Picturing the Sermon:
Hearing Christ and Him Crucified
Martin Luther als Prediger, 1547
Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553)
Located in the Stadt- und Pfarrkirche St. Marien, Wittenberg, Germany, this painting is part of a larger altar piece by Lucas Cranach the Elder provides a visual of what happens during the event of Christian preaching - Christ and him crucified (1 Cor 1.23) is the center and content. On the cross, God reveals God's self in the hiddenness of Christ's suffering and death, whereby Jesus Christ takes on our sin and death and gives us His life. Faith is our trust that this act of God for the world is indeed true.
I encourage those who preach to consider this image as a metaphor for what they do and what happens when they preach. Likewise, I encourage those who listen to preaching to imagine themselves in this image with Christ crucified at the heart of the preaching-listening event.
Let anyone with ears to hear, listen! (Mark 4:9 NRSV)