since i am preaching about the spiritual discipline of worship this sunday, i spent part of my (blessedly free!) morning reading richard foster's thoughts on worship in celebration of discipline. early on in the chapter he reminds us that worship is a context in which we await the kol YHWH - the voice of God - to speak to us.
for some reason, that image of the community waiting to hear the voice of God really unsettled me. in that moment, i realized that my preaching is more likely to focus on the real and apparent paradoxes that arise in the life of faith than it is to inspire the body to listen and respond to the revelation of God.
after some reflection and conversation, it seems to me that preaching should be focused on inviting the presence of God and attending to his revelation and direction. the people that i worship with probably do not need to identify one more paradox on sunday morning nor do they likely need to be re-immersed in the conflict/resolution pattern that characterizes so much of daily life.
i repent of the times i have ignorantly tuned people into one more tension instead of turning with them towards the rushing water emanating from sinai.
of course, i'm not suggesting that we refuse to wrestle complexity or start ignoring the nagging dark. for me the emergent cohort is a perfect context in which to consider such matters and, moving forward, i'm going to try to keep these conversations in their proper place.