radio” on quite a bit and that tends to have a more “conservative” slant, whatever that means, it is obvious to me that there are types of preaching which are quite different from what is present in most Lutheran churches. There is a different tone. There seems to be more Bible quoting, perhaps more proof-texting. There seems to be more of a teaching quality to some of it. And, at least on the radio, there seems to be more emphasis on how bad we are. I suppose that is suppose to convince the new listener to give their life to Christ, but I think it could also lead to lots of people never getting out from the cloud of guilt that can be lifted when someone realizes true grace.

  2. Have a fruitful synod assembly. Thank you for sharing that quote which is a good reminder for all of us. Is it your synod that’s partnered with the New England Synod, or is it the Southeast MN one? Peace.

  3. PS — I agree with you about the tone of sermons on Christian radio. There is a definite works theology (Theology of Glory) going on there.

    Ivy — Thank you. SW MN is partnered with the Virginia synod I believe.

    As for our assembly…I am not not sure I would use “fruitful” to describe it. I did have a good time amidst my frustrations with various resolutions. I felt we wasted a lot of time.

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