I want to reflect here on the manner of our preaching. A preacher informed me recently that he was more concerned about the message he presented rather than the manner in which he presented it. Superficially that seems to be a reasonable assertion. However, I feel on deeper consideration that it is just not good enough.
The fact is that the manner in which we present / preach a message critically affects the way in which it is received.
Of course. I do not want to downplay the importance of the message itself. To properly preach we need to properly prepare. We need to be thorough in making sure that what we say is accurate coherent wisdom and recommends the God of all truth and grace who is known through Jesus Christ our Lord.
However, to present a message in the name of the Lord as His messenger and speak in a cold and dispassionate way is a travesty.
This came into focus at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markel which I have written about here. The contrasts between Mr Connor and Mr Curry were stark. Mr Connor opening the service read great things from his liturgical piece, but could have put us all to sleep. Whilst Mr Curry could stir us and invigorate us whilst leading us in a not so helpful direction.
For me to calmly treat the gospel of Jesus in a detached and cold way is a disservice to my calling.