I woke up thinking, “why did that preacher tell a story?”  I was wondering that because I am still writing a paper on the condition of preaching in the Synod.  Why tell a story at the outset?

Whether consciously or not, the preacher communicates that there is something wrong with the way it was said in the scriptures.  The Scriptures are not faithful witnesses.  They do not communicate what these people need to hear.  I, the preacher, must wrangle them into terms that my people can understand.

This is also the case when a preacher  takes the Scriptures too seriously.

I have learned that our exegetical education at the seminary is pretty terrible.   It is, for the most part, an education on how YOU can get the right reading of the scriptures.  “I translated it THIS way…”  I have heard that so many times in a Hebrew exegetical class.  This, I am afraid, can lead a preacher to have absolutely no playfulness with the Scriptures.  They are faithful witnesses.  Rest upon them and relax a bit.

I read through a majority of St. Augustine’s sermons.  He would regularly add quotes from Jesus or an Apostle that are just nowhere recorded other than that sermon.  Augustine was playfully adding what he thought the Lord might say.  Going beyond what the text said!  Yikes.  This is the case for many preachers before the enlightenment and the searches for the historical Jesus and what the Bible really says.

The Scriptures are faithful witnesses, rest upon that.