Festival Blog

"Preaching and Politics"

2018 Festival of Homiletics - Washington, DC

Spiritual Borderlands and Scriptural Engagement: Thursday at #Homiletics2017

What does preaching at the borders really mean? Luke Powery got his audience thinking and singing about this very question as his voice filled the theater with spirituals. “Preaching a la the spirituals is a collective exorcism of individualism,” Powery declared. Preaching at the borders is reclaiming our singing voice as a community; singing out of the rubble of human existence, he avowed. The audience left affirmed of the viability of the practice of singing as a homiletical strategy because when life is hard and tough, there is always a song.

Later in the evening, Sam Cruz took the audience through the story of the Syrophoenician woman paying special attention to what the story tells us about leadership. In this account, “Jesus is a leader who is able to change his ways and face the embarrassment of being wrong,” Cruz pointed out. What might this interpretation illuminate about what it means to be Christian leaders in the world today? New Testament writers weren’t simply writing historical accounts. They were theologizing. Cruz pondered what a sermon might be like if based not on static hermeneutics but in dialogue with lessons scripture teaches as it is applied to lived reality.

From Sam Cruz’ lecture, hundreds of Festival attendees strolled over to a Beer & Hymn Sing with the Fleshpots of Egypt at Bier Garten Riverwalk. Joining together singing hymns that rang throughout the Riverwalk, Festival goers shared food and beer in a joyous toast to a week of learning and fellowship between colleagues across boundaries of denomination or placement throughout the globe. One more half-day of the Festival remains in beautiful San Antonio. It has been quite a week!

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