Sunday, May 03, 2009

Sermon: Easter 4 - Year B

How long do you think a sermon should be? How long is too long? How short is too short?

Most Sunday mornings, I know I’ve gone on too long when Neil Horvey holds up his watch and starts pointing at it. Or when the yawns from the youth in the back row begin to drown out my mountain top wisdom.

But its funny. I’ve never been told a sermon is too short. I never hear, “I’m sorry pastor, but you were just getting revved up when you hit the breaks.” I’m sure you’re just being polite.

Some preaching wag once muttered “sermonettes create Christianettes.” As if long sermons in themselves produce strong followers of Jesus. And short-sermoned preachers are being lax or lazy in their efforts.

But when I’m preparing each week, I’m challenged by some of the great words of history and our faith, words that we still remember.

Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address was only 272 words and it helped shape a country on the brink of falling apart.

Shakespeare’s St. Crispin Day speech from his play Henry V, one of the most riveting ever written, is only 407 words.

The Ten Commandments has roughly 313 words (depending of which version you read. Some version have as little 170 words), and created a body of law that continues to nurture faithful people 5000 years after it was written.

So, do I think too highly of myself with a 1183 word sermon, like this one?

The cynical part of me thinks that some preachers...(whole thing here)

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