When I am invited to preach somewhere, things go like this:
READER: (reads set Bible passage very nicely and then says) This is the word of the Lord.
LEADER: Thank you, Reader. And now, I’m afraid, Reeves is going to come and try to explain that passage to us.
REEVES: (thinks to himself) Oh no, I’m not! This isn’t going to be some English Comprehension exercise. I intend to proclaim the word of God! (walks to pulpit/lectern, trying to shake off grumpiness)
I know, it’s a bit pedantic, but it comes from the fear that we’ll merely study the Scriptures as interesting texts instead of hearing them as God’s very words that hold out Christ and draw us to him. For the Spirit breathed out those words that we might fix our eyes on him, the one who reveals the Father to us. Charles Spurgeon, the twinkle-eyed master-preacher of the nineteenth century, put it like this:
The motto of all true servants of God must be, ‚We preach Christ, and him crucified.‛ A sermon without Christ in it is like a loaf of bread without any flour in it. No Christ in your sermon, sir? Then go home, and never preach again until you have something worth preaching.Yes! For Christ is the Word of God. Without him we would be ‘blinder than moles’, never dreaming of how Fatherly God is. But the Spirit-breathed Scriptures proclaim him as the radiance of his Father, the only one who can share with us the true life of knowing and being loved by his Father.