This semester at Princeton has been a wonderful experience because I am discovering the art of preaching. I have to keep reminded myself that this is a process, and that right now the product is secondary to the process.
Just like my visual art classes through high school and college, I am trying to break out of the expected. However, the struggle is that I want to remain within the expected because that is what I can hold on to well.
The early visual art I produced was very linear, standard, representational art. It was unexciting, it was safe, it was easy. But in the back of my mind I had the voice of my third grade art teacher saying, “there are no mistakes in art.” There are no accidental lines, there is no need to have an eraser; art is the process of developing, of creating, of making it is not a product.
Suddenly, in college that perspective clicked for me and I found the freedom and passion in artmaking. I came to realize that not everyone will like my work, but that is not important because it was about something larger than a product, the process was a form of worship.
I pray that I could have that same experience with the art of preaching. For some reason, I do not feel that freedom. I fear the “orthodox” eyes who say “there is a mistake in your theology.” I fear the homelitics pen who counts my “ums” and “ers.” Therefore, I cannot express freedom, grace and passion while preaching because I am not experciencing freedom, grace and passion in the process of preaching-making.
Right now, I have come to love wrestling with a passage but would rather go outside, throw on some Creed and draw my exegesis because I am struggling to find an aduible voice.