In Preaching Jeremiah Walter Brueggemann seeks to ground preaching in the context of Biblical communication.
This is not so much stylistic, but rather a recognition that relying on literary artifice to build a bridge between speaker and hearers softens the reality that the proclamation of God’s kingdom is a “word from beyond”.
…sermons do not begin upon the moment of utterance. They have been under preparation long and deep, slow and hard, all a collage of long living mobilised in a moment.
I am aware that this is all quite remote from the preaching that is possible in most preaching venues among us. We are so “horizontal” that a word from the divine council strikes us as odd. We are so democratic that authorised words sound odd and irregular. Truth to power is risky, and who wants to be the one to say, “Until the exile”? Perhaps, then, none of this can count among us. Or perhaps, conversely, it is a trace of recover, of a way of utterance that is as strange and new as the Bible itself.
There is in preaching of a textual kind a burden of truth that refuses denial, a burden of hope that refuses despair. A society deeply inured to denial and despair is not hospitable to such utterance.
Preaching Jeremiah, Walter Brueggemann, Fortress Press, Minneapolis, 2020, pgs. 34-35.