Saturday, 4 August 2018

Societas Homiletica – a society of love

The first evening at this homiletical conference is over. We meet at Duke Divinity School, in Durham, North Carolina. Around 70 participants from different parts of the world. I count between 15 and 20 countries on the list of participants. After registration and dinner we gathered for a Service of Worship in Goodson Chapel.

Listen to this prayer of confession, inspired by Proverbs 1:20-23:
God of rushing wind and silver moon,Wisdom cries in the street, and we have not heard.
She raises her voice, and we hurry past.
With distracted eyes and divided hearts, we have ignored her counsel.
We have ignored You.
Forgive us, we pray.
We are weary of our false assurance and would hear truth.
After that we hear the words of assurance.

Meslissa Gamble performs a Liturgical Dance.
We sing together. There is a Liturgical Dance performed by Melissa Gamble a 3rd year Master of Divinity student. It is powerful.

Powerful is also the sermon of one of the founding members of the Society, Rev Dr Richard Lischer. It is he who describes Societas Homiletica as a society of love. An alternative to all societies of fear, that exist in this world.

The theme of this years conference is:
Fearing God in a Fear-Filled World?
He underscores this possibility: instead of fearing everything else – fear God. It gives me something to think about. The idea of fearing God as a help to get rid of much other fear. His final example is amazing. Obviously the President of the US had said, some time ago, that he wanted to protect the Christians in the US. The preacher ended the sermon with something like this:
Mr President, we don’t need your protection. The only one we fear is God. (I mean, how could anyone protect us from God?)

In the sermon and in the prayers I understood that the separation of migrants’ children from the parents is something that really troubles people here.

I look forward to Saturday. At 15.15 I will present my paper. I feel happy about this opportunity.

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