The Word Becoming Flesh

In this Advent season, Christians are preparing to celebrate God’s word becoming flesh (human) in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. But, as Richard Rohr and others have reminded us, this “incarnational principle” of the mind, heart, and Essence of the universe being made known in the “stuff” of everyday life is an eternal reality, not only a one-time event. It happens in every moment and every second of every day.

One of the things I miss most in retirement is the preparation and delivery of a weekly sermon. It had been part of my “preaching life” for over forty years before retirement. And I say “preparation and delivery” of a sermon because I have always enjoyed wrestling with the text and applying the truths there discerned to real life situations in the real world almost as much as I have enjoyed proclaiming that reality in the assembly.

My homiletics professor in seminary suggested this brief approach to preparing sermons — Need, Truth, and Response. That is, the preacher should try and identify a specific need or challenge facing the community. Then, apply the truths discerned from week’s lessons from scripture much as a physician might apply a balm or salve to a wound. And then, call for a specific response from the gathered community to this situation. It is this last step which, I find, is so often missing from sermons.

So, this year, I hope to resume this homiletic discipline in these pages, praying with and reflecting upon the scriptural lessons in the Revised Common Lectionary each week and seeking to apply them to particular needs in our community, nation, and world. Then I shall attempt to discern a response called for in this encounter between God’s word and the life situations we face. These reflections may often be only an exercise in my own spiritual discipline. If, from time to time, I consider them worth sharing, I shall do so by means of social media.

I must say, I am looking forward to this “new” adventure. And, as always, I invite you to use this Advent season to anticipate the many ways God’s word continues to become flesh. And the one we Christians hold most dear — Jesus the Christ.

4 Responses to “The Word Becoming Flesh”

  1. Susan Cardman Says:

    Please include me in your postings. I, too, was a former member of St. Stephen’s in Lakeland, FL!

  2. Glenda Taylor Says:

    Richest Advent Blessings! Thank you Chris for your wonderful sharing.

    Sent from my iPhone


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