The role of the sermon as the Word of God is an idea that can be disconcerting. I often feel our churches often allow the preacher to become an authoritative figure towering over the congregation, thus disembodying the body of Christ. But to understand Bonhoeffer means that the sermon never stands over the body, but rather is shared within the body.
Truth is non-objectivistic for Bonhoeffer, which I was glad to read:
Truth is not something in itself, which rests for itself, but something that happens between two. Truth happens in community.I have struggled with the task of preaching in our culture. A culture that doesn't trust authoritative figures that pull objective truth from the sky (read: their ass), a participatory culture, and an entertained culture. But I was reminded this week about the power and reality of the spoken word, especially when it is the Word as Bonhoeffer would argue.
Because of the many facets of preaching, I like that Bonhoeffer calls the sermon "both the riches and the poverty of the church." Our broken, frail human words become the Word and "what is impossible for man and what God promises are the same."
I think I believe in preaching if the sermon is formed by the community, for that is where truth happens. The sermon must be a shared act of the church. I'm not sure what this means exactly in my context, but I think it means intertwining the people's narratives with God's, forming and informing the Scripture with the people and forming and informing the people with the Scripture.
Maybe preaching is the task of asking better questions. Maybe preaching is learning to have fluid conversations about faith and Jesus over shared food, a camp ground, and a car ride.
Do you think that preaching is a necessary tool for the church's proclamation of the gospel? What does the task of preaching look like in our culture?