This quarter I am taking a seminar on the history of preaching. While reading through Augustine’s On Christian Doctrine, I came across this quote:
And when the hour is come that [the preacher] must speak, he ought, before he opens his mouth, to lift up his thirsty soul to God, to drink in what he is about to pour forth, and to be himself filled with what he is about to distribute. For, as in regard to every matter of faith and love there are many things that may be said, and many ways of saying them, who knows what it is expedient at a given moment for us to say, or to be heard saying, except God who knows the hearts of all?
I think Augustine is right on. It is far too easy to fool ourselves [myself] into thinking that we [I] have figured out the answers ourselves [myself] and forget that we [I] have little to offer outside of what God grants us [me].