Frederick Buechner Sermon Illustration: Sharing Your Faith
In our blog post every Monday we select a reading from the Revised Common Lectionary for the upcoming Sunday, and pair it with a Frederick Buechner reading on the same topic.
Next Sunday we will celebrate the Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost. Here is this week’s reading from the book of Philemon:
I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective when you perceive all the good that we may do for Christ.
Below is the final paragraph in Buechner’s classic book about sharing your faith through preaching: Telling The Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale.
Let the preacher tell the truth. Let him make audible the silence of the news of the world with the sound turned off so that in that silence we can hear the tragic truth of the Gospel, which is that the world where God is absent is a dark and echoing emptiness; and the comic truth of the Gospel, which is that it is into the depths of his absence that God makes himself present in such unlikely ways and to such unlikely people that old Sarah and Abraham and maybe when the time comes even Pilate and Job and Lear and Henry Ward Beecher and you and I laugh till the tears run down our cheeks. And finally let him preach this overwhelming of tragedy by comedy, of darkness by light, of the ordinary by the extraordinary, as the tale that is too good not to be true because to dismiss it as untrue is to dismiss along with it that catch of the breath, that beat and lifting of the heart near to or even accompanied by tears, which I believe is the deepest intuition of truth that we have.