Epiphany preaching as a model of parabolic “deconstruction, interruption, and change” via John McClure

Otherwise Thinking

How does one preach “epiphany” in an “epiphany-like” way? And how does a preacher keep epiphany alive throughout the year in one’s preaching?

Epiphany, in one translation, means “manifestation.” It is the manifestation or  “showing forth” of God’s glory and divinity in Jesus Christ. The word also translates as a sudden insight into the essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some ordinary occurrence or experience. Epiphanic truth, therefore, is truth that arrives as a sudden insight. It is the endpoint of significant delay, and is the hidden object of great anticipation. And its arrival is unexpected because it is not grand and overstated,  but shows itself within the ordinary stuff of life – like a child in a manger.

Many of the best sermons are “epiphanic.” They delay the arrival of the sermon’s meaning or deepest “truth,” and then, within the anticipation established by that delay, “manifest” that truth…

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