The Significance of Sermons


Several years ago the "British Weekly" printed a letter to the editor:

"Dear Sir: I notice that ministers seem to set a great deal of importance on their sermons and spend a great deal of time in preparing them. I have been attending services quite regularly for the past thirty years and during that time, if I estimate correctly, I have listened to no less that 3,000 sermons, but, to my consternation, I discover I cannot remember a single one of them. I wonder if a minister's time might be more profitably spent on something else? Sincerely…"

That letter triggered an avalanche of angry responses for weeks. Sermons were castigated and defended by lay and clergy, but eventually a single letter closed the debate:

My dear Sir: I have been married for thirty years. During that time I have eaten 32,850 meals - mostly of my wife's cooking. Suddenly I have discovered that I cannot remember the menu of a single meal. And yet, I received nourishment from every one of them. I have the distinct impression that without them, I would have starved to death long ago. Sincerely…"

-James D. Berkley, ed., Preaching to Convince