Pulpit blues

One of my favourite preaching books of all time is Kirk Byron Jones’ book The Jazz Of Preaching.

He explores a number of interesting themes in this lively and provocative book. One of them is the idea of syncopation – the combination of two different rhythms so vital to jazz. In a similar way two rhythms, such as Old and New Testaments, or sadness and joy, can be combined in one sermon.

However, for me his richest theme is the origins of Blues music in great sorrow. As mellow music arose from great trauma – so preaching can be born in the midst of great sorrow:

‘When it comes to preaching through times of emotional strain and pain, the question is not how to preach when your heart is not in it.  The question is how to preach with a different heart, a wounded heart’

Oh yes, Dr Byron Jones, yes!