Note: It is chiefest paradox that the holy God speaks, “Thus, saith the Lord,” through mortal, imperfect agents.
How are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10.14-15)
Wringing his heart in prayer-wept hands
(the blood of this his weekly, willing martyr’s-moment rising to the surface),
he strives to give earthly-shape to the Word, through the Spirit’s voice, heard;
longingly searching, lovingly scripting (à la The Barthian Maxim) mere words
that, though naked, empty vessels worldly, praying they be filled with grace heavenly.
And, in this, hoping that –
though colored by his experience; inescapably painted, tainted by his ego –
through the continuing, clarifying, correcting, converting labor of the same Spirit,
will illumine Truth that will set folk, yea, himself, free, God’s holy ones to be.
© 2021 PRA
Endnote: The Bartian Maxim. A reference to Karl Barth (1886-1968), a Swiss Reformed theologian, who, concerning preaching, opined: “We must hold the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other.” Thus, the sermon always is to be the fruit of the dialogue between ancient sacred text and present history.