I only had the opportunity to preach a handful of sermons during my time at my former church, and each one was a learning process. The art of the sermon illustration has taken a while for me to pick up, and I imagine I’ll spend a lifetime perfecting it.
One image that I used, however, was one that I thought was particularly powerful and effective. Not surprisingly, it wasn’t an entirely original concept (The idea was first planted in me by a NOOMA video… so I must give credit to Mr. Bell.)
The image was that of a symphony, and it functioned as a modern-day parable, that basically compared the Kingdom of God to an orchestral performance.
Without delving into the specific focus of that sermon, for the future of this blog, I hope to explore this basic image further:
All of life is a song about God.
Every part of God’s creation plays along in their respective ways.
For us humans, on the whole, we somewhere along the way stopped following the music, or keeping our eyes on the conductor. We play out of tempo; sometimes we play off-key; sometimes we jump into improvised solos.
All of life is a song of love.
We don’t have to look very hard at the church in our culture to see examples—of people and communities who have forgotten how to read music altogether, who can hear only distant whispers of the original score, and who consequently piece together quite rudimentary attempts to follow along, assuming their own ability to discern and play the music to be much greater than anyone who has come before, enraptured by the romanticism of originality and creativity that when out of sync with the entire composition produces only short bursts of cacophony. No wonder that we are easily seduced by other melodies—made to follow music, we will follow along with whatever we can most easily hear.
All of life is a song about God, who is love.
This blog at first glance will look like another blog about theology. My goal, however, with this blog is to explore this basic idea—that we as a church have lost the ability to hear the music, know the score, or even being able to communicate either, often reducing rich musical complexity into easily digestable (and not particularly nutritional) bits. So this blog will often deal not just with theology, but with how we talk about theology (that is, our “God-talk”), both intentionally and unintentionally, both in classrooms and conferences, and in local churches.
The hope is that we all can learn to hear the music better, know the score better, and be able to communicate about both more effectively and in a non-reductionistic way.
Posts will (hopefully) come about once a week… but we’ll see! (I will try to make this a discipline.)
Stay tuned. (Get it, “tuned”?…. 🙂 )