Helmut Theilicke served as professor of theology at Heidelberg until he was dismissed by the Nazi regime in 1940. To protect him from rising Nazi pressure, a caring bishop sent him to pastor a rural church in remote Langenargenby-Constance. There, the brilliant theologian, still in his early thirties, learned some important lessons about the local church and about preaching.
We had never felt so lonely in our lives. Not a single person knew why we had come. Nor could we tell them, because in their innocence they would not have understood. We often said to ourselves that it would have been better to have lived in the concrete jungle of some big city and to have had good friends that were on our level.
The task that caused me the most problems was the propagation of the gospel from the pulpit, that is, the sermon. Up until that time, I had lived under the foolish illusion that I could only set foot in the pulpit when I had the theological theory completely clear in my mind. For this reason ...1