Thinking about Sermonizing

Listening to some podcasts of sermons from high-falutin’ churches around the country.

All the preachers have very impressive CVs, reflecting many, many years of academic theology.

And their preaching shows it. Lots and lots of big words, lots and lots of words that need to be defined. Lots of lovely logic arguments.


Huh? Whuzzat? Hm. Sorry. Fell asleep.

I’m sure there are well educated people to whom this style of preaching is deep and meaningful. I’m not one of them. Neither are a lot of my friends. Neither are a lot of my coworkers.

And then I get to wondering, what goal are these people looking to get from their preaching? A well-crafted argument? A ‘good sermon’ pat on the back from some of those well educated people? A break in the action for eight to fifteen minutes between the Word and the Sacrament*?

What is the goal of a sermon? I don’t know. I know the ones I like are not the ones that make me nod and say, “Yes, Lord, yes, that is a good thing to think about even though it doesn’t apply to me.”

The ones I like are the ones that have me nodding and saying, “Yes, Lord, yes! I have not been at my best, but now, with Your help, I resolve to go forward and do better!”

*What? Me Episcopalian?


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