15
Aug
09

dead German guy preaching this Sunday

So, this Sunday we’ll be hearing from Paul Tillich.

For John Cleese fans who may recall this line from the short-lived comedy Fawlty Towers, I add, “You’ll love it! He’s German!”

He’s also dead, so I’ve volunteered to channel him from the Great Beyond. By which I mean, I will be reading his most famous sermon, entitled, “You are Accepted,” from a book.

It’s a beautiful sermon, very theological and existential and Tillichian (which is a word, I didn’t make that up), but also, extremely moving. As I’ve practiced it this week, I’ve teared up nearly every time at the crucial paragraph that gives the sermon its title. I hope I don’t on Sunday, but you all are forewarned. It’s powerful stuff we’re dabbling in here: Tillich wants nothing less than to create a moment for his listeners in which they experience God’s grace.

I’ve experienced those rare moments of grace many times in the unlikely setting of the PS 261 cafeteria. I anticipate yet another astonishing and unlikely moment this Sunday, as we listen to the words of this member of the communion of saints who now, I can only trust, lives eternally in the experience of that grace which is still for the rest of us so rare and momentary.

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3 Responses to “dead German guy preaching this Sunday”


  1. 1 Krister
    August 16, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    It was in high school reading this sermon from his collection of sermons The Shaking of the Foundations that I came to faith. Powerful time in my life, and I’ve been indebted to Tillich ever since. Hope it went well! :)

  2. August 22, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    Krister, that’s awesome. Thanks for sharing that.

  3. 3 jentb
    September 1, 2009 at 11:59 am

    for clarification, in case both Steven and Krister are wondering, that comment was really from me. Sorry guys. (forgot I was logged in as sjbaird while sjbaird was still reeling from his vertigo.)


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Welcome to the Christ's Church for Brooklyn blog. We are a loving community of believers who seek to be the hands and feet of Christ, in service to our neighbors in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn and beyond.
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