Verse – “What to preach?”

Preliminary notes from “the editor”: 1) “The Lectionary scriptures” to which Steve Shoemaker refers are suggested readings for each Sunday; 2) Douglas John Hall is emeritus Professor of Theology at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec and a prolific author on God and human suffering.

Verse —  What to Preach?

(With thanks to Douglas John Hall.)

The Lectionary scriptures are a start,

and in the newer testament, the word

of Jesus burns and leaves a scar:  the heart

is moved, the mind is taught.  The acts of God,

the miracles, may be hard to believe,

but are (in fast close-up) no stranger than

from vine to wine,  from seed to bread,  from eve

to dawn,  that I see every day.  And when

the older testament is read,  I hear

the call to love my foes, to greet the new,

the alien with cheer, to feed the poor:

all lessons good and clear–but hard to do…


The Preacher may well be afraid to say it,

but don’t blame failure of the Holy Spirit!

– Steve Shoemaker, Urbana, IL, July 6, 2012.

Steve is a classmate from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, a retired Presbyterian minister, poet, and activist living on the prairie near the University of Illinois. Steve was Pastor and Director of the McKinley Presbyterian Church and  Foundation at the University of Illinois. He concluded his ministry as Executive Director of the University YMCA at the University of Illinois, a vigorous campus student center as big in heart and mind as Steve. His voice is heard every Sunday evening as host of “Keepin’ the Faith” – an interview show on Illinois Public Radio at the University of Illinois, WILL AM.