As an interpreter, I listened to homilies for 2 decades but was only occasionally impressed, and rarely moved. I found them to usually be intellectual (sometimes pompous) circumlocutions of the Bible readings of the day (if that), superficial or heavily political social commentaries with little Biblical teaching or depth (seriously, in a church you’d expect heartfelt teachings about the Bible, not their opinions about it), and so on. In a word – vapid.
I am no longer in that environment, but have a desire for, and a great appreciation of, succinct, pithy, well-spoken messages. Then I encountered “Slam poetry.” This is not a medium with which most people are familiar, but I find it fascinating. According to http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/5672:
One of the most vital and energetic movements in poetry during the 1990s, slam has revitalized interest in poetry in performance. Poetry began as part of an oral tradition, and movements like the Beats and the poets of Negritude were devoted to the spoken and performed aspects of their poems. This interest was reborn through the rise of poetry slams across America; while many poets in academia found fault with the movement, slam was well received among young poets and poets of diverse backgrounds as a democratizing force. This generation of spoken word poetry is often highly politicized, drawing upon racial, economic, and gender injustices as well as current events for subject manner.
(a longer treatment can be found at http://www.sd43.bc.ca/secondary/gleneagle/StaffInfo/departments/english/Terminology%20Resources/A%20Brief%20Guide%20to%20Slam%20Poetry.pdf)
Actually, what I next found was what I have dubbed “Slam Theology.” Well-thought-out and well-delivered, it has great power to do what a homily is supposed to do – get God’s message across in a clear and concise manner. This video is an interesting example of a call to evangelism and discipleship in under 4-1/2 minutes. Art!