Christopher - an internet friend who was once Lutheran and now is Orthodox - raises the question of whether we are making too much of preaching as Lutherans. I don't think so. Not for a minute! The Smacald Articles express the Lutheran conviction:
"God is superabundantly generous in His grace. First, through the spoken Word, by which the forgiveness of sins is preached in all the world. This is the particular office of the Gospel. Second, through Baptism. Third, throug the holy Sacrament of the Altar. Fourth, through the Power of the Keys. Also through the mutual conversation and consolation of brethren...." SA III:III:IV
Which is to say that the preaching of the spoken Word, the embassy of forgiveness, is for us a preeminent means of grace. "Go into all the world and the preach the Gospel to the whole creation" our Lord says in Mark 16. Thus, not only is the Sacrament a "visible Word" but the Word is an "audible sacrament!" Preaching does not play second fiddle to the Eucharist, but is conjoined to it, for in both "we proclaim the Lord's death until He comes."