The Preacher as Antichrist: a sonnet

The Preacher as Antichrist

To seize the flesh and make it word instead,
Dissecting lived perfection to display
Cold concepts, or trite lessons—mere cliche—
I block th’ incarnate Word in printer’s lead,
Make husk and dry chaff of the living bread,
Turn laughter, tears, and blood, to an essay—
Mere cleverness—affront to those who pray.
To those who come, desiring to be fed
And given hope, is all that can be said
A worthless, weak, and cheap call to obey?
Alliterated numbered points convey
A dreary discourse, dull as it is dead.

I look up to the Spirit that me owns,
And ask, can life be given to these dry bones?


(Certainly not a theorised criticism of preaching; more a confession that, too often, this is what it feels like I am doing.)

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