Preaching is dangerous because it opens doors to the holy. Whether it occurs in the context of a Eucharistic liturgy or a service of lessons and carols, we believe that somehow Christ is present in the Word proclaimed and that our preaching is part of that proclamation. Whether we are guest preachers in cathedrals or long-time pastors of small churches, we believe that somehow we are called to make God’s ways known anew to this group of people at this time. And whether we speak in an informal vernacular or painstakingly craft a piece of poetry, we understand that the words we use are only a small part of the message our listeners receive, and that a large share of that message is entirely out of our control. We can be totally misunderstood,. We can touch someone’s hot button and spend the rest of the week having to pour water on a brush fire. And sometimes we discover to our amazement that while we thought we were preaching a sermon hurriedly prepared or ill-conceived, one of our parishioners was hearing something life-changing. We can’t make that happen and yet we understand that we have a responsibility to prepare and to act as if it might.
------Linda L. Clader, VOICING THE VISION: IMAGINATION AND PROPHETIC PREACHING (New York: Morehouse Publishing, 2003), pages 2-3.